Phebus Creations AMX30 B2 Brennus
Text and photos by Didier Lecru
The kit comes in a cardboard box with a picture of the model on its top. The parts themselves come in several clear plastic bags.
It consists of the upper half of which the bustle must be redone. The center of the roof seems to be bent inwards. However it is useable. As far as I am concerned, I'll do some kitbashing with both this turret and the Heller one to get an accurate AMX30B2 turret
The engine deck:
It comes with the same problem as the turret. It is nicely detailed with its characteristic grille. You need to remove the Heller deck before replacing it by the Phebus part. As far as I am concerned, being a fan of scratchbuilding, I'll cut the various details to adapt them onto the Heller engine deck with the help of plastic card.
The gun mantlet:
This part is a remold of the Heller part and I really don't understand in which intention. Moreover, the cast is of poor quality.
The Brennus turret bustle basket:
This one is missing which is a pity. However, Phebus issue 4 jigs to make them for scratch but without any instructions.
The turret accessories:
Phebus provide the following parts:
- A commander cupola
which has been remold and modified to mount the remote-controlled 7.62mm MG.
- A turret bustle bin to glu to the turret with a side bin coming as a separate part.
- A new 20mm automatic cannon. In my sample it was bent.
- A pretty nice LLLTV (low light level TV).
- 4 standard smoke dischargers as well as the newer type ones.
- The NBC bins which are specific to the Brennus version and located to the back of the turret.
- 2 x 20mm ammunition boxes.
The hull accessories:
They are as follows:
- Two jerricans with
their brackets molded on. In my opinion, they must be redone.
- New engine sealing plates.
- A new driver hatch which doesn't look close to the real one.
- 4 stops to fit on the hull.
- Rear lights and spare track links.
- 4 towing cables eyes. It will be hard to make the cables with such fragile parts.
- Some parts which are unknown to me.
The ERA tiles:
A plentiful of tiles are provided. Some come in blocks while others are single parts according to their location. They all are molded with their brackets which in turn have 4 spacers molded on. The latter are extremely fragile.
They appear to be incomplete as far as the small parts are concerned. However, the location of the ERA tiles is clear and Phebus give quite clear explanations about the fitting process. Some black and white pictures are also provided.
No decoration is provided by Phebus.
This kit doesn't match our expectations. However, it exists. The master maker has done a complicated job. I'll use all the parts. A lot of them, of which the 273 ERA tiles, will be copied as the kit is not cost-effective. Another difficulty is due to the tracks that must be of the side connectors type. Phebus make one set of these which is not easy to use. I heard that Bronco could help to solve this problem.
This kit is recommended for experimented modelers only and could prove a repellant for beginners. Nonetheless, I want to thank Phebus for having released this conversion. In the future, I'll buy it again. It is a good base to work with. A GOOD DOCUMENTATION REMAINS NECESSARY.