Retrokit 1/72 Automitrailleuse SAVA 1914
The Compagnie des Constructions Mécaniques de Berchem was created in 1902 and built bicycles and industrial motors ( under the trade mark: “Royal Star”). But in 1904, the company built her first cars and, in 1910, became the SAVA : Société Anversoise pour la fabrication de Véhicules Automobiles (Antwerps Company for the construction of Automobile Vehicles).
In 1914, SAVA built military automobiles, armed with an Hotchkiss machinegun, for the Belgian army. The SAVA offered a good protection for his crew and rivalised with the best foreign vehicles of the time. The crew are of three men: a driver, a vehicle leader and a machinegunner.
The SAVA served in the Belgian army during all the WWI. One of those vehicles was interned by The Netherlands and used by the Dutch army for patrols along the frontier (after the war, the vehicle was returned to Belgium).
The kit (Retrotracks 1/72)
Actually labelled “Retrokit UK”, the kit will be distributed under the new name of the company when the stock of actual kit boxes will be used.
The parts are in resin and photoetch. The chassis is monobloc, but many little and very fine elements will come to be added, to give to the final product an impressive realism.
The spoke wheels are in photoetch, as like as the belt for the reserve wheels. There are also three decals…
I made that build in eight days!!! It is not really a “shake-the-box-and-all-will-fit” build, but not a difficult one at all. You just have to be patient and attentive. The instruction sheet is not detailed but a good examination of the instructions, the rare pictures of the SAVA and some good common sense will resolve all difficulties.
...and first remark: the trap door over the engine must be slightly opened, like it figures on the majority of the photos of the actual SAVAs. The spoke wheels are carefully removed of their support. I’ve also realised the glasses of the light in clear plastic.
The spokes are glued on the wheels with a good cyano. The lights are placed; be careful it’s the most delicate operation of that build…
The sava is airbrushed in Tamiya Sky Grey; the spokes in black (50% black + 50% dark grey).
Drybrush with Vallejo Sky Grey, that is a little bit lighter than Tamiya Sky Grey. The machine gun is painted as follow: first, Tamiya XF-16, then black smoke Windsor & Newton, and finally you remove the black smoke with a Q-tip. Simple, but truly realistic way to go!
Weathering with a mix of gun metal and rust Model Master. After that, airbrushing of Klir (European equivalent of Future); application of the three decals with MicroSet and Microsol; and after the decals are dry: Klir again.
Oil wash (Wash Brown from Abteilung 501).
The belts of the reserve wheels are placed, and paint brushed in Vallejo Chocolate (that gives a good rendition of some used leather). After that, airbrushing of Klir+Tamiya Flat Base (1 Tamiya Flat Base part for eight Klir parts). The machine gun and the turret are glued, as are the light glasses (with PVC glue). I finished with a new but light weathering, made of Vallejo US Vietnam earth with talc.