Panda-Hobby 1/35 Cougar 6x6 JERRV Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2015||Manufacturer||Panda-Hobby|
|Subject||Cougar 6x6 JERRV||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35010||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice details inside and out, full interior included||Cons||None noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$51.95|
In early 2004, before the US Department of Defense launched a massive emergency procurement of what would become Mine-Resistant Armor-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, the US Marine Corps was looking for a Hardened Engineering Vehicle (HEV) which could protect the crews attempting to detect and neutralize the growing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that were targeting US military vehicles in Iraq. The Technical Solutions Group near Charleston, SC designed a new Cougar vehicle that built upon the South African design but also used a Peterbilt drive train. When the MRAP procurement was launched, the US Army also showed interest in the heavy Cougar, so TSG again updated the Cougar design to employ a militarized Catapiller engine, a 24 volt electrical system, and infrastructure to support in-service electronics and equipment. This new Cougar would be the Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle (JERRV).
It is interesting to see how the hobby companies move against one another to get new subjects on the market. Only a few years ago, there were no kits of MRAPs on the market even though these combat vehicles had been at war in the 'sand box' for many years. First Kinetic Models and Panda Hobby released their MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) kits, then we've seen nearly every major MRAP finally appear in scale. One of the hold-outs was the Cougar JERRV which has now been covered by this Panda Hobby kit as well as one from Meng.
This kit is molded in light tan styrene and presented on 13 parts trees (duplicate trees not shown), two trees of clear parts, eight rubber tires, and one fret of photo-etched details. This kit features a full cabin interior complete with mission electronics rack and nice details with an open-top turret. Among the kit's features and options:
- Detailed suspension/drive train
- Dust filter/air cleaner on front right fender
- Detailed driver's station
- Detailed commander's station
- Mission electronics rack
- Seating for four crew members
- Positionable front and rear doors
- Lots of stowage boxes inside and out
- M2 .50 caliber machine gun on turret
- Positionable FLIR ball and stowage shield
- Nice array of communications and jamming antennas provided
This kit also includes an EOD robot kit (green styrene tree in last photo) produced by Bronco Models so you have the makings of an interesting diorama or vignette in this kit. At a military trade show a few years ago, there was a JERRV and its crew doing a demonstration of their vehicle and robots including the one provided in this kit. They used a ramp to get the tracked robot out of the back doors of the vehicle.
The decals provide markings and stenciling for a US Army example. There are many good photos online of the 6x6 Cougar JERRV. This is another great-looking kit from Panda Hobby and it is gratifying to see another member of the MRAP family is available in scale. Keep them coming!
My sincere thanks to Panda-Hobby for the review sample.