Airfix 1/76 Matilda 'Hedgehog' Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2009||Manufacturer||Airfix|
|Kit Number||2335||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (BP)||£5.69 (about $9.30 USD)|
The Matilda II was a tank developed in the late 1930s for specification A12. At the time of its development, the tank's armor could not be defeated by any anti-tank gun available at the time. It was only in North Africa that the high-velocity 88mm German gun proved to effective against the Matilda.
Armed with a 40mm main gun, the Matilda was designed for infantry support on the battlefield. Powered by a pair of six-cylinder diesel engines, the Matilda was a bit underpowered for its weight, resulting in sluggish performance. The Germans were able to apply high mobility and their 88mm guns to ultimately render the Matilda obsolete in North Africa.
The Matilda was also used by Commonwealth forces in the Pacific, with the Australian army modifying some of its Matildas with the 'hedgehog' rocket launcher system on the engine deck to provide artillery support as required. Since the Japanese were not well-equipped with high-power anti-tank weapons, the Matilda remained combat effective through the end of the war in the Pacifc theater.
Airfix has re-released their 1/76 scale Matilda tank kit with a new sprue to provide a new combat variant. The kit is molded in green styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus to runs of vinyl tracks molded in gray.
Four of the sprues provide the parts for the standard Matilda released years ago, and the new sprue provides the box launcher assembly for the rear deck for the seven artillery rockets that are also included on the sprue.
Assembly is simple and straightforward making this kit ideal for young modelers as well as for more advanced modelers wanting a quick and easy project to 'cleanse the palate'.
This is a nice little kit that will be right for the new and/or younger modeler and comes at a retail price much lower that the more advanced kits that would attract the AMS modeler. If you're an AMS modeler on a budget however, this kit can be detailed out to suit your taste.
For a look at this kit built, look here.
My sincere thanks to Airfix for this review sample!