Blast Models
B1 bis Update Set German Version
1:35 #BL35107K
Review by Terry Ashley

Tamiya This is the second update set for the Tamiya Char B1 bis (kit #35282) from Blast Models with the necessary parts for the B1 bis German Version as well as most of the basic B1 bis update parts from set #BL35103K with the set containing 38 parts cast in light grey resin and a small instruction sheet.

The quality of the resin parts is again very good with just the usual casting blocks to be removed and a bit of thin resin film but no air bubbles (except one) or other blemished to contend with.

Detail on the parts is very good with cast texture on the Commander’s observation hood and the driver’s hatches as well as fine casting numbers and rivets about the place plus a few very small parts that will need care cleaning up and attaching to the model.

A German style cut down Commander’s observation hood with twin hatches is provided which includes the cast texture as well as a separate lower ring with internal detail including small ring teeth and other details, but there is one largish air hole in the rim which I filled with thick cyanoacrylate.
Additional internal detail includes the side and rear vision port detail as well as separate binocular sites at the front and nicely detailed outer lower bolted rim with the front binocular sight cover rescued from the Tamiya kit. The observation hood fits neatly into the turret cut-out but you may want to add a couple of retaining lugs like the kit part so it doesn’t come loose if the model is moved as it just sits in the opening.

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Added to the back is a replacement hatch with nice latch mechanism moulded on as well as the separate opening bracket that just clips into the latch mechanism allowing you to easily reposition the door if not sitting a Commander figure such as the Blast figure set #BL35102F on it.

The main gun mantlet is provided in resin with the correct slight offset on the 47mm gun mantlet while the machine gun mantlet has subtle cast texture and small casting numbers included. Some mantlets don’t have the casting numbers but it’s a lot easier to remove them if not required than add then on with both mantlets simply replacing the kit parts without any alterations required.

The driver’s hatch and front plate are also replaced with resin parts that include subtle cast texturing and small casting numbers on the front plate as well as other improvements on the kit doors with kit parts B14 and B30 fitting to the resin upper door the same way as with the kit parts for another trouble free substitution.
The only omission are the five flush screws on top of the front vision visor but these can easily be added using the Lionmarc/Passion Models 0.6mm Brass screw heads.

The 75mm gun mantlet is also provided that includes the six small bolt heads around the barrel opening and the small lifting eye on the top although this is a complete ring and most are pigtail type hooks on the real B1, but it is easy to modify the part being resin.

There is a little build up of resin on the inside of the mantlet and the instructions indicate to sand down the kit gun mountings (parts A16) but I found it easier to shave some resin from the inside of the mantlet with a curved X-Acto blade to fit leaving the gun mountings intact.

The large concrete armour block added to the right front of the hull is provided but you have to take extreme care when removing the casting block as these are attached along the front edge which has very thin weld beads and it is very easy to break these off while removing the casting blocks. You also have to cut off all the rivet heads from the kit where the block will be located but this is easy enough and you may want to save these for future use.

Other German parts include the large jacks and tool brackets added to the fender tops and on the rear hull as well as the German style aerial base plus three spare track links that can be added to the front plate if you wish.

Added to the front plate are the oval Renault logo and a replacement head light with inner globe detail if you wish to show the light cover open which again has additional detail from the kit part.

The single page instruction sheet has photos of the resin parts fitted to the Tamiya with the parts called out by number and are very easy to follow making thing that much easier again.

Another excellent update set for the Tamiya kit with all the replacement parts for the basic Bi bis as well as the German modifications, especially the revised Observation hood which is superbly done.
Again there are basically no modifications required to the kit and just minor trimming on the main gun mantlet during fitting makes for a simply set to use.

Highly recommended.

Also see the review of set #BL35103K B1 bis Update set French Version
The Char B1 bis Subject Page lists other reviews of sets available for the Tamiya B1 bis kit

Resin parts
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Detail Images
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Hommes et Matériels du 15e BCC CHARS B AU COMBAT
Histoire & Collections
ISBN 2-913903-42-8
B1-B1 bis-B1 ter

Trackstory No.3
ISBN 2-9520988-4-4
Char B1 bis
AFV Super Detail Photo Book Vol.2
Model Art Co.Ltd
French Military Vehicles

Ground Power Special 12/03
Thanks to Gilles from Blast Models for the review set.
The set can be purchased direct from Blast Models or from AFV Modeller Shop in the UK.

Page created September 15, 2006

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