Tamiya 1/35 AMD 35 French Armored Car
|PRICE:||2700 yen on sale (3000 yen srp)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Reboxed ICM kit.|
The Panhard 178 (officially designated as Automitrailleuse de Découverte Panhard modèle 1935, 178 being the internal project number at Panhard) or "Pan-Pan" was an advanced French reconnaissance 4x4 armoured car that was designed for the French Army Cavalry units before World War II. It had a crew of four and was equipped with an effective 25 mm main armament and a 7.5 mm coaxial machine gun.
A number of these vehicles were in 1940 taken over by the Germans after the Fall of France and employed as the Panzerspähwagen P204 (f); for some months after the armistice of June production continued for the benefit of Germany. After the war a derived version, the Panhard 178B, was again taken into production by France.
To repeat the opening sentence, AMD means Automitrailleuse de Découverte which is a class of military vehicle, AKA armored car. Since this was basically a 1935 production contract, Tamiya chose to use this generic term to keep from paying royalties.
Apparently Tamiya has a deal with ICM as this is another of their kits in a Tamiya box. This allows what would be a pricey kit in Japan to be sold at local prices. Tamiya adds a bit to the kit by inserting another sprue of accessories and producing the decal sheet. This sprue includes a driver figure, something not offered in the ICM boxing.
This is not a curbside as there is a nice engine representation included. You can leave the engine hatches open so this will be shown off. Otherwise, you can pretty well skip installing it if you are doing things buttoned up. In addition both the fighting compartment and driver's position are nicely done. Actually, there are two driver's positions, one on either end. The French liked the ability to simply move the driver to the other end rather than have to back up. The door to the driver's compartment is shown closed, but it should be easy enough to leave it open. Same goes for the rear turret doors. The only items you are supposed to leave open is the upper turret hatch and that is because you have a figure to put there.
Like most armored cars, one builds up the floor, attaches the side panels, then the upper panels and fender pieces before going on to the drivetrain and suspension. You are provided with vinyl tires in this regard. I should also mention that there is a lot of trimming needed from time to time and the instructions show this.
The main and machine gun are nicely done as you'll see the breeches through any open panels. This kit uses the standard keyed turret attachment join and you are provided on the Tamiya sprue with bits and pieces that you can use to load up the car.
Instructions are standard Tamiya with only Tamiya paint numbers. All the markings options are in XF-58 olive green. There are two from French units in 1940 and one captured German option. Decals are nicely printed and probably a lot more useful than the ICM decals, with which I've never been fully satisfied.
I knew this was an ICM rebox when I bought the kit, but I needed another kit to help fill a box and I thought this would be a good choice. The price is about the same as the standard ICM boxing and I get better decals and a sprue of accessories. I like wheeled vehicles so this should make a nice addition to the collection.
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