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"A Somua S35 in Tunisia" Topic

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1,650 hits since 9 Feb 2023
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2023 8:22 a.m. PST

It has been a long time since I posted something from 2eme DB, Leclerc's Free French unit. This is a Somua of 12 RCA, before the division was formed, serving in Tunisia. It turned out a bit too dark, but it made a nice change from 1815. Based on the very aged Heller model in 1/72. Much brass and OKB tracks went into it, with markings from Star Decals




Serge6909 Feb 2023 9:18 a.m. PST


Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2023 10:12 a.m. PST

Really nice!
I have three of these old Heller Somuas, but they don't look nearly as good!


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2023 10:51 a.m. PST

Very nice! I understand some of the crews put the "SOMUA" metal plate on their Shermans later.

hayesncsu09 Feb 2023 11:53 a.m. PST

Really gorgeous work!!!

Primus Pictor10 Feb 2023 4:20 a.m. PST

Beautiful work!!

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2023 6:53 a.m. PST

Thanks all.

There is indeed many a photo of the plates, whether on the glacis plate, on the driver's hatch or on the left, below his assistant's. Here are three different tanks, all M4A2s;




Frederick Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2023 9:43 a.m. PST

Nice work! Thanks for sharing

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2023 9:26 a.m. PST

I actually meant to show it in the construction stage, if anyone is interested.



foxbat11 Feb 2023 11:53 a.m. PST

Beautiful model, need i say I am in awe of your modelling skills? I know the Heller kit, and well, the way you bashed it is spectacular!

Now,I really appreciate it as I am a big fan of the S35. Especially these tanks, which belonged to the 12e Régiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique (12e RCA). At the end of 1940, the very last 23 S35 of the FRench Army were shipped to Dakar, far for the prying German eyes of the Armistice Commission. They trained for 2 years, and kept their tanks running which is not a small feat (spares were certainly hard to come by, if I may try an understatement ) and were fighting fit when the rallied the Allies on November 23rd 1942. They fought hard in Tunisia, and took heavy losses (as expected when you face Pak 38 and 40 in a SOMUA…) They even engaged Tigers but were sensible enough not to press on and to fall back. In the end, it took part in the rush on Tunis, taking many prisoners, among them General Von Arnim. They were honored by a place of choice in the victory parade in Tunis, and they still had some S35 in working order!


I can't be sure given the photo angle, but it looks like you also painted the US white star on top of the turret! Cheers!


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2023 2:38 p.m. PST

That is a terrific photo, which I have never seen before at such high resolution. I now see even more detail that I missed, for example the ring around the base of the cupula. I also missed two vertical struts on each armoured cover over the suspension. Char number 10 did not have the grille over the headlamp etc etc etc….Now the tricolour on the right side looks blue/white/red and not reversed as I and the decal makers assumed.

The photo also reminds me that the standing chap should have had the famous sash of North African cavalry!

I found this image, but much grainier, in a great reference to the 12e RCA through the 2e DB site;

It is in French, but Google does help to follow it by trying to translate to English (stress trying)

Yes, that is a star. The Star Decals range allows the option of the earlier roundel or the Allied Star

and your new picture is just superb. Thanks (many thanks) for that;


Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2023 4:56 a.m. PST

DH, another fascinating dive into history through your model building here!

Murvihill13 Feb 2023 6:15 a.m. PST

The French had some unique and interesting tanks.

CHRIS DODSON14 Feb 2023 2:23 a.m. PST

Very nice Mr D although the chap standing seems to be more heroic than his friend with the binoculars.

Great modelling of an unusual subject matter.

Those photographs are very nice indeed.

Best wishes,


MacColla14 Feb 2023 7:24 a.m. PST

Amazing modelling – just from the photographs I thought it was 1:35! Deadhead you are an artist, Sir!

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2023 9:30 a.m. PST

Who was the Civil War (the American one) general who said "They couldn't hit a barn door from there" as his last words? just translate it to French.

So much of the added detail disappeared with the camo finish, which I genuinely did want to look absolutely worn out. every photo of the Tunis parade shows them smartened up for the big day.

Thanks all. 1/35s still sit in the attic Including 2xM8s 2x M20s (Italeri and Tamiya for each) an M10 TD, M3A3, crews, 2e DB decals, but Waterloo Remodelled calls me back now

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2023 8:16 a.m. PST

"They couldnt hit an elephant at this distance" General John Sedgwick just before a confederate bullet hit him in the left eye killing him instantly.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2023 1:03 p.m. PST

An Elephant….makes sense. Glad you told me.

One of my lads is a University Lecturer on the ACW (yes, we do have them over here too) and would have never forgiven me.

CHRIS DODSON16 Feb 2023 1:07 a.m. PST

‘Seeing the elephant ‘ was a term used for initiation into combat in the ACW.

Uncle John incidentally, is now leading his division into action at Antietam, along with the avalanche that was Second Corps. All episodes on TMP.

Best wishes,


Col Piron18 Feb 2023 3:18 a.m. PST

@deadhead , a vid you will like .

Sherman M4A2 Division Leclerc – 1/72 Heller- Tank Model

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2023 2:26 a.m. PST

That video is a great find. I have searched out many articles on the Heller M4A2, mostly reviews with a with suggestions for enhancement, but I had missed this and it is particularly clever. The quality of 3D printing is becoming quite amazing of course. Those headlamp guards, beat brass any day!

Gunner Dunbar24 Mar 2023 5:30 a.m. PST

That's a lovely build mate.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2023 10:31 a.m. PST

Just saw your posting and replied, then saw this response. I think I prefer your 3D version frankly

Gunner Dunbar24 Mar 2023 10:43 p.m. PST

No way, your model is awesome, the 3D printed ones have the usual problem with to thick a barrel, they are designed for 1/100, I've got 6 S35s to paint in my own collection, all are Heller or S-models. What figures are they?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2023 2:23 a.m. PST

The standing figure started as an 8th Army tanker for Dan Taylor Modelworks but got a French tank crew helmeted head from Milicast. The seated gent is a combination of three different parts from Milicast. Another French head, a torso holding binoculars and the lower half a seated US infantryman!

I have only seen S model S35s on line but they look very good indeed

Gunner Dunbar25 Mar 2023 2:30 a.m. PST

Yes, S-models are the standard.

guilhemdelyon23 Sep 2023 12:48 p.m. PST

excellent work…

machinehead Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2023 9:21 a.m. PST

Love the build and especially the paint job.

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