Friday, November 2, 2012

Renault UE: The Real Deal

As the French army underwent mechanization in the 1920s, the need arose for a small, tracked armored vehicle capable of transporting supplies and weapons to the front lines and towing light artillery. In October 1930, Renault's armored carrier UE was chosen by the French army from several competing designs and production of the first 60 operational vehicles was completed by September 1932.

At 2.8m long, 1.74m wide, and 2.6 tons fully loaded, it was a sturdy, compact design that featured a riveted joint hull construction and a reliable suspension with garter beams supporting the road wheels. The two-member driver/navigator crew was housed in a central compartment, but since their heads protruded from the chassis, special domed-shaped hatches were mounted to augment the carrier's 9mm armor and protect against small-arms fire and shrapnel. A 38hp gasoline engine enabled a road speed of 30km/hr, while over 1 ton of cargo could be carried on the tiltable rear deck and towed trailer. Approximately 4,900 armored carrier UEs were produced until June 1940, including the UE2 variant which featured 4-speed transmission instead of 3-speed, and tow shackles in place of the pig-tailed hooks.

When France capitulated to Germany in June 1940, approximately 3,000 captured armored carrier UEs were pressed into service with German forces, which used them as transports, artillery and aircraft towing vehicles, and as modified self-propelled guns.

--Source: Tamiya

Beach Build Sept. 2012: Renault Armored Carrier UE

Before heading to the beach, I rummaged through my stash looking for a kit that I could conceivably complete during the week, that would lend itself to varying modeling times, and that would require a minimum of tools. Ideally, I would be able to return home with construction completed and could proceed straight to painting and finishing. The kit I decided on was Tamiya's 1/35th scale French Armored Carrier UE.

As soon as we checked into the house I began scouting for a suitable workspace. I immediately spied an out-of-the-way table with a view of the beach and not far from the fridge!

Projects and More Projects

It's been some time since I posted, but not a whole lot has been built during that time. I've begun several new projects to add to my "in progress" list so I thought it might be good to summarize where I stand on all of them.

Stug III (F1) and Finnish Army Stug III Ausf. G (New)
These are both in the initial stages of construction. I'm building them for an online build for the "Tanks and Things" forum. I'll get separate postings done for each soon.

Marder II (New)
I saw this kit at HobbyTown and bought in on a whim. Ordered an after-market barrel and other goodies for it and dove right in. I'm currently constructing the gun. Post coming soon.

French Armored Carrier UE (New)
Rescued this kit from my stash and took it to the beach with me back in September. I completed construction on it and its trailer at the beach and it's now ready for the paint booth. I'll post photos soon.

T-34/76 Model 1941 (35th Scale)
I'm noodling over the attachment of the ice cleats to the fenders--how many groups to attach and which ones. These involve fiddly PE straps and buckles. Also, I'm still worrying over the square fuel tanks for the rear deck.

Steyr 1500A/01
The wiring of all the radios and electrical gear is proving to be quite a hurdle to get over. 'Nuff said about that.

I'm back to the suspension with all it's PE and small plastic bits. Then all that's left is setting up the MG and adding details.

I think that's it . . . certainly enough to carry me through the winter. Now to get to those four new posts and photos :)