Blast Models
German B1 bis Flammenwerfer
1:35 #BL35110K
Review by Terry Ashley

Tamiya Blast Models continue their prolific output of updates and conversions for the Tamiya Char B1 bis (kit #35282) with this latest set being a conversion to the German modified Flammenwerfer (Flame thrower tank) which was used on a number of fronts during WWII.

The set has a number of parts from the previous update set for the B1 bis German Version (set #BL35107K) plus additional parts for the Flammenwerfer and the set contains 55 parts cast in 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 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 and excellent weld seams on the fuel tank and front housing plus a few very small parts that will need care cleaning up and attaching to the model.

Turret Updates:
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.

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Additional internal detail includes the side and rear vision port detail as well as separate binocular sights 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.

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.

Hull Updates:
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.

Before attaching the Flammenwerfer parts you have to cut off all the moulded on rivet heads from the kit and test fitting the various parts will indicate where to remove the rivets and if you carefully cut these off with a sharp blade they can be saved for future use, can never have enough small rivets.

The 75mm gun mantlet is replaced with the cast flamethrower housing and this has very nice details including subtle cast texturing and rivet detail with a separate bolted nozzle retaining ring that allows the separate flame thrower nozzle to move after assembly. The detail on the retaining ring is very crisp and well defined as is the flame projector nozzle and looks very good.

After removing the kit rivets the flame housing fitted perfectly to the upper hull but there was a bit of a gap along the bottom join but as this is well hidden inside the hull/sponson recess after assembly and it would only be noticed if you crawled under the tank, but of course this can be filled if you wish, this was the only part of the conversion where the fit was not perfect.

The large welded housing with front vision block has very nicely done weld seams and this fits neatly in place after removing the kit rivets and you are given separate armour panels for the front as there are several different configurations of these panels seen on Flammenwerfers and the instructions show three of these for a bit of choice. Use the armour panels as a guide to positioning the one piece vision port as the location isn’t marked on the housing.

At the hull rear is the large welded fuel tank which is perfectly cast with excellent weld seams around the edges and the fit after removing the kit rivets was again perfect and there are additional bolted panels added to the rear bottom and upper hull join which fit perfectly.

The kit chain hooks plus additional resin details are added to the fuel tank as well as other details such as aerial mounts and small exhaust on the upper hull plus the large jacks and tool brackets added to the fender tops and on the rear hull.

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 plus three spare track links that can be added to the front plate if you wish.

The single double sided instruction sheet has photos of the resin parts fitted to the Tamiya kit with the parts called out by number and are fairly easy to follow in most cases but a couple of the close up shots means careful study of the instructions will be needed but no real problems arose during assembly.

No markings are included in the set but we already have the excellent decal sheet from Echelon Fine Details (#ATL352009) which has markings for 10 Flammenwerfer tanks from the initial all over Panzer Grey to the later three colour cam schemes including a Flammenwerfer used at Arnham for a very good choice of markings.

Another excellent update set for the Tamiya kit with all the additional parts for the Flammenwerfer Bi bis as well as the other German modifications, especially the revised Observation hood and driver’s hatch which are superbly done as are the details on the flame nozzle and housing.

With the only kit modifications being removing a few rivets makes this conversion very easy to deal with and produces a very different looking Char B1 bis that should have a lot of appeal.

Highly recommended.

The Char B1 bis Subject Page lists other reviews of sets available for the Tamiya B1 bis kit

Resin parts
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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 November 9, 2006

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