Work in Progress

S-Model 1/72 Hotchkiss H35 early version

Posted by huib on 24 Nov 2020, 22:38

After a full year of only building aircraft, I'm back doing some armour. French this time.

Hotchkiss H35
The French car manufacterer Hotchkiss built a prototype for a light tank on its own initiative in 1935. As the design looked promising, the French authorites wrote a tender to invite other manufacterers to send in competing designs. In the end the designs of Renault and Hotchkiss were selected and further developed.

The Hotchkiss design, with a crew of two, a short 37mm gun, impressive 40mm armour all around, a top speed of 28 km/h, and a weight of 11 tons, was ordered as the Char Légère Modèle 1935H, shortened to Hotchkiss H35. The first production batch comprised 400 examples.

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After delivery of the first 130 vehicles to the French infantry, the tank turned out to be completely unsuitable for its task. Transmission and brakes were too weak and steering too heavy. The tank was impossiple to manouvre off-road, and descending a hill was life-threathening for the crew and by-standers. For political reasons however, production could not be stopped, and the H35 was forced on the French cavalry, were off-road use was less frequent.

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Only after finishing the 400 tanks ordered in 1938, there were possibilities for improvement of the design. This led to the much better H35 modifiée 38/39, in which most of the initial problems were solved. The 400 tanks of the first batch however, remained in service, despite their serious issues. In may and June 1940 a big amount of H35 tanks saw combat against the Germans. The solid armour of the H35 gave plenty protection, and the short 37mm gun was sufficient to deal with the German light tanks and armoured vehicles, that bore the brunt of Germanies attacking forces. The biggest issues with the French tanks were of tactical nature. As the H35, like most French tanks was not equipped with radio, communication during battle was strictly limited. And as the commander was the sole person in the tank turret, being the loader and gunner simultaniously, he was seriously overburdened, severly limiting combat effectivy.

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Many H35 tanks fell in German hands, and were used by them in guard duties, policing and anti-partisan warfare. Later the hulls were used as a base for self-propelled guns, and the turrets were used in the Atlantic wall.

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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 24 Nov 2020, 22:45

So you are going to make something simple now? A part of the Atlantik wall with a turret on it? :mrgreen: :joker:

Just joking. Looking forward to this "char"! ;-)
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by huib on 24 Nov 2020, 22:49

S-model 1/72 Hotchkiss H35 early version

S-Model is a Chinese manufacturer of simple quick-build models, mainly intended for wargaming. But they issue several models of vehicles that are hard to find with other manufacturers, such as a series of French ww2 armoured vehicles in a variety of versions. And this Hotchkiss H35 early version, is one of them.

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As is more the case with quick-build models, there are two in one box. That's nice, allowing for different versions to be build.

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For one tank there are two half empty sprues, as this model is a derivate of their H35/39 tank model. So some parts are left out and another sprue added. In total four sprues in the box, for two models. To be honest detail looks quite good. I've been studying a lot pictures, but there is not a lot of detail missing.

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And a small set of PE. It looks fancy, but I think it's quite worthless. I'm not sure I'm going to use it.

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And a nice set of generic French armour tactical signs. I think I will supplement this with some decals from the sparebox.

That's it. It looks quite promising, so let's start!
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 26 Nov 2020, 14:15

Building

Well, it´s only a very small tank, so building it goes fast.

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A dryfit of the main parts. Note the size: less than 6cm of length.

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The main parts.

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I painted the inside of the turret and the breech of the gun, so I can leave the turret hatch opened for a peak inside.

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Then, all parts were glued together, soms seams removed by filler and file, and some extra detail was added.

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From behind, with the turret hatch opened.

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The detail I added was mostly to replace the not so attractive PE: lifting hooks on the turret, towing eyes on various places, and a mirror on the fender. Look, how sharp the hotchkiss plate is moulded!

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Only on the back of the vehicle I could find some detail that was missing in the kit: a towing hook, track tensioners and some sort of cap (possibly for the radiator?).
So all in all this is quite a fine little kit!

On to some paint now.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 26 Nov 2020, 16:58

Nice first steps Huib! :thumbup:
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Posted by Wiking on 26 Nov 2020, 17:15

Always a pleasure to see your improvement to the kit.

Allez le Hotchkiss !
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Posted by GumSmith on 26 Nov 2020, 22:13

Hi huib,
nice little project. I love that S-Model kits, even if it is easy build, they have a lot of good details and are really more than worth it`s money.
And your work on details is excellent.

cheers Oke
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Posted by huib on 28 Nov 2020, 15:23

Thank you, guys!

Painting
One of the joys of building French tanks between 1917 and 1940 is the wide variety of very interesting camouflage patterns. This will become a typical late 1930's cavalry pattern.

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A dark bronze green (Humbrol 118) as the base layer.

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A camouflage pattern in a sand brown colour (Humbrol 93)

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And outlining the camouflage pattern with reddish brown (Humbrol 113). Quite lively!

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Then I painted all details, like tools and wheel rims.

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A base colour of antracit for the tracks.

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Then a treatment with different colours of brown to simulate rust, mud and dirt. And finished with a very light drybrush with gun metal (Humbrol 53) to simulate bare metal.

Now for decals and weathering.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 28 Nov 2020, 18:20

Nice work on that cammo Huib. :thumbup:

I see you still work with the enamel paint. Don't you use acrylic paint?
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Posted by huib on 30 Nov 2020, 12:00

No, I still didn't change to acrylics. Could be better for my health. It's just old habits that continue.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by huib on 30 Nov 2020, 12:07

Decals and weathering

Again some developments with this mini-tank.

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The kit's decal sheet. Basic, but fine.

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After two layers of gloss, the decals were applied. I added some numbers from the sparebox to add some more interest. With this camouflage pattern and markings it is a fictitious but quite generic H35 from a 1940 French cavalry unit.

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A wash of dark brown oil paint.

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Drybrushing using a light sandy colour.

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And finish with a matte varnish and some chipping using a graphite pencil.

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Ready for final assembly.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 30 Nov 2020, 13:07

Yes it's more healthy. And it doesn't smell. :-D

That oil paint wash is that something you can buy or is it thinned down oil paint?

Wonderfull result so far Huib! :thumbup:
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Posted by Wiking on 30 Nov 2020, 16:53

Few parts but a very nice model. And good colored.

Do we will see the model on a base with some French soldiers ?
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Posted by Kekso on 04 Dec 2020, 13:16

Peter wrote:And it doesn't smell. :-D


Then where's the fun? :xd:
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Posted by Peter on 04 Dec 2020, 13:19

Kekso wrote:
Then where's the fun? :xd:

You can still smell the glue for the model! :xd:
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Posted by huib on 04 Dec 2020, 16:38

You can also sniff glue, without modelling. :-D
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Posted by huib on 04 Dec 2020, 17:20

Thank you guys!

Final assembly
Quickly finished, such a small and simple kit.

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The tracks intended for an inverse stance, so when the glue was curing I clamped some objects between the tracks, to get them in the right position.

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Assembled!

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Only some accessories left: a French tank commander (Esci), two towing chains, and a tarp roll from the spare box.

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Accessories painted and weathered.

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The chains are typical French (instead of cables), a lovely detail on tank models. The tarp is attached under the sparewheel.

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Finished! The figure is good to show how tiny these tanks were: the size is comparable to a Panzer I or Vickers Light Tank, but better armed and better armoured.
Final pictures soon.
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huib  Netherlands
 
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Posted by Peter on 04 Dec 2020, 17:29

Fantastic final result Huib! :notworthy:
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Posted by Wiking on 04 Dec 2020, 18:06

A,B or C which one do he observe ?

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A

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B

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C

Nice made huib.
I like the pic with the special modeller tool for the track distance most. :thumbup:
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Posted by huib on 05 Dec 2020, 16:24

Thank you very much guys!

Peter wrote:That oil paint wash is that something you can buy or is it thinned down oil paint?

Yes Peter, it is thinned down oilpaint from the artists shop.

Wiking wrote:A,B or C which one do he observe ?

B, of course (Silly question), with C as a good second. Although, if he manages to require B or C, he might also look out for A, as this might be his commander. :drool:
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