In-Box Review
S-35 SOMUA Markings
French S-35 SOMUA Markings
  • move

by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]


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 review

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>
Highs: uMarkings not available with Tamiya kit, and may work on old Heller one as well.
Lows: Require careful cutting out from a single sheet of transfer film.
Verdict: Highly-recommended if you want more options for the new Tamiya kit.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: DM-059
  Suggested Retail: $12
  PUBLISHED: Jul 23, 2015

Our Thanks to Decalcomaniacs!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View This Item  |  View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Bill Cross (bill_c)

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright ©2021 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.


Hi All, The decals are available at my E-bay webstore. Regards, Georg
JUL 22, 2015 - 04:11 PM
Hi All, The sheet also fixes an error on the Tamiya decal sheet. The shield for the 4th Curassiers should be facing forward on both sides of the hull. The sheet includes that fix in addition to the extra markings included. Regards, Georg
JUL 23, 2015 - 03:10 AM
Just a quick correction to the review. The DLM is not a light cavalry division. These were made up of different elements (including horsed cavalry) and were classified as DLCs. DLMs (Division Legere Mechanique) were totally mechanised.
JUL 23, 2015 - 04:41 AM

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move