Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Desert APC conversion

 My latest conversion is this armoured personnel carrier, more cheap but useful goodness from Poundland.  There's another recent article about it on the Glue in The Carpet blog which I'm sure many of you will have seen, GJD is obviously much quicker at turning around his buys as I've had mine for several weeks and have only just got around to finishing it!

As has been mentioned on other blogs, this is a French VAB personnel carrier which comes in 2 flavours, 4-wheel and 6-wheel, the latter being primarily an export model.  I've already got a 4-wheeled version which featured on my blog in March last year, I've decided to go for a different colour scheme with this one.

The first thing to change was the weedy missile launcher turret which had a strangely positioned pair of skinny little tubes on each side.  After removing the screws to take the whole thing apart, I disassembled the turret and got rid of the missile tubes.  The replacement pods come from a Mechwarrior clicky figure (might have been a Jes II missile carrier or something like that - an excellent source of satisfyingly chunky missile pods!).  They were drilled & mounted on a cocktail stick that fitted snugly in the pivot-point of the turret.  Why use a cocktail stick instead of a bit of brass rod?  Because I can't find where I've put my pack of incredibly useful bits such as rod, wire, plastic girders etc, that's why!!

With it's huge wheels, I thought that this would be a suitable vehicle for desert operations on sandy terrain.  Colour scheme matches my recently painted NSL Power Armour, in fact I thought of it for the APC first but took so long to complete it that I felt compelled to try the scheme on the infantry while I was waiting.  Base colour is Humbrol 93 desert sand, Vallejo reflective green mixed 50/50 with the sand colour for the main camo stripes, plus Vallejo cold grey patches here and there.  The whole thing received a wash of Vallejo sepia ink with base colours drybrushed on top, followed by an all-over drybrush of Vallejo bonewhite to give a dusty finish.  Wheels have been left the basic sand colour rather than trying to tie in the camo - if you have stripes across a wheel it tends to engender a stroboscopic effect as it rotates, drawing the eye towards it rather than helping it blend in.  I know that out little model vehicles don't actually drive around and get shot at, but I still try to follow the principle if I can.

The last photograph shows a GZG armed colonist to give an idea of scale.  I only got one of these APCs at the time because I wasn't sure how it would look with the huge wheels.  I think it probably works OK (though I wouldn't like to try and squeeze out of those driver's compartment doors in an emergency), but as Pounland didn't have any left when I last visited, looks like this one is destined to be lonely!


  1. That really looks the business Paul-nice execution of both the conversion and painting!

  2. Looks great, a nice addition indeed!

  3. Man, I wish we had pound land here, our $2 shops are pretty rubbish in Australia. Great looking model.

  4. Another excellent paint & conversion work! :)

    Any idea who manufactured the original, Paul? It looks very much like the VAB model released by Majorette, but with better overall detail.

  5. Hi,
    I came across this link while looking for a bodyshell for a palm sized RC Robot I have built, how big are these shells ?



    Duane B

    1. Hello Duane,

      This vehicle is a standard matchbox toy car size, about 70mm long, 30mm wide or thereabouts.

      The figure with it is 15mm scale if that helps.

      Good luck with the palm sized robot!