DML 1/72 AAV7A1 MICLIC Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2007||Manufacturer||DML|
|Kit Number||7318||Primary Media||156 parts (105 in grey styrene, 29 etched brass, 22 DS plastic)|
|Pros||Now the mine clearing version the AAV7A1 joins the family; etched brass and optional parts a plus||Cons||DS styrene wheel bushings will make assembly require extra care; no MICLIC "hose" provided!|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$13.98|
Hot on the heels of their AAVR7A1 recovery version of the AAV7 family DML now offers the engineer mine clearing variant.
About 30 years ago several countries came to the conclusion that the best way to clear a minefield sewn with non-magnetic mines and other nasty weaponry was simply to blow them up with overpressure. Somebody figured out the best way to do that was with a tube filled with plastic explosive, but the use of items such as Bangalore torpedoes was fraught with danger, and pushing an assembled set in front of an armored vehicle was like trying to move a cooked spaghetti strand in a straight line. The solution was to use a flexible hose filled with plastic explosive and a rocket to drag it out to its full length, at which point the hose would be detonated. Research showed that a strip about 300-400 feet long and 15-30 feet wide could be relatively reliably cleared with this system. The British called theirs Giant Viper, the Soviets built one using a modified 2S1 "Gvozdika" 122mm SP howitzer chassis, and the US fielded the MICLIC (MIne Cleaering LIne Charge.)
There were several versions of this, one using a trailer and one mounted on the roof of the LVTE7 (later AAVP7) amphibious armored personnel carrier. The hose with the explosive stowed inside the dismount team compartment and the rockets and launchers were mounted on a folding bracket on the roof. To use the system, it would pull up to the edge of the minefield, open the top hatches and erect the rocket launchers, and then fire the launcher across the minefield. Three complete 350 foot MICLIC charges were carried inside the hull.
The new model from DML again uses "mix and match" to offer the new variant, and a new "F" sprue with the topside details is included.
Most of the details of these kits have long ago been discussed, such as the options provided for weapons stations and other fittings. The DS styrene tracks are a plus as they can now be cemented down to "sag" correctly, but since the wheels all use a bushing between two halves for assembly it will require care to avoid getting cement on them and getting them out of plumb or having wheels failing to roll (a great advantage in painting the tires!) Note that both the wheels and the tracks are shared with the M2/M3 Bradley kits, which is correct.
As with most recent versions this kit includes the post-1990 upgrades via the "UWS" or upgraded weapons station (40mm grenade launcher and a .50 caliber machine gun in one turret). You may then make a current version or one of the LVTE7A1 variants, but please note that this hull comes with the attachment points for the EAAK add-on armor protection suite and that will have to be removed for the earlier model.
The wave-breaker can be installed either closed (part A3) or deployed (A4), as can the water jet drives (A21/22 open, A23/24 closed). Thanks to "Slide Molding" the headlights are integral with the upper hull; this gives this kit the same technical capabilities as the diecast predecessor.
The new parts provided include the new hatches and frame that go on the roof, the rack and the three rocket launchers for them. Incredulously, DML provides open hatches and NO MICLIC hoses for the wide open and empty interior! This is a serious goof, as it means the model can only be finished off with the MICLIC launcher folded up and the hatches closed.
An etched brass fret is included with bits for the engine gratings as well as the muffler guard and handholds. The RP (right puny) parts include handles and brackets.
No markings are provided. Finishing is in the three-color NATO standard green/black/brown scheme. This is a bit of a shame as the vehicles were used during Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, but nobody seems to have investigated any markings for them.
Overall this kit is disappointing as it does not show the entire MICLIC device and thge modeler will have to do some research to get good info on the loading of the hose and create his own interior to show the vehicle correctly.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.
- A 48 AAV7A1 turrets and details
- B 42 M2/M3 wheels and drivers
- C 2 AAVP7A1 hull
- D 4 AAVP7A1 lower hull sides
- E 22 DS plastic (M2/M3) tracks and keepers
- F 9 MICLIC hatches and fittings
- MA 29 Etched brass