Modeling project

Tiger Model AMX-10RCR

The AMX-10RC is an armored reconnaissance vehicle designed and produced since the early 1970 by GIAT industries (now Nexter Systems), replacing the EBR within the ranks of France’s Armée de terre. “RC” means “Roue-Canon”, literally “Wheel-cannon”, meaning that the platform is wheel-based but packs enough punch to take care of itself in case of contact with the enemy. The French call this “reconnaissance-feu”, literally “reconnaissance-fire”. Contrary to what is written on the box, the AMX-10 RCR is not employed in a “Tank Destroyer” role per se, although it can certainly destroy tanks.

The AMX-10RC has a number of interesting characteristics that make it stand out. From the bottom up, we can name the six independent wheels with a suspension that offers four settings of ground clearance (the wheels don’t actually steer, it drives like a tank by varying rotating speed on either side, thus allowing on-place rotation of the vehicle); central tire inflation system to adjust mobility on soft ground, full NBC protection, and the initial RC version was also fully amphibious. Due to additional armor being added, this capacity was lost on the later enhancement performed in the early 2000s leading to the “RCR” variant, the one depicted by Tiger Model. The last “R” stands for “Rénové”, or “renovated”. The AMX-10RCR is equipped with the MECA F2, a lightweight variant of the AMX-30’s 105mm F1 gun. Both guns can fire the OCC hollow charge ammunition (“Obus à Charge Creuse”), as well as a sabot round. However, the F2’s smaller size requires smaller propellant charges, thus making for a lower pressure chamber.

The RCR variant shows a number of additional enhancements that visually stand out from the initial version. These are: 8 GALIX smoke launchers replacing the old DREB ones; LIRE infra-red counter-measure system (not mounted on my build); turret basket replaced with two emplacements for crews’ packs; added 10mm armor plates add-on giving the vehicle its peculiar look with bent plates over the wheels; battlefield networking SIT-V1 system; and a GPS antenna on the rear left side. The fire conduct system has also been enhanced through the addition of all-weather optics.

There are currently 3 operators of the AMX-10 RC: France (initially 337 machines, this number was now down to 256 in 2010 and is supposed to be set to 235 planned for 2020) Morocco (108 machines), and Qatar (12 vehicles).

The Project

The construction of this project was completed quite a long time ago. Three, four years? I just don’t recall (EDIT: I started this in 2015, a staggering SEVEN years ago. woof), but what I do recall is that I did this for a review back at Track-Link (All of Paul’s nice pics of the sprues are gone from that review, unfortunately). For some reason, I decided to do it quite quickly, strictly OOB. I ended up adding DEF models’ awesome sagged wheels, but that is it. When I put it back on the bench I quickly realized just how sloppy I’d been assembling it. Full of seams line and overall not going the distance to make that build as crisp as it should be. Yet I decided to paint it as is anyway, to just get it out the door.

I decided to model a vehicle deployed during Operation Serval in Mali in 2013-2014. The vehicles are pretty dirty and dusty and I had access to excellent reference material on a wide range of angles. The sand over there is apparently red-orange giving this peculiar rusty tone on certain parts of the vehicle.

Honest Assessment

Things I’m Happy With

  • I was patient with the pacing on that weathering, didn’t rush things out. The overall weathering vibe is pretty spot-on.
  • Good use of references. I used Model-Miniature Reference DVD and that was truly great. The thing with these Mali-deployed vehicles is that most of the dirt that ends up on them is red/orange and looks like rust, but it ain’t!
  • Super happy with the NATO scheme, although the French seem to use a green that is a tad lighter than what I did.
  • I’m pretty happy with the tires.
  • The antislip texture. While French vehicles seem to sport a sort of crépi, I went with VMS awesome texture system. I works flawlessly and is super easy to use.

Things I’m Okay With

  • Overall, use of Pigment is kinda okay. Still A LOT to learn regarding this though.
  • I scratched the CONVOI EXCEPTIONNEL pannels on either side. They aren’t bad, they look pretty close to the real thing, but I did struggle a bit with the cutting machine to get what I wanted.
  • I removed the LIRE countermeasure as it appears they weren’t mounted in Mali, and did a clean job of it, but I realized after the fact that the shape of the bolted plate was off a bit.

Things that Could Be Better

  • Pigment is the big thing that could get much better. All the dirt on the top of the vehicle in particular is too grainy.
  • The overall construction on this project is just lousy. I didn’t hollow the coax barrel, for a start. Meh. At least I realize I far I’ve come since that build.

Project Specs

Tiger Model AMX-10RCR (ref #4602)
DEF Model AMX-10RCR 6×6 Wheel Set Sagged (ref #DW35085)

Build started in 2015. Paint job started in 2021. Man, those shelves queen.

Standard

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