The German Army set up a special program to get captured tanks (Beute-Panzer) back into service. A 1941 initiative directed a flamethrower to be installed on the French Char B1 bis. The conversion replaced the 75mm main gun with a flame thrower while the turret retained the 45mm gun.


I really like the looks of the French Char B1 bis but have no interest in painting the complex French paint schemes. Beute-Panzer to the rescue! It doesn’t get much easier than Panzer Grey. This build uses the excellent Tamiya Char B1 bis with the Blast Models resin conversion for the flamm-panzer. There are a few details missing from the Tamiya kit and the Blast conversion has some accuracy and molding issues. I also used the Eduard PE set which is especially helpful for the exhaust details.  

The model depicts vehicle number 23 from the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen. In April 1942, a Beute-Panzer-Kompanie was created for the division. These Pz.Kpfw.B 2 was used in fighting partisans in the Balkans. They were eventually traded in 1943 to a different division and replaced with the Panzer 38(t). The markings for this vehicle come for the Echelon Fine Details decal set. These decals were kindly donated as they have been out of print for years. 


The model was finished with mostly oil paints. Some enamel products and a little bit of pigments were used. I tried to not go crazy with the effects.

 

The build progress.


The Tamiya kit is easy peasy. If I had stuck with the basic kit I would be done by now. I added the missing run of bolts along the top run of the side sponsons. I didn’t have the correct bullet proof bolts, but this is a minor going to be hidden by dirt and muck. The turret is complete except I need to plink off the sight vane as the one B2 (Flamm) does not have this. Some of the Blast parts are poorly cast or have too much shrink to properly fit. The resin set came with a gorgeous, converted copula with interior details but was so undersized it wasn’t useable. I used a spare DEF Models copula and added the missing screw heads. A few missing details were also added to the main turret. 
There is still a way to go. 

 

The paint so far.

One of the final details added was the correct armored collar for the flame nozzle. The Blast Model conversion includes the incorrect bolt pattern. I designed a new part in 3D and had a friend print me up a part. 


The model has been airbrushed with a base color of Tamiya paints. The German Grey was a custom mix, and I don't recall the exact recipe. Dark grey was the start but after that I’m not sure. The base color was lightened with white and a mottled pattern was airbrushed. Over that a cost of clear that was tinted with a little of the base color.  Aftermarket decal sets for this vehicle are rare and I may have to live with generic crosses. There are two photos showing this vehicle without turret numbers so I may go this route.