ICM- FCM 36 with French Tank Crew
The FCM 36 or Char léger Modèle 1936 FCM was a light infantry tank for the French Army that was introduced prior to WWII. It was manufactured by Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée. Crewed by two men, it was armed with a short 37 mm L/21 SA 18 gun and a 7.5 mm MAC31 Reibel coaxial machine gun and powered by a V-4 Berliet diesel engine with a max speed of 15 mph. The pyramidal sloped armor was designed to avoid shot traps. With only 100 produced, it proved to be a stingy opponent to German panzers early on in the Battle of France. At Bulson, while the gun was too weak to be effective against the panzers, the 40mm sloped armor proved to be stubborn against the German Panzer IIIs that did not possess tungsten core APCR rounds this early on. In the end, the FCM 36 appliqué armour failed and the welds were penetrated. The French tanks had to withdraw, leaving 26 of the original 36 tanks behind.
What´s Inside the Box
The kit contains seven sprues in gray plastic, with six for the tank and the last for the crew and children that are included. There is also two sets of vinyl tracks in two pieces each and a set of decals for two schemes. The plastic has no flash at all to be seen and the ejection pin marks seem to be all hidden in interior facing locations. Here is a closer look at the sprues:
Sprue A contains parts for the top deck, turret, side skirts, mantlet, and machine gun.
Sprue B contains the three sides for the lower hull tub, exhausts, front fenders, engine deck grill, and the main gun in two halves.
Sprue C (of which there are two) contain parts for the many road wheels, sprocket, and idler wheels, suspension parts, turret hatches and latches, grills, and tools and tarps.
Sprue D (again 2X) contain the vinyl track lengths.
Sprue E (2x) contain the individual links for the front and rear tow chains that you can assemble. Depending on how well clean up goes, I may assemble and then go look for an appropriate metal replacement from Michaels.
Lastly, the included figures sprue is quite nice. It includes a tanker, and two officers interacting with two young boys.
The instruction manual is well done and clear over the course of the 52 assembly steps, and contains paint references for Revell and Tamiya paints.
The decals included have great register and are present for two schemes...
- 7th BCC, Chemery, France, May 14, 1940- the day Guderian´s XIX Army Corps crossed the Meuse River
- 4th BCC, France, June 10, 1940- mabout the time of Fall Rot, when they successfully counterattacked the Aisne position against German infantry units
ICM is a welcome addition to the Review Crew´s list of manufacturers who provide samples. These latest kits show excellent craftmanship and design. There is no interior in the kit, so the sink marks on the inside faces of the hatches may not be an issue for most. Unlike most of their current vehicle kits, there is no engine either. However, the kit details are sublime- some of the tools seem a bit small for scale, yet the detail on them is intricate. The figures are a great addition and tell a great story as well. The French paint schemes are challenging as they tend to be, but I look forward to giving them a go.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders, pending full build.
Thanks goes out to ICM for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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