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Luis Alvarez (lalvarezmex)

Renault FT-17

This is the Meng's 1/35 scale Renault FT tank with riveted turret. The kit has a pretty large part count and is a bit over-engineered. The attention to detail is awesome although the styrene is way too thin and kind of refractory to Tamiya's thin glue. Besides, it has a fully moving suspension and tracks from different materials (styrene, steel and brass) which can only be bound with CA. So assembly was very challenging, not for the beginner. I dropped in a turned brass gun from Orange Hobby that fitted nicely, but the PE cover sheet was tricky to shape and had to solder it 'cause CA glue just didn't do the trick. Instructions are OK, but painting was hellish as the French three-color scheme is very difficult to mask with the completed model. I suggest to paint major assemblies BEFORE final assembly. As always, I went for metal tracks but Friulmodel's interpretation were a nightmare to install as they require CA gluing three pieces/link and the tension produced by the finished suspension kept the darn things coming apart. No way to fit 32 links per side! After TEN tries and a gluey mess I got fed up and switched back to the kit's easy-link provided tracks. Boy! They were rightfully surprisingly easy to assemble (5 min for both tracks!) but again the plastic hinges were just too weak to hold the tension at 32 links/track. I could opt for cementing the links but it took a while to produce a fully workable suspension just to disable it with rigid tracks! So I added one extra link per side and... After priming with Tamiya grey primer because all the different materials used, I painted the whole model with Tamiya NATO black and pre-shades with Flat White. The French camouflage was produced airbrushing MIG Ammo paints and then covered with a thing coat of Tamiya Gloss Clear before applying the 6 decals provided with the kit, which were a bit thick but responded well to Solvaset. Then I covered the entires model with Tamiya Flat clear and spent a while doing the W&W job. Judging by the few actual WWI combat pictures I was able to retrieve, I think I may just overdid combat damage... but I understand that those photos were obviously staged, nobody knew how to properly protect steel from the elements and I just simply couldn't believe an immaculate tanks after crossing no-man's land and receiving all kinds of enemy fire from everywhere! So, I'm happy with the end-result!!!


10 | 9. June, 20:42
Bruce Huxtable
Watching with interest 🙂 Liking the interior lots 👍
22. June, 19:53
Bruce Huxtable
Coming together nicely 👍
28. June, 18:22
Luis Alvarez
Thanks! The camo pattern is really difficult with this little one… The suspension and tracks get in the way. I suggest paint every major section BEFORE final assembly
28. June, 18:23
Bruce Huxtable
Thanks for the advice, Luis. Good luck with the painting.
28. June, 18:26
Ben M
28. June, 18:28
Very nice
11. July, 20:29
Luis Alvarez
Thanks mate!
11. July, 20:42


In progress
1:35 FT-17 (Meng Model TS-011)1:35 Renault FT-17 - Metal Tracks (Friulmodel ATL-73)1:35 37mm SA18 Barrel Set (Orange Hobby G35-135)
Renault FT-17
US Military US Army (1784-now)
2 Platoon, 1 Co., 344 Tank Bn., 304 Tank Brig.
October 1918 - Verdun FR

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