Kit Preview : 1/76 Skytrex Hinchliffe Hotchkiss H39

About the manufacturer
Skytrex carries an extensive range of 2mm (1/76) white metal wargaming figures and vehicles under the Hinchliffe label. The vehicles are quite simplified, with few parts, bare interiors and most tools and accessories molded on. They are however usually correct sizewise and can be used as the basis for detailing projects especailly for vehicles not found in other ranges.

About the vehicle
The Hotchkiss H35 was the standard French Cavalry light tank in 1940. It is similar in performance and size to the Renaul R35, its Infantry counterpart. The H39 was an updated model, with a more powerful engine and usually equipped with the longer SA38 L/35 37mm gun which gave it some antitank capabilities (which the short 37mm lacked completely)

Click here for the Wikipedia article on the H35.

About the kit

Milicast, Cromwell, SHQ all carry the H35/H39. Their models are more detailed than this one but I happened to find it on ebay for a reasonable price. It matches a scaled down Bradford drawinfg almost perfectly. Hull details look OK without a detailed inspection. Interestingly, the track/bogie assemblies are reversible (same detail on both sides of each track). Bogie detail is simplified (raised border outline is missing for each bogie) albeit acceptable. The main issue for me is the toy-looking thick tracks without teeth. I plan to replace them with spare Matchbox Panzer II tracks which are the same width and have the same pattern with guide teeth on the sides and holes in the middle. The sprockets need teeth, which can be made by superglueing a thich strip down the center and cutting out sections. The figure is best forgotten...

Updated on 4/11/2011