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What a beast! I was itching to get started on this one so I dove right in. The kit is nicely cast in a slightly flexible resin. There are no casting blocks. There is some resin webbing to be removed, and a few pinholes to be filled, but not more than one could reasonably anticipate. The main body is one big piece which is quite a good thing. There are 49 parts in total. After a few hours with the trusty hobby knife everything was cleaned up and ready to go. Put on your favorite podcast and it all goes by rather quickly. History and photographs here: inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/french-char-2c-super-heavy-tank-description-and-kit-review/
I decided to get everything assembled before painting to ensure a solid join. All gluing was done with superglue from the hardware store. The first step was assembling the running gear and tracks, which consumes about half of the parts count. This is where the flexibility of the resin is a real asset. I was able to bend the track around the curves and glue it down incrementally. No worries. One tip is to mate the ends of the sections over something solid to give extra backing and support, this also makes for a broader gluing surface. Mercifully, the plethora of small rollers on the bottoms of the side casements are hidden by skirts and only the ends of the track links can be seen on the bottom. I used about 4.5 track sections on each side out of the 13 provided, so there is plenty of track to spare.
Here is everything assembled and awaiting primer. I replaced the four machine gun barrels with Albion tube to get a better shape and hollow ends. There are what appear to be wiring conduits at the corners of the “superstructure”, I added these with beading wire. Six shackles were added from spares, and PE fret was used for various bits of strapping and brackets. I removed the resin antenna and will replace it with thinner stock at the completion of the build.
A coat of Mr. Surfacer to check for flaws. There were several pinholes on the underside of the main hull, but these were easily filled and in an inconspicuous location. There were a few others in random locations which were filled with superglue and stretched sprue. In all, pretty good for a casting this size.
The camouflage was applied using poster putty for masks. Looking at the pictures for my subject, the pattern was not applied evenly. The green is more dense on the rear of the sponson on this side and the color separations are finer on the upper hull. It makes me wonder if painting this tank was a team effort and each individual applied their own ideas about the striping.
After the camo was cleaned up a coat of Testors Glosscoat was applied. This provides a base for the decals and weathering and allows the model to be handled without wearing through the paint. The tracks were painted scale black then drybrushed with silver. Then the tracks were washed with browns. the exhaust system was also painted, and paint chipping on the hull was picked out with a fine brush. Then a diluted mix of light tans was applied where the tracks would deposit dirt and mud. After that the model received an acrylic wash of black to pick out the details. Decals are from the spares box.
Finally, everything was sealed with a layer of Dullcoat and the antenna wire was glued in place. One thing I struggled with were the exhausts and muffler systems on the upper deck. The photographs of this tank show camouflage patterns on the surface of the mufflers, but the paint would surely burn off after even short periods running the engines. Was the camo touched up and then the engines not run? I preferred a bit of wear and dirt so went with the burnt off paint in the end. Anyway, I really enjoyed this build, it was a lot of fun! Plus this will likely be the oddest bit of tank modeling you’ll see today!