Agape forum member Phill Sporton shared how he converted the Trumpeter Char B1 Bis kit into a German self-propelled gun. Great work, Phill!
For those not familiar with this vehicle this is a German conversion of the French Char B2. At the fall of France the Germans found themselves with a large number of Char B tanks on their manifest, accordingly they chose to convert a number of these vehicles to self propelled guns sporting the standard German 10.5cm artillery piece.
I first came across this vehicle in the “Encyclopedia of German Tanks of WWII” which has a picture of a number of them mounted on flat cars (and yes I do have a flat car ready to build) and have been looking for a 1/72 version ever since. Recently I came across the “Armory” conversion kit based on the Trumpeter Char B1.
The 10.5cm gun is the Ace Kit minus the shield. Having already built this kit I knew what I was in for. Although the gun has a lot of flash and the plastic is very soft if you take your time it actually builds into a nice gun.
The base kit for the model is the excellent Trumpeter Char B1 Bis.
The Construction started with butchering the Trumpeter Char B1 hull to fit in the “office”. This took some work as the sides of the hull had to be thinned down to wafer thickness to fit the fighting compartment in, after a nervous few moments though it all worked out perfectly. Then came the rest of the construction of the Trumpeter kit, building this was an absolute pleasure, the engineering and fit was just superb
All the photos I have seen have all the French Radio equipment removed so our came the scalpel to remove the Radio mount and fill in a few holes for pieces that wouldn’t be used. Having completed the hull I tackled the 10.5cm gun. Again with great care all all came together, not without a lot of filing and test fitting along the way.
Having mounted the gun I then started to install the shields around the fighting compartment. Well I thought this was going to be a nightmare, The instructions of the Armory kit are vague to say the least, I just couldn’t see how it was going to work, amazingly, frankly to my complete surprise, it did !