AMX-30B Tank

Published on
May 6, 2013
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Meng Model - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Stevens International - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

Meng exploded onto the modeling scene several years ago and has begun to roll out a variety of post-World War Two vehicles. The AMX-30B is one of Meng’s newest releases and it’s a keeper. Of the same generation of the US M-60 series, this was meant as a multi-national tank serving the needs of France and Germany. Germany dropped out of the project. The prototype was ready in 1960 and went into series production in 1966. Over 4000 were manufactured and exported around the world. It saw service in Desert Shield/Storm and continues to serve in other countries. The kit is composed of seven sprues molded in green and five sprues of track links and pads molded in brown, a small sprue of clear parts, a small fret of photoetch, and a lower hull and turret. There are decals for two vehicles. There are a total of 730 parts.


The first few steps concentrate on the chassis. No skimping on detail here. Moreover, the suspension was designed to articulate. To accomplish this, the road wheels are each attached to an individual torsion bar which flex when moved. Four of the suspension arms are attached to hydraulic shock absorbers that also facilitate movement. Since the torsion bars are plastic, however, I imagine you can move it only so much before it breaks. Since there is a degree of complexity in the suspension, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully. Make sure that the installed torsion bar matches what’s in the instructions. The only other observation is that the previously mentioned shock absorbers do not snap in place. To prevent them from falling out, they must be glued.

Assembly of the tracks doesn’t occur until step 20, but it seems appropriate to talk about them in concert with the suspension. Most of the time spent assembling this kit was working on the individual track runs. The tracks are individual links, 80 for each side. Each link is joined by four sets of teeth with tiny pins so, theoretically, the entire run should be flexible. Meng, in a very smart move, provides a jig to assemble the runs. Each link is composed of two parts. B2 fits into the jig, face down. Part B1, fits into B2 with just a dab of glue. Since you have to remove the individual parts from the sprue, for a snug fit, run over each link with a sanding stick. That being said, the attachment points are so small, that when it came time to assemble the track run, the links kept separating. I would suggest some liquid cement in prevent the assemblies from popping off.

Once the basic bits and pieces of the chassis are assembled, the instructions transition to the body. Again, Meng has done a magnificent job capturing all of the fittings you would find on a tank. This means that many of the pieces are small that appear on all four sides of the vehicle. They are easily lost and broken, so be careful as you remove these fittings from the sprue. The only issue that I ran into was the exhaust units. They have a valve that can be left open or closed. Unfortunately, the illustrations are not very clear as to how they attached. I just kept the valves closed to make it easier to assemble. The same jig that was used to assemble the tracks can also be used as a form to bend the pieces of etched brass that are included with the kit, including the grates that covered the mufflers. I am not a big fan of etched brass, so I welcomed the bending form. I found the brass rather stiff, so it might be to the modeler’s advantage annealing the larger pieces.

The turret assembly begins with the gun mantlet. I assume that the main gun is meant to go up and down. There are poly caps in the two hinges that go on the interior of the turret. Unfortunately, I found it very difficult to either see or feel the tabs of the hinges making a positive contact with the interior of the mantlet. As a result, when the two halves of the turret were finally assembled, the gun is slightly out of skew. An ingenious addition to the kit is a rubber flap that mimics the cover over the hinge of the mantlet and the hull. It’s tricky to install, but sure looks sweet! It will take some super glue to assure a snug fit. The turret comes in two pieces and the fit is tight. No putty needed here! The rest of the turret falls into place. As with the bits and pieces on the hull, when removing the storage bins from the sprue, do it with extreme care. They are very fragile. In terms of the turret’s accessories, I chose to keep the doors to the search light closed. I didn’t want to worry about masking.


There are two options for tanks, an olive green color scheme and another with what can best be called a NATO camouflage scheme. I chose the olive green scheme. I use Tamiya paints, so the entire kit was sprayed with Olive Drab (XF-62). I did some pre-shading on the engine grates and the photoetch with black. After painting, the tank got a coating of Future and then the decals. The decals went on without a problem, though there was some silvering (operator error?). Did a wash over the grates and then applied a dull-coat.

This kit has a level of detail that most modelers have come to expect in modern, 1/35 armor kits. While the engineering is fantastic, it takes time and patience to build this kit. It may not be appropriate for beginners. Regardless, it’s a great kit. My thanks to Stevens International and Meng Models for giving me the opportunity to review this kit.


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