Hobby Boss 1\35 St Chamond tank kit review

with the advent of the centenary of the great war and the invention of the tank, it’s refreshing to at last see a good selection of kits from a period which up to recently has been largely neglected.

Pretty much all you could get was in small scale and the tooling and detailing a bit below what you would expect now, and there were fewer manufacturers around to make them, and although the mainstream subjects were well catered for with WW2 aircraft, ships and tanks but both WW1 tank and aircraft kits were just not in demand and trying to track down obscure stuff like French tank kits wasn’t impossible but enormously difficult and it was probably easier to scratch build one yourself!

This quick look at Hobby Boss’ new 1\35 French St Chamond medium tank is probably the first one out as try as I might I have not found a review for it although there are plenty of them regarding the new manufacturer Takom’s St Chamond, they are doing the early and the late types, and they are very highly regarded so I think it’s time to see how the Hobby Boss kit stacks up.

The St Chamond was France’s second attempt at a tank, the first was the Schneider, which wasn’t a huge success and was based on an American Holt tractor chassis, the St Chamond used the same rather short chassis/track system and  huge overhangs front and rear which hampered it’s mobility, add to that the fact the 75mm cannon was stuck out of the front made it desperately nose heavy and like it’s predecessor, often pitched nose first into shell holes and got stuck, not great over the muddy, shell holed mess which was the western front..

i have to say first off it’s a brave move as subjects like this are not well known to most but there are modellers out there that have been wanting stuff like this, myself included for a long time and it seems several of the far eastern kit makers have been listening and are presently creating quite a wide range of armour subjects, as I say. very refreshing!

So lets start with the instruction booklet.

All in black and white and although a bit bland, there is a useful sprue map at the beginning and all the steps are fairly clear and concise, there is a separate glossy piece of A4 with a colour scheme though only one scheme is available, bit of a pity as Takom’s kits have a bit of choice.

the kit itself looks crisply moulded as befits a new tooling kit, the hull is slide moulded in one piece and the rivet and bolt heads are nice and sharp, the lower hull is well detailed and fits the upper like a glove and a lower frame which takes the suspension and running gear attaches to the hull lower half.   There are two large sprues with hull parts, gun, which is in two halves unfortunately but at least it’s nicely detailed.

four sprues deal with the hotchkiss machine guns with mounts, four have the wheels…Lots of them, and two sprues have the sprockets, running gear and frames, there is no provision for an interior except the 75mm gun mount, it would be a fairly pointless exercise scratch building an interior as the doors are so small and you cant see much through them anyway, I have a small gripe in that the oval roof cupolas for the driver and commander have the lids moulded in place where the takom kit has them separate which means they can be posed open or closed and there is a little piece of PE brass along with a very small set of decals which incidentally look pretty good.

The tracks…Well I have just finished Hobby Boss’s Schneider CA tank and it too is a really nicely detailed model, however, the tracks were awful.    Each track link comprised of three parts, the main plate and two inner links right and left, doesn’t sound too bad until you realise the are no positive registers to glue the inner links to, so you are left guessing and invariably end up with a very snaky looking track and it just ruins the look of the vehicle.

There have been a whole host of complaints regarding these tracks that they have been redesigned for the St Chamond, thankfully, they are moulded in one piece and are designed the snap together, I haven’t given them a try yet so will get back to you with the build log..

In conclusion, a good kit, well detailed and should go together well, aside from tracks the schneider was every bit as good and the nicest thing is the price, at less than thirty quid for a lot of plastic it beats the Takom kit on that at least, I am going to be building it shortly so will keep you posted, oh and there is yet another French tank on it’s way, Meng’s Renault FT17 with a cast turret in 1/35 scale, small but perfectly formed!



Hobby Boss 1/35 scale WW1 St Chamond tank – stand by for a kit review!

Okay, so I am currently looking over a kit I have recently added to my collection and I have found no reviews for it online as yet.

It’s the centenary year of the first operational use of the tank in 1916 on the Somme, and I feel it’s a fitting time to take a look at some of the first tanks that appeared on the Western front during the Great War.  It’s a kit genre that, until recently, had been much overlooked and the only models that you could find were very small scale and were old tooling. On the other hand, I do like Airfix’s little mark 1 male complete with it’s rear steering wheel carriage; it makes for a really nice little model and the tracks glued together nicely – not all one piece tank tracks are user friendly!

Anyway, back to the title,  I am very shortly going to do a kit review and a sprue tour of Hobby Boss’s latest offering, the French St Chamond tank.

It isn’t the only St Chamond on the shelf as Takom have a version in the same scale which is well liked, however I think the Hobby Boss offering which is new and hasn’t had a review yet deserves a look and I would very much like to see how it stacks up against Takom.

I am currently  sorting out the sprues ready for pictures, so stay tuned!

Hello World!

Welcome to my little blog site!

Written by me for all those interesting in modelling, kit reviews and all other aspects of the hobby.

and so, rather than bore everyone I know on Facebook with my ramblings, I have decided to do things properly and write my findings, tips and solutions to problems with regards to modelling. As I go,  I will be posting photos and build progressions showing a warts and all record of my successes and failures, after all, everyone who delves into the world of model kits will have their ups and downs and I am certainly no exception!

I came back into the hobby a couple of years ago after a visit to Bovington Tank Museum I am a bit of an armour buff, always have been and as an added bonus happen to be lucky enough to live a few miles away from it so I felt a visit was in order, and it was after a fruitful visit and a chat to some guys who had a modelling stall laid out with the fruits of their labours (And they were good), that I felt the spark light a fire I  hadn’t felt since I was a boy.

I remembered the time my mother bought me a 1/24 scale Airfix Junkers 87 Stuka and it brought back the joy I had building it and for a thirteen year old lad I did a pretty decent job of it, I also grew up on a diet of 1/72 scale Airfix aircraft which my pocket money…then I grew up, had a family, got interested in motorbikes (Still am if I’m honest!), and beer and stuff that chaps like to do and kit building fell by the wayside.

now, in my fifties I have rediscovered this fascinating world and look forward to posting more, I am currently involved in several projects and have a scary large stash of what I feel are interesting kits, put away in the garage, attic and conservatory, that’s where the building happens….

One aspect I think is important for anyone thinking about purchasing a model, and lets face it, they aren’t that cheap is a good review to help you make up your mind, this is something I do a lot and I google the kit reviews I am interested in so I shall attempt to post a review of the kits I have including sprue shots and any possible pitfalls you may have after all, no kit is perfect and some small aspect may be a deal breaker for you.

also, tips that I have found helpful, painting and weathering, and if you have tips of your own, feel free to let me know!

One other thing, although I am an armour guy, I have ships, aircraft from biplanes to jets and other science fiction stuff( Star trek mainly), so this is by no means a biased site, anything be it styrene, resin, card or any other media is welcome.

Let the fun begin!

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