French ARL 44 in 1/72...
...a resin kit from Cromwell Models, via Matador Models
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.
The model from Cromwell is very nicely cast in polyurethane resin and very nicely detailed. The hull is cast as a single piece, with moulding feeds that need to be removed from the bottom run of tracks. Just the two hatches for the driver and radio operator plus the gun crutch to fit to it. The turret has the separate gun barrel, two hatches and turret top mg, plus a blanket roll to fit to the back of the turret. Nicely moulded, with clean, sharp edges and a fine level of detail. Once assembled, the resin benefits from a coat of primer before painting.
Another addition to the Cromwell Models range of 1/72 post-war models. They have been awkward to get hold of in recent years, but Matador Models do keep a selection in stock, and it was from their stand at On Track (the 2018 event) where I managed to get hold of my example. So far it has a coat of primer until I select a correct colour for it.