--Armada Hobby

Pandur I


Kit : # W72001

Review by Marc Mercier

Armada Hobby recently released in kit form four versions of the Pandur I family, a 6x6 light armoured vehicle manufactured in Austria in the nineties. Used by Austria, Slovenia (where it’s called the Valuk), Belgium, Kuwait and the US Special Forces, this family, being C-130 air transportable, has seen widespread use in UN and NATO missions and is therefore a welcome addition for fans of modern stuff.

The base version of the family is a HMG armed infantry carrier. These are supported by specialised variants, like ambulances, command post, mortar carrier and maintenance vehicles. The Kuwaiti National Guard also uses a number of turreted versions; one variant having a 25mm M242 Chain Gun, the heavier brother of the family being armed with a Cockerill 90mm gun. Some years ago, Belgium even went one step further and converted its family into reconnaissance vehicles by installing a day/night observation pod on a retractable mast in the rear compartment.

The kit arrived, packed in a sturdy cardboard box, but inside, the zip lock bags containing the resin parts, could move freely. As a result, some small parts, like axles and pins, had been broken off from their pouring blocks.

But on checking the contents of the kit, the number of "empty" positions on these blocks (where parts were broken off) was bigger than the number of loose parts. However, I controlled everything and nothing seems to be missing. I can therefore only conclude that some parts were deliberately removed at the factory, maybe because there are not needed with this particular version?

Without modifications, the kit builds up into an Austrian Pandur I; seems logical because the box art gives you a picture of one in white UN colours.

Should you plan to model a vehicle used by another nation, be aware that, because of local specifications, there are numerous differences with the Austrian version. First, you have the classic “small” adaptations like antenna bases, choice of tires, etc…. but there is more : the Slovene APC for instance, has a one big rear hatch instead of the two doors as provided by the kit (see here), while the Kuwaiti vehicles is 50 cm longer. On the other hand, the roof of the Belgian troop compartment is 20 cm higher (See right).

Therefore, I’ll compare the parts only with the Austrian version.

The Pandur hull is a complicated multi-angle affair, which Armada Hobby has succeeded in reproducing correctly. I checked the dimensions against a real (Belgian) vehicle and apart from the lower crew compartment, everything was within my tolerance range.

The hull is cast in one massive piece, which will make the finished model rather heavy. All hatches and doors are moulded shut, which is a pity.

The prominent anti slip texture, present on the horizontal surfaces of the real vehicle, has not been represented. The pistol ports are missing on both sides. This however can easily be added. The air-condition box (the big square box on the rear part of the left side) is very nicely reproduced. There should be a similar, but smaller box on the right side; this one however is missing.

However, I was a bit disappointed with the rear side of the fuselage.

  • Firstly, it has a prominent ridge, which will be difficult to remove.
  • Secondly, the shape of the rear doors is not correct, the inner corners should have a clipped shape, and the hydraulic opening supports are missing altogether.
The rendition of this area has been seriously simplified.

Most of the parts in my kit were crisply moulded with sharp detail and no air bubbles are present. Some parts are really puny and will demand extreme care to remove them from their pouring blocks.

The tire profile on the wheels is nicely reproduced, with only a few miscasts.


The HMG weapon station (you can hardly call this a turret!) is a complicated, multi-angle construction, which Armada has tried to reproduce in resin. However, I feel that the result doesn't look right : the corners (both in and outside) of the sides are too soft and the steel plates definitely look too thick.
I'd have preferred this construction in PE.

I'm a bit puzzled by the smoke grenade launchers offered in the kit. These are of the "three in a row German style" type, but the Austrian APC was never equipped with these ones. Their launchers are placed in two groups, see here for the current style; for the older type see here

As far as I know, only the Belgian and Slovene vehicles and the Austrian Ambulance have the style of launchers offered in the kit.

The wheel bays and suspension are, once again, seriously simplified.

However, this will largely be hidden behind the wheels once installed.

Armada Hobby provides a small PE fret, but the majority of the parts are to be used with the Kuwaiti turreted versions (which are also available by Armada) and can go directly to the surplus box.

Decals nor painting instructions are provided.

The assembly instructions page is very succinct: just one black and white drawing that doesn’t even cover the whole building sequence. Some parts are represented as crude outlines which is very confusing and leaves you uncertain which part should go where. This is especially the case in the suspension area and with the numerous tools and exterior fittings (here the instructions are limited to a single - and completely useless - sentence "+ tools on left and right side").

You'll certainly need additional reference material to complete this one.


This model is a bit of a mixed blessing. Some parts are really good, others are oversimplified. However, with a bit of extra work, this kit can be turned into an accurate Pandur I.

Preview sample purchased by the author.


This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 15 June 2015