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Tamiya Valentine Mk.II/IV

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale plastic model armor tank kit
By the time Valentines entered combat in 1942 in North Africa, the infantry tank, with its crew of three, small gun, and relatively slow speed, was obsolete. However, the Allies’ need to field tanks overrode its shortcomings, and Valentines served British and Soviet armies through 1944.

Molded in tan plastic, Tamiya’s all-new Valentine features link-and-length tracks, two figures, and options for Soviet or British versions.

The lower hull builds from several parts. Tamiya provides a precise fit and solid structure, with interlocking joins and internal braces. Just follow the assembly sequence noted in the instructions.

The trouble-free fit of the many parts in the upper hull impressed me; Tamiya did a great job of capturing the Valentine’s unique shape.

The periscopes are separate, but they aren’t clear; careful painting is required to make them realistic.

Well-molded cast texture graces the surface of the turret. However, other than seats for the crew in the turret, the kit lacks interior detail.

The unique suspension went together well. The tracks look terrific; the kit provides long upper and lower runs for each side, and individual links to wrap around the drive sprocket and idler. Tamiya molded a pin on the upper run that aligns it with the middle return roller and sets the position of the remaining parts.

Two styles of idlers and fender ends accommodate differences between British and Soviet tanks. Two British tankers fit the turret hatch and add a nice candid touch.

I painted the Valentine with Tamiya spray and acrylic paints. The decals laid down nicely over a coat of clear gloss.

The finished model looked good when compared to the drawings and photos in my primary reference, Tank Power Vol. XC Valentine (331) by Janusz Ledwoch (Wydawnictwo Militaria, ISBN 978-83-7219-331-5).

I completed the Valentine in 20 hours. Given the excellent engineering and detail it was hard not to like this kit. Whether you are a fan of Tamiya armor kits or just a World War II armor modeler, you won’t be disappointed.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the September 2017 issue.


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