login   |    register
Armor/AFV
For all ground-operating modelling subjects.
FEATURE: WALKAROUND
Char B1 Bis
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,954 posts
ModelGeek: 237 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2011 - 07:34 AM UTC
Darren Baker shares with us a walk around of the French Char B1 Bis currently on display at Bovington Tank Museum.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
AlanL
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: August 12, 2005
KitMaker: 14,499 posts
ModelGeek: 374 posts
Posted: Monday, February 28, 2011 - 08:22 AM UTC
Hi Darren,

This looks like a different beast to the one I photographed when I was down there? -

Thanks for the pics.

Al

Edit

Nope must be the light.
bill_c
Staff MemberCampaigns Administrator
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 09, 2008
KitMaker: 10,552 posts
ModelGeek: 109 posts
Posted: Monday, February 28, 2011 - 11:53 AM UTC
Nice work, Darren!
vonHengest
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2010
KitMaker: 5,854 posts
ModelGeek: 42 posts
Posted: Monday, February 28, 2011 - 03:46 PM UTC
Thank you very much for this one Darren. Your access to the Bovington Tank Museum continues to be a great access to us all
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,954 posts
ModelGeek: 237 posts
Posted: Monday, February 28, 2011 - 07:50 PM UTC
Thank you for the comments. I intend to get some better pictures of the Bis and will update this feature in the near future.
vonHengest
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2010
KitMaker: 5,854 posts
ModelGeek: 42 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 - 05:51 AM UTC
Will be looking forward to it Darren, I've always found this to be a very interesting tank.
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,954 posts
ModelGeek: 237 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 12:22 PM UTC
I have now added some new pictures to this walk around.
ericadeane
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Michigan, United States
Joined: October 28, 2002
KitMaker: 4,021 posts
ModelGeek: 35 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 12:54 PM UTC
Readers should note that this Char B1 bis was captured from the Germans who operated this on the Channel Islands as part of sPz Abt 213. As such, it has some features on it that weren't of French origin. Specifically the tool suite on the front fenders, the hooks on the glacis, the Renault plate on the glacis, the casement above the 75mm gun and the zimmerit-like material on the upper turret.

But the photo spread is very valuable -- showing many good detail shots of the Char
vonHengest
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2010
KitMaker: 5,854 posts
ModelGeek: 42 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 02:07 PM UTC
Thanks Darren!

Roy: I noticed some differences there that you have pointed out. I'm used to surviving tanks, especially those in museums, having alterations/inaccuracies for one reason or another. It seems to always be a good idea to research period photos of any subject to compare against surviving examples. You have some good insight on the origin of this tanks current configuration which is a great benefit to us as modelers. Would like to know more about where you sourced your information from if you don't mind sharing.
ericadeane
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Michigan, United States
Joined: October 28, 2002
KitMaker: 4,021 posts
ModelGeek: 35 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 03:31 PM UTC
Most of what I posted is from Jentz' Panzer Tracts booklet on captured enemy tanks. There's a good discussion of Chars B and the German units that operated them and some of the modifications they added. My favorite is one of the sPzAbt 213 Chars with not only the turret anti mine paste but also a vertical matting along the hull. I chose it as the subject of a model I finished last year. http://s45.photobucket.com/albums/f74/ericadeane/Panzer%20B2/

The Tamiya Char B1 bis has got to be one of my favorite models for its sheer buildability! I've done two!
Wolfsangel
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: January 15, 2010
KitMaker: 221 posts
ModelGeek: 4 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 04:57 PM UTC
Thanks Darren, Nice pictures!

Roy, I'm no expert but I don't think that's Zimmerit on the turret. It looks like a 70 year old coat of Coal Tar.
Anti-corrosive and anti-magnetic properties! Not a bad idea for a channel island station I imagine.
Charlie
ericadeane
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Michigan, United States
Joined: October 28, 2002
KitMaker: 4,021 posts
ModelGeek: 35 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 05:23 PM UTC
In the Jentz book, there is a clearer picture where there clearly is some sort of paste all over the turret while being a part of sPz Abt 213. Given the matting that they also applied to the vertical surfaces, it goes to reason that the turret goop was anti-magnetic as well. I don't know if it was zimmerit or not. But whatever it was, it was smeared on the turret and drive sprocket facings and 75mm barrel housing. Note the german antenna base in picture 9. Note the remnants of the vertical matting in image 40 (the waffle pattern on the hull side). Wartime photos show the matting to have some sort of cross hatch pattern which matches the images on the hull sides.
vonHengest
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Texas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2010
KitMaker: 5,854 posts
ModelGeek: 42 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 05:53 PM UTC
Roy: Thanks for sharing your build, and I will have to check out that booklet some time. I agree about the Tamiya kit, and wouldn't mind having a few more myself
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,954 posts
ModelGeek: 237 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 07:31 PM UTC
This information comes from the Bovington Tank Museum website and may be of use in the current discussion.

Our exhibit was issued to 1st Platoon, 1st Company, Panzer Abteilung 213, Panzer Division Schweizingen for service in the Channel Islands and was captured on Jersey at the end of the war. The Panzer Abteilung 213 was formed in the autumn of 1941 to operate French tanks, and arrived in Jersey and Guernsey in March and April 1942 on the SS Derindje and SS Livadia. This tank was number 114. The regiment never fired a shot in anger, although many of its recruits fought in other panzer regiments. The tanks were returned to France in May 1946, although this one was sent to the School of Tank Technology in Britain before being movd to the Tank Museum.
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,954 posts
ModelGeek: 237 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 07:56 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Note the remnants of the vertical matting in image 40 (the waffle pattern on the hull side). Wartime photos show the matting to have some sort of cross hatch pattern which matches the images on the hull sides.



Roy I can see the pattern you refer to and how much it looks like a waffle pattern, I can tell you though that there is no texture at all. Would you be able to post a picture or link that shows the waffle pattern attached? It is one of the big pluses of Bovington that they allow you to actually touch the vehicles, and do not put barriers in the way. One sad result of this is that they were forced to put barriers around the rear of the King Tiger as some individuals decided to break of pieces of zimmerit. I have to recommend that if the opportunity arises a visit to Bovington is a must.
ericadeane
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Michigan, United States
Joined: October 28, 2002
KitMaker: 4,021 posts
ModelGeek: 35 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 09:50 PM UTC
Here's a snipped portion of the pic in Jentz' book
CMOT
Staff MemberEditor-in-Chief
ARMORAMA
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: May 14, 2006
KitMaker: 10,954 posts
ModelGeek: 237 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 11:09 PM UTC
Thank you Roy.