Saturday, November 24, 2012

Renault VAB

Finally some armoured transport for my Frenchies….

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Three Renault VAB (Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé) from S&S Models.

A little light on details – no gun or gun shield, no rear view mirrors, closed armoured panels over the front windshield… Which I suppose makes it easy to paint… but seriously, how are they supposed to drive? By the Force!? The casting quality was also no where near as nice as the Imprint Models Warrior MCV I just finished.

I supposed beggars can’t be choosers and there aren’t really any other options (other than one made in France that’s about 3-4x as much as the S&S model)

Comparison with the Heller 1/72 plastic kit.

Another comparison shot.

Patrol ready to go out.

I’m sure a platoon is supposed to have four VAB. But when did any unit ever have a full compliment of serviceable vehicles? Or full-strength manpower, for that matter?

The breakdown of the modern French Platoons is a bit different from other western platoons. It seems there’s a four man platoon command (Officer, Sergeant, Radioman, Designated marksmen). I’m assuming these assents would, theoretically, be split up among the four vehicles. Then there are three Combat Squads and an AT Squad. The combat squads break down into Squad Leader and two, three man fire teams. This is what I find really different – most other western armies have (in theory) four man fire teams.

What I don’t get is what happens when units are understrength…? Do they amalgamate and just field fewer fire teams per platoon to keep 3-4 men in a fire team? Or do they have “fire teams” of one or two men!?

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Working on the next Warrior MCV… and some other stuff; US Marines, Afghans, Near Future Troopers for Tomorrow’s War and some ancient Greeks… and some other stuff… 


  1. Are the 3 man fire teams just the same as the buddy system for camp arrangements and the whole squad used as one or more fire teams as and when needed?

    1. I really don't know if the fire teams are tactically used separately. I would assume so, but it seems a little "light on the ground" to me...? Especially if the squad/team is understrength. One guy missing missing from a team and suddenly it's a team of two. Two guys missing and suddenly a "team" is ONE GUY!?

  2. Very nice work. I actually just finished painting four of the Heller VAB kits today, I hadn't seen the S&S yet. The size difference from your picture is a bit startling!
    The small squads look kind of odd to me as well, I'm not sure how a patrol type unit would be organized, and what you said about the effect of just one casualty is eye opening, especially compared to a USMC squad of 13! Nice looking blog as well.

    1. Thanks Ben!

      The VAB kits aren't meant to be the same scale - the Heller kit is 1/72 (which a lot of people would call "20mm" these days) and the S&S kit is 1/60. I find 1/60 a bit small for 28mm actually... Other kits I use with "28mm" figures are 1/55 or 1/50 or even 1/48 or 1/43!? Anyway, I just happen to have the two VAB kits so I thought I'd throw those up so people could see how much difference there is (or isn't) between the two.

  3. Oh, yeah, I forgot for a moment that S&S does 28mm AS WELL AS 20mm :D

  4. Great stuff Tim! Those Eureka Legionnaires are very, very nice. The 3-man fireteam seems a little thin to me as well. If someone goes to the loo you're down by a third!