Renault AHN

Kit #:
72525 (AHN)
72532 (AHN-H)

Preview by Danilo Carli - 172normandyafv(at)gmail(dot)com
Edited by Rob Haelterman

Looking for a Beute truck to place aside my German ones, I found the ACE Renault AHN kits. The Renault AHN was a truck destined to the French Army which didn't arrive in time for it, so its first production series (AHN1) went to serve the Wehrmacht. The second series (AHN2) was produced during war time after the liberation while the third series (AHN3) was post-war production.
Because of the difficult fuel supply, some were produced powered by a wood gas generator. These had an H added to the model letters: AHN-H.
For my needs, I focused my attention on the AHN1 series.
The AHN was one of the three AH variants: the 2 ton AHS, the 3.5 ton AHN and the 5 ton AHR. They had the same chassis made in three sizes, respectively with the following wheelbase:
Type 1/1
3.125 mm 43.4 mm
3.730 mm 51.8 mm
4.440 mm 61.7 mm

ACE’s catalogue currently has four kits, the AHN with flatbed body, the AHN with medical shelter, the AHN-H with flatbed body, the AHR with flatbed body. Although at a glance the differences between the three main variants could look as if they just concerned the body dimensions, this wasn't so. The AHS cab was smaller and a conversion job is more elaborated than strictly to cut short the body and the chassis.
This said, the medical truck kit apart, each ACE kit allows the construction of either AHN or AHR because they share the same five basic grey plastic mouldings: chassis, wheel rims, cab with body bed and two identical moulds for the cargo body. Each single tire is made of black rubber. Instructions and the decal complete the kit. The transparent parts are missing, but their templates are printed in the instructions. The wood gas generator variant has its specific parts in a sixth mould. To tell the truth, the AHR had larger tires (230x20 in place of 210x20), however the difference in 1/72 is about 0.6 mm, which is quite negligible in my opinion.
About the moulds, the pieces are strongly attached to the sprue; their details are soft and have some flash to be cleaned. Here and there some sink marks need to be filled. A careful cleaning is needed, sometimes with poor results. Flat surfaces are not always smooth and forget sharp corners. The better parts are the wheels. On the pieces the references to correctly place themselves are rare and the instructions are not clear about how positioning some pieces. A 1/35 instruction could give a welcome help (one can be found here). A very good info source where to find photos, drawings and data is here (and called "the site" in the text). Another useful site is this one.
Despite what I've written above, dimensions look to be quite well respected when checked against the sketches of the site; the pieces which have a real mistake are the fake chassis (see text).
Having found it at low price, I bought a wood gas generator truck kit, but I chose to make it as a standard AHN1. On the basis of the photos I've seen it looks that different types or ways to install them were used and I didn't find exhaustive iconography to choose one type or another.
When I'll call a piece number it will be referred to the kit instructions (which can be found on ACE’s site).


  • The rear plate 34 received the inner side of the frame and the punched space for a window, not used on production. There were also other details, but the small scale makes the engraving quite hard for not assured results. Also the outer side had some details to be added, but the body and the tarpaulin hide them and I considered adding them a futile exercise.
  • The steering wheel position is high and thus visible when installed. Its rod was replaced by metallic wire placed more correctly.
  • The gear lever has to be placed in the middle. I made it from stretched sprue.
  • Also the hand brake was added by stretched sprue segments (one for the lever and a smaller one for the handle), gluing it to the wall.
  • The air filter (# 22) was resized and placed with the lateral hose made by stretched sprue.
  • The inner roof received a frame rod and the outer side the little door of the air inlet.
  • Particular attention is needed at the vertical edges of the front plate 33. Without a careful adaptation of the edges it will not fit correctly and it will leave some gaps. I used cyanoacrylate glue to fill the joining line and sand paper to sharpen it. The windshield frame was thinned.
  • The lights to be used for an AHN1 truck are the integrated ones (# 50).
  • The Notek light was reshaped and placed on a shim to avoid interferences with the light.
  • The front towing points were made by two hooks shaped as a curl or a corkscrew. I made them from metallic wire although they are a bit oversized.
  • The turn indicators were replaced by plastic strips.
  • Also the door handles were replaced, by stretched sprue, to allow the sanding of the door’s surface which is not completely flat.
  • The shallow moulded-on door hinges were made from stretched sprue.
  • A little punched diskette and a thin metallic wire were used to make the rear view mirror.


  • The AHN1 flatbed was five side frame panels long. For mine I shortened the body, the flatbed and the sides, of one side segment length. The side panels have a diamond pressed from inside to outside. They look too much pushed outward on the inner side where there is a gap between the panel surface and the diamond. The correction is almost impossible and I left them as they are. The side hinges were cut off of as well, to be made better by plastic strip segments and stretched sprue. Regarding these, at least three types look to be used. One type overhangs the flatbed under the edge while a second type had just the third hinge from the front a bit longer. Anyway, on most photos I've seen they don't at all. On each photo I've seen anyway, the hinges weren't solid but "U" section rods. I used thin stretched sprue to make them.
  • The flatbed underside is flat; I added the frame by 1x0.5 mm plastic strips.
  • The tailgate received the hinges made by plastic strips and stretched sprue. If glued in the opened position or not hidden by the tarpaulin the folding step must be added inside.
  • Two frames (called fake chassis on the site) raised the body from the chassis (pieces # 42). These were shortened according to the new flatbed length and have ugly flash which removal is compulsive in my opinion. To sand down the plastic excess on the inner parts I chose to replace the longitudinal rods by 1x0.5 mm plastic strips. Unfortunately, I didn't check the number of the vertical rods, which were seven and not six. After having placed them on the flatbed underside and glued the transversal parts I realized that the vertical rods must be aligned to the flatbed frame. Sadly mine weren't. After a hard pros and cons comparison I chose to leave it so, but the reader is warned.
  • Also the last transversal part of the fake chassis (piece # 17) is wrong and its correction is compulsive (again!) to avoid a very strange look of the rear. I cut it and reshaped it following the drawing present on the site.
  • The mudguards were modified on the basis of photographic evidences. They have to be placed between the 4th and the 5th transversal rod. ACE made the fake chassis wrong and this explains why the instructions leave the area above the rear wheel without the external transversal rods. Compulsive, this time, is the use of photos to place the mudguards correctly. Some variations can be seen, most probably because of a local repair job.
  • The rear light and the plate were fixed on a support made by stretched sprue.
  • The tarpaulin is composed of four pieces and has the references to be cut short. Assembled it looks quite well and the bulbous transversal section is depicted correctly. I just engraved the sheet lines. In some cases they were closed by little belts. The frame is missing and if one wish to have it uncovered it has to be scratchbuilt.



  • Also the chassis (# 11) was resized cutting off the same length cut away from the body. The forward part of the chassis is moulded on the cab floor. Particular attention must be paid to have a correct alignment to the body. In this perspective I chose to glue the chassis to the floor after having completed the cab and the body.
  • The axles huge wheel interlock pins were resized.
  • The steering rods (# 5) were replaced by stretched sprue according to photographic evidence. Its forward part (# 1) was slightly shaped to be correctly placed.
  • The pieces 18 and 19 don't reproduce correctly the original parts and I had to modify them and place differently.
  • The ugly cylindrical fuel tank needs heavy surgery. After having it sanded down smooth, the circular sides were made by punched plastic sheet. The “C” supports were made by plastic strips and the belts replaced by metallic sheet. Also the reservoir pipe was replaced, by stretched sprue.
  • The leaf spring suspensions details are very soft and correct placement not easy; on the rear ones I replaced the shackles by plastic sheet.
  • The longer drive shaft was replaced by stretched sprue.
  • Being poorly rendered, I detailed the spare wheel housing by plastic strips and stretched sprue.
  • The axle tracks give some problem. While the front axle is quite correct for an AHN (and 1 mm narrow for an AHR), the rear one is about 4 mm too wide. I resized the axle to have the right width. Having the doubled wheels, the best way to make the correct dimension is measuring the outer width instead of the axle track.
    Type 1/1
    AHS AHN front axle
    1,717 mm 23.8 mm
    AHN rear axle 1,610 mm 22.4 mm
    AHN rear axle outer width 2,065 mm 28.7 mm
    AHR front axle 1,790 mm 24.8 mm
    AHR rear axle
    1,638 mm 22.8 mm
    AHR rear axle outer width
    2,175 mm 30.2 mm
  • The 210x20 wheels are correctly sized for an AHN, the kit ones are 13.3x3.2 mm for 1/72 dimensions of about 13.6x3.4 mm. They are made by black rubber. I don't like this way of making the tires, but I have to admit that the tread is amazing and together with the wheel rims, these are the better pieces of the kit.
  • The kit gives a wooden box to be attached opposite the fuel tank about which I didn’t find evidence of its existence. Anyway there is photographic evidence about non standard metallic boxes mounted on some trucks. I used it to make one of them, closed by a padlock.

About the decal, my wood gas generator kit # 72532 had markings just for one truck: WH-659180, an anonymous dark gray truck camouflaged by white stripes, which is visible here.
Anyway the plate in the photo is not clearly readable.
The true AHN kit (# 72525) has marking for three trucks. Two anonymous dark gray trucks about which I didn't find photos, WH-931652 and WL-496854, and WH-1170936, of the 336 Inf.Div., East Front, 1942; although I can't say if the marking colour is correct, it look correctly depicted, as can be seen here, where it is identified as an AHR…

Well, it's hard to say. In some way this kit looks very poor and needs a lot of work to have a decent result. Other kits needed a similar amount of plastic and stretched sprue. Anyway, the sharpness of the details of these other kits make these amount of corrections more tolerable. Generally speaking, the detailing job and the corrections summed up during assembly make this a kit which can't be considered for beginners. However, the general dimensions are quite well respected and the variant correctly depicted. On the positive side there is surely the versatility that allows making indifferently one variant or the other. Clearer instructions are strongly suggested. On the other hand, currently, for an AHN in plastic kit, there is no other choice.


Preview sample purchased by the author.



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Article Last Updated: 09 February 2020

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