by: Gino P. Quintiliani [ ]
The AMX-10RCR is a light reconnaissance vehicle built by GIAT. Over 300 are in service in the French Army. In addition, 108 vehicles were sold to Morocco and 12 to Qatar. The AMX-10RCR is a wheeled and heavily armed version of the AMX-10P combat vehicle. The AMX-10RC is amphibious and has very good mobility. It is usually used for reconnaissance missions in dangerous environments or for fire support. Initial work on the AMX-10RC began in 1970; production began in 1976, and the first production vehicle was delivered in 1981.The vehicle features a powerful GIAT 105mm gun mounted in a welded aluminum turret. The turret also serves to house three crew members, while the driver sits in the front of the hull. All six wheels are driven, and the AMX-10RC uses skid steering to turn the hull. The 105mm rifled gun fires four types of ammunition: APFSDS, HE, HEAT and smoke.
The AMX-10RC has been the recipient of numerous upgrades over its lifetime. For its part in the 1991 Gulf War, the AMX-10RC was provided with extra add-on armor and anti-tank missile decoy systems. Thermal imaging systems have also been installed. A central tire-inflation system is available for added traction over soft terrain. In 2010, the modernization of 256 AMX-10RC vehicles to the RCR (Rénové) configuration was completed. This program included adding additional armor, active self-protection, an upgraded combat management system, ASP device Galix smoke grenades, changes in the NBC protection system, improvements in the suspension, and tactical communications systems. The result is a much more lethal and survivable vehicle.This latest version has seen combat in NATO operations in Afghanistan and in operations in Northern Mali.
The sturdy cardboard box contains 5 main sprues in tan plastic; 6 soft rubber tires and poly caps; 1 small PE fret; a bag w/a sprue of clear parts; a two-piece hull shell, a two-piece turret shell; a length of wire rope; and a small decal sheet of markings for 2 vehicles. All the above items are individually bagged to keep them from being damaged during shipping. The multi-fold, 16 step instructions manual and a full-page color Paint & Markings guide for 2 vehicle options (both in NATO camo) round out the box.
The instructions are clearly written and have good illustrations for parts placement location. The assembly steps follow a logical sequence of the suspension and drive train; wheels and tires; storage boxes and other small items attached to the hull; turret and main gun; and finally bringing them all together into the final assembly of the AMX-10 RCR. There are paint colors called out throughout the assembly and the full-page color and markings sheet is referred to, decal placement is shown throughout as well.
The decals look to be in perfect register with very thin film. 2 marking options are given for 2 NATO camouflaged vehicles from the 6th Light Armored Brigade of the French Army.
The individual parts on the sprues look to be sharply molded and free of any flash. The sprues contain some unused parts and certain holes are called out to be drilled for this version. These features lead one to believe Tiger Models will have other versions of the AM10RC available in the future. The PE fret is small, but very nice. It includes parts for various small parts throughout, straps, and intake screens for the engine deck.
For the hull, the running gear detail looks very good. It looks as though all the main parts and pieces are represented. The suspension parts are well molded. The bolts and fittings for the hull and turret are crisp and molded well. The multi-part hull panels are very detailed and have nice cast details on them. The driver’s hatch is a very nicely detailed affair that includes 8 separate parts to replicate it alone. There are separate hangers for all the added armor pieces as well, which is also a nice detail. The soft rubber tires are well molded and replicate the originals nicely. They have the prominent side wall stiffening bands on them and the word “Michelin X” and size and rating codes are noticeably present on the sidewalls and look very nice. The tread pattern is defined and accurate for the vehicle as well.
The turret is very detailed and includes separate panels for the additional armor. All of the crew hatches can be positioned opened or closed and have interior details included. The dust cover for the main gun is molded in plastic with realistic folds and good texture. There are separate pieces for the barrel muzzle brake that will build up well. The PE guard for the CITV on the turret top is also very fine and looks good. Also included is a separate piece as a bending guide for the PE guard, a nice touch. Lastly, a very nice AA-52 7.62mm MG and ammo box in a pintle mount for the turret is included. The rear turret stowage basket looks as though it will build up as a nicely detailed feature as well.
Various stowage bags and very nice pioneer tools are added to the exterior, along with multiple lifting rings, tow hooks, and antennas. All of the lights periscopes are provided as separate pieces on the clear parts sprue as well. This makes for clear and very detailed periscopes and lights.
Overall the kit looks very nice. The turret and hull look to be very nicely detailed. Assembly looks straight-forward with no apparent problem areas. The added bit of stowage and level of details will make it a very nice kit right out of the box.
I highly recommend this kit. The parts are well molded and free of flash. The PE will give it the extra details to make it stand out. I see no major flaws in the kit, its dimensions, or details. With minimal work, it looks like it will build into an accurate replica of an AMX-10 RCR. Another winner for Tiger Model!