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AL-BY 1/35 Panhard AMD 178 Armored Car Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review December 2006 Manufacturer AL-BY
Subject Panhard AMD 178 Armored Car Scale 1/35
Kit Number 326 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Unique subject Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look


In 1939, the Panhard 178 was the most advanced armored car of the French army. 480 units were delivered, including about 30 unarmed command vehicles. A crew of 4 was carried and maximum road speed was 45 mph (72 kph). 190 P-178’s were captured by the Germans. They were often modified and used by the German Army, police and SS units. After WWII, production started again with a new motor and an up-gunned turret.

Data and Dimensions:

  • Length: 5.14 m
  • Width:   2.01 m
  • Height:  2.36 m
  • Wheelbase: 3.12 m
  • Weight: 8.5 tons
  • Engine: ISK 4 F11 bis, capacity= 6330 cc (12 x 14 cm)
  • Net horsepower: 105 at 2000 rpm
  • Armament: one 2.5 cm A.T. gun (150 rounds) and either one or two 7.5 mm machine-guns (3,750 rounds)

The kit comes in an end opening type box. The box art appears on 2 sides and shows 2 Panhards. One is in captured German markings and one is in French markings.

Inside the box are 3 trees of parts, a single upper body piece, the decal sheet and instructions. The three parts trees and decal are all in a sealed cello bag. The upper body piece is loose.

The trees have no part numbers on them. The instructions sheet has neither parts drawings nor does it call out any part numbers. You have to try and identify the parts by their shape in the assembly drawings. This is not as hard as it sounds, as there are darn few parts to this kit to contend with.

The first tree holds the lower body of the hull. The axles and drive shafts are molded into this part. The tree also holds the fenders, rear hull part, fender boxes, muffler, driver’s armored vision flap and 2 leaf springs. (13 parts)

The second parts tree holds the turret parts, main gun and machine-guns etc. (10 parts). The kit can be built as having either the 2.5 cm gun or 2 machine-guns in the turret.

The third tree holds the wheels for vehicle. These are molded kind of funny. The axle holes are off center and a long pin is molded to the inside half of the wheels to mate into holes in the wheel wells. Obviously these wheels will not turn once mounted on the model.

The final part is the single upper hull body piece. It has all the doors molded in and only the driver’s vision flap can be posed open or closed along with the turret hatch.

The molding of this kit is rather good. Rivet detail is very good. However, there are very few parts and not a lot of detail parts. No figures are included and there are no interior parts.

The instructions consist of a large sheet that is folded in the center into 4 pages.

Page one begins with a black and white repeat of the box art. This is followed by the vehicles history in French, German and English.

Pages 2 and 3 give a total of 6 assembly steps. These steps are very bare bones due to the small amount of parts in the kit.

Page 4 gives us the painting and marking 3 view drawings for 6 versions:

  1. A P-178 of an un-named unit, France 1940
  2. A P-178 of the 12th Cuirassiers, France 1940
  3. A P-178 of an unknown German unit, France 1941
  4. A P-178 of another unknown German Unit, France 1944
  5. A P-178 of the 5th Dragoons, Vichy France 1942
  6. A P-178 of another unknown Vichy unit, France 1942

All of the schemes are pretty ho-hum, with just national markings and license plates. The exception is the one in 12th Cuirassiers unit. It has a shield with a white fish on it and a ace of diamonds marking. I will probably put that one on my finished model. The decal sheet has the center of the French roundels separate. You have to put it into the center of the rest of the marking. This will ensure perfect registration then. I feel that this center is rather too light a shade of blue.

At the bottom of the 4th page of the instructions are 9 side profile drawings of other configurations that the P-178 appeared in. mostly with aerials of various types added and one with a different turret on it that was introduced in 1945.

I don’t think there are any other kit of the Panhard AMD 178 around, except maybe a resin one by somebody. I may be wrong on this.

I recommend this kit to modelers of WWII French armor. However, it begs for more detail to added to it. However, I don’t remember what I paid for this kit years ago nor where I purchased it from. It may well be out of production, but you may find one on E-bay.