Somua S.35

Manufacturer: Heller (# 80197)

By Augusto Versiani.

The Somua S35 was probably the best French tank of the period and I was well happy of being able to get a kit in injected plastic of this attractive model. The Heller kit that I used in this assembly is an old kit, but comparing it with a recently reissued copy of the model, I verified that no difference beyond the color of the plastic exists. Thus the mold is showing signs of its age: lack of details, the details which are present have low definition, tracks made of soft plastic, etc. But it still is an interesting kit.

The fit of the parts was fair; I only had some problems with the assembly of bottom plate and in the joint between the upper and the lower part of the hull. The tracks also offered some difficulties; they are stiff and thick, and it was necessary to cut the upper part of the return rollers so the track can fit between the rollers and the fender.

The biggest work was to create the details which are lacking. I made the following upgrades:

But the part that really amuses in this kit is the painting. A huge variety of colors and combinations are possible, and it was difficult to decide which one to use. The kit decals present little alternative. This problem was cured with the use of Aleran decals which present a good variety of insignias, allowing a great range of options for the final painting.

The decals have good definition and solidity of colors. They react well to Microsol. The only problem is that they are printed in a continuous film, so you must cut one by one.

The choice of the colors followed a proper interpretation of the tones and I used acrylic paints. To make the lines of splitting between the colors I used a soft tip 0,1mm pen.


Although showing the age of the mold it is an interesting kit and that when used with the Aleran decals, offers a good variety of options. Still, it demands a little bit of work to add the details, they are not difficult to execute and the final result is a nice model.

Recommended for those who seek a simple kit to assemble and with a unique and interesting painting.

Back to Kit Reviews Back to Home Page
Back to Heller Kit List