by: HG Barnes [ ]
Originally published on:
The Subject of this release is the Renault FT (frequently referred to in post-World War I literature as the FT-17, FT17, or similar) was a French light tank that was among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history. The FT was the first production tank to have its armament within a fully rotating turret. The Renault FT's configuration of crew compartment at the front, engine compartment at the back, and main armament in a revolving turret became and remains the standard tank layout. Consequently, some historians of armored warfare have called the Renault FT the world's first modern tank.
Over 3,000 Renault FT tanks were manufactured by French industry, most of them during 1918. Another 950 of an almost identical licensed copy of the FT (the M1917 light tank) were made in the United States, but not in time to take part in World War I.FT 75 BS was a self propelled gun with a short barrelled Blockhaus Schneider 75mm gun of which 40 were produced. ~wikipedia~
Flyhawk are nicely regarded for the care they take in packaging and presentation of their models. The double lined box is very sturdy and inside there is enough room for parts to shift during the long shipping distance to prevent damage. The artwork is highly detailed and signed by the artist, who must have studied this subject at length to capture the look and feel of the era. Many of you are artists in your own right so I don't need to explain the benefit of having a great reference right on the cover of the box. Inside you're greeted by a full color instruction manual, a sealed pouch holding a rigid card protecting the photo-etched brass parts and the decals, the obligatory safety sheet and finally 5 bags holding the parts for 2 Renault FT-75 BS tanks.
The level of detail is awe inspiring and the finest I've had the honour to review. From rivets to springs, tracks to sprockets and turrets to hollow gun barrels Flyhawk never cease to amaze with the amount of craftsmanship put into their products. There's even an option for different idler wheels to give the second tank a slightly unique look over its twin. There are around 108 plastic parts, 34 photo-etched parts and a decal sheet with both serial numbers for your models. The Instructions are very user friendly with color for the PE and points needing removal plus a guide for the shovel. The Camouflage call out is reproduced by using 4 paint manufacturers (two Asian along with Tamiya and Mr. Hobby).
Drop any notion that 1/72 is not as detailed as 1/35 or even 1/48. What Flyhawk manufacture is something so beyond precise it's in the realm of magical. The first words out of my mouth were, "Holy Cow!". Then, after shaking my head... again, thought this needs a proper build, so I ordered some diorama material to do these tanks justice rather than stand alone. Very special thanks go out to the good people at Flyhawk in sending this sample for review. When shopping for this or any Flyhawk merchandise please mention you saw an article on KitMaker Network Armorama, thank you.