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Built Review
135
Panhard VBL
Panhard VBL French Army 1987-Present Light Armored Vehicle
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by: Pete Becerra [ EPI ]

Introduction

Well, since I'm laid up from my second ankle surgery, I thought I would get back in the swing of things and get back to contributing to Armorama.

We already have an Out of the Box build going on by Blazey (Onkos1) and Jim "Cracked the Box" for us along with Ginoís (HeavyArty) nice in box review of the kit. So I won't bore you with all the little details that have been said already. What this build/review will have are some observations I have made about the kit along with some tips and tricks. Finally, like all my other builds, I will add small missing features and details.

Review

So, with that said, letís get started on steps 1 through 6...

First thing I did was fill/sand all the sink holes that will be visible with the doors and hatches open.

Step 1: I found it easier to attach the hoses, parts A38, A31, and A39 to their appropriate location to ease with cleaning of the seam line.

Wish Tiger Models would have made the "comm's" a separate piece. This would have made it easier to paint and cable the radio up. Thanks to Blast Models for providing an update kit with separate "comm's" to be used.

Step 2: The seams for the left ammo rack can't be seen, so there is no need to fill there. As for the right ammo rack, only the back can be seen, so filling will be needed there.

I left the fire extinguisher off for ease of painting and to also add the missing hose that is coupled to the bottle...

Step 3: I attached part A11 to part H first before I attached A33 to A11. This helped in aligning part A33 to the corresponding hose, part A38. Seats and steering wheel where left off for ease of painting.

Step 4: Before I attach the fighting compartment to the lower hull, I will add some missing details. There is a slave receptacle underneath the dash board on the passenger side. On the driverís side, under the dash is a pull knob that looks like it's for the fire extinguisher (I may be wrong). There is also the park brake release handle. I will also add the cables for the radio.

Steps 5 and 6: I left seats off for ease of painting.

I can't remember when I got it, but for the longest time, I had the Coree Panhard VBL kit stuffed in the box un-finished. Here are some shots that show the lack of detail the resin kit had compared to the Tiger Model kit. Big difference!!!

Here are some of the things I added to the interior prior to painting and moving on to step 7. I marked the spot where the slave receptacle will go and drilled out the plastic from the back. Remember, there is a black matting the covers the vehicle metal, so the receptacle will sit in a bit.

Next, I added the cables for the radio plus 3 cables that attached to the dash that I found in reference photos. If I hadn't mentioned it, I like to use "wire wrap" wire for all my cables. Comes in different colors and can even be stripped down to a smaller diameter with a "wire wrap" tool.

FYI: part A37 is the hand mike. I filled the mounting point in the roof and attached the cable and glued it in place on top of the radio.

Next was the red pull handle and brake release seen under the steering wheel of the driverís side. I also added the cable for the parking brake and release handle.

Last, I found in some reference photos mounting points on the side of the rear left fender. I used plastic rod for this.

The lower interior and seats have been painted and decals have been placed on the dash and fire extinguisher. Most of the reference pictures I used and looked at showed the interior pretty clean. The only exceptions were those vehicles in Afghanistan. Even the IFOR, KFOR, and SFOR vehicles were somewhat clean unless it had snow on it.

I want to apologize first guys, I forgot to take pictures of the upper interior before I painted it. Again, the Tiger Models Panhard VBL kit is very well detailed inside for such a small kit. There wasn't too much that I added. There is a frame around the inside of the windows, so I added that with some Evergreen stock and also added some Meng bolts. I separated the control boxes that sit in between the windows and also added cables to them. I also added the missing intercom, grab handles, and 2 control boxes to the roof of the interior. Again, I didnít want to dirty up the interior, so all I did was a light black wash to the green areas. After I sealed with clear flat, I closed up the interior and started on the outside.

From step 8 and on, the build went straight forward without any problems. I drilled out the ends of the fording exhaust pipe, part C16 and added straps over it after placing it to part C25. I painted the exterior per the kit instructions using Tamiyaís NATO colors. Vallejo paints where used to pick out all the details.

I found one reference photo with IFOR markings, one with KFOR, and one with SFOR. I had stencils for the KFOR and SFOR and decals for the IFOR. I chose to use decals. After a coat of Future Floor Wax, I placed all the kit decals plus the 3 IFOR decals I got from my spares box. After sealing everything with clear flat, I added chrome foil for the side mirrors and lightly dusted the lower half and tires with Mig pigments.

For a kit with a small amount of parts, it was packed with a lot of detail. Thanks to Primeportal.net and Olivier Carneau and his web site for the reference pictures I did use to build this model. Compared to other offerings of this vehicle, I think the Tiger Model Panhard VBL is the most detailed kit right now.
SUMMARY
Highs: Very detailed interior with room to improve.
Lows: Control boxes, intercom and cables missing, but easily fixed with wire and plastic stock.
Verdict: Compared to resin offerings, the Tiger Model Panhard VBL is by far the most detailed and easier to build.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: TM4603
  Suggested Retail: $47.99
  PUBLISHED: Dec 18, 2015
  NATIONALITY: France
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.65%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.25%

Our Thanks to Tiger Model!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Pete Becerra (Epi)
FROM: TEXAS, UNITED STATES

I am 46 years of age. I have been modeling since I was around 8 years old. As you can see from my signature, I am retired from the US Army and Texas Army National Guard. I served 6 years in active duty from 1989 to 1995 and in 1998 I joined the Texas Army National Guard and been serving up unt...

Copyright ©2017 text by Pete Becerra [ EPI ]. All rights reserved.


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