Saturday, 28 December 2013

St Chamond

My WW1 Frenchies were in need of some armoured support a bit heavier than FT-17s, but affordable 20mm WW1 French tanks are as rare as hens teeth as most come  into the 'modelling' bracket, all etched brass and very large price tags.

Along came Lancer models to the rescue with this very affordable resin model of a St Chamond, probably one of the worst tanks ever built (although there are other rivals for that particular crown). It was slow, thinly armoured  and unreliable (nothing new there for WW1) but its short track length and long chassis overhang meant its trench crossing ability was even worse than that of the A7V, and it had the unfortunate habit of getting stuck in even the smallest depression. Ideal for crossing shell torn ground! It did at least have a 75mm gun and bristled with MGs.

The finishing model, it is fairly gigantic although not as big as a Mark V.

The model has a crisply cast resin body with metal accessories (guns, tracks, exhaust) and goes together easily, although I assisted the tracks into place with some blu-tak as well as glue.

The cumbersome overhang to accommodate the long 75 is very evident here. The gun was fitted largely due to the political machinations of St-Chamonds technical director, who also owned the company which manufactured the guns.

Lots of rivets and hard lines to pick up the drybrushing.
The model was finished in ochre and a disruptive olive green scheme applied as per the illustrations in BT Whites 'Armoured Fighting Vehicles 1914-18', then inkwashed and a liberal coat of mud and dust applied. It has yet to fire a shot in anger, but will no doubt appear in a game to provide a German artillery target at some point in the future.


  1. Excellent work, I like the weird shape of the St Chamond tanks.

  2. A fine model of a truly awful tank. I'm surprised you only bought one....

  3. Nice model. I guess it was still a case of baby steps when that was designed....



  4. The main problem with a lot of WW1 tanks is that they take up huge amounts of storage space, and I am forever knocking off the side MGs. Perhaps I should have bought two, but you don't need loads of them and my designated storage box was reaching capacity.

  5. Pete, it was just rushed into production without a huge amount of thought about how it would actually work in the field, unlike the British Mark 1, which also had lots of shortcomings but could actually cross trenches.