by: Federico Collada [ ]
The Panhard AML armoured vehicles were developed in France in the 50s after the French army asked for a reconnaissance light vehicle that could be equipped with powerful armament. After winning the army contest, Panhard begun producing the AML-245 in two different basic versions, one armed with a 60mm mortar and another with a DEFA low pressure 90mm gun. Aside from these two models Panhard also produced other vehicles based on the basic model armed with different guns and even one as a troop transport. With more than 5000 units produced, the AML-60 and AML-90 have been in service with many countries for decades.
Takom has released both the AML-60 and AML-90 at the same time in 1/35th scale, this is certainly very good news as up to now the only models available of the AML were resin offerings, some of them are very good quality and other ones not so good. Although Takom is a rather new company they have released quite a lot of models in a few years and they have become very popular among military modellers due to their constant models release and the subjects they select to produce, most of the time very original and previously unreleased. Some says that Takom is the new Tamiya, they certainly seem to have the same policy about how they engineer their kits; not too many parts, good quality detail and easy building. In my opinion there are many companies that share this policy while other ones seem to produce kits targeted for the most experienced modellers, and there are still some companies that keep releasing very old models at a lower price for the less demanding and novices.
The new Takom kit is a good example of their policy and is made of some 200 grey plastic parts, 5 vinyl tires 4 transparent parts for the lights and the decals sheet. All this provided in a medium size box.
Building the kit is rather easy and fast, the instructions are very clear and the parts need no preparation. Some parts have been simplified for easier manipulation and building so novice modellers can tackle the kit with no major problems. The most demanding ones would surely prefer plastic tires instead of the vinyl ones, a photoetched basket for the jerry can instead of both elements moulded together, an empty stowage cage for the front fender, transparent plastic periscopes, etc. but maybe the most strange thing about the kit is the painting guide size; 5 colourful drawings 9x12cm where it is very difficult to see where the decals must be placed as they’re not even signalled, only the colours to be used in each one. These decals will allow you to represent vehicles from France, Argentina, Israel, Iraq and Lebanon.
I have built the kit in just a few hours and had no problems of any kind; the process was really amusing and once built the kit looks really fine.
This is a very nice kit, easy and amusing, very suitable for novice modellers and is also a very welcome subject for the modern vehicles modellers that will not need to look for the old resin kits anymore. The decal selections are very interesting, offering unusual vehicles that have participated in different 20th century armed conflicts.