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Armor/AFV: Early Armor
WWI and other early tanks and armored cars.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Meng 1/35 Char 2C Full Build
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: October 09, 2005
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Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 11:34 AM UTC
Evening all!

I recently received this kit courtesy of KitMaker Network, which has been reviewed here, its now time to get cracking with the build.

In the box this thing looks very impressive, even more so built up on the Meng website, so I was itching to put 'glue to plastic'.

Most kits generally start with the tedious road wheels, well the Char 2C takes this tedium to a whole new level, with around 90, 2-part, wheel pairs to remove and clean. With some apprehension I dived in…





Its fairly straight forward, just be careful when cutting the wheels from the sprue to avoid damaging the thin rims of the outer pairs.

After a couple of short sessions (to attempt to retain my sanity) I had them cleaned up and ready to go.



Here they are dry fitted, dropped into their grooves on the lower hull plate.



The wheels are held in place by way of some strips, which also allow them to be movable.









Completed.



Next up are the inside facing armour skirts.







So thats the lower hull finished, fairly straight forward. Of course the glaring omission is the total lack of any of the suspension components.



Not a major concern if you select a tank with the skirts fitted. Should you wish to portray the suspension one solution I thought about would be simply adding the relief of the lead springs to give the impression they are there. No would notice the lack of depth and wish a little weathering this may work, certainly modification of the kit will be a major headache and require some serious work.

Anyway, moving on next up we start work on the upper hull, which is a beautiful one piece moulding.



The front and drivers area is the main focus first, with some basic components to add.





The 2-part equipment bins.



Theres a horrid mould seam around the base of these between the rivet detailing.



Some sharp scalpel work is required to clean this up, avoiding compromising the rivet detailing.



Here they are in place, thankfully there are some alignment tabs on the hull position.



And with both lids in place.



One needs to be aware that, depending on time-frame, not all tanks have these bins fitted. They seem to be present on most pre-war tanks, however not all of the eight mobilised tanks in 1940 exhibit them.

Heres No.95 'Touraine' in German hands with the bins missing (pictures for discussion only):



And 'Alsace' on its rail bogies:




There's a pair of covers to fit behind the turret ring, perhaps some sort of vents?





Smaller detailing to add next.







Searchlight (the clear lens will be added later).





I've left off the photo-etch name plaque for the moment until I decide which tank to depict.

Moving onto the front hull and glacis next.



The machine gun.





This is a rather neat ball joint, allowing for the gun to be movable.



And then the front hull piece, another lovely single piece moulding with superb rivet detailing.



Just glue the 2 tabs and joint and it fits very snug.



Onto the rear.





The plate doesn't sit perfectly, but a little filler can easily resolve this.




Whilst we're at the rear end, anyone who's feeling ambitious may like to try and tackle the unhitching tail that was fitted to some tanks (as if the 2C isn't long enough already!). Steve Z added one to his model displayed on ML recently and these are certainly present on a few of the tanks, at least N0.92 'Picardie' and No.95 'Touraine' had them (neither tank made it onto their rail bogies).






Anyway, thats all for now folks, stay tuned for the next update very shortly…...
TAFFY3
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New York, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 12:01 PM UTC
Very informative, have mine on order so I'll be following along. Never even heard of this tank until Meng released the kit but it's so darn interesting looking, almost like something out of a 'Steam-Punk' story. Al
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 11:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Very informative, have mine on order so I'll be following along. Never even heard of this tank until Meng released the kit but it's so darn interesting looking, almost like something out of a 'Steam-Punk' story. Al



Please you're finding it useful Al. I must admit it wasnt a tank i'd ever paid much attention to, but having started working on the Meng kit it really is a very intereting vehicle, definitely a 'steampunk' looking machine with all those rivets and exhausts.
Maki
Staff MemberSenior Editor
ARMORAMA
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Croatia Hrvatska
Joined: February 13, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 11:17 PM UTC
A bit of an unusual subject for you, eh mate? Looking forward to seeing it built and weathered.

Mario
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 11:49 PM UTC
Right, moving on to the next steps.

Focus shifts now to the sponsons and fitting all the extra parts to these. As I mentioned in my review, Meng have pleasingly kept the sub-assemblies simple and limited, so whilst the sponsons have a lot going on they're very easy to put together.

We begin my assembling the top run of idler's and those damned wheels make an appearence again!



Heres the main parts.



The large idler at the front just clicks together with a little glue.



The completed assemblies are put to one side.



The front idler, mountings and hull machine gun are next up.



Heres the beautiful one piece moulded sponson, stunning work from Meng allowing a very easy construction;these just literally slide onto the main hull.



And the parts for the idler and machine gun.



Then add the idlers and other fittings.



Just as an aside, its better to fit part A27 prior to installing the machine gun as this will be a little bit of an obstruction.

Heres the next bundle of parts.



And the very fine mesh screens, take care when cutting these.



In place.



The more or less completed sponson. I have left off the door as I'm not sure if I want this left ajar on the finished model and the armoured skirt isnt fitted to enable painting and weathering of the wheels.



The mounting for the rear sprockets need to be added next.










One then just slots the sponsons onto the upper hull casting. Apply glue to the tabs and all along the sponson join to enable to a tight, secure fit. When the glue is drying make sure you hold the sponson tightly in place to ensure the hull join is clean and gap free.



Now we have a complete upper hull and can appreciate the sheer size of this thing.



The hollow interior. With some creative 'gizmology' one could add some interior components in here.



And the lower hull plate which will next be joined to the main hull.




Next time i'll be getting the main hull parts put together. Until now the build has been very stress free, it feels in every way like a modern Tamiya kit and really is a gem!
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 11:51 PM UTC

Quoted Text

A bit of an unusual subject for you, eh mate? Looking forward to seeing it built and weathered.

Mario



Yer, certainly is Mario! A little out of my comfort zone to begin with, but its such a stunning kit, perfectly engineered and a breeze to build.

Painting and weathering will be interesting, its quite a canvas....
rfbaer
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 07:11 AM UTC
What a monster, sure would be a good comparison piece in a display case.
Did the French assign them registration numbers or Zip Codes?
miniflea
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Virginia, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 07:46 AM UTC
The photo you posted of the officer in the side hatch makes me want to see someone take a crack at an interior.
Frenchy
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Rhone, France
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Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 08:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Did the French assign them registration numbers or Zip Codes?



Originally the 10 tanks built were numbered from 1 to 10, then they received a 2-digit number in the "90" range (90 to 99)

http://www.chars-francais.net/new/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=584&Itemid=69

H.P.
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 08:21 AM UTC
Cheers for the comments guys!

Regarding the numbers, if you check out my review i've given a brief overview of the fate of each numbered tank.

Miniflea: Yes an interior would be very interesting, i've no idea if any comprehensive reference or source material exists alluding to the layout. I'm debating whether to copy that photo and have a German appearing through the open door.
AFVFan
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North Carolina, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 11:20 AM UTC
Hey Rob, Looking good so far. It is a fun build, isn't it?

I'm a bit ahead of you on mine as I just laid down the base coat. I want to mention two things that I found...

1st - the main gun mounting in the turret can be a bit frustrating. I'm kind of surprised it was done like it was, considering how well the rest of the kit is designed.

2nd - If you're going to add the skirts, you'll pretty much be wasting your time weathering the lower wheels. Once the tracks are added they are all but invisible, unless you pick the model up and look at it at just the right angle. Here's a pic:



On a side note that's too late for you, this does render a lot of the lower wheel clean up unnecessary.
afv_rob
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Posted: Monday, February 17, 2014 - 09:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey Rob, Looking good so far. It is a fun build, isn't it?

I'm a bit ahead of you on mine as I just laid down the base coat. I want to mention two things that I found...

1st - the main gun mounting in the turret can be a bit frustrating. I'm kind of surprised it was done like it was, considering how well the rest of the kit is designed.

2nd - If you're going to add the skirts, you'll pretty much be wasting your time weathering the lower wheels. Once the tracks are added they are all but invisible, unless you pick the model up and look at it at just the right angle. Here's a pic:



On a side note that's too late for you, this does render a lot of the lower wheel clean up unnecessary.



Thanks for the heads up Bob, I think i'll go ahead and stick the skirts on then, in fact a dry fit confirms exactly as you say; the wheels are totally hidden.
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, February 17, 2014 - 09:20 PM UTC
Next update guys!

With the hull now complete its time to add the remaining fixtures and fittings.

First up are the front and rear tow hook mounts:



Unfortunately there is something of a gap to contend with on the front hull, this is due to the very tight fitting on the lower hull plate. I had applied glue along the join and using quite strong Zap glue the rear part dried very quickly making it quite difficult to align the front. I'd suggest using a slightly slower drying glue!



Anyway, a bit of Mr Surfacer white putty easily fixes this.



Heres the parts.



And in place.



Moving on to the rear hull.



The top mounting parts.





Lower parts fitted.



Theres some shackles to fit on each side of the rear hull.



These have small locating pins to slot into a recess on the hull.



The hole on the hull isn't really big enough so the parts don't fit, instead I just snipped off the little locating pin.



Fitted in place.




Next up we'll focus on the engine deck…...
TAFFY3
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New York, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 03:37 AM UTC
Looking good, can't wait to get mine. BTW, those brackets on front and rear were used to attach the bogeys used to transport the tanks by rail.





I believe they were also used as the attachment points for the un-ditching "tail" on the rear, when fitted. Al
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 07:44 AM UTC
Thanks Al!

Yes, my mistake it appears they are for the bogies. It would certainly be nice if someone released these or indeed the unhitching tail.
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 08:43 AM UTC
Another update time.

Its time to tackle the engine compartment now, the first steps of which are the various additional assemblies which are fixed to the main engine superstructure.

First up are the main exhaust parts as well as these riveted cover plates four the superstructure sides.





Naturally theres a join seam to contend with.



On one of the exhausts I also stupidly fitted the parts the wrong way round (shouldn't try and rush through these things before going to work in the morning!).



I only realised this error when I came home for lunch a few hours later, by which time the glue had totally set. So with a great deal of difficulty I prized it apart and stuck the pieces the correct way around.

Heres those cover with a hole drilled in and the shackle fitted in place.



Theres four of these covers in total, here we see the completed and cleaned up exhausts as well.





Next up we move onto the main engine deck and superstructure parts.



The one piece engine cover is superb. The single moulded part has some sprue on the inside, I chose to leave these in place for added strength.



Heres the cover plate.



The various parts to add on.



Heres the very fine mesh screen for the engine intakes.



All of the parts from step 14 in place. The frosting around the photo-etch is from the superglue, i'd highlight here the need for very careful alignment of the etch screen, mine are far from perfect!




The second part of step 14 is the addition of fittings on the other side as well as remaining details.



Heres the extra parts to add, in addition to those identical items previously fitted.



The domed hatch seems to be an access hatch for the engine compartment, notice in this photo below a crew member protruding from the opened hatch. (Reproduced here for discussion only)



Step 14 completed. The glue frosting really does look very messy but will vanish under primer.




Until next time…….

AFVFan
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North Carolina, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 08:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for the heads up Bob, I think i'll go ahead and stick the skirts on then, in fact a dry fit confirms exactly as you say; the wheels are totally hidden.



Glad to be of service, my friend.

The rear hull shackle mounting holes were too small on mine, too. I just drilled them out a bit, though your solution does the job just as well.

Those engine screens are a bear! As you mentioned, the fit is very tight. I also found the thinness of the mounting lip very bothersome.
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 09:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text




Those engine screens are a bear! As you mentioned, the fit is very tight. I also found the thinness of the mounting lip very bothersome.



Yes that thin edge is problematic, if i'm honest my screens haven't aligned properly at all, its just a bit hidden on my photos. I couldn't face trying to prize them off and re-fitting them, especially as the mesh is so thin and would damage easily. I plan on finishing this crawling with Germans will hopefully hide these few rough areas.
AFVFan
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Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 06:51 PM UTC
You aren't quite there yet, but I left the engine cover box unattached. After a test fit, I found there wouldn't be any seams to worry about mounting it after the paint work was done. I also skipped putting those little oil lines (or whatever they are) on too. Doing so makes painting all the recesses and nooks a lot easier.

Figured I mention it for you to think about.
afv_rob
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 11:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You aren't quite there yet, but I left the engine cover box unattached. After a test fit, I found there wouldn't be any seams to worry about mounting it after the paint work was done. I also skipped putting those little oil lines (or whatever they are) on too. Doing so makes painting all the recesses and nooks a lot easier.

Figured I mention it for you to think about.



Yes I did happen to notice that Bob (I couldn't resist trying to dry fit as much as possible to get an idea of size). I think its testament to Meng's skilful engineering.

afv_rob
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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 12:04 PM UTC
Heres another update as I near the completion of the engine deck detailing. Surprisingly there really isn't a great deal left to tackle on the kit, although we do now face a rather tedious task again…..

So on the engine cover/housing are some very fine and delicate hoses, which I suspect could be oil lines. These are moulded on a sprue and must be very carefully removed in order to prevent damage; unfortunately this turned out to be inevitable.

Heres the first lot.



And the delicate pipes. These need to be removed with a huge amount of care, and be prepared for the fact that they may break. I snapped at least 3 of them and had to carefully stick them together again.





There are some locating points moulded in place on the engine deck.



And some rather hard to access locating holes on the side covers.



The easiest way to fit these is pinch the pipe with fine tweezers and dip each end in some glue, they can then be located into position with a steady hand. Its tiresome work but is actually easier than it might first appear.



Heres the rear bunch fitted in place. Naturally with these one is better off starting from the inside line and working outwards.





The same applies to the other side, although the layout is a little different.



Next up are the exhaust pipes. In reality the instructions indicate fitting the oil lines and exhaust pipe on one side then focusing on the other side. I choose to add all the oil lines and adding both exhausts at the same time.





These are single moulded items, so not hassle aligning separate parts, however there are some mould lines to remove. I also decided to improve the smooth plastic by adding some Mr Surfacer texture to depict the worn rusted finish on these.





And heres everything fitted in place.







AFVFan
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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 05:36 PM UTC
Those are the lines I mentioned not putting on until after I finish the camo. They just look like a pain to work around when they can be added later. I guess we'll find out with yours.

And now, possibly the last helpful hint I have for you. If you use the decals with the French flag on it, the flag is printed backwards. It needs to be cut loose and turned where the blue field is on the left.
afv_rob
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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 10:02 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Those are the lines I mentioned not putting on until after I finish the camo. They just look like a pain to work around when they can be added later. I guess we'll find out with yours.

And now, possibly the last helpful hint I have for you. If you use the decals with the French flag on it, the flag is printed backwards. It needs to be cut loose and turned where the blue field is on the left.



Yer I figured i'd just stick them on and see how I get on. I'm sure they'll be a bit of a pain to work around, but I couldn't face having to deal with them later on.

Thanks for the heads up on the flags, bit of a silly mistake from Meng but easy to fix.

I've just ordered a Lionmarc barrel from Lucky Model, the kit part looks pretty dreadful, hopefully have another update on this again soon though.
TheGreatPumpkin
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 12:09 PM UTC
Hi All,
Not wanting to hi-jack the posting, but if anyone is interested, Decalcomaniacs! have released a decal set that allows the modeler to make the other 7 vehicles: 91 (Poitou), 92 (Picardie), 94 (Bretagne), 95 (Touraine), 96 (Anjou), 98 (Berry) and 99 (Champagne). They can be seen at the Decalcomaniacs! E-bay Webstore, at the following url: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-35-Decals-Decalcomaniacs-Char-2C-/380851315247?pt=Model_Kit_US&hash=item58ac81e22f

Regards,
Georg
afv_rob
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Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 09:09 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi All,
Not wanting to hi-jack the posting, but if anyone is interested, Decalcomaniacs! have released a decal set that allows the modeler to make the other 7 vehicles: 91 (Poitou), 92 (Picardie), 94 (Bretagne), 95 (Touraine), 96 (Anjou), 98 (Berry) and 99 (Champagne). They can be seen at the Decalcomaniacs! E-bay Webstore, at the following url: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-35-Decals-Decalcomaniacs-Char-2C-/380851315247?pt=Model_Kit_US&hash=item58ac81e22f

Regards,
Georg



Thats fantastic news Georg! These look very good so i'll definitely be ordering a set.