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VCL Light Amphibious Tank A4E12 Early

Combat Armour Models 1/35 VCL Light Amphibious Tank A4E12 Early Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2015 Manufacturer Combat Armour Models
Subject VCL Light Amphibious Tank A4E12 Early Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35001 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros New tooling, photo etch detailing Cons None
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $54.95

First Look

VCL Light Amphibious Tank A4E12 Early Kit
VCL Light Amphibious Tank A4E12 Early Kit
VCL Light Amphibious Tank A4E12 Early Kit
VCL Light Amphibious Tank A4E12 Early Kit

The British armor company Vickers-Carden-Loyd (VCL) developed an experimental amphibious tank in the early 1930s which was armed with a Vickers .303 machine gun in a turret and was manned by a crew of two. While the British Army did not acquire the tank, a number of them were sold abroad including China, Thailand, the Dutch East Indies and the USSR. Soviet engineers reverse-engineered their tanks to create the amphibious T-37A.

China ordered 12 of the model A4E12 tanks and when Japan invaded China in 1938, these tanks together with 15 armored cars attempted a counter-attack to drive out the invaders. This armored force was attacked by Imperial Japanese Army aircraft inflicting heavy losses on the Chinese. Only one of the VCL tanks survived and would later serve as a training vehicle.

Combat Armour Models has released their first kit which replicates the VCL A4E12 early configuration amphibious tank. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees plus a small fret of photo-etched parts.

Some key features of this kit are:

  • Simple interior with seating for two crew
  • Detailed Vickers machine gun in turret
  • Positionable ventilation/pistol ports at rear of turret
  • Positionable crew hatches
  • Detailed propulsion thruster

The instructions are very well illustrated and will be easy to follow. Left, right and front profiles are provided for the Chinese camouflage pattern. Paints callouts are based upon GSI Creos colors (Mr. Hobby/Mr. Color)

This is a distinctive bit of history in this kit being the only VCL-produced tank to see combat (briefly) in World War II. As with the full-scale example, the kit is simple should pose no challenges to the experienced modeler.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.