by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
There are still a few CitroŽn 11CVs running everyday in London - mostly the pampered possessions of collectors, so it's hard to look at them and visualise the same car as an army workhorse. But it's true, after the initial success of the Traction on the civil market, the car was adopted by the French armed forces and, in turn, confiscated in large numbers by the Germans following the Fall of France. The Germans used the Traction on all fronts - with the vehicle being a favoured staff car in both the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht.
The KitAs you would expect from Tamiya, the kit is very cleanly moulded without a trace of flash. The contents are:
31 x parts moulded in dark grey plastic
4 x clear parts
Decals for 4 vehicle registrations
BasicsThe kit's construction is extremely simple; the body consists of a one-piece shell, which sits on a one-piece chassis / floor-pan with a separate piece for the front mudguards and mounting for the radiator grill.
The body shell is a beautiful piece of tooling which will certainly simplify construction. Clean-up will be minimal, but there is a noticeable seam at the rear sides, running from the roof down over the mudguards which will need removing - it should only be a few moments work. My only real disappointment with the kit was that the body doesn't feature separate doors; for an aircraft modeller like myself, this kit just cries out to be posed in an airfield diorama and it would have so much more "life" with the doors open.
This is a "curbside" model, so the chassis just features a simple engine-block moulded on the underside.
Turning to the inside, the dashboard is neatly moulded with a decal provided for the speedometer. The seats are nice enough, but very new- and "rigid"-looking if you intend to model a vehicle which has seen a lot of service. Other than that, all you get are a steering wheel and column with built-in gear-shift.
The wheels have a very crisp tread-pattern - but it doesn't match that shown on the boxtop. Other exterior details consist of headlamps (with and without blackout shields), number plates and a spare-wheel case which is attached to the boot.
Clear partsThe side and rear windows are moulded as one piece which fits inside the body shell. The windscreen is separate and comes with moulded-on wipers. All the parts are crystal-clear, but quite thick for this scale. If anyone decides to take the plunge and open up the car's doors, they will really have to glaze the windows with clear sheet. (I believe that Hauler have already produced a set to accompany this kit, with film windows plus an etched windscreen frame and wipers, along with a radiator grill, mirrors, door handles etc.
Colour schemesTamiya provide registrations for 4 vehicles:
WL-224158 : 8th Air Corps, Luftwaffe, Eastern Front - overall Panzer Grey
1352 RM1 : Engineering Company, 112th Infantry Division, Wehrmacht, Eastern Front - overall Panzer Grey
L392506 : French Army, 1939/40 - overall Olive Green
9806 RM6 : a French wartime civilian car - overall Black, presumably with chrome details which will have to be represented with BareMetal foil or similar.
ConclusionThis is a very neat little kit, which should be simplicity itself to build - if you don't add details or start hacking the doors open, it's almost an "afternoon project" - well, maybe a "weekend" one. The price seems about what one would expect to pay for a kit of this quality. Tamiya are to be congratulated for taking a step away from the more obvious armour releases to produce a kit which will appeal to both armour and aircraft (and civilian, for that matter) modellers alike - and to begin to tie the genres together... something this 1/48 scale range is ideally suited for. Recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on ARMORAMA