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Tamiya's 1/35 scale
Carro Armato M-13/40

by Jose Lucero



Carro Armato M-13/40


available online from Squadron.com



This is Tamiya's old 1/35 scale Carro Armato M13/40, Italy's most important tank of World War Two.

The kit dates back to the 1970s and it's not one of Tamiya's best efforts. It's adequately detailed but it's not on par with the level of detail one is accustomed from todays latest kits. There is no way to say if the kit represents a late M13/40 or an early M14/41. It is really a mixture of features from both versions of the Carro Armato; the turret is the one from an M14/41 with its prominent bulges on the top, it has the early long fenders used on the M13/40 that where shortened from the 50th M14/41 production vehicle, the engine deck cooling grills are from a late M14/41 aligned transversally and the two supplied spare road wheels are from an M13/40 or an early to mid production M14/40 as late M14/41s only carried one on the center . After all this information, I decided to go with the box title and left my tank as a late M13/40 with long fenders.


There is another kit of M13/40 made by Italeri but you can find it also boxed by Zvezda. I have not seen this kit but from what I've read on reviews it is suggested that Italeri's offering has more finesse. Italeri's kit could have also been misidentified as an M13/40 but I'll have to check for that when I get my hands on one.





Building the kit is very straight forward with very few difficulties after extensive part preparation and dry fitting.



One has to watch for the join of the lower and upper hull and the fighting compartment as they leave a noticeable gap that has to be addressed. I decided to give my M13/40 a sportier look by leaving only half the fenders. There are M13/40s with half fenders on many photographs from the period.



Painting and Markings


I painted my tank with Model Master Enamels.

The base color is Italian Sand Yellow. I mixed different shades of this color to add highlights and shadows to the model. I applied several oil color washes to change the hue and accentuate details. This was followed with some dusting using very diluted Tamiya Buff acrylic paint.

Final weathering was done using pastel dust. The white disk on the top of the turret was used as an identification sign so that Italian bombers could differentiate them from British tanks.

The Composite Image

The composite image at the top of the page was done to represent a sole M13/40 desperately charging on the desert near Beda Fomm, south of Benghazi. From the 5th to the 7th of February of 1941 two British armored brigades engaged with an Italian armored brigade comprising of about 100 M13/40s. By the end of the battle the Matildas and Valentines superior firepower and thicker armor won the day for the British. This was to be the last large tank engagement before the DAK (Deutsches Afrika Korps) arrived on the deserts of North Africa.


Italian Armored Vehicles of World War Two, by Nicola Pgnato published by Squadron/Signal Publications



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Text, Models and Images Copyright 2005 by Jose Lucero
Page Created 02 May, 2005
Last Updated 01 May, 2005

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