AMX 30/105

Manufacturer: Heller (# 79899)

When I first opened the box of this kit, I was so disgusted that I almost threw it away. After leaving it on the shelf for a few months, I finally pulled it back out to give a better look over. While I am still disappointed with some parts of the kit (especially the tracks), at closer look, it really isn't all that bad. With some serious work, it could be turned into a pretty good model.

The plastic molding is pretty good, with very little flash, and only a couple of easily-fixed sinkmarks. The wheel detail is quite good, as is most of the molded-on hull details. The main gun isn't too bad either, and in fact, we now have a replacement metal barrel made available from ARMO. The chassis is also very well done.

But the negatives of the kit include many details molded onto the hull, such as tools, headlights, spare track links, etc. Also, all of the hatches are molded closed. But what really ruins the kit are the so-called "tracks". These are without a doubt, the worst tracks I have ever seen. They simply cannot be used, and replacements will have to be found somewhere in order to save this kit. Looking at the boxart, they appear similar to the tracks on the US M48 tank. Whether this is correct or not, I do not know.

The decals are printed with a nice matte finish and good color, but the multi-color markings are printed out of register.

I have checked the kit's dimensions with Jane's Tanks and Combat Vehicles Recognition Guide, and it scales out very well. The width appears to be dead-on, and the length is about a millimeter or two short, which is pretty good.

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