VBL/VB2L Very Baffling to Look at?

(Yes, yes, I did do that on purpose…) I am working on doing a model of the Panhard VBL, but I’ve having quite a bit of difficulty in ascertaining the versions.

The rear is the issue. Some VBLs have a sort of “pinched” rear and others don’t.

The information is a bit… Sketchy, as all the places I’ve found talk about the various roles and armament, but only mention the command post as being the long version, which is the VB2L.

But I’ve see a large amount of photos that are with the straight back, all just labelled VBL (even in wiki’s main page) and it doesn’t all seem to be related to the role, since I’ve seen some with turrets on the pinched back and some on the straight back.

With some estimated proportions from using my ruler on the screen, I began to wonder if maybe all the straight-backed ones I’d seen were VB2Ls (especially the export versions) and just not called as such.

But then looking at Tank Encyclopedia, I saw their illustrations of both pinched and straight backed VBLs AND a longer version for the command post (presumably the VB2L).

I am thus now baffled.

Are there pinched and straight backed VBLs and a straight backed longer VB2L?

Or is it that tank encyclopedia’s illustrations are wrong? (I mean, possible, but I feel like drawing that many illustrations would entail looking at enough VBLs that the differences would be noted right? I mean, I spotted it and I don’t want to do them the disservice of assuming they are less diligant than me (since they presumaly have better sources than my Use Google image Search).

I’m having difficult locating sources that clearly show both apparent VBL versions together. The best I’ve found is here, where photos 8 and 9 show a VBL and a VB2L together… But that hasn’t helped me work out if all the straight back VBLs are VB2Ls, or if this genuniely is just a VB2L with pinched-back VBLs.

I would greatly appreciate anyone who could shed an light on this.

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The first picture shows a short wheelbase VBL. The second one shows the long wheelbase VB2L.

2 more views :



In this view, the one in the foreground is a VB2L, the oher is a VBL


Right, so I’m gathering that my postulation was right: all the straight backed VBLs ARE VB2Ls, then.

It makes sense, but then tank encyclopedia confused me. Just goes to show why you never rely on one source for your information…!

Many thanks.

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VB2L (a.k.a. VBL Chassis long)



Cheers, that last image will be very useful; I was planning to do a long-base anyway after I’d finished the short-base, and that will give me a more solid basis for the dimensions than just adding the extra 200mm by eye.

And here I was thinking you were referring to the new camo of the French army,


I’ll be more than happy to see you tackle this. Not an easy conversion at all. And hopefully when you are done Tiger Model if they still exist or another manufactruer will release one in plastic. :grin:


Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not a 35th scale kit modeller, I’m afriad; I make CAD models for 3D printing for wargames at 144th scale. (Moderns (i.e cold war onwards) is one part, but my true love is starships and scifi ground forces.)

I actually finished the VBL yesterday and did the first print on my FDM printer. (I have a couple of print houses, actually one of which does resin when this will be released.) So here’s very quick and dirty picture before breakfast - basically no clean-up or anything.

You willl, at least, be pleased to know that the guns are required to be rotatable (principally for the set of rules used, which is designed to simulate real-world tactics).

If you’re wondering, the little block on the bottom of the wheels are required for printing, since, basically, you can’t print wheels; I tried cutting off about 0.3-0.5mm off the bottom, but even that tended to fail (about 25% of the time), whereas the block at least ensure they stick.

(Though I mean, TECHNICALLY, by definition, it does mean a manufacturer making 'em plastic, but I don’t think it’s quite what you would be hoping for…!)

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I’m impressed. I’ll never dare painting those tiny VBLs.


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I only paint to wargames standard (I.e. designed to be viewed with at three-foot because that’s how high your head is above the table when you play), not especially for the sake of painting in and of itself, so it’s not as if it’s a high standard or anything. And as I say, I’m not really a moderns player even then, that’s the work-work part of my job.

But I pride myself as trying to as reasonably accurate as I can with a zero budget and within the constraints of printing thicknesses and detail size, which is why I occasionally come here with questions if I can’t puzzle something out myself!