The name Traction comes from French for "front wheel drive" with the French army employing many of the vehicles. The German army commandeered large numbers of them after 1940 and put them to use from North Africa to Russia, while many Luftwaffe pilots preferred to use the Traction as a staff car.
The French Resistance also used the Traction, while the Free French army recaptured and deployed large numbers of them after the Normandy invasion.
In the post-war years, the Traction stayed in production until 1957, with a total of 760,000 built.
Tamiya continue their 1:48 series with this simple kit of the 11CV consisting of just 31 parts in dark grey plastic and 4 in clear plastic plus the decal and instruction sheets.
The standard of moulding is the usual Tamiya with crisp clean parts and virtually no pin marks to be seen with just the normal minor moulding seams to be removed from the parts.
There is no cast metal chassis in this kit with the lower chassis being in plastic to which are added the two axles that rotate after assembly if you are sparing with the glue but the front wheels are not steerable.
The wheels are moulded in one piece with separate small hub caps that will require careful handling when removing from the sprue due to being very small and slippery. The tread pattern is a little heavy and there is a small mould seam around the centre line to be removed and there isn’t the distinctive central wavy tread pattern as depicted on the box top.
At the front is the single piece fender moulding with the dashboard added to the inside and along with the steering wheel/column plus the two front seats and rear bench seat provide all the interior details included, and no there are no foot pedals included.
There are separate front and rear bumper bars as well as head lights with a choice of separate black out covers or clear plastic lenses depending on the finish.
The main body is a single moulding with very good external details of engraved door lines and other panel details as well as fine raised details such as the door hinges and handles. There are some fine moulding lines to be removed from the rear corner and fender and along the hood sides but these are extremely fine and won’t take much to remove.
The windows are included as one large clear part that fits inside the body with a separate clear windshield with moulded on wiper blades that will require careful painting with the fit into the body being very good. You will have to fit the windows before attaching the body to the chassis and mask off the windows for painting but this shouldn’t pose any problems as the edges of the windows are well defined.
After fitting the upper body to the lower chassis which sees a precise fit you then fit the distinctive front radiator and at the back is the spare wheel and licence plate and that’s about it.
The decal sheet is again typical Tamiya with well printed markings with slightly thickish carrier film and provides markings for 4 vehicles, two German and two French.
A very simple kit that will appeal to 1:48 aircraft modellers as much as vehicle modellers and further blurs the lines within this 1:48 series.
Well defined details and simple assembly makes this an attractive kit for what will usually be an addition to a diorama with aircraft, larger vehicle or figures and is bound to be welcomed.
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Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten.
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Page created 5 July 2005