Wednesday, May 19, 2010

French Renault R35 Light Tank

This is a 15mm (1:100 scale) Battlefront (Crusader) mini depicting the familiar French light tank that also saw service with several other armies in World War II (for example, Poland and Romania) and in the early post-World War II conflicts. The kit consists of seven parts. There are two resin castings – a hull and turret – and five cast metal pieces: gun (with cradle), running gear with tracks (2), tank commander, and rear hatch. The model can be built with or without the tank commander/rear hatch combination, and I chose to omit it, since it looks a bit fiddly, and it isn’t clear exactly how one is to fit it to the turret rear or rotate the turret if it simply rests on the rear deck abutting the turret.

The R35 was considered an infantry tank and was the successor to the venerable FT-17 of World War I. In many respects, it was unsuited to the modern battlefield, since it was slow, lightly armored, and possessed a weak main gun.

Some statistics:
Max. armor: 40mm
Max. speed: 20 km/hr road
Armament : 1 x 37mm cannon; 1 x 7.5mm MG
Crew: 2 – commander/gunner and driver

A typical R35 company (compagnie) was organized as follows:
company commander: 1 x R35
1st platoon (section): 3 x R35
2nd platoon (section): 3 x R35
3rd platoon (section): 3 x R35
4th platoon (section): 3 x R35
Total: 13 R35

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