Monday, 30 May 2016

Somua S-35: Arrowhead vs Pithead

I have been planning a 21st Panzer unit with captured French tanks for Normandy battles. I have a few Pithead models to experiment with before getting the full unit but as I got an unfinished Arrowhead S-35 in a recent job lot on ebay and I had finished the Pithead test S-35 I though I would do a post comparing the two models.

Pithead are 10mm metal models and are on the larger side of 10mm. Arrowhead are 1/144 scale multi piece metal kits and are sometimes a bit bigger than the plastic pre-painted 1/144 tanks from Takara or CanDo.

Size wise the two models are similar in height and width but the Pithead model is a bit shorter. The detail is a bit finer on the Arrowhead model but it is £3.99 compared to the Pithead £2.60.

Some individual shots of the Arrowhead model:

Some individual shots of the Pithead model:

Both look nice and to check out which is the most realistic on size I notice that the 15mm FOW vehicles had the S-35 a similar height and length to a Panzer III. So both S-35 are compared to a Takara Panzer II below; conclusion is the Arrowhead model is probably the closest to other 1/144 vehicles which is not a surprise given they are supposed to be 1/144. But there is not really that much in it.

So my conclusion? Well I guess you can say the Arrowhead model is a 'better' model but I am going to go with Pithead for the following reasons:

  • for the 21st Panzer I also need R35, H39 and Marder I and Arrowhead only do the H35 other than the S-35. Mix and match of the two makes is not a good idea so this is a killer reason;
  • Even if Arrowhead did the other tanks I need I would still go for Pithead. The extra cost to go with Arrowhead would be around £30+ for the unit and while that is not a huge amount, for a unit that would not get used that often it seems a waste. I am happy to spring for Arrowhead for main battle vehicles as they will get used enough, but not for such a scenario specific formation.

For an easy way to see all my WW2 posts check out the WW2 Summary page.


  1. Of course there's no evidence 21 Panzer had any French tanks left by Normandy apart from a return for June 1944. They had them for training in 1943, but most evidence suggests by DDay they were all gone and never saw action.
    There were French tanks in Normandy, just not with 21 Panzer.

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