Saint Chamond M-16 Breakthrough Tank
JMGT 1:72 Scale Vehicle Review
The St. Chamond was first produced in 1917 by the St. Chamond Company. This model depicts the early production type featuring four cylindrical cupolas on a flat roof. Accordingly this was known as the "dustbin" St Chamond. The first 165 tanks manufactured used the St. Chamond 75 mm gun. Subsequent production utilized the famous French Model 1897 field gun, as well as incorporating wider tracks, sloped roof and other improvements. In addition to the main gun, the tank had four Hotchkiss 8 mm machine guns, and was manned by crew of eight. Approximately 400 vehicles were produced in 1917 and 1918.
This 1/72nd model was produced by JMGT, a French resin caster known for its fine aircraft kits. This is the first of what Jean-Max hopes will be a series of 1/72nd WW1 armour kits. We can only hope. It is a superb kit, which I built out of the box. The body, tracks, suspension, and gun are flawless resin castings. The Hotchkiss guns are white metal, and various fittings, wire cutters and other small bits are photo-etched brass. The kit even includes decals, as well as bi-lingual (French/English) instructions and a vacu-formed display stand.
I finished the vehicle in a 4-color paint scheme. The base color is Floquil primer grey. I used parafilm to mask the areas which were to remain grey, and sprayed the vehicle Gunze medium green. I repeated the masking and spraying procedure in applying the other two colors, Gunze red-brown and Humbrol dark yellow. The final paint step involved removing the masking (which by now covered virtually the entire vehicle) and used a fine brush and thinned colors to repair any color leakage. Outlining was done with a Rapidograph 000 drafting pen. Lower hull areas were lightly dry brushed with dark earth, and Pre-Size Mud was sparingly applied to give my St. Chamond that "lived in" look.
I depicted the tank in action near Soissons in July 1918. The barbed wire is simulated with tulle, the material used in wedding veils. After painting the tulle wrought iron and washing it with rust-all, I cut individual strands and strung them haphazardly between wooden posts.