Friday, October 10

A Damp Dutchie or a dirty Deutche? If you have a Fennek in your Future you might want to read this review..

The newest scout recon vehicle for the Dutch and German armies is the very cool looking “Fennek” – Trumpeter made it in 35th scale but it being so new not many people know how to model it well – Pla Editions who make the Abrams Squad magazines have made a special edition on modelling this new vehicle so you can get the best out of it – let’s have a look…

Abrams Squad Special
Modelling the Fennek
Pla Editions
56 pages
In English language
Reference #AS1001FEN
10€ + P&P from Pla Edtitions website directly

When trumpeter released the scouting AFV the “Fennek” I thought it looked a bit like a Lamborghini mixed with a tank – well I was right!  This light weight vehicle not only goes quickly it is very low observable and low in profile on the battlefield. I didn’t really know too much about it until I saw one in the Abrams Squad magazine we reviewed here a while ago. Well the same bunch from Pla Editions have seen a gap in the market for more knowledge on modelling this AFV and they have made a special 56 page magazine about it. We thought we would read it to see if we left enlightened or just languishing.

Physically this book is a softcover magazine style little book. Thin at 56 pages it only has a few pages of adverts which I really do not care for but that is business I suppose. Trumpeter should be paying these guys to make the magazine instead of taking two pages out for advert space!
The Dutch-German produced Fennek stars throughout this mag. We have many pictures of the real thing in many different colours and locales. The first part of the book gives us a historical study of the AFV so far in it’s career. Technical details, deployments of the vehicles around the globe and the real differences between the German and Dutch versions are shown here. From Snow to desert in local and schemes in often unpublished up until now pictures make this an interesting prospect. I was becoming more interested in this fast scout AFV.

We look first at the Dutch version in service and as a model. Thought the Dutch version is produced by Trumpeter in 35th scale  the authors have further detailed this model before painting it and you can see in lots of simple picture and text blocks just how to improve your own kit by following their lead.
Comparison pictures of the kit and the real thing from a similar angle are a great feature of the Abrams squad magazines and here again this is what is on the menu. This serves you well as reference and the many details of the real thing are highlighted to make your kit better.

The snow covered Dutch Fennek is a great example of an interesting scheme with a lot of contrast and the model is shown in steps weathering not just the winter paintwork which is scrubbed almost off but the muddy and wet tyres and snow which sits in the many faceted edges of the car.
We go all German next with a complete contrast with a desert vehicle from the heat of Afghanistan next.
The writers do a very smart thing next and show you just how to make your own German version of this AFV in this section. Now Trumpeter have not released a German Fennek yet and it looks like they do not have to if you follow the steps here. The armament, antennas, shackles, door recesses and many more items that need to be changed are shown here in excellent detail of not just the made model but the Dutch and German versions often right next to that. Trumpeter could not do better that to buy this mag before making a German Fennek!
The dust and mud of the desert are featured in this Fennek build. The very different look of this vehicle used a lot of dissimilar techniques of the Dutch Fennek and I learned a lot here with the application of dust and dirt with bumps and scratches looking very nice on this kit. It certainly is helped by the reference picture of the German vehicles again which set the scene and give you some good reference for your own build.

Well that is it – two excellent build s that are starkly different in tone and contrast. Heaps of reference from some of the best in the modern AV modelling scene and methodical steps in details showing you just how to get the best of your kit.
This is a great special edition and it may serve you even if you do not have a Fennek. I suppose it is a popular subject now with modellers so it looks like it will sell well. The effort and quality is definitely there.

I like this and it made me think a little harder about making a Fennek in the future.

Adam Norenberg
You can get yours from Pla Editions website directly Thanks to them for sending this to read and review.