Challenger 2 (Desertised)
Tamiya 1:35th Scale Kit No.35274

Review by Terry Ashley


Mr. T adds yet another kit to his list of OIF vehicles with this release of the British Challenger 2 which added further to its reputation as one of the best, if not the best MBT in the World during OIF and took on a whole new look with the addition of full length skirts to combat the dust in the Iraqi deserts.

The Kit:

The kit consists of 345 parts in light tan plastic moulded to the usual high standard we have come to expect from Mr. T as well as another 17 in clear plastic with a sheet of thin white plastic card for the turret front CIPs and a small clear sheet for the Commander’s cupola periscopes. Also included is a length of twine for the tow cable and thin wire for the cable reel on the rear turret and the usual poly caps for the wheels as well as the instruction and decal sheets.

Lower Hull/Running Gear:

The kit shows its ancestry with the inclusion of the lower hull tub and 2 sprues A with the road wheels, drive sprockets, idler wheels and suspension axles from the earlier Challenger 1 kits (No.35134 and 35154). The only alteration to the hull is the deletion of the large screw hole in the bottom and also means there are no flanges along the lower and upper hull join, but quite frankly once the running gear, Chobham Armour and skirts are in place you can’t see this area of the hull anyway. The driver sprockets have been redone to the correct design for the C2 while the road wheels have also beed redone with additional detail in the hubs and more accurate sized retaining bolts.

The road wheels, drive sprockets and idler wheels are held in place with the usual poly caps with idler axles attached with the screws provided as in the earlier kits.

The rear hull plate is completely new with numerous details included such as the tow bar, spare track links and tail light clusters that include clear parts for the lenses and separate guards for good detail definition. The two large external fuel tanks are in two parts with separate end plates and have nice retaining strip details included while the central jerry can rack has a metal jerry can and plastic water can with again separate parts for the racks.

The side Chobham Armour and skirts are moulded together and feature excellent details on the armour package and skirts which include the distinctive inverted T embossing and nice retaining clip details. The bolt details on the Chobham armour are also all the right sizes and a cleanly moulded with a separate inside part behind the top ‘handles’ for good definition.

The front ROMOR package is in multiple parts with very nice bolt head details and other details which include the additional glacis armour panel and fit together well.

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Upper Hull:

The large single upper hull is a new part with all the features of the C2 hull such as the revised engine deck access doors, altered glacis contours plus additional details on the hull sides and nicely rendered weld seams although there are no non-slip surfaces which are as rare on Tamiya kits as the elusive Kübelwagen driver foot pedals. The driver’s periscope is a clear part from sprue G as is the head light lenses plus additional rear view mirrors and fire extinguishers.

At the rear are the large TECs (Thermal Exhaust Cowls) with separate outlet parts for again good definition as well as new large rear mud flap assemblies.


This is again all new parts with excellent details and includes the side and rear storage boxe tops included on the top turret part with separate side and rear panels which fit to the lower turret ring part which also has excellent details on the underside of the rear overhang. Details on the turret roof include nice bolt details, casting numbers and the correct recessed flush bolt heads on the Commander’s fixed sight. The large panoramic sight is held in place with a poly cap to allow rotation and has a clear lens part while the very nicely moulded Commander’s cupola has clear inserts for the periscopes as well as wiring for the wipers on the outside but again there in no non-slip surfaces on the turret surfaces.

The barrel is in the usual two halves with nice thermal sleeve details and has a separate part for the front of the fume extractor with the bolt head details as well as separate muzzle part with muzzle reference system included.
The gun shield with armoured housing for the TOGS II thermal imaging sight has a separate door with clear part for the internal lens and the whole gun mounting is attached to the turret with poly caps to allow the gun to elevate and to this end is the top cover between the gun and turret roof in the same soft vinyl as the tracks so it can move when the gun is elevate, a neat solution.

The 7.62mm GPMG L7A2 on the gunners hatch is very nicely detailed with separate ammo box and mounting while on the front turret are the two smoke discharger clusters with five separate grenades. The OIF mods include the CIP panels on the sides and rear of the turret which are fairly basic and the flat CIP panels on the turret front panels cut from the this plastic card supplied. There are also two three quarter crew figures with quite nice uniform details and should paint up well.


These are in the now familiar soft vinyl that incorporates excellent pad details as well as inside details with gaps between the track links and certainly will look quite adequate when fitted to the model.



These are the usual Tamiya exploded view drawings that are very clear and easy to follow but as with any instructions you should study these before any assembly to avoid any mistakes or misinterpretation.


The largish sheet has well printed markings with the usual thicker Tamiya carrier film and included markings for three C2s which served in Iraq in 2003.



Another typically well detailed and engineered kit from Tamiya with fine detail rendering especially on the weld seams and side armour package/skirts with the usual absence of non-slip surfaces a continuing mystery when the rest of the kit is so well done.

Tamiya have also released a small etched set (No.35277) with screens for the engine deck doors if you want to add a little bit extra detail.


The Sprues:

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Detail images
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Check out Issue 106 of Tamiya Model Magazine (published July 15) for a full build review by Marcus Nicholls.
See the Tamiya Model Magazine site for progress pics.

For another opinion on this kit, see Pawel Krupowicz's review on Armorama.

Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten.

Page created 1 June 2004