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ARL 44 in 1/35...

...French Heavy Tank, from Amusing Hobby
Amusing_ARL44 (1).JPG

The ARL 44 was a French heavy tank that was a design started in secret during the war by the Vichy French, with an aim of re-establishing France as a tank producing nation.  Weighing in at around 50 tons, the chassis was based on some components, such as the track and running gear, of the earlier Char B1.  The turret was box shaped as the casting capability of French industry at the end of the war was not back to its' former self.  It was armed with a 90mm gun which did prove to be an effective weapon in testing.  It used Maybach engines brought back from Germany after the war was over and had a petro-electrical transmission.  These tended to get very hot, hence an array of cooling ducts and vents on the engine deck.  It finally entered service in 1949 though it suffered from a number of faults and only 60 were built.  Alternative, reliable tanks were readily available, particularly from the USA.  Just 5 of these remain, with one on display at the French tank museum, the Musee des Blindes in Saumur.

Amusing Hobby seem yo manage to find some interesting and unusual subjects, and the ARL44 also fits into this category I think. I have previously built a resin model in 1/72 but now se see it in injection moulded plastic, though in the larger 1/35 scale. I have yet to start building it, but is doesn't look to be a complex kit. The first thing to strike me on opening the box is the single piece moulding of the main hull, just needing running gear and bottom plate to be fitted. There are also some etch parts for the engine grills and some other small details. Individual link tracks, but these come in a bag and are ready to be simply clicked together, making a workable track.

I bought mine through Tiger Hobbies, who import Amusing Hobby here in the UK.


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