RPM 1/35 Sd.Kfz. 135 UNIVERSAL TRANSPORTER (EX-FRENCH L37L INFANTRY CARRIER) KIT NO. 35021 & BEOBACHRUNGSWAGEN COMMAND VEHICLE (EX-FRENCH L37L INFANTRY CARRIER) KIT NO. 35013
The Lorraine was a French infantry carrier. In the early 1930s the French army required a replacement for their existing Renault light tracked infantry carriers, and the Societe Lorraine, builders of railway rolling stock, developed a vehicle known as the Chenillette Lorraine Type 37L. This was a simple tracked carrier for infantry or cargo, with a two-man crew protected by small cupolas. It carried no armament. Suspension was by three twin bogies on each side, with leaf springs.
A second version, the Chenillete Legere, had two twin bogies, was shorter, and was used solely for infantry work. Production began in 1937, but in 1939 was moved to another factory. This interrupted the flow, and in consequence not many were built.
In 1940 an armoured personnel-carrying version was built, with the hull sides built up with armour at the rear to form a protected passenger compartment. After the fall of France, almost all of these vehicles were taken over by the German army and most were then used as a basis for a variety of self-propelled guns, mounting calibres between 75 and 150 mm. Some, like the subject of this kit were used for artillery towing and command vehicles. In German service they were known as the Sd. Kfz. 135.
At the end of the war the French army modified one or two by fitting the British 17 pdr. anti-tank gun in the rear compartment, facing forward between the crew cupolas. The gun could not be fired while on the move and these modified vehicles were more in the nature of mobile anti-tank guns than a self-propelled artillery.
Weight: 5650 kg. (5.56 tons)
Length: 4.21 m (13 ft. 10 in.)
Width: 1.58 m (6 ft. 2 in.)
Height: 1.22 m (4 ft.)
Armour thickness: 8 mm (0.238 in.)
Powerplant: One Delahaye 135, 8-cylinder gasoline engine of 70 bhp. at 2800 rpm.
Speed: 30 km/h (22 mph.)
Range: 135 km (84 miles)
WHAT'S IN THE BOX ?:
The kits come in a tray and lid type box. It is rather BLOUSY, as...when you open it there is a letter 'L' void of some size around the contents.
The box art painting of the universal transporter shows the vehicle parked next to a building with an unidentifiable field piece in tow. Behind the field piece is a German soldier taking a smoke break. There are no figures included in the kit and the canvas covers shown mounted on the vehicle are not in the kit either. The side of the box shows two color profiles of a couple of paint schemes for the vehicle. One is overall panzer gray and the second one is earth yellow with red brown wavy lines.
The command vehicle shows the vehicle in the field, just crossing a barbed wire obstacle. There is smoke on the horizon. Many weld seams are shown on the edges of the upper armor plating of this vehicle. The kit parts of this armor structure do not have the weld seams. If this painting is correct the weld seams will have to be duplicated by the modeler. One side of the box shows two color schemes for this vehicle. One is a wave pattern (identical to the box art) the other is more of a spotted pattern.