Sunday, 28 April 2013

Char B1 bis in 1/76 from Revell/Matchbox

My French forces just got a substantial reinforcement with these two brutes.
They come from Revell’s remake of the classic Matchbox set with a Char B1 bis and a FT-17 with a scenic piece. A good set with two very different tanks, one puny WWI tank, still in service in 1940, and one monster, one of the really feared French tanks.
No problems assembling the tanks, great fit and clear instructions. The tracks are soft plastic, and with hindsight I would have glues them in place and shortened the track length a bit. Now they are a bit too long, and don’t fit tight.
When it comes to painting French armour I had a feeling that everything goes, but also had a feeling that that was not the case. Some research into Char B1 bis camouflage found a very interesting French site,, with a lot of info on French tanks. The page on Char B1 camouflage gave some very helpful colour plates, and I based my tanks on one of those plates.
Paints used (Vallejo unless otherwise noted)
Dark Green: 979 German Camouflage Dark Green drybrushed with 850 Medium Olive
Brown: 984 Flat Brown drybrushed with 818 Red Leather
Exhaust: Panzer Aces 302 Dark Rust
Tracks: Gunmetal washed with black and Citadel Devlan Mud
Grille: washed with black.
Decals from Aleran Miniatures, France -40 set for H39 and H35 tanks.
Everything got a couple of coats of matte varnish, and a light dusting of MIG P234 Rubble Dust pigment.
Ready for action.

Welcome follower tomw with his brand new blog Hapless Plastic, about everything modelling in plastic. Well worth a look and it certainly looks promising.


  1. That's a great kit from Matchbox/Revell and you've build and paint it really great. That's remember me, that I have this kit here too. I think sometimes I have to build him.


    1. Thank you Bruno. I'm looking for 2 more kits but they are hard to find now. I need two more Char B1 bis for a scenario, and two more FT-17 as Finnsih tanks for the Winter War.

  2. Good thing I just built two Pz I! Oh, wait, that's not gonna help, is it?

  3. I have a couple of them too, one vintage Matchbox and one Revell re-release. Must build them someday.

    1. Me too. I have well over fifty French infantrymen but not a single French vehicle. It's embarrassing!

  4. Great work mate, really nice