Saint Chamond M-16 Breakthrough Tank

Fine Scale Factory 1:72 Scale Vehicle Review

French Breakthrough Tank Saint Chamond M-16, 1:72 Fine Scale Factory Model Kit TL002

This model of the St. Chamond has been painted in a camouflage pattern of British Middle Stone (Floquil), Gull Grey, Military Brown, and Forest Green (Testors). These colours match an illustration of the same vehicle available to the reviewer, even if they are not the official wartime camouflage colours of the French army. The picture shows the rear and left side of the vehicle. Notice the front and rear overhangs, which significantly reduced the vehicle's cross-country performance. Some scale drawings of the St. Chamond suggest an even greater degree of overhang than is evident in the model.

Contents

  • Char de Rupture Saint Chamond M-16

Evaluation

Excellent choice of subject. The St. Chamond is an important vehicle of the Great War, even if it turned out to be a faulty design.

Scale model with good detail. The vehicle shows many panel lines and rivets which will paint up well. The reviewer added a towing ring at the front hull.

Advanced level of difficulty: 21 parts, plus several track sections with 100 track links. Some small parts will have to be cut out of styrene sheet, but most of the vehicle is cast in resin. Each running gear consists of a main section with the road wheels cast on, a separate front wheel and rear drive sprocket. The track sections may be broken into individual links which are then glued on the wheels and sprockets. Alternatively, heat entire track sections with the hair dryer, and form them around the wheels.

The illustrated assembly instructions are relatively easy to follow, despite the fact that they are in German. Detailed measurements are provided for those parts which need to be cut out.

Very good casting quality: Crisp detail and no flaws.

Compatible with Revell figures in this scale.

The kit was short three or four track links. These small parts are difficult to scratchbuild, and the manufacturer is well advised to throw in a few extras, just in case.

Decals and painting instructions are not included. Modellers will have to refer to books about this subject. Unit markings may be painted by hand, and they may be scrounged from other French vehicle kits in this scale.

The machine guns are cast in resin, they are well detailed, but very fragile. Wargamers will want to replace them with items cast in soft metal.

The St. Chamond is an interesting study of early tank design, a large and heavy box-shape which proved very difficult to maneuver in combat. The model is a must-have for anyone interested in collecting armoured vehicles of the Great War, it is unusual enough to add a lot of interest to a diorama. Adventurous wargamers may want to try their hand at driving the St. Chamond across no-man's land, either in a solo-player scenario or a multi-player game involving enemy field artillery in the anti-tank role.

Sample from Fine Scale Factory

Patrick Storto

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