Meng 1/35 AMX-30B Kit First Look
By Dave Manter
|Date of Review||January 2013||Manufacturer||Meng|
|Kit Number||TS003||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Workable suspension, workable tracks, hatches and doors are positional, 100% new tooling||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$59.95|
In 1956, Germany, France and Italy decided to cooperate in designing and developing a general purpose main battle tank and proposed detailed technical specifications. Soon after, the project was cancelled because the interest of the three countries could not be balanced. After the collapse of cooperation, France and Germany successfully developed the AMX-30 and the Leopard 1 respectively.
The AMX-30 designers paid more attention to maneuverability and firepower than protection from the very beginning of its design and thought the tank should reduce weight for speed. Therefore it had less armor protection but more powerful long range firepower and better maneuverability. The AMX-30 was the lightest of the second generation main battle tanks with a weight of only 36 metric tons.
The AMX-30 main battle tanks were developed by the Atelier de Construction d'lssy-les-Moulineaux. The first prototype was completed in 1960. The AMX-30 was formally finalized in 1963 and went into production in 1966. In 1967, it entered service with the French Army. The tank was produced by the Atelier de construction Roanne, with a total production of more than 4000. It was equipped by the French Army and widely exported to other countries, such as Spain, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Chile. French, Saudi Arabian and Qatari AMX-30 MBT's saw operation during the Gulf War in 1991. The AMX-30B was the first production version of the AMX-30. Its primary weapon was a CN-105-F1 105mm L/56 rifled gun. A M693 20mm auto cannon was mounted to the left of the main gun. It could elevate with the main gun and could also elevate independently against slow flight vehicles. It was also equipped with a F1 7.62 machine gun. It is manned by a crew of four (commander, gunner, driver and loader).
The 100% newly tooled kit of the AMX-30B from Meng Models consists of 390 parts molded in green plastic, 360 track parts molded in brown plastic, 17 parts molded in clear plastic, the lower hull and upper turret molded in green plastic and 5 photo etch detail parts. Also included are 20 poly caps and a rubber mat for the turret. Markings are included for 2 vehicles, one in overall green and one in NATO tri-color.
- Fully workable suspension
- Fully workable track links
- Clear lights and periscopes
- All hatches and doors can be built opened or closed
- 100% new tooling
- Great details
The parts are all very well molded and seam lines and flash are minimal. The detailing on the parts is really nice and the weld details on the upper hull are some of the nicest that I have seen.
Construction begins in typical fashion with the assembly of the lower hull and running gear. The suspension on this kit is fully workable. The torsion bars and the shock absorbers are all functional. While there are a lot of parts to the track links, assembly will be a breeze as Meng supplies an assembly jig to use. It is also used for the bending of the photo etch screens that are supplied with the kit. Nice touch for Meng!
Assembly continues to the upper hull and again detail is superb. The on board tools are very delicate and feature very high detail. The mufflers can be assembled opened or closed. The front headlights have two options for assembly. Once the tracks are assembled, the instructions move on to the turret. The main gun does feature a full breech. The cast texture on the turret is fine, but should look great under paint. All of the periscopes are supplied as clear parts. The Main search light can be assembled with the doors opened or closed.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!