1/16 Renault FT-17 – Takom Limited Edition part 1

Since the appearance of Meng’s FT-17 in 35th scale, I have an idea to built that model in bigger scale. 1/35 is too small for that kinda vehicle, especially with interior provided by the company. It takes way too much time for masking, and a lot of effort for fitting and assembling the small interior parts.
It is very well detailed and cleverly engineered model, but in order to finish it properly, you need patience beyond the standard modeler’s limits.
I’ve heard complaints from even the most devoted guys
out there. Besides, once built, its small enough to fit it into one big tank from WWII from that scale.
So, yeah, even I’ve built couple of those, I wanted bigger.

Takom offered standard version, /kit #1001/ with short barrel almost the same time Meng Model released their 35th scale item. However, within couple of months they /Takom/ offered limited edition of that same kit, with Hothckiss gun. That one also features resin figure of a tank driver, and most importantly – is limited edition of 1500 pieces.

That was pretty much enough to start my engines, and I ordered it immediately.
The kit comes in a pretty big box, and the part resemble Meng ones stunningly. I am not sure if they are one and the same company, or at least owned by the same person, but I am pretty sure that the engineering behind the both kits is the same.
Detailing on the small one however …is better. Yeah, many out there think that this cannot be the case with models released in the same year and one which is half of the size of the other might be better. But it is!
Nothing against Takom, but if they had put a little more effort into detailing of the seat, the interior parts and so on, they would’ve had a winner for some time to come.
Anyway, bigger scale is always better for spicing up with scratch of aftermarket stuff, so 99 out of 100 times I would stick to 1/16th scale FT.
Exept for the bigger flashes and sanding areas, everything is almost the same standard as Meng’s kit. Tracks are links, but here we have three separate pieces per link, while in Meng it was one.
Stuff like that.
Nothing major.
Interior was the first thing I started with. The bigger engine and other stuff gives you freedom to weather for weeks. Wonderful!

Engines of both FTs 35th and 16th scale,
before painting details and weathering

I wasn’t happy with the final look, or more properly said – with what you can see inside.
So I took out my Dremel, and hit the side panel with all the aggression that I had.
I needed more open view of the weathered engine, with all the grease and grime on it. If I left it as out of the box, I would’ve lost most of the light inside, thus deprive the viewer from the real beauty of that kit.

Now, looking back at the project, I could’ve man up and cut more in the middle, so the gunner’s position to be more visible. It’s true that the turret is removable, but still, it looks odd to see the tank without it, which I show it at model shows…
So, interior was painted and weathered with oils mostly, making it look like the walls of my garage before I remodelled it. I did the kit and the garage at the same time, so…
And, following the idea of : A picture worth a thousand words – I present you with some of the pictures I kept.
Sadly, I lost some of the engine’s pictures, once it was weathered. They were the best of that model. And now are all gone.
And what you can see below, is hardly visible on the built model, so enjoy it as much as possible.
See you in Part 2