Tamiya's new S-35 SOMUA tank kit has garnered well-deserved interest from modelers eager for more French tanks of WW2 (see Jim Starkweather's
video review here
), and an in-box review by Alan McNeilly here
The name is sometimes garbled to Somoa (the island), but derives from the Société d'Outillage Mécanique et d'Usinage d'Artillerie (SOMUA), a subsidiary of Schneider-Creusot.
While it might seem laughable that the SOMUA was conceived in the late 1930s as a "cavalry tank," the term actually was meant to describe the fast-moving assault tanks envisioned as distinct from heavy infantry-support tanks such as the Char B1-bis. Despite a design harkening back to the tanks of the Great War, the S-35 was in fact better-armed with its 47 mm SA 35 gun than the German Pz. III of the time, and had heavier, if very expensive cast armor.
Tamiya's new kit offer three similar painting schemes, so Georg Eyerman's Decalomaniacs
has come to the rescue with six variants.
what you get
As usual with Decalomaniacs
, you get a sheet of laser-printed decals and a three-page instruction sheet with call outs for the kit.
The set includes six variants, four from the Battle for France in May, 1940, one after Liberation in 1945, and one from the Chasseurs d'Afrique in Spring, 1943 in Algeria.
1. 18th Dragoons, 1st DLM or Division Légère Mécanisée
(light cavalry division), May 1940
2. 2nd Cuirassiers Regiment, 2nd DLM (light cavalry division), May 1940
3. 3rd Cuirassiers Regiment, 4th DCR or Division cuirassée
(armored division), May 1940
4. 4th Cuirassiers Regiment, 1st DLM (light cavalry division), May 1940
5. 12th Regiment Chasseurs d'Afrique, Spring 1943
6. 13th Dragoons, April 1945 (with German-style cupola indicating re-use by the Wehrmacht)
The camo schemes are called out, but the designs are not shown, so either check your resources or you can likely base them on other designs available, including those in the base kit.
One way Decalomaniacs
has kept the cost of the set down is by utilizing some of the kit markings, especially roundels. Because Decalomaniacs
decals are printed on a laser printer (instead of a large offset press like with Cartograf), whites tend to disappear into the background. For that reason, the sheet includes some "squares" that should be painted white to undercoat decals such as tricolors or some of the unit emblems.
And finally, for those who have never used a Decalomaniacs
set of decals, they are printed like many AM decals on a single piece of transfer film. So care should be taken when cutting them off the sheet to minimize film that might result in silvering around the edges.
As always with Decalomaniacs
, modelers can access markings that are either unavailable elsewhere, or which stretch our imaginations like those of the Chasseurs d'Afrique.
Thanks to Decalomaniacs for this review sample. Be sure to mention you saw it reviewed on Armorama when ordering.>/b>