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Matilda Tank 'Red Army' Tamiya 1/35 'First and Last' Project

This article is part of a series:
  1. Junkers EF 126, Das Werk 1/32, 'First and Last' Project
  2. Matilda Tank 'Red Army' Tamiya 1/35 'First and Last' Project
  3. Seafire Mk III, Special Hobby, 1/48: last dogfight of the World War 2 'First and Last' Project.

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 , 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 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!


12 responses

  1. What a wonderful Matilda, Paul, and what a great contribution to the utterly inspiring "First and Last" project!
    I am no armor guy, either, but cannot stop admiring armor models, like this one, with temptation rising...
    Now, I wonder what the "Last" will be...

  2. Although not an armor guy, you turned this kit into a great looking build, Paul @yellow10
    I love the paint and weathering on this one.

    • Thank you John, I was experimenting with the modulation and its probably overdone. The weathering I'm ok with as long as the tank was still undergoing some reviews at Kazan, rather than out and about in Russia in October/December! As I said - low stakes fun builds!

  3. Looks amazing Paul. Armour is part of your skill set for sure. Do some more !
    Thank you for showing .

  4. Really nice paintwork on this and a great result, @yellow10.

    There's an apocryphal story that, upon being informed of the German invasion of the USSR, Churchill immediately cabled Stalin with an offer of an unconditional alliance. When an aide asked him how he could do this, given his attempts to kill the Bolshevik Revolution "in the cradle" and the fact he had four times been part of a decision on the part of the then-government to try and assassinate Stalin - a fact Stalin was aware of - he replied, "If Hitler were to invade hell, I should at least have a good word for the Devil."

    The Airacobra Is the RAF had rejected were sent to the USSR, arriving in early 1942 and turning the air defense of Leningrad to success. The 100 Tomahawk IIs diverted to the USSR turned out to have been the airplanes the 20th Pursuit Group had turned in to Curtiss when they converted to the P-40D that June; FDR's executive order from April 1941 directed that gear "turned in" by units re-equipping should be turned over to Lend-Lease (the US Army had been resisting L-L), so those airplanes ended up in crates headed to Britain that got diverted as Churchill's first demonstration of commitment to the alliance. The P-49B that ended up in Paul Allen's museum, which was the first early P-40 restored, arrived at Chino with Russian paint on it, but when they started stripping it they found the USAAC paint and the markings of the 77th Pursuit Squadron of the 20th Fighter Group underneath.

    • Thanks, Tom. I’d heard that Churchill ‘quote’. Even today we see plenty of strange alliances. As for the P39s it’s always interesting when one aircraft operator (or two) can’t get to grips with a particular type of plane and another does so well with it. I have to admit to having the Eduard Airacobra P-39 double pack and a set of overtrees to build up in Russian colours! I believe it is said that Soviet P-39s scored more kills than any aircraft flown by any operator in the whole conflict?

  5. Really nice work on this Paul , I have the same kit here on iModeller and it is a dream to put together.
    These tanks were built at the Vulcan works factory a few miles from my house, the factory is long gone but the homes of the workers there still exist called Vulcan village.

    • Thanks Neil, and great to hear from you! I’ve just had a little trawl back through your ‘iModeler blog’ - absolutely beautiful Matilda - a wonderful scheme on yours! I also notice that I missed your Sea Harrier (I’ve been a rare visitor to iM over the last 6 months or longer). Your Shar is sensational, Neil!

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