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FROM THE April 2010 ISSUE

Tamiya Citroen Traction 11CV Staff Car

RELATED TOPICS: TAMIYA
Tamiya Citroen Traction 11CV Staff Car
Citroen Traction 11CV Staff Car
Tamiya No. 35301
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Gray, clear
Scale: 1/35
MSRP: $28.00
Pros: Good detail; low parts count; several building variations
Cons: Windows fit tightly and were difficult to mask
Ever since Tamiya released its 1/48 scale Citroen Traction 11CV Staff car kit a few years ago, 1/35 scale builders were hoping they would eventually size it up and release it in the more traditional armor scale of 1/35. Their hopes were answered, and Tamiya has indeed released an excellent larger-scale version of the popular French car.

Upon opening the box, you’ll soon realize just how simple this kit is. The majority of the parts are molded in a standard dark gray plastic, a clear sprue for the windows, and a set of poly caps for the tires. Also included is a decal sheet, and of course, a set of Tamiya’s always-excellent instructions.

The kit can be built as several different variants. Decals and instructions call out for five different markings.

Two styles of French civilian cars, one French Army car, and two different captured German Wehrmacht WWII options are available.
Tamiya Citroen Traction 11CV Staff Car
The parts breakdown of the actual car is very similar to the 1/48 scale version previously released. Because this kit is in a larger scale, a few more details could be added. Both front doors are now molded separately, allowing them to be posed open or closed. Door handles are molded separately for ease of painting. Front fenders are molded as a separate unit, to make painting two- tone schemes easier. The windows are also molded as individual pieces, a step up from the one-piece glass found in the smaller scale. More about the glass later.

The tires are molded in styrene, with the wheels included in the center. The back sides take two separate pieces that enclose a polycap to allow the wheels to move on the axles. The front axles are posed straight ahead, without any option of making them posable. Detail is crisp, and will take to painting and weathering very well.

Tamiya Citroen Traction 11CV Staff Car
The front suspension consists of separate lower arms and individual shocks. The rear suspension consists of only a rear axle.

This kit is a curbside, so there is no engine; only the lower half cast in the chassis pan, and a separate full-length exhaust.

The interior is simple, as expected. Two front seats, a rear bench seat, along with a dash and steering wheel, makes up the entire interior. Again, the separate doors are a nice touch to show  the interior or the supplied driver figure if used. Because I built a civilian version, I left out the driver figure.

After the body is installed over the chassis, there is a gap at each rear wheel well into the rear seat area. Two small strips of sheet plastic may be needed to close off these open areas.

With the doors opening, separate windows were a must, but these have two issues that slightly spoiled the build.

First is the need to mask and spray the window frames, using a supplied printed guide. Even as closely as I tried to follow them, I still had some borders that came out too large, and some that just looked odd. Supplied tape masks would be a big help.

The second problem was that the fit of the windows into the body was too precise. They barely fit, and the front and rear ones got stress cracks from trying to get them in. Maybe sanding the openings before paint will help ease the fit a bit, but I would have preferred a bit more leeway for installing them.

Other than those two small points, this kit really is a gem. It is exactly the perfect car for building up a diorama, weathering practice, or just a quick build for relaxation.

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