Heller VBCI with a bit of extra work

Hi all
a while ago I decided to begin the VBCI I had in the stash. The hull is nearly complete as is the turret. I present the various steps already achieved. I’ll continue to show the progress when I have time to work on this one.

I have a bunch of AM stuff to add and I’ve added as much details as I could depending on the references I have. I want to show it with the rear ramp lowered and most of the hatches open.
I have done some work so far but the process will be a long one.

First the AM stuff.

Shock absorbers rear hole filled.

Front armor plates to modify.

Rear armor plate with Galix launchers replaced by resin ones.

Bin gaps to be filled.

Shock absorbers in place with the holes filled.

Front plate modified and in place.

Basic interior floor before and after

All the seats are redone with details added.

The left troop compartment is nearly complete.

Modified engine grille.

End of the left side

Beginning of the right side

The roof temporarily in place to show the AT4 racks underneath

I managed to detail a bit more the area around the right ramp actioner (is this correct?). I also modified the turret shield but to be fully accurate I should have replaced nearly the whole thing with a perforated round metal sheet. Way too much for my skills.

The engine inner wall with the various monitors and controls of the vehicle commander and the driver.

First the Heller original part with all the details molded solid.

The same panel with my modifications

New seats for the driver and the commander must be done. I still need to add the foot-rest under the commander’s seat and the most difficult i.e. the supports bolted to the hull side and the associated jack.

Heller offering

The modified seat



The both seats are over. The commander’s one has a footrest.

Commander and driver stations done. I’ll paint separately the sub-assemblies before gluing the engine wall.
The seats are fitted with blu-tac for the photos.

I sprayed the base coat of white on to the various parts. When they are dry I’ll start painting the details.

Another flaw of the kit is the rear ramp inner face. The padding patches are wrong in their dimensions, one is missing and will be added later on. I fixed the wrong shape of the door inner face too.
I’ll use putty to fill the various gaps and holes. Hopefully the result will be close enough to the actual ramp.

Beginning of the paint job of the interior. The right side is not complete. I still have to add some racks.

I have started to detail the rear panel. Here is the Heller panel.

Here is the modified panel. The inner frame is larger and has rounded corners.

The ramp inner face. It still misses the antislip coating.



Talk about a silk purse, that looks great.

The two actuators for the ramp locking hooks are missing in the kit.

Last series of details before the box is shut.

Some wiring added.

Some progress made on the turret. I still need toadd the Galix tubes with or without the grenades loaded (I still haven’t made my decision). The caps securing cables are missing and will be added.


This is where I am as of today.


to be honest this is not a bad kit. Let’s say that Heller missed some obvious details but the good point is the fit which is very good.


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That’s some stunning scratch building for that Olivier, you have added so much to it, it’s like a completely different kit. I’m glad most of the hatches will be open, you couldn’t hide all that attention to detail … It would be a crime. Will be following this one for sure :+1::+1:

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Johnny said it better, it looks like two different kits.

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Yes, this is another nice one to follow… :+1:

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Amazing work there Olivier

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It’s great to see such fine details going into this kit. The commander and driver stations are extremely good and the troop compartment is also brilliantly kitted out. Very fine scratch-building Olivier.

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It is really outstanding work Olivier!


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Man that is some fabulous scratch work additions that you have created!!! Beautiful work!!!

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Excellent scratch building work Olivier! Plenty of details added … WOW!


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It’s really amazing and I can’t stop looking at photos.
Do you have any unique techniques for gluing detailed interiors without melting the excellent details?


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Thank you all the comments.
Akio, I don’t think I have any special technique. I just sparingly use extra thin cement from Tamiya to secure the parts at the beginning. And if needed I add some more glue.


Absolutely stunning work Olivier.

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Thank you ,Olivier
I’ve ruined self-product parts with gluing before.
I must understand that the sparingly apply.

Today I tackled the inner faces of the commander and driver hatches.

Heller parts

After the modification

I also applied the antislip coating

There will be some touch-ups and the front corner will be done when I have detailed the rear view mirrors brackets.



Lovely detailing Olivier. Your making this a real stand out kit for sure. :+1:

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Thank you.
I’ll be away from the workbench for the week. In the meantime I’ll continue getting reference pictures for some obscure details I would like to add. Fortunately I came across a walkaround with a clear picture of the commander hatch hole which perfectly shows how it opens.
Next challenge will be detailing the large troop compartment roof hatches.