Ray has made all of us here very jealous by buying some of the Gasoline Vehicles. Not only that, he has been able to have enough time to assemble and paint them, and they look lovely! But I will let Ray tell you all about them....
It’s been a while since I lasted posted anything on the blog so apologies to everyone for that. Like most gamers I tend to be very easily side-tracked by anything shiny and new. This time it was my son deciding that Saga looked interesting and rushing off to buy some Anglo-Saxons. So of course Dad had to do some Vikings to take them on. Ahh well, back into the swing of things in the 21st century now so here goes with another Sangin article.
Now that I’ve painted enough infantry to do a French platoon I thought I might give a bit of a low down on the Gaso-Line vehicles.
I fell in love with these when I saw the range of vehicles these guys produce but never having bought any, and not being a huge fan of resin vehicles I was a wee bit hesitant to splash out hand earned dosh on spec. I’ve had a few bad experiences in the past with resin vehicles either not fitting together properly or being so covered in flash that you have to spend hours tidying the damn things up. I much prefer plastic kits but the modern range in 1/48th is limited to say the least.
So I bit the bullet and ordered the French VAB. The Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé (VAB) entered service with the French army in the mid 70’s and is still going strong. Admittedly it’s had more than a few upgrades over the years but its longevity really has to be admired.
I also ordered a French reconnaissance VBL. Compared with the VAB the Véhicule Blindé Léger is the baby of the army. It was developed during the late 80’s as a light, air transportable amphibious all-terrain vehicle and entered service with the French army in the early 90’s. There are lots of variants in service including some armed with Milan missile systems.
I was going intending to get the AMX10RC to provide a bit of back up I but figured that its presence at skirmish level would be a bit too overpowering. I have to say though it’s a stunning looking vehicle and I’m pretty sure I’ll succumb to temptation at some point soon and order one! (Don't worry Ray, I will write you a scenario for the AMX10RC when you buy it!- Ed)
The kits arrived quickly, much more quickly than I anticipated in fact and, as well as being impressed with the service I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the casting. There was a bit of flash on the mouldings but nothing too dramatic and half an hour tidying up the kits was time well spent.
Having been raised on a healthy diet of Airfix kits I’ve become accustomed to “Glue parts A and B to part C etc.” so one of my concerns was how easy they would be to put together. Given Gaso-Line is a French company, and with my French being non-existent, I was worried about not having any English instructions included. Luckily, this time pretty much everything was done by pictures with the only writing being a list of the parts provided. In saying that, it definitely pays to sit down for half an hour and have dry run with the kits so you are clear in your head where everything is supposed to go as some of the parts are very fiddly.
Now at this point I have to make an apology. I completely forgot to take any shots of the vehicles before completion so you’ll just have to take my word for everything!
The bulk of the kits are obviously resin however both had the smaller parts made out of brass and the VBL has rubber tyres that clip over the wheel mounts.
Everything went together remarkably easily once I had cleaned off the flash. The hull of the VAB comes in two parts (top and bottom) which fit together very well with no obvious gaps. Wheels etc. all fit snuggly onto the axles and don’t look like they are likely to fall of anytime soon.
The VAB has a couple of optional parts. The earlier versions of the vehicle have an amphibious capability so you can model it with (or without) propellers, I decided to leave them off and do the bang up to date version.
The most fiddly bits are the machine gun mountings for both kits and the other brass edged bits and pieces, particularly the wing mirror mounts. I’ve spent many frustrating hours rigging 1/1200 scale Napoleonic ships so this wasn’t too bad (masochist- Ed), but there was a reasonable amount of swearing involved.
In the next part I’ll go into a bit of detail about how I painted the kits but suffice to say I would have no hesitation about ordering more of these Gaso-Line kits. They go together excellently and the quality of the castings is first class.
In the meantime, have a look at the Gaso-Line range if you haven't already done so, I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised, I certainly was!
Those are some dusty French vehicles there Ray! Now having seen these in person and in the photos, they are lovely. Gasoline make some cracking model kits, and it is taking all of my willpower to not buy any. Those who know my willpower in regard to buying model kits will know that I will be buying something from them in the next week or two, I am just that weak!
You will have to give us a picture of the whole French Platoon too, with their transports!