Matilda Tank 'Red Army' Tamiya 1/35 'First and Last' Project
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In June 1941, as all on here will know, Germany declared war on Russia commencing its invasion under the codename 'Operation Barbarossa'.
According to encyclopaedia Britannica:
"The invasion of the Soviet Union was originally given the code name Operation Fritz, but, as preparations began, Hitler renamed it Operation Barbarossa, after the Holy Roman emperor Frederick Barbarossa (reigned 1152–90), who sought to establish German predominance in Europe."
As the 'enemy of my enemy' became a friend the United States extended its March 1941 Lend-Lease policy - formally titled 'An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States' to the Soviet Union. The act had initially supported Britain and the Commonwealth, Free France and The Republic of China by sending supplies and weapons to these countries.
In June 1941, within weeks of the German invasion of the USSR, an 'Anglo-Soviet Agreement' was struck and the first British aid convoy set off along the dangerous Arctic sea route to Murmansk, arriving in September. This represented aid and was again a form of 'lend-lease' although not covered by the US act.
40 Hawker Hurricanes along with 550 mechanics and pilots of No. 151 Wing were supplied in Operation Benedict.
By the end of 1941, early shipments of Matilda, Valentine and Tetrarch tanks represented 6.5% of total Soviet tank production but over 25% of medium and heavy tanks produced for the Red Army.
In the case of this 'First and Last' the Tamiya Red Army Matilda represents one of those tanks. Although historically the Tamiya kit may not represent one of the first tanks there it is symbolic of that early accord.
As for the kit, it falls together, and I painted it with an AK Russian Green modulation set .
I finished the tracks, exhaust and other areas with AK weathering pencils and Uschi steel polishing powder.
A fun quick Christmas holiday build for the 'First and Last' project.
In general I'm not an 'armor guy' but I do enjoy the experience of putting a tank together!