Trumpeter 1/35 LAV-25 Paranha USMC Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2005||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||LAV-25 Paranha USMC||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||0349||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Excellent exterior detailing||Cons||No interior detailing|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$24.95|
The Light Armored Vehicle LAV-25 was adopted by the US Marine Corps before the first Iraq war to provide the Marines with inland mobility. These vehicles entered service with the USMC several decades ago and were subject to a variety of inter-service debates over the mobility. The US Army continued to evolve its M113 APC and was bringing the M2/M3 Bradley fighting vehicles online.
The Marines have taken the LAV into combat in a variety of theaters including the Gulf Wars. One of their greatest assets are their ability to be airlifted by C-130. The Marines still have over 400 LAVs in inventory and the Army has finally come around, buying the next generation of LAV - the Stryker.
Modern armor builders have been waiting for a while for a nice LAV kit to finally hit the streets. ESCI took a shot at it a number of years ago, but what the kit lacked in detail, it made up for in other inaccuracies. Italeri also took a shot at the LAV, but it too had a few bugs, primarily with the too-narrow tires which prompted a number of aftermarket corrections.
Trumpeter has released their LAV-25, and from what I can tell, they've captured the dimensions, shape and details nicely. Boasting in at 291 parts on seven parts trees, plus eight rubber wheels, you won't want for details!
The suspension and drive train are the subject of six steps to cover all of the detailing underneath. Even after these six steps, you still haven't added the tires yet!
The upper hull is treated with an equal amount of attention to detail as is the turret. Very little detail is cast into the hull halves and turret (save the periscopes) as everything is added individually. The vehicle has a nice set of water and fuel stowage, pioneering tools, lift rings, smoke dischargers, etc.
The rear compartment doors and turret hatches are molded separately and can be positioned open, but there is no detail inside. This will be an opportunity for the aftermarket companies, but then again, with a retail price of less than $25 USD, I'm not complaining. The engineering to add the interior would have easily doubled the retail price.
The rear stowage basket is molded as one rather fine part and the kit provides mesh to line the bottom and sides of the basket.
One other nice touch are the four figures from their Iraq War 2003 set are included in the kit.
Markings are provided for two vehicles:
- LAV-25, tri-color green/brown/black
- LAV-25, UN peacekeeper
Odd that the boxart and figures indication a desert war veteran is an option but no colors or markings provided.
This will be an easy build straight from the box. This definitely blows away the ESCI molds and provides us with an inexpensive, highly accurate, nicely detailed LAV-25 which can be build in USMC configuration, or perhaps adapted to other configurations from other parts of the world.
In any case, you're going to want to display the model on a mirror or else all of that detail will be missed!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!