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Armor/AFV
For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
Impressions of new Meng Renault FT-17
ebergerud
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California, United States
Joined: July 15, 2010
KitMaker: 276 posts
Armorama: 160 posts
Posted: Friday, September 06, 2013 - 07:18 PM GMT+7
Earlier this year Finescale had a reader poll on most desired model. As always I plugged for a 1/350 CV6 Enterprise as the most needed kit - which it is. For a tank, I asked Santa for a 1/35 Renault FT-17. The tanks was historic in design and in action. It is funky with lots of rivets and places to weather. What's not to like? The good folk at Meng have delivered and I got my kit today via eBay and Korea for just over $50.

There's a proper examination at Missing Lynx. Suffice it to say that the kit has 340 styrene parts, 68 plastic individual tracks (separated)a few PE pieces and some springs. The kit has a full interior/engine and if the hatches are left open everything will be visible. (A modeler that wanted to "button it up" would save a lot of time.) This is a small tank, so expect something about the same size as a Panzer I. Some of the parts are fiddly but attachments to the sprue appear very thin. There's a fully workable track and suspension system here if things work out - I wouldn't be surprised that if you wanted to dispense with that some more time would be saved. It can be armed with mgs or canon. Detail is crackerjack - this is a 2013 kit and it shows. And unlike kits from some companies we won't mention that rhyme with Dragon, the instructions are 17 pages long, very clear and contain full color call outs for detail parts. There are four color schemes (three from early WWII for some reason) shown on a color plate. The color references are to Vallejo Model Air paints which should make it easier to convert to Tamiya etc than calls to Gunze. This looks like a winner.

Eric
vonHengest
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Friday, September 06, 2013 - 07:43 PM GMT+7
An honest assessment for sure. I can't wait to see more!
Hisham
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Al Qahirah, Egypt / لعربية
Joined: July 23, 2004
KitMaker: 6,856 posts
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Posted: Friday, September 06, 2013 - 09:38 PM GMT+7
They're showing the built up model on their site.. they've really done a great job on this kit

http://www.meng-model.com/index2_new.php?id=219

I can't wait to see what their next AFV will be (They have a 1/32 scale ME 163 coming out that I can't wait to get)!

Now, I'm not into WW II stuff, but I was thinking.. imagine if they did something like maybe.. a Sherman with full interior.. or a Tiger I with interior.. imagine what best sellers those would be

Hisham
ebergerud
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California, United States
Joined: July 15, 2010
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Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 02:24 AM GMT+7
Lovely kit no doubt. A 1940 Winter War camo. I guess there were almost as many FT-17s in service in 1939 as in 1918 - thing was in production for export after the war. I'll be going with Great War garb: Maybe find out what Lt. Patton's FT looked like.

Academy made a Tiger I with a full interior. It didn't get great reviews on most boards but British Armor Master Tony Greenland gave it a very good review. AFV has a T-34 done in clear plastic with full interior. Either require a major display concession to show off the insides. However, the way the FT-17 was built, if the hatches are open you can see the whole thing and it would look like a real tank getting an oil change. Fun build I think.
Eric
Hisham
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Al Qahirah, Egypt / لعربية
Joined: July 23, 2004
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Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 05:28 AM GMT+7
I had that Academy Tiger I w/interior once.. and I gave it away (along with several other WW II kits) to a local expat church here!! I just lost interest in "most" WW II stuff. But I was just thinking because MENG's kits are so well made, then they would be best sellers

Hisham
Plasticbattle
#003
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Donegal, Ireland
Joined: May 14, 2002
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Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 06:40 AM GMT+7
Thanks for the quick assessment Eric. This will be mines some day oh yes ... it will be mnes. What do I do with my RPM/Fruil/Aber/Eduard/Armor/Mr.Models kit? If I sold it, Id be lucky to get 50% of the cost towrds the Meng kit. Build both?
Dangeroo
#023
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Zurich, Switzerland
Joined: March 13, 2009
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Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 09:20 AM GMT+7
Frank, build em side by side. I have the same with the M24 Chaffee and am planning exactly that.

Cheers!
Stefan
ebergerud
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California, United States
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Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 03:39 PM GMT+7
I have read so many tales of woe concerning the Emhar Mk IV tanks that I'm going to raffle mine on eBay. A really important ship might be worth the ulcers required to whip a bad model into shape, but I don't see it for a tank or plane. There's another FT-17 out there, but in 1/16 and costs about $100. This kit certainly looks buildable, but a 1/24 scale might have worked better. (Saw a photos of both Ike and Patton standing next to FT-17s and they're almost as tall as the tank: definitely not a Tiger II here.) Course that would be bad for dio makers and a WWI tank might bring them out in some numbers. Anyway, a good kit I think. I had planned to do my first Tasca for the next tank but might do this one instead.
Eric
jphillips
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Arizona, United States
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Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 04:31 PM GMT+7
Just curious, I understand the Lebanese Army used FT-17s in 1948, against Israel; can anyone tell me if these were the last of this type to see service?
I've searched online, and in my copy of Concord's "Tank Battles of the Mid-East Wars(1) the Wars of 1948-1973", but I've found no pics so far.
ebergerud
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California, United States
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Posted: Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 10:16 PM GMT+7
I believe there were over 1500 FT-17s in French service (active and reserve) in 1940. Hundreds others were in other armies as the weapon was cheap, effective and was kept in production postwar. Light and poorly armored it would have been an obvious candidate for police duties and of course France was in control of the upper Mideast until the Brits came and Lebanon was granted independence in 1943 by DeGaulle. It would certainly be plausible that a few FTs would have made it through the war and been inherited by the new government in Beirut, although I think their part in the 48 war consisted of some skirmishes and aid to Arab paramilitaries and was very low level. But in that war anything that moved and had a machine gun would have been a weapon of some value. (As I understand it, the last Panzer IV saw action on the Golan during 1967 in Syrian colors - I've been told there's a wreck there to see.)
Eric
Biggles2
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Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 - 09:32 AM GMT+7
Well, the first good WWl tank, might be on the shelves in time for the 100th anniversity of WWl. What other companies will follow this lead?
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 - 01:15 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Well, the first good WWl tank, might be on the shelves in time for the 100th anniversity of WWl. What other companies will follow this lead?



Hi, All! If my memory serves, this MENG 1/35 FT17 will be followed by ITALERI's 1/35 FT17 soon. It'll be interesting to see how they compare to each other. Both kits feature the "round turret"...

RPM also sells a 1/35 FT17, in several different versions. TORO also manufactured several different FT17s. Unfortunately, RPM's and TORO's FT17s can't compare to the new MENG kit, since they were products of late 1980s/early 1990s technology. I believe that ADV/AZIMUT also cast some FT17s in resin, and I think COMMANDER MODELS also might have done- They have a GREAT selection of WWI and pre-WWII armor...
AFVFan
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Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 - 01:24 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Now, I'm not into WW II stuff, but I was thinking.. imagine if they did something like maybe.. a Sherman with full interior.. or a Tiger I with interior.. imagine what best sellers those would be



I'd think they'd do just as well to continue on the path they're on, producing kits that the major companies don't. There are quite a few pre-1940 armor pieces that would be a welcome sight, like a Vickers 6 Ton, or a Polish 7TP, or a Somua S35, or a Panzer III A - D (to name a few). Currently these are available as very expensive resin kits, crudely done plastic kits, or not at all.
vonHengest
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Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 - 07:29 PM GMT+7
The Somua S35 certainly needs a newly-tooled kit, as do the A7V and MK IV/V landships. The Whippet would be a good candidate as well. I think the FT-17 is probably the right place to start for pre-WWII tanks as it is the archetype for the general design of all following tanks, and it is ripe for variants and AM conversions. They certainly had the longest service life, and were exported to most "modern" and developing armies of the time. I really can't wait to see this kit in person
Biggles2
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2013 - 10:01 AM GMT+7
[quote]
Quoted Text

They have a GREAT selection of WWI and pre-WWII armor...


I did say "good" models, and although I didn't mention it, I meant plastic. It's about time for some better quality WWl vehicles.
gcdavidson
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2013 - 10:16 AM GMT+7
Do the sprues contain parts to make this version? Drawing from Barry Beldam's Armoured Acorn site:

ebergerud
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2013 - 01:05 PM GMT+7
I couldn't possibly say for sure. As I understand it the FT-17 and its American equivalent (M1917) were little changed after 1918. There were differences in the turret: the Meng is has a cast turret that's quite circular. But it can be fitted with a 37mm gun. The kit claims you can give it four types of armament. As noted, three of the four color schemes are from WWII. I believe someone has a video of the model now on YouTube.
Eric
MandrakePOE
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2013 - 01:51 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Do the sprues contain parts to make this version? Drawing from Barry Beldam's Armoured Acorn site:




The new Meng release is a cast turret so unfortunately not suitable for the example you posted.
vonHengest
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2013 - 07:23 PM GMT+7
Correct, check out Jim's video covering the unboxing of this kit for a quick education on the turret types used. The historical segment is towards the end.

http://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=features&file=view&artid=5049
DerGeist
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Posted: Monday, September 09, 2013 - 07:30 PM GMT+7
Memg may have a winner on their hands here. I'm not really in to older tanks any more but I'm probably going to have to get this kit. There's something about it that is just so cool.



Erik
Biggles2
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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 10:08 AM GMT+7
I hope Meng follows up with further WWl era tanks and vehicles. (Dragon, Bronco, AFV, et al are also cordially invited to join the party).
Beastmaster
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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 12:13 PM GMT+7
Looking forward to this new FT17 and yes we're in dire need of more state of the art WW1 tanks especially with the WW1 anniversary coming up.

The old Emhar Male and female tanks are well past their sell by date.
Hederstierna
#247
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Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 02:43 PM GMT+7
Hi there
I'll hopefully get this one soon, so I can do a build review for you all. From what I've seen from Jim's box opening, it certanly looks sweet. Can't wait.
Jacob
velotrain
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: December 23, 2010
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 02:03 AM GMT+7
A few ideas to help Frank out deciding what to do with that second kit.

I also hope they follow-up with a Mk IV and/or Whippet to replace the Emhars.


Head east, young man. FT-Ko:





The German version - fresh off the assembly line.





FT 75 BS - with a short barreled Blockhaus Schneider 75mm gun, ~40 produced





This French site has a lot of photos.

http://po2260.perso.sfr.fr/FT17/FT17.htm#MENU

Another French site this one has the below images in their FT 75 section, but it sure looks to me like a much bigger gun not to mention the mounting. I saw one suggestion of an Italian connection. If anyone knows or finds out anything, Im curious just what it is.






velotrain
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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 02:05 AM GMT+7
Here's that second French site (needing a tinyurl) -

http://www.chars-francais.net/new/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=688&Itemid=36&limit=1&limitstart=3