1/76 scale Char B1 Diorama Vignette in a tiny glass case

I don’t turn my attention on 1/76/1/72 very often these days, which is a shame really, as the scale offers conservative space on the Display shelf. I have this kit in the stash that has rested for a long time.
matchbox box art
The kits have been released by Revell in recent times, but this is in it’s original guise by Matchbox. I made up the FT17 some years passed and it has long since fallen into one of those cracks in life. Probably during my last house move. So the space it occupied will be replaced by horses pulling a supply wagon.
instructions for buildings
the kit comes with a reasonable diorama base, that might look quite good airbrushed and joined up with some Diorama extras.

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the buildings look quite reasonable.
building wall
might be able to do something with these, but the base will need hoof prints and tank tread marks. I might fill in the shoemark impressions, as they are quite daft.
base of diaorama

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normally when I order glass I instruct my local glass cutter to cut the glass panel out of 3mm thick glass, it suits larger scale models, but I may try 2mm glass for this model, it being that much smaller and it will be more in proportion. this Tank transporter is glassed in 3mm.
cased tank tptr and matilda

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the kit supplies four Frenchmen, that is handy as I doubt I have any 1/76 scale French figures in my stash.
two french soldiers

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Starting the project by making up the main exhibit, the Char B1. Starting with the flat plates that make up the hull.
hull construction a
the front axle was exposed outside the front armour to allow it seems the gun to depress.
hull construction b
three layers of plates make up the hull sides, so far, the fit has been rather good.
![hull construction c|600x337]
(upload://mPH8UgqFHT6ePgcCLy4sqE7VHYz.jpeg)
the third outer layer of armour fitted
hull construction d
for a simple 1/76 kit, the tracks are good compared to other offerings in this class, the join is an easy interlock, the track has enough stretch to make fit easy around the frames and sprockets.
hull construction ejpg

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turret and hull roof are constructed as an assembly.
upper hull and turret
the fit of the roof to the hull was without a hitch
upper hull and turret fitted

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the armoured plate around the hull main armament was a fiddle at first, guided into position, the L shaped piece was pushed down using a pair of tweezers for it to click soundly into place perfectly, no cement needed.
char b1 built upper
the next area of care, was the antenna base, it is a giant. looking at photographs taken in 1940, it would appear that they were a rather large item.
ant base
photo showing antenna b

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even so, the kit part is out of proportion, so I reduced it and will drill it for a scratch made antenna, from stretched sprue.
ant base reduced

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Fantastic work!
Really looking forward to seeing how this turns out. It’s one of my favourite kits. Great detail in it.

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Here’s another period picture that shows the antenna base. Most of the time there’s a sheet metal guard around it :

H.P.

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thanks Phantom, it’s nice to go 1/76 from time to time.

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really handy images there Frenchy, that’s a great one of the antenna base, it really was massive.

painted green
the B1 in it’s base green.

the street scene at eye level, painted in terracotta and a series of grey tones.
airbrushed greys

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You’re welcome.
It’s one of the best from Matchbox’s 1/76 range. Built a couple of them over the years.

the red primer is history as the first airbrushed cam colours go on.
cam scheme a

a black wash shows up all the fine details matchbox figured into this diminutive kit
cam scheme e

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