We don't usually review vehicles as we have no particular expertise, but this kit is part of the large HaT figure range so is included here for completeness.
Development of this light tank, which was the first to have a fully revolving turret, began in 1916 and the first models made their debut in action in May 1918. The two-man FT-17 was the principal French armoured vehicle of the war, and many models were armed with the 8mm Hotchkiss air-cooled machine gun, as seen on the other HaT model of this vehicle, set 8114. Later tanks were given the 37mm Purteaux cannon when this weapon was made semi-automatic and thus could be fired by one man, and it is this version that is featured in this set.
The box contains parts for two identical vehicles, and is made in a hard plastic that is easy to carve and glue. Each tank comes in just seven parts - two halves of the body, two tracks, the turret, armament and top hatch. This means the kit is put together very quickly, particularly as all the parts fit together well. The downside to so few parts is normally a loss of detail, and perhaps some purists may complain of some missing feature that a more sophisticated kit might contain. However to our inexpert eye the finished model seems very accurate and the level of detail is quite sufficient for most people. These two sets made by HaT are almost identical - apart from the armament the only difference is that this vehicle has a round turret whereas the machine gun version has an octagonal turret (both are correct and were in production at various times).
The tank was in production long after the war ended, and was either exported or copied in many parts of the world for many years afterwards. In 1939 it is estimated that well over 2,000 were still in service worldwide, over 500 of which were in France's armoury. However by that date it was completely obsolescent and virtually useless for war, although that did not stop France using it in combat. As late as 1944 it was to be seen on the streets of Paris, but only for riot control.
The FT-17 was an important vehicle on the Western Front in 1918, and this kit allows a pretty accurate model to be made in a remarkably short time.