Tamiya Challenger 2 (Desertised) 1/35 Scale
Typical of all Tamiya kits this was generally an easy build, a little thought has to go into it, and it's advisable not to follow the instructions too rigorously.
As an example, it's best to assemble and paint the turret, (but not the underside) before fitting the glass in the cupola.
Holes also have to be drilled in the side and rear of the turret for fitting extra's.
You will need a good pair of tweezers when building this kit.
Much of the detail is moulded in, there are no separate engine covers for instance, but what detail you have to add is very well produced, there is no photo-etch, but there doesn't need to be.
The tracks are of the rubber band type and are an excellent fit, just the right length, and no more hot screwdriver, these bond with ordinary poly-cement.
Because of the sand skirts you don't have to worry too much about how well you paint the road wheels either, hardly any part of them can be seen once the skirts are fitted, in fact save for the cupola and other glass bits, you could just get away with painting this after it has been completely assembled, or as two pieces.
The fit is excellent, even the barrel requires the minimum of sanding to hide the seam, the only other seams of note are on the spare fuel drums, unfortunately you cannot turn these to hide the seam.
One big con for me was the glass for the cupola had to be cut from a supplied sheet, they give you a decent size piece, which is good becaus you will make mistakes, despite there being a cutting template in the instructions.
Paints used were Tamiya TS46 for the main colour. Troll Slayer Orange ( Fuel Drum Straps) Leadbelcher and Abaddon black. Weathering and shading was done with Citadel washes ( Agrax Earthshade, Sepia and Nuln Oil) Pigments used for sand and dust were all Vallejo, real dirt was dried and sifted for the diorama base.
I actually over egged the weathering on mine, it looks far too dirty !
Ease of build 9/10
Value for money 10/10
My build time approx 10 Hrs
Summing up I would say that this is a good first step into 1:35 for someone who is used to the intricacies of 1/72. It presents a challenge in parts of the build whilst other parts are relatively easy.