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After finishing my large Saturn V, and also during the recent festives pressing through a quick but modified Camaro Z28 build for local competition, I felt it was time for something a little bit different and not too complicated. Preferably just out of the box, or at least close.


Drawing inspiration from @JeroenS recent and excellent 1/35 scale civilian truck builds I remembered that I had ICM's 1/35 kit of a Wehrmacht Renault AHN in my stash. I got that when it was released with a nice little French civil post war truck in mind.




Design of the AH-series started in 1939 but they were mostly produced after the German occupation of France 1940 for use by the German Wehrmacht. After the war many were put in civilian use and production actually continued into 1947. Much can perhaps be said about the design appearance, but beautiful might not be what comes first to mind.


There are a lot of small and detailed parts in the box.




What to do with this then? I spent some time searching the web for inspiration and references and came up with quite a few samples. I soon fancied a blue one that seems to be part of a private museum collection. I'm not sure if the livery is authentic since the French post war days, but it looks plausible and good enough for my inspiration. The signs suggest monsieur Passenaud was doing business in scrap metal, so he may have had a lot of work after the war and could have had much use for the wartime 1943 AHN he acquired and repainted.






I will need to do some work on the headlights. The box art shows a version incorrect for this vehicle, but there are two sets included the box; the one the instructions tells you to avoid I think represents this version, but somewhat simplified. I also need to scratch the toolbox that is placed under the front left corner of the bed. Possibly some other small details needs to be fixed as well. We'll see how much I bother.


I started by spending some time in Photoshop drawing a set of decals that was printed on my beloved MD-5000 printer.



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Good luck, this will be a great looking model, I think this military vehicles in civilian livery is an excellent idea. 
I may have to look around for something that will pickle my eggs. 

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Nice one Jörgen, looking forward to it! Like you said, it's definitely not beautiful but very interesting none the less. 


@Cooper645 "pickle my eggs"? Ok that's a new one for me 🙂 

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The base for the frame and engine was soon together. The plastic is on the soft side and care is needed when cleaning up things like sprue gates and mold lines, but the parts go together very well. The engine and radiator is only dry fitted here to let the top coolant line dry at the correct angle.




ICM placed the fan completely behind the fan shroud, not very accurate, but it will all be enclosed by the cab and hardly seen from the underside, so I let it pass. Not easy to see here, but the engine is placed off center to right in these trucks.




A lot of tiny parts later I had a complete frame with suspension. The thin bar for the spare wheel cradle at the rear end was impossible to remove from the sprue in one piece, and it was easier to make a new from a correctly sized Evergreen rod. I also broke a very thin steering arm, but that I managed to repair with no visibility. I think I will keep these sub assemblies separate for painting.




When it came to the wheels I noted an interesting quirk on the rear wheels. ICM went through the trouble of detailing the drum brakes internal parts, but put that detail on the back side of the brake flanges...




I couldn't have that, so I just sanded it all off.




I've also started to look at the cab parts. ICM wants you to assemble the exterior panels in several parts around the interior. That means painting the exterior with the interior and possibly some windows already in place, or painting the exterior panels separately before assembly, with joints where there are no real joints, which will not work well on a cab that was in reality painted in one piece. I will try to come up with some method of assembling the important cab panels first and adding windows and interior after paint.

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An interesting project, I'll follow along if you don't mind?



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I like the civilian route as well - makes an interesting second life for a lot of vehicles after the war.


I know nothing about the inner workings of the drum brakes of this vehicle and it's a bit hard to see exactly what they're suggesting the detail on the hubs is, but my Triumph Spitfire has a bunch of stuff on the axle side of the rear drum - the back of the wheel brake cylinder where the brake hose attaches, the parking brake attachment lever and some indents from where the shoes mount inside - perhaps this is what that detail was supposed to be?



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as @gt6mkiii has stated, like his spitfire, these details appear to be visible on the back side, after some googling, detail up sets of these wheels also show the gubbins on the inner axle side. 

see here for example: Passion 132 AHN road wheels


Will you be weathering this or doing a restored version?

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This will be much like the restored version, or possibly as it could have looked early in its civil life, in good condition with only light weathering.


Yes I know what you guys mean that the outside of the drum brake backing plates aren't totally flat, but what ICM did is very much the detail of the internals of the drum brake on this vehicle. On many English cars I know more is seen of the brake cylinder from the back side, as well as some leverage, as they were often sliding the whole brake cylinder in the backing plate mechanically to activate the parking brake. All of that is internal on these brakes with fixed brake cylinders.


On this vehicle what you see on the outside/backside is a faint pressed pattern of the steel backing plate, two shallow round heads at the bottom where the brake shoes attach on the inside, two small square adjusters and at the top the hydraulic fitting into the brake cylinder, which is located completely on the inside of the brake, and it's two mounting bolts. In the photo below you can see (reasonably) the outside/backside to the left (with the tools for adjusting the brake shoes attached) and the internals of the brake to right. Maybe I have a better illustration in a AHN or Galion (same layout) workshop manual, I'll have a look in my workshop library.




What ICM should have done is something very similar to what they did on the front brakes, which are pretty nice. Panzer Art (in the link) seems to have just modelled the brakes after ICM, but doing more detailed and improved wheels and tyres, keeping same problem with the brake detail.


Maybe I should scratch some faint detail, more like the front brakes, to avoid the completely flat backside; I'll have to dwell on that. I'm afraid I'm already departing from "almost out of the box" with the cab right now...

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2 hours ago, Cooper645 said:

It is an element very likely not to be seen, if it were me I wouldn’t worry. I look forward to paint being applied 👌🏼

I think you're absolutely right, not much will ever be seen. I'll leave it until I have the cab and bed built up, and can make a dry mock up of all the major parts before paint.

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33 minutes ago, Bengalensis said:

I think you're absolutely right, not much will ever be seen. I'll leave it until I have the cab and bed built up, and can make a dry mock up of all the major parts before paint.

Sounds like a plan!

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1 hour ago, JeroenS said:

Sounds like a plan!

Indeed. A worse problem is that the wheels are apparently a bit too small. We'll see if it's worth bothering with later on.


Today has seen progress on the cab. I assembled the floor parts and then filled to locations for the indicator stalks. I will modify those and won't need the holes.




Here are the extra set of front lights included it the kit. I think these are meant to replicate the separate "tractor" lights I need, but in a simple way, to use the same locating holes. This needs a little work.




I filled the holes and scratched some stalks that look a bit like those I see on the real things. Then I rounded of the back of the lights. It should look a little better like this. It's hard to see, but I also scribed the missing panel lines up and down from the radiator opening.




Here we have the main parts for the cab. The doors didn't have any locations for the outside door handles, so I had to measure and drill those. I also filled the two tab holes in the rear wall that were for the floor part, and filed off the corresponding tabs.




Then I started carefully gluing the front and sides together, dry fitted and taped to the floor part. These joints must later be filled and sanded perfectly smooth.




When that had dried for a while and was fairly rigid I glued the roof. It's all good fit so far. More drying time needed.




The floor part could then be removed and the rear wall glued. This will now be left over night before I start working on preparing the joints.




While the cab was drying every now and then I cleaned up more small parts to be added later on.




The outside door handles were missing a small shield, or what it may be called in English. I fabricated them from thin Evergreen strips and glued the handles to them with small sag on purpose.


I think both doors will be closed, but the left door might have the window partly down. I will probably need to make that window from thin acetate sheet to make it thin enough in that case, so it depends on how that will look compared to the rest.




I made new indicator stalks from Evergreen strip and bent the brackets from saved old photo etch frames.




They ended up slightly too high, but I think I'll let that pass.




I learned that the war time built AHN's had a small roof ventilation hatch, including the truck I use as build inspiration, so I made a small hatch roughly matching the photo I found. This is rarely seen in any AHN pictures as it's too high from an ordinary photographer's view.




A different rear view mirror was also needed so that was scratched from a piece of brass wire and plastic.




I'll give the cab some extra drying time before addressing the joints, so I'll start building up the bed frame next I think.

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I've had a busy weekend, but more progress today. The bed frame built up well and straight with a little care.




Here are the assembled end pieces, and the license plate holder. I moved the little rear light from center to the left side.




And the whole bed assembled and all glued. Looks nice and square and fits the frame well.




The front corner joints of the cab were easily filled and sanded. All well so far, but the more I look at it the more obvious it becomes that the front wheel arches are too small in their radius. This will not go away...




The joint in the back of the cab was more problematic. The real thing has a welded joint here, but it's different on the sides with what looks like a fairly visible spot weld flange, while the roof section joint is smoother. I made a compromise with thinly stretched sprue glued along to joint. This will be sanded slightly as well.

Fitting the interior from underneath this way is no problem, but it will be best to leave the doors off and paint them separately to be added last.




Then I started on the rear mud guards, or fenders or wheel arches or whatever, and new problems surfaced. They look nothing like the real truck, being far too small in radius, hanging too far down and being far too narrow. Again I assume this has to do with the kit wheels being too small. I can scratch new larger and wider mudguards that sit higher, but it will not end there...






In the mean time I added the small screw hooks or whatever they are called, I believe they are for fastening the frame work for the tarp cover when used. They point in all directions on the real thing, so that's what I did.




Then I dry fitted the major parts to have a good look at the whole picture. It quickly turned out that my least problem is the lack of external rear brake detail with the incorrect detail removed. Not much is indeed seen. What is much worse, and will need attention, are the too small wheels and too small front wheel arches and what will also be the too small and too low rear mud guards. It will never look right to me as it is. Apart from that it didn't look to bad I think.










So what I ended up doing was to order a set of those resin wheels from Panzerart that we saw linked here earlier, that are supposed to be of correct size, as well as obviously better detailed. They should be here in a week if all goes well, so I'll have a look with those on the vehicle and rework the front and rear wheels arches after that. I knew that "out of the box" would fail sooner or later. Oh well.


In the mean time I have that tool box under the left front bed corner to scratch build.

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Nice work. I think the wheels on my ICM KHD are also a bit on the small side. They probably have made "one size fits none" wheels for a bunch of kits. However, on my truck the front and rear wheel arches look to be correctly shaped and large enough, only thing is that the wheels could have been slightly larger by the looks of it. The wheel arches on the Renault do indeed not look good. 

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22 hours ago, JeroenS said:

Nice work. I think the wheels on my ICM KHD are also a bit on the small side. They probably have made "one size fits none" wheels for a bunch of kits. However, on my truck the front and rear wheel arches look to be correctly shaped and large enough, only thing is that the wheels could have been slightly larger by the looks of it. The wheel arches on the Renault do indeed not look good. 

Yes I'm sure those vinyl tires are somewhat generic. The more I look at them the less I like them. And that's most likely the reason why all wheels arches are to tight as well. I hope the ordered resin parts will be good enough. And hopefully I can use the front brake detail from the kit parts to correct the new rear brakes.


Today I created a reasonable tool box with support frame from 0,5 mm sheet and Evergreen rods. At least it fills the space and gives the same impression as on the real thing.




It will be mounted like this when all is painted.




Then I thought I could make a start on some new rear mud guards, even if I can't finish them yet. I started with 0,22 mm sheet aluminum, and after a few trial and errors I had a descent set, as far as I can come without the new wheels.


The real problem creating them is that the bed framework is not completely correct, with the outer diagonal cross bars taking up too much space interfering with the mud guards. The real ones do have some cuts to clear those diagonal bars, but I have to make much larger cuts. It's not terribly visible from ordinary viewing angles, so I will live with that. Also the kit supplied support struts are not exactly as the real thing, but they don't look too bad, and as it's all a compromise anyway I will let that also pass I think.


Here they are reaching a bit too close to the ground and need to be cut further, and the corners should be rounded, but as I may have to adjust their shape when the wheels arrive I stopped development at this point for now.










Another detail I have given some thought is a different support bar under the bed seen on some trucks on each side, including the one I'm looking at, but not present in the ICM kit. It turns out that in this place the hinged pillar for the bed sides is longer and hinged further down, for some reason. With the photos and a drawing I found I could modify this and add the support bars to make it look a bit closer to the real thing.






Here the oversized cuts I have to make in the mud guards to clear those diagonal bars can be seen. These bars should attach to the middle of the bed frame and not the bottom, and possibly they should also end a mm further in from the sides. But never mind.




I think I'm stuck now until the wheels arrive. I'm not too keen starting any painting until I have tried the wheels and reworked the front arches. There might be something else I have to adjust then too.

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Some very nice modifications, I like the toolbox very much. Simple and effective, I will remember this design. 

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On 1/6/2020 at 6:47 PM, Bengalensis said:

what I ended up doing was to order a set of those resin wheels from Panzerart that we saw linked here earlier, that are supposed to be of correct size, as well as obviously better detailed.

🤣 Sorry; fingers crossed they are of the correct dimensions. 

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Today the resin wheels arrived. They do look a lot better both in detail and size. Unfortunately the front wheels rely on using the ICM kit's brake detail in modified form, so I didn't get anything useful for the rear brakes. The rear brakes supplied here are, as I knew, just recasts of the ICM parts with the internals on the outside.




Here is a comparison of the front wheels. A good deal of improvement I think.




I quickly cleaned up the parts and rigged them up as best I could without any glue. I'm a lot happier with this look at the rear, and now I can cut off and enlarge the front wheel arches to look more like the real truck while also fitting the new larger wheels.








When I had removed the front brakes from the kit wheels I got the idea to try and make some really simple resin copies of the surface detail, now that I had them separated. This is very low tech and of limited quality. I pressed one of them a few times into a blob of blue tack.




Then I mixed up some resin I still had in stock. It's old but still working for simple things.




Then the resin was smeared into the blue tack mold and left to cure.




Perhaps the simple copies can be put to use after some work.




I can't find any other good way to paint thees wheels apart from doing it all in separate parts. This means I can't do any reliable dry fitting in unpainted form to modify the front wheel arches. Looks like I have to paint the wheels and the whole chassis, assemble that and then continue work on the cab.



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Today I rigged all the parts to be sprayed some sort of chassis black. Not much more that the underside of the engine will be seen, so I'm keeping this fairly simple.




I chose some sort of greyish black, I used plain black and mixed in some 15-20% medium grey and ended up with this. It may be slightly too flat, so I may give this lot a light coat of varnish, probably a mix of flat and semi-flat. I'll see how it feels when this is fully dried.



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All parts except the cab and bed have now got all basic paint done. There is still some detail to pick out and a bit of light weathering as work go on.




The new front wheels after basic paint.




Today I had to get something done about those front wheel arches. As they are circular and slightly less the 180° in circumference, I thought I might turn myself completely new ones, instead of messing about cutting out and slicing up the originals. Also I'm not happy with their cross section, and I could get that sorted too. So I went out to my larger workshop, found a suitable piece of plastic stock (never throw anything away that might be useful some day) and started working in my smaller lathe.




After some work I had this little ring in a cross section that I thought more suitable for my need.




I marked out where I wanted the new arches to fit and prepared to cut.




Something like this is more what I see in photos of the real thing, not exactly perhaps, but quite close. Having the arches separate will also allow me to paint them black separately without masking.




With the front wheel arches done I could spray primer on the cab parts. With a bit of luck I might get some blue paint on tomorrow.



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Sure, and just like that he turns new arches 🙂 


The new wheels look very good btw

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On 16/01/2020 at 19:26, JeroenS said:

Sure, and just like that he turns new arches 🙂

Yes, I know I get carried away sometimes 😎


I changed my mind about painting the cab exterior first, instead I'm now painting the interior first, the same sequence as I used on the doors. It may seem not to matter, but it will affect how the paint sprays into the edges around the windows, and I want the blue to be the last coming onto the edges from the outside. Right now the cab just looks like a blob of masking tape...


As I started to assemble the last pieces to the frame I realized that the exhaust pipe ended right behind the toolbox, something I failed to check when building it. I now had to cut off the end pipe end lengthen it.




It ended up like this which looks a lot better to me.




Here is the finished chassis. It's good that the front brake parts, that look more like disc brakes without the wheels here, will disappear into the wheels.




The assembled interior, except the engine air filter housing that goes in front of the passenger seat later on.




The new front wheel arches painted black.




After masking and spraying the frame section black on the two windscreen parts, I used a black marker pen around the edges of all windows. This reduces much of the glint around the edges that would otherwise show off more of the material thickness.




There should be a thin strip of the cab shell just under the black top frame and the lower fixed window section. This is not provided for in any form on the windows or the cab itself. I had the choice of just not bothering, or masking and spraying a thin cab colored stripe. Then I thought I might be able to use some thin photo etched strips sprayed in the blue paint I will use. Looking at it I decided that's what I will try.



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Those seats are just really strange! Paint everything orange and you would have a nice '70's interior 🙂 

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