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  1. I have given up hope of an injection moulded kit of the 'Matilda I' being released by any of the mainstream kit manufactures and decided to take the plunge with Accurate Armours resin release from 1995. Although the A11 Matilda 1 was only produced in small numbers ( 140 between 1938-39 ) I feel that it is quite an important vehicle to add to a collection of British armour models, if only to highlight how short sighted British tank design was preceding WW2. Although planning work began in 1935 those who designed the tank were influenced by the mistaken belief that combat in a new war would be the same as in World War I, in which tanks were utilised for breaking through strong, static defensive positions. The General Staff specification required a cheap tank to be built with as many as possible already available commercial components. The result was a small, slow ( 8mph ), but heavily armoured vehicle. Armed with either a Vickers .303 or .50 machine gun and with a crew of two it was essentially a mobile machine gun post. Matilda I saw combat when the 4th RTR deployed to France with the British Expeditionary Force in September 1939 and the 7th RTR in May 1940. Despite some success it soon became clear that the Matilda1 tank was not suited for its intended role. Although it's heavy armour afforded the crew protection against anything other than the heaviest antitank weapons the vulnerability of the tracks and rollers proved to be a major issue. It's lack of armament meant it couldn't engage enemy armour or strongholds and the cramped interior and small turret didn't help the commander, who had to duck down to use the wireless, and direct the driver at the same time. Most of the vehicles in France were destroyed or abandoned and the few remaining units helped to cover the evacuation at Dunkirk before being blown up to prevent capture. The remaining UK stock was soon relegated to home defence and training duties. The kit comes in a relatively small but sturdy box and the parts are packaged into five plastic bags. There are a couple of broken parts in my kit but they should be simple enough to repair. There is also a small photo etch sheet, a length of wire some brass rod and a decal sheet with five options, all from the 4th RTR. I added a set of Friulmodel T-26 tracks to replace the resin offerings supplied by Accurate Armour. As the tracks are so exposed on this tank I felt that the weight of the metal tracks would add to the look of the finished model. The instruction sheet is 12 pages long with a list of parts, general instructions relating to the construction of a resin kit and working with etched brass, a written assembly sequence and photos of a model under construction. there is also a brief description of the history of Matilda 1. At first glance assembly of the kit seems straight forward enough. I have been looking forward to getting this project underway for sometime now, I hope that it doesn't disappoint. Wayne
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