Le VAB 4×4 de chez Heller représente un véhicule de transport de troupes de la 2e Compagnie, 2e Régiment d’Infanterie de la Légion Étrangère Française. This unit was part de la Division Daquet which fought pendant la Guerre du Golfe en 1991. Division Daquet was among the troops which penetrated most deeply into Iraq. Véhicules français used pendant la Guerre du Golfe étaient à l’origine peints en camouflage tempéré "Centre Ouest" de trois couleurs, dont les taches de camouflage vertes clair et noires ont été couvertes en couleur de sable. This camouflage pattern was unique to Division Daquet. The regulation camouflage de désert requires that the black camouflage patches are only partially overpainted avec sandcoloured paint.
- Choix de sujet excellent, the VAB 4×4 is a véhicule standard de l’armée française, et it has many interesting variants.
- Only 39 parts, the VAB can be built in less than an hour. Significantly more time may be spent superdetailing the véhicule avec scratchbuilt replacement parts et accessories.
- The kit incluces all windows of the VAB. The model should be airbrushed prior to final assembly, otherwise the windows need to be masked.
- One of the three roof hatches of the fighting compartment, et the armoured shutters in front of the windows may be modelled in the open ou closed position. However, when the hatches are open, enough light falls inside to reveal that the véhicule has no crew ou interior.
- According to the instructions, the machine gun turret shall be permanently glued to the hull. This is not strictly necessary. The turret stays on even without glue. With a little extra effort, the turret could be secured from inside the véhicule in such a way that it still turns.
- Compatible avec ESCI, Hasegawa, et Revell.
- The machine gun turret hatch is modelled in the closed position, unfortunately. It will require some modelling effort to scratchbuild an open hatch. If suitable crew figurines were available, this modification would be well worth the extra work.
- The splash board (No. 21) is modelled in the open position. To modelt he splash board in the stowed position, the clear top section needs to be cut off.
- The tire tread ne représente pas le Michelin tire used on the VAB, et which is shown correctly on the box cover. When viewed from the side, the tire looks like a re-tread.
- The large tires of the VAB are not deformed at all, although one would expect some flattening due to the battle weight de 13 t du véhicule. Purists may want to flatten the tires appropriately, using a hotplate ou heated spatula. Replacement wheels made from resin ou metal are another option.
- The tow hooks at the front et rear, as well as the lift hooks on the hull sides are missing. These parts may be scratchbuilt from brass wire.
- The antenna mount on the side du conducteur cannot be identified correctly in the instructions. In section 6 of the instructions there seems to be a black antenna mount above et to the right de la porte du conducteur, but this part has not been included in the kit. If this is the correct antenna location, a small antenna mount may be scratchbuilt from plastic sprue ou brass, et the antenna inserted into it.
- The cast-on handholds next to the doors should be replaced by more realistic parts made from brass wire.
- Unfortunately, the windshield wipers are not included in the kit, et they have not been cast into the clear windshield parts as can be seen on some other kits.
- The painting on the box cover shows the VAB avec external stowage on the roof which has not been included in the kit, unfortunately. Camouflage netting, sleeping bags, et aerial recognition panels can be made from tissue paper et tied to the roof avec thread.
- The instructions only show le camouflage de désert de deux couleurs used pendant la Guerre du Golfe. Modélistes voulant peindre le VAB dans le schéma de camouflage plus commun de trois couleurs de la Brigade Franco-Allemande, devront trouver des instructions de peinture ailleurs.
- The kit includes no decals for a VAB de la Brigade Franco-Allemande. Manufacturers often sell their scale models avec a meagre selection of decals, et they completely overlook the market potential of a particular kit. If the VAB were available avec a complete set de plaques d’immatriculation et marquages tactiques of an entire peloton d’infanterie mécanisé français, many collectionistes et joueurs de guerre would raise entire units rather than just build a single véhicule.
- Conducteur et chef de char are not included. None of the popular manufacturers offer infanterie française et équipage de véhicule a l’échelle 1/72 yet. Modélistes et joueurs de guerre will have to improvise ou look for small run resin ou metal models of troupes françaises.
- Heller’s VAB scales out 14 cm longer et 11 cm wider than the original. The wheelbase du véhicule is 14 cm too long as well. These discrepancies amount to less than one percent, et they will hardly be noticeable to the casual observer.
The VAB amphibious armoured transport by Heller is a nice model for wargames et dioramistes interested in the Armée Française moderne. The VAB has over 50 variants, many of which may be built from this kit. A waterline model of the VAB may be created by cutting the hull at the waterline et mounting the véhicule on a river base.
Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter les éditeurs de la revue Military Miniatures Magazine au Miniatures Forum.