The EBR is a 8-wheel reconnaissance vehicle which entered service in 1949. The project had been developed by Panhard in the 30s as the AM 201, of which one vehicle was presented to the Army officials in 1939 prior to being accepted for service under the denomination AM 40P. It was smaller than the EBR and had only two crew members. Unfortunately, the first vehicles could not be built before the war broke out. Panhard managed to hide the project all the war long and it is only in 1946 that it was resumed with an extended hull manned by a crew of four members.
For a long while, the only available model kits of this vehicle were resin ones. In 2012, Hobby Boss released the EBR with the FL11 turret under the denomination EBR-11 which is not official. While the kit is pretty correct, it depict a late model fitted with the 90 mm F2 gun. To model an early type armed with the SA 49 75 mm gun, there is still no other choice than the Azimut conversion or a scratch job.
The Azimut conversion comes on a
small black cardboard box with a box-art drawing replicating a photo of an EBR of
the Foreign Legion during the war in Algeria.
It comprises 17 light grey resin parts, a hollow aluminum tube, a sheet of photoetched parts and an instructions leaflet. The both turret halves are wrapped with bubble film and the other parts come in a re-sealable plastic bag.
The engraving and the level of detail vary
according the parts. For example, the MAC 31 MG is very simplified. The molding
is average, some parts have an ill-placed excess of resin. On the contrary, the
upper part of the MAC 31 support presents a hole which requires the part to be
The PE parts are clean and the various bending lines are sharp. The PE sheet comprises straps for the turret bustle, marking plates for the hull - those of the Hobby Boss kit must be removed, the search light bracket on the vehicle commander cupola and the auxiliary sights.
The instructions sheet is very simple and stands in one page. However to get clearer instructions a second page would have been useful.
The turret comes with the base and the oscillating part. Depicting an early type, the dust cover attachment system is not present. The rectangular plate at the back of the oscillating part is present. But the major issue is the gap between the base and the oscillating part. In fact, the oscillating part is too narrow. To be usable, its base should be thicken with putty. When closely looking at the turret, we can find it really resembles the United-Fun model one but this model did not have this gap.
The main interest of the conversion is the
75 mm gun. The muzzle brake comes in two parts. The rear one has an extension to
insert into the aluminum tube. The molding lets to be desired and a large amount
of resin is to be removed from the back of the baffle "wings". The gun opening
must be drilled out. At the rear of the baffle, there is a sleeve which is too
The front part is finely molded. The gun opening must be drilled out too. Due to the fineness of the part, it is better to do it after the muzzle brake has been assembled.
The aluminum tube is too narrow compared to the mantlet opening. It will be necessary to secure it to have a proper alignment.
The second interest of this conversion is the close defense MG ring mount armed with the MAC 31 Reibel. The ring itself is molded on the vehicle commander cupola. The MG support is made of a resin main bracket and a PE search light support. The instructions are a bit unclear and we will have to pay attention to the build, especially to attach the MAC 31 to the cradle. The MG is disappointing with a poor level of detail. The butt is the wrong type. On the EBR there is an extension which enables the vehicle commander to shoulder the MG. A round magazine is issued but the sprue attachment is ill-placed and the missing details will have to be carved after the part is cut.
Azimut also give the DREB (smoke-dischargers) whose end is hollow. The base needs to be thoroughly sanded to be perfectly flat and fit to the turret.
The last parts are the radio antenna bases.
If Azimut did some good job on some parts, the conversion as a whole is disappointing. For example, the average level of detail of the MAC 31 is only acceptable because you still have no other choice. In addition, the turret is nearly unusable without an extensive reshaping job.
It would have been better to only release the 75 mm gun and the MG mount and detail a bit more the MAC 31 itself. The turret itself is definitely not a must-have.