The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

Renault FT 17 z Fumatorami - Polish "gas tank" - case report

Czołgów załoga !!

      Today we will meet a very rare and specialized tank, developed by the Poles, which was born for a simple function in the battle fields, but was mistakenly labeled as a chemical weapon vector: the Renault FT 17 z Fumatorami or the Polish "gas tank".

Renault FT 17 z Fumatorami in trials
      The Renault FT 17 light tank was the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in the military history. The FT was the first production tank to have its armament within a fully rotating turret and this configuration: crew compartment at the front, engine compartment at the back, and main armament in the revolving turret - became and remains the standard tank layout. As such, historians of armored warfare have called the Renault FT the world's first modern tank. But we have already spoken of this in depth in our previous article.

      In Poland, in 1926, a Renault FT 17 tank underwent several modifications in accordance with the plans of Captain Janowski, of the School of Tanks, in Warsaw. The light tank had its turret removed, with the adaptation of equipment to produce smokescreens for the battlefields. The chemicals suitable for the generation of smoke were transported in two large oblong tanks, attached to the sides of the tank hull and in cilinders inside the hull. The Renault FT 17 z Fumatorami was born.
      The entire project was executed in cooperation with the Military Institute of Gas Studies. The field tests were carried out from July 5, 1926 in the test grounds of the School of Tanks, in Rembertowie. 
The FT 17 z light tank pulling a piece of artillery (88mm cannon?)
Notice it is the same picture above.
      Contemporary newspapers have released photographs of tank in trials, generating a large amount of gases.
Ft 17 z in action...smokescreen.
      At the time the pics spread the idea that the tank would be used to spread gas as a chemical warfare weapon and not in its original function that would be the formation of smokescreens to obscure the vision of the enemy. This legend persists to this day when many modelers still think the FT 17 z was a weapon to spread toxic gases on the battlefield. After several tests, it was decided to abandon the project in 1928.
      An interesting fact is this photo: it suggests that in a certain period, the prototype was painted with a 3-tone camouflage with dark bands between the colors.
The actual picture...
And the possible colors of cammo...


Renault  FT  z Fumatorami
smokescreen  generator tank
TypeLight tank - smoke curtain generator
Place of origin                                            Polen (1926)
Weight6.8 tons
Length5.00 m
Width1.74 m
Height2.58 m
Crew2 (commander (and smoke operator) & driver)

Armor8 to 22 mm
EngineRenault 4-cyl, 4.5 litre
35 HP
Transmission sliding gear, 4 speed forward, 1 reverse
Suspensioncoil and leaf springs, with bogies and rollers.
Fuel capacity 95 liters
60 km 
Speed7.5 km/h - 20 km/h

The kit:
      For this project, I dig out of my catacombs an old RPM kit (#35067) the FT 17 Z Fumatorami gas tank. I think the article will be interesting because you can compare the manufacturing details between the two generations of kits: the modern MENG (see the FT 17 Dozer article...)  and the old RPM.
RPM kit (#35067) the FT 17 Z Fumatorami
The real FT 17 Z Fumatorami...
compare with the art box above...
      As the RPM Fumatorami version is also turretless, I'll make an up-grade in the spartan RPM kit, using the MENG as a guide.
Notice the differences between two ages in scale models kits.
Notice the scratch of the firewall engine
 The new and the old, side by side.
Notice the new parts in white in the RPM's kit
Closing the PRM kit...

     Now, let's paint the interior of the girls:
closing the tanks...

The RPM interior...

The suspensions..
Man, the color of plastic is awful!!

New springs...

Much better!!

The chemical tanks...
The fittings are horrible ...

Canyons, deeps and craters...

Tons of putty...
      When the putty dries, let's build the exhaust:
Exhaust : in the top, in this gas variation

After sanding and sanding...

The external tanks

The internal cylinders with details in scratch...

And the smoker girl in progress...
The chemical ducts

      Time to paint the Polish girl:
Shades of green...

The internal cylinders

In position, with ducts...
Notice the tracks in place...

      And the Polish girl was ready: Renault FT 17 z Fumatorami - Polish "gas tank", School of Tanks, Rembertowie, Warsaw, 1926.
Renault FT 17 z Fumatorami

Renault FT 17 z Fumatorami - left side

Renault FT 17 z Fumatorami - right side

Renaults FT 17 Dozer and  FT 17 z Fumatorami

Renaults FT 17 Dozer and  FT 17 z Fumatorami
Kojak and Rover, the dog

Renaults FT 17 Dozer, FT 17 gun (37mm Puteaux gun )
and  FT 17 z Fumatorami

FT 17 z Fumatorami with Kojak and
Rover, the dog.

Renault FT 17 z Fumatorami - Polish "gas tank"
School of Tanks, Rembertowie, Warsaw, 1926.

Stay tunned, Tankers !!
See you in my next project, soon!!!

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