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Renault Char B1 - French heavy Hitter


DocRob
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Salut les messieurs,
get your Gauloises between your lips and enjoy some Camembert with some vine rouge :wine:, its time for some French feelings with the build of this early war beast.
After finalizing my Dottie Mae, I decieded that it is time to finish some kits which where lurking in their boxes for a long time. Some years ago, back in Berlin, I build the Char B1 and
it was completely tamiyaesque, meaning great. What makes the kit even better than most others by the brand, are the single link clickable tracks, which are fully moveable and durable enough for painting and weathering.

The Char B1 to me has a special attraction, it looks like a beast from another time and has a little steampunk attitude in it. I was thinking more than once, that a conversion to a steam driven 'landship' would have been appealing, but then there are the great Colour schemes for French tanks, they clearly have a knack for that.

For a start I sprayed the whole tank with 'Warm Sand' from the Mig range and added masks from J's Work for the camo. These mask sets are great for hard edged camo on flat, detail free surfaces. They are precut in Kabuki and adhere good. The second Colour, 'Pale Green', also from a Mig set was then applied.

And that's where I am know with that French colossus. The figures might be used for a little Dio, but that's not already decided.

Cheers Rob

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3 hours ago, BlrwestSiR said:

Cool! Maybe an Indiana Jones diorama with a horse and rider?

Hehe, haven't thought about Indy. What I had in front of my imaginary eye was the Char sans tracks as a kind of gondola for a steam powered Zeppelin. The whole thing would have been made of copper and brass with lots of patina. And then there were these tempting French camo styles...

Cheers Rob

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9 minutes ago, GazzaS said:

The Char isn't a bad looking tank.  I;ll be interested in seeing what you make of it.

I think it is a mean looking machine, like a dinosaur on the prowl. The bonus of this one is that you only have to paint the idler and the road wheel, all the tiny ones are hidden.
After the camo, the beast looks very clean, but this will alter. I guess with that track layout, there must have been a lot of grease and oil involved and mud splatters everywhere.

Cheers Rob

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3 minutes ago, DocRob said:

I think it is a mean looking machine, like a dinosaur on the prowl. The bonus of this one is that you only have to paint the idler and the road wheel, all the tiny ones are hidden.
After the camo, the beast looks very clean, but this will alter. I guess with that track layout, there must have been a lot of grease and oil involved and mud splatters everywhere.

Cheers Rob

Did they possibly use dry track pins?  I know a lot of WWII tracks had dry pins, but know little about French armor.

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4 hours ago, GazzaS said:

Did they possibly use dry track pins?

Actually I have to admit, that I didn't spent a single thought on the tracks :icon_eek:, beside that they are clickable and quite nice in plastic. I will consult some pictures, but would like to put some grease on the monster with some oily shininess as a contrast to the matte mud.

Cheers Rob 

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@Martinnfb Thanks for the great pics, your archive seems endless. Interesting trailer, I will store it in my brain HD for later.

31 minutes ago, GazzaS said:

Oil stains…

It seems, that you can't go wrong with oil stains and whatever causes stains on these tanks.

53 minutes ago, GazzaS said:

If you feel like some severe weathering…

That clearly stretches the definition of weathering to my eye :D, great picture though.

Cheers Rob

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Thanks Peter, made some progress the last two days, but no pics yet. After a coat of Future I applied the decals, which where extremely fragile. I broke the French insignia and had no spare in my stash. I decided to leave it like this and see how it will look with some weathering. After another protective coat of Future, hull and turret are left to dry.

I sprayed the primed tracks with Tamiya gunmetal as a base and also primed the figures for some in between painting.

The antenna was sprayed in a brownish orange tone and I hope this is correct. The only Colour pic of an antenna I saw is showing a kind of that tone. I wonder what kind of material it is, maybe Bakelit. The Tamiya manual calls for bright orange, which I doubt.
Having that Colour in the airbrush, I used it for pre painting the rust areas on the muffler.

Cheers Rob 

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Salut les messieurs, the beast got Futurized before applying the decals. These were not easy to handle and got very brittle with my setting liquid. The cockade broke completely and I had no spare or want for cutting masks. I will add some Colour touchups to repair it a bit and the rest is gone by boot wear on that hinge bars.
Next was two coats of brownish filter from MIG to get the camo-colours better blended. If you have ever heard the Dude say 'That rug tied the room together' in the Big Lebowsky, you can imagine the effect on a tank, its simple, but it's magic as well.
The Antenna was sprayed in what I hope is the right Colour and the same went on to the mufflers as a base for corroded heat exposed pars.
The tracks were sprayed with Tamiya gun metal and then coated with a heavy dose of AK's track wash. After some minutes of drying, I rubbed a little off the exposed parts.

Cheers Rob

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The fun part is starting, get the beast used an dirty.
A first layer of weathering is applied. I used a brown wash from AK. After drying I used my Lifecolour rust set to get some heat inflicted corrosion onto the exhausts. These were added with black smoke pigments and some iron powder from Uschi.

Cheers Rob

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The rearside of the beast got some attention. I fiddled the chain around the hooks, which is greatly explained in the manual. The chain was primed before and treated with iron paste from AK and with rust and iron pigments by AK and Uschi. I have to admit, I'm a pigment addict, specially when it comes to metals, they look so real if they are applied correct. Don't worry, I don't sniff them, at least not on purpose :D, but look for that fat bolts holding the eyelets for the chain, some of Uschis iron pigments applied with a big flat brush and whoosh, it looks metal. Sure, it's nothing else than good old drybrushing, but it is way easier and finer in the result.

Cheers Rob

 

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Thank you, it's pure fun, just dabbing three different shades of acrylics onto the parts in random pattern, then three shades of rust pigments and last but not least some steel/iron pigments and black pigments for smoke. The main thing is awareness of how corrosion builds up. In my case it is more spread and intense on the tubes and only on the hottest part, the upper part of the sheet metal coverings, where also the possibility of tear is the greatest.

Cheers Rob

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