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AMX 30 DCA

Heller 1/35 AMX 30 DCA Kit First Look

By Sundiata Cowels

Date of Review March 2013 Manufacturer Heller
Subject AMX 30 DCA Scale 1/35
Kit Number 81123 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Only model of its type in this scale Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $24.98

First Look

AMX 30 DCA
AMX 30 DCA
AMX 30 DCA
AMX 30 DCA
AMX 30 DCA
AMX 30 DCA

With the infamous distinction of having the least armor protection of any Cold War tank, the AMX series was France's answer to the ill-fated multi-national XMBT-70 project. While much is known about the AMX 30 standard and upgraded tank vehicles, surprisingly little is available regarding the operational history of the anti-aircraft variant, the AMX 30 D.C.A.

Armed with dual 30mm cannons and a retractable radar mounted on the rear of a redesigned' Sherman' style turret, research shows that the AMX 30 D.C.A. continues to serve with the armed forces of France and Saudi Arabia.

Comprised of 285 pieces spread over ten trees, Heller's AMX 30 D.C.A. is the only kit of this tank version in 1/35 scale.  So much is crammed into the standard open top box that the packaging actually bulges. The majority of the pieces are molded in light tan styrene, with a tree of vinyl plastic tank treads, tow cables, and spare tread links. A clear plastic tree rounds out the parts for the vision blocks. Constructing appears to be straightforward beginning with the hull and ending with the turret and radar assembly.

There appears to be room for a motor within the hull and tank commander and driver are included but no interior details are offered. Also mesh screens are not provided to cover the underside of the engine deck grille work which is large enough to see to the inside of the chassis.

Field tools, spare cannon barrels, spare tank tread and tow cables are all molded separately.

Features:

  • 30mm cannons move up and down
  • Turret can revolve
  • Turret hatches can open and close
  • Tank commander and driver figure included
  • Radar dish can rotate from horizontal to vertical and swivel

Decals included are sparse with only three actual numbers provided, presumably for the 501ème RCC circa 1982 based on the identification of the soldier figures in the instructions.

With MENG models recent release of their AMX 30 tank and artillery variations, it will be interesting to see if they have plans to tackle this subject as well. As it is, Heller has created a basic kit that is ripe for detailing for those that suffer from AMS. I am looking forward to building this kit.

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