Trumpeter 1/35 LAV C2 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2007||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Kit Number||0371||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build, excellent price!||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$32.95|
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 had 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 entered the market with their nice kit released two years ago (reviewed here).
This new LAV variant, the command and control vehicle, is molded in light gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus the upper and lower hull halves, one fret of photo-etch, and a set of tires. This release shares some of the same parts trees as the previous versions, as well as the lower hull. What is new here is the upper hull, a new large tree and a two new small trees. These new trees contain the revised rear of the vehicle, rear access doors, and a number of hull details unique to this variant. According to the specs, there are 238 parts in this kit.
As with the earlier releases, this kit can be displayed with all of the hatches open, but there is no interior provided (nor would I expect one at this reasonable retail price). Nevertheless, there is room for the scratchbuilder or aftermarket companies to develop interiors for these nice LAV kits.
A set of markings for a single USMC LAV C2 vehicle number 521935 and carrying the name 'Death Star' is provided in this kit. If you look at the images, Trumpeter has corrected the spelling of some of the stencils from their LAV-25 release, though there are still a few glitches in there such as:
- WARNIN: versus WARNING
- TOWZNG POZNT versus TOWING POINT
- TYRE POESSORE MICHWAY versus TIRE PRESSURE HIGHWAY
This is another nice kit and represents the command and control LAV variant which will look great with the two previously released variants.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!