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Panhard VBL

KitPanhard VBL
ManufacturerADV Mini
Accessoriesscratch, Evergreen profiles

Military Machines International September 2005
Military Machines International February 2006


Panhard is a well-known name, not only in French car industry but also as a manufacturer of armoured cars. One of their best realisations was the Panhard 178 in use before and during WO2 by French and German troops all over Europe and Russia. The VBL, Voiture Blindée Légère, is a modern 2 person recce vehicle in use with the modern French forces. It is extensively used in all areas where French troops see action, is very mobile and had amphibious capabilities aided by a fixed propeller at the rear.

The kit

Panhard vblADVMini is a French manufacturer that releases resin kits. It is lesser known in Belgium and rather hard to find. I found this kit many years ago in a model shop in Brussels and decided the purchase because it is one of those kits you need to buy when you find it or else it’s gone. The Panhard is represented on the box-art as an unarmed vehicle, painted white and in use with UN forces. Weapons and decals are not provided. The construction plan is almost un-existing and rather looks like a child’s drawing. Chassis and body is a one-piece resin block and the few other parts represent the suspension and wheels as well as two light units at the rear. I don’t remember if the kit was complete or not or did I loose some parts with the years passing by? I don’t know but I do know I only found half of the suspension parts. This meant construction the missing parts from scratch but this is rather simple to do and posed no problem. It’s not a big model as it only is about 5 cm long.


Panhard vblA few pictures of real VBL’s showed some extra details that could be added to give that little bit extra. The one-piece resin block representing the chassis / body is made from good quality resin but there is a big lump of resin at the front that needs to be discarded of. When done, a fair amount of sanding is needed to give the nose its correct shape. Headlights are drilled out and will later receive Humbrol Clearfix glass imitation. There are no separate windows and drilling the existing ones out of the one-piece block would do more damage than good. First parts to add are the two rear light units that will be painted in detail at the end of the painting stage. The rear suspension is partly moulded on the main body. A shock absorber and wheel disk must be added and the missing parts were constructed basing myself on the leftover original ones. The front suspension parts consist of a full and an open triangular shape and a spring suspension. The missing ones were scratch build using Evergreen profiles. Wheels must be cleaned up but will only be added at the end of the construction and painting. They have very poor detail on the wheel rims and could do with replacement if ever this should exist. The exhaust protrudes on the right flank of the body just before the right rear wheel case. I drilled it out and replaced it by a short piece of Evergreen rod. A tool rack with tools is fitted on the body part on top of the right rear wheel case but this part was also missing. I constructed it scratch using some leftover PE. A shovel was found in the spares box, the axe and wire cutter were found in a Hauler PE set.


Panhard vblThe complete car receives some pre-shading, applicated with a fine 0,15 needle. The universal matt white colour is sprayed on lower and upper parts and wheel rims. It is sealed with a coat of Klir (Future) so to prevent yellowing. Windows are painted in a deep blue colour (RAF Blue) to represent the dark tinted shade found on bulletproof glass. It will receive a gloss varnish to represent the glass effect. The drilled-out headlights get a drop of silver followed by a drop of Clearfix. Rear lights are painted red; direction indicators front and aft get orange


Panhard vblThere are no decals provided. The large letters UN were found on ICM kit decals from the Russian ZIL 131 trucks. They are positioned on both doors, rear door and engine hood.

Finishing touch

The bottom and lower parts receive an ochre dry brush followed by desert sand powder dusting with MIG Products.


Panhard vblI started this build as a quick one, OOB. This soon proved not to be so and eventually a lot of effort was needed to finish this kit to a rather decent standard. The car is put on an old Matchbox kit base, reworked to represent a piece of desert using very fine sand. It will represent a Panhard on its mission. I hope it will attract many looks because I can’t remember having seen one of them ever before.

Keep ‘m building

Erwin Bovyn



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