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Colin Gomez
28 articles

Char B1 bis -Tamiya 1/35

April 5, 2020 · in Armor · · 9 Comments

Hi Guys,
This is one of my more labor intensive efforts for an armor kit. The French camouflage was complex to airbrush. I used homemade paper masks, based on scaled up reproductions of the Tamiya painting instructions (scanned and enlarged and printed with my computer set-up). After airbrushing, I hand painted the black border to the color patterns and did some of the finer lines with a sharpie. Weathering was with oils, CMK weathering powders and pastels. I was going for the look of a tank patrolling in an urban setting, with most of the mud knocked of the tracks by cobbled streets. The little bit of a diorama you see here in some photos is more like a simple display base while I work out a concept. I haven’t attempted to weather the cobbles, although they are painted. I liked the look of the Tamiya dog beside the tank (from their farm animal set). Maybe he has is sniffing out a German anti-tank gun just around the corner.
In general, I’ve always liked the look of the Char B and Somua tanks and I was very happy when Tamiya released their excellent kit. I have the Somua under construction as well. Both have some fascinating camouflage schemes. French tanks and tankettes of this period have the look of being ahead of their time with their rounded hull contours. The Char B1 doesn’t’ have the advanced welded hull of a Somua or Renault but is looks like a steampunk nightmare coming at you. I think the Germans found them quite formidable in terms of armor protection. It looks especially aggressive from a low angle with those big plate track links.
I am not so much an armor guy, having not jumped on board with the “MIG Filters” thing. For now, I use more old-fashioned methods. I hope it looks OK to the armor guys. Critiques and observations are welcome.
Sorry, accidentally posted this twice, but I fixed it. Thanks for your patience.


16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

9 responses

  1. While I'm by no means armor expert, I can definitely say this model is outstanding, Colin!
    All the best, my friend!

  2. Very good camo, great build overall. One of my fave tanks.

    • Thanks, Bill. I really like the work you did on your Somua, British cruiser tanks and armored cars as posted on this site. It's good that someone else has some enthusiasm for more obscure armor. At local model shows where I liv, the Panthers, Tigers and Brumbars get most of the attention and praise.

  3. A great looking build, nice camo job.

  4. @coling, That is just cool man! 😎 Way to go with a fantastic tank model! Well done sir. 🤗

    • Thanks, Gary @garybrantley ! There wasn't so much interest in this build when I first posted it, but I maybe had too many things up all at once back then. Also, not so many armor guys on this site. Anyway, I love the look of the Char-B series and I was really happy when the Tamiya kit came out. One day I will finish the Tamiya Somua as well. French camo paintwork is uniquely eye-catching (which might not have been so good tactically at the time!).

      • You're quite welcome Colin! I really like the looks of that Char-B. It always reminds me of the tank seen in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". 😉 And yeah, a real "steampunk on steroids" look doesn't hurt either. Somua were somewhat "squat-tier", right? I'm headed to my armor references to check them out, thanks for the inspiration @coling! 😃

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