AFV Club 1/35 Wiesel 1 TOW Kit First Look
|Date of Review||March 2006||Manufacturer||AFV Club|
|Subject||Wiesel 1 TOW||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35014||Primary Media||195 parts (157 in light olive plastic, 34 etched metal, and four vinyl)|
|Pros||The Revell GmbH kit at lower prices; very well done moldings; interior||Cons||Tiny metal parts frustrating to some modelers; very tiny model for relatively high price|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$23.00|
This kit has been around for a couple of years now, but in its European release from Revell GmbH. It was the companion kit to the Scorpion when released as part of the rather wide ranging Revell - DML - Italeri - AFV Club reciprocal arrangement. As such, it really isn’t a new kit, as it was previously out. It also shares most of its lower chassis components with the previously released “special” kit with the 2 cm turret (AFV Club AF35-S03).
But for those who did not get the previous kit – mostly due to its absolutely usurious price of nearly $50 in the US – this is a little gem. The kit has a partial interior (no engine) and the finest TOW launcher I have ever seen, numbering some 29 parts plus etched metal trim. While this kit is small – about the size of a main battle tank in 1/72 or 1/76 scale – it is better detailed than nearly any of the kits on the market of those subjects.
The kit comes with a choice of markings – one of two different numbered vehicles in UN markings from Somalia or one from Fallschirmjaeger Battalion 262. This unit is listed on the instructions and the box art as part of the European joint Franco-German corps.
Overall, the fit appears to be excellent. There is a set of tripod legs provided for the TOW as well as four missiles; a jig is provided if the launcher is to be displayed dismounted from the vehicle. The kit retains the etched metal drive sprockets, which some modelers have found very fussy and easily damaged during assembly. The tracks appear to be a throwback to the “Bad Old Days” of one-sided detail, but examination of photos of Wiesels and the one which was at the AUSA show about three years ago show that this is correct. The interior is a smooth belt, something like the old M3 halftrack tracks or the M114 scout carrier, and the twin sprockets do the work of keeping the track moving.
Overall, for the quality of the moldings and the accuracy which this kit appears to present, and the much lower price, the model is a nice addition to the collection of modern armor fans.