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Built Review
Char Mitrailleur FT 17

by: David Niescior [ AIRWARRIOR ]

The Ft-17 was introduced by the French in 1917. The first versions used either a machine gun or cannon, and used a bolted turret. This model represents a cast turret version with a machine gun. It includes a photo etch fret, and is quite enjoyable, unless you have a disliking for small parts.

First Look

Upon opening the box, I was pretty pleased, it resembled the smaller 1/72 scale kit, which I had built earlier, and wasn’t surprised by anything. It contained about 5-7 part sprues (can’t remember the number exactly) molded in light gray plastic, similar to DML’s. I opened the shrink-wrap, and examined it. Not much flash, but large sprues, making cleanup difficult at times, and plenty of parts for the spares box. The tracks were initially disappointing, but I will go into that later. Detail was pretty good, especially for a small run eastern company.


Construction was all right, though some things were met with words muttered under my breath. Suspension proved to be tricky, and left you wondering at times. The model also included a photo-etch fret, which provided some good detail at times, though I did not attach much, as I didn’t have the proper tools for bending. The kit also included a mediocre interior, intended to be seen through opened doors, though I decide to build my tank “buttoned up”.


After opening the box, I was immediately disappointed by them. Bending them to inspect their tenseness, one length snapped in half. This might have been a production quality control issue, but I doubt it. Also, upon test fitting to the model I was again disappointed. They were too long, and since they were too tense, when pushed onto the return rollers, they flexed out, obviously not touching the drive wheel. They were also impossible to glue with anything, I tried superglue and plastic cement, and even in desperation, the two mixed together, but nothing works. I resorted to using a staple, which in the end worked fine as it was covered by mud.I would recommend purchasing aftermarket individual links, as they have a lot more detail and are less of a pain compared to the rubber band tracks.


The Instructions were not the most impressive either. All part numbers, in the exception of one sprue, were on the instructions on a small diagram, which made building the model include lots of page turning. They also left you guessing at times, especially when building the suspension. It also came with separate instructions for the use of the photo etch, which was better than the main building instructions, and had a nice picture of a finished model on back, which is good for inspiration.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  PUBLISHED: May 27, 2004
  NATIONALITY: United States

About David Niescior (airwarrior)

Hmmm, so you wanna know about me? Well, for starters I am 16 years old, and have been modeling since I was about 7 or 8. When my parents found they were having me, they decided to give up smoking, and to keep them from having the option of buying cigarrettes, they would buy as many kits as they coul...

Copyright ©2020 text by David Niescior [ AIRWARRIOR ]. All rights reserved.


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