FCM 36 (1936)

Kit #: WES 72023

Article by Patrick Storto - storto10(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Marc MERCIER




WESPE MODELS from ROMANIA makes this resin rendition of the FCM 36, a French WWII tank. To date there is no plastic version of this vehicle.

The kit is packaged in a small cardboard box with the illustration (an image of the completed kit, shown on the left) glued to it.

The one-page, one-sided instruction sheet is shown on the right. It notes that part #13 is no longer included in the kit. Looks like it might have been a spare gas tank or some kind of small cylinder.

Part 15 is not actually included, but is a piece of string or wire that one needs to supply and wind into a small roll that was attached to the left hull front.


Here is the layout of the parts for this kit, with some initial cleaning and removal from sprues done. In general the casting is clean without any air bubbles. There is no assembly yet, the lower hull is indeed one piece. I will have to do some fine filing to get the upper hull to match the lower hull snugly.
Note that some of the track sections have broken into smaller pieces, this is common in resin kits and usually not a problem, because track sections often need to be cut into smaller sections anyway to get them to wrap around the wheels.

One issue I must deal with is the representation of the main armament. In this kit there are two pieces of wire which serve as the 37mm gun and co-axial MG. However I can find no photographic evidence to support the arrangement shown on the box illustration. Rather, the pictures I have seen show a mantlet cover with a short but thicker gun (see the preview of the Model Trans FCM 36 on this website). While I cannot exclude that WESPE has chosen to model a rare variant, I will do some scratch building to reflect the style commonly shown in early war photos.

And softening and curving those track sections will be a chore!


So here's the first phase : tools attached to hull, wheels attached to chassis, and the scratchbuilt gun mantlet attached to turret. I also drilled a hole in the upper hull and fashioned a post in the turret to allow the turret to be mounted and to rotate.

The lower hull has been given a dirty mud paintjob.

The part I hate...wrapping those tracks around the wheels. I've tried softening resin tracks in hot water or with a hair dryer, but still manage to have cracks and breaks when bending the tracks. Was able to cover up most cracked with superglue...

The tracks have been painted rust color and the wheel surfaces and guide teeth are colored raw steel.

Adding the upper hull....the fit was not great...once the tracks are in place the upper hull does not connect completely....see the giant gap in the front glacis?
So, filling in the gaps with putty! I also made small strips (of white sheet plastic) to represent small triangular metal plates attached to the upper hull near the tracks. The turret and side skirts are also attached.

I think the gun may be a bit big...looks more like a 50mm caliber instead of the 37mm it is supposed to be.

Primary paintjob.

I used the three color scheme of horizontal bands that were common with the FCM 36 (Testors and Humbrol oil-based paints). Decals are hand-painted (red diamonds) or from the spares box (tank name "Somme"....not based on a historical vehicle, just what was in the spares box).

Completed kit after weathering and varnish (for the varnish I used Testors "CREATEFX" which dries nice and flat).

Rear left side view...

...and the rear top right view....this shows the string I used to make the cable roll.

Finally the top front left view.

Conclusion :

Recommended for those who want to add the FCM 36 to their collection and are willing to do some scratchbuilding and puttywork.

Review sample bought by the author

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Article Last Updated: 03 April 2014