Panda-Hobby 1/35 M-ATV w/CROWS II Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2014||Manufacturer||Panda-Hobby|
|Subject||M-ATV w/CROWS II||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35007||Primary Media||Styrene, photo-etch|
|Pros||New tooling, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$45.95|
For some background of the M-ATV program, look here.
Here is Panda Hobby's first subject, the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV). Rather than being a simple reissue, Panda Hobby has provided a different version, replacing the manned turret with the Common Remote-Operated Weapons System (CROWS). The kit is molded tan styrene and presented on 12 parts trees plus separate cab and hood, two trees of clear parts, three frets of photo-etched details, and five rubber tires.
As with the original release, this kit provides some amazing details on the chassis though they don't provide a full engine, so you can't pose the hood open. The interior is also highly detailed though the only mission equipment provided are the screens for the CROWS. None of the radios, computers, or jammers are represented inside the cab though the exterior includes all of the antennas. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed chassis
- Four wheel independent suspension (more nice details)
- Detailed differentials and transfer case
- Boat hull ventral armor plate
- Detailed crew cab with four positionable doors
- Mission electronics platform between driver and commander (empty)
- Detailed crew seats
- CROWS stations
- Rear frame with antenna mounts
- Radio and SATCOM antennas
- CIED jammer antennas
- CROWS turret
While it would have been nice to have mission electonics included in the kit, I remember from the full-scale program that there were over 20 different mission electronics configurations defined for this vehicle and that would have caused some interesting stir among knowledgable modelers given that there would have been a very good chance that the version they wanted was not included in the box. There are some aftermarket options for mission electronics though one of the better options is located in the EU and insists on charging non-EU shoppers with EU (VAT) taxes - no thanks.
This is still a nice kit and with the addition of CROWS, it provides some interesting variations over the original release. Grab one and have some fun!
My sincere thanks to Panda-Hobby for this review sample!