Hobbyboss – 1/35th Panhard EBR FL-10 French Army 8×8 (kit # 82489)
HobbyBoss gives the modeling community another new AFV. This time it’s the French Panhard EBR (Engin Blindé de Reconnaissance) with the 75 mm cannon known as the FL-10 or L/48 in an oscillating turret.
Designed in 1951 as an 8×8 armored wheeled reconnaissance vehicle the EBR armoured hull is mounted on a 8-wheel drive, with 4 outer Michelin tires and Veil-Picard tubes, which feature a series of nitrogen-filled cells, enabling them to absorb bullet hits and not go flat; and 4 inner metal wheels that have aluminum rims with steel grousers separated by rubber blocks, which can be raised for driving on the road and lowered to improve traction when needed. It served with the French and Portuguese armies.
Other versions of the EBR include one that features a 90mm gun (FL11) and another Armored Personnel Carrier variant (EBR ETT). Interestingly, a turretless EBR was used to carry the body of Charles De Gaulle during the fallen leader’s funeral procession.
HobbyBoss gives us this all new AFV in tan plastic, 4 rubber tires, 4 rubber inner wheels and a PE fret.
Construction of the underchassis parts is a breeze, though careful attention to the attachment of the rims is needed as they are quite small for the size of the wheel which may lead to a wobbly feel. The four inner wheels can be posed up or down. The lower hull has the distinctive belly curve and the upper hull snaps to it without any gaps. All the hull details now go onto it including the really, really small PE wingnuts, various PE circular bolts and small fittings.
The light lenses are, oddly, moulded in opaque plastic. There are missing side mirrors on the sprue and I am unsure if this detail was omitted deliberately or simply lost in transit.
The turret is a marvelous piece of plastic modeling engineering. The completed turret sits on a lower turret base that can rotate and allows the upper turret to tilt front and back. The main gun is a slide moulded one-piece affair; however the completed turret is a tail sitter, so you may need to add some weight near the main gun base to keep the turret main gun sitting in the travel lock. The smoke dischargers have PE covers which is a nice touch as well as the many tiny PE details attach to the turret.
The 4 inner wheels need careful attention during painting as these are moulded in rubber, whereas on the real EBR, the rims are aluminum with steel grousers attached all around it at an angle and separated by the rubberized sections.
End result: a very convincing EBR in 1/35th scale. It is a very easy build. There are some small PE details but all in all a kit for any model builder and a welcome addition to model this lesser known AFV.
Many thanks to Hobby Boss for sending the testshot to IPMS Philippines Bert Anido.