Bronco Models 1/35 Buffalo 6x6 MPCV w/Slat Armor and Spaced Armor Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||November 2014||Manufacturer||Bronco Models|
|Subject||Buffalo 6x6 MPCV w/Slat Armor and Spaced Armor||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35145||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-etch|
|Pros||VERY nicely detailed kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$94.95|
After the fall of Suddam Hussein, a growing insurgency planted roadside bombs which devastated the Humvee and its crews with alarming frequency. Despite efforts from industry and improvised solutions in-theater to improve the armor protection of the Humvee, the insurgency would simply use bigger bombs. An emergency requirement was developed - the Mine-Resistent Armor-Protected (MRAP) vehicle. In a push that has not been seen since World War II, the US Department of Defense sought off-the-shelf solutions to provide much-needed protection for the warfighters in-theater, but these solutions needed to be delivered in a VERY ambitious timeline. Contracts were issued to multiple US and international companies for adapted armored cars and riot vehicles, with the better solutions fitted with mission equipment and shipped overseas.
If you lived near Charleston AFB, you saw not only C-17 Globemaster IIIs but also An-124 Ruslans that were hired to help airlift MRAPs into theater. With the MRAPs in Iraq, US military crews finally had adequate protection from IEDs. Even though many of these MRAPs were still destroyed by these IEDs, the crews usually escaped with minimal injuries against threats that were usually fatal in the Humvee.
Bronco Models previously released kit 35101 as the Buffalo Mine-Protected Combat Vehicle (MPCV), one of the many MRAP types that were successfully rushed into theater. That kit included full wrap-around slat armor and was one of the most detailed MRAP kits produced to date. This release represents the up-armored Buffalo featuring exterior armor supplements using spaced armor as well as slatted armor to enhance protection against rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and the addition of the CROWS II remote weapons system.
This kit is molded in desert tan styrene and presented on 22 parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus upper and lower hull shells, slide-molded M2 machine gun, eight trees of clear parts, and one fret of photo-etched details. This will not be a weekend build. The features and options in this kit include:
- Chassis and boat hull armor plate molded as integral unit
- Detailed suspension
- Detailed 6x6 drive train
- Armor-protected transfer case
- Nicely detailed heavy-duty off-road tires
- Detailed CROWS II system with choice of M2 or M60 gun
- Detailed crew compartment
- Nicely detailed driver's dashboard
- Detailed radio rack
- Detailed crew seats w/molded-on crew restraints
- Detailed CROWS II operator's station
- Positionable overhead hatches
- Positionable rear entry door
- Positionable entry ladder
- Nice SATCOM antennas
- Nice array of communications antennas
- Movable robotic arm
- New spaced armor on sides of vehicle
- Slat armor encloses remainder of vehicle
- Positionable rear slat armor for vehicle access
- Nice selection of exterior light fixtures
- Set of water bottles included
- Set of M4 carbines included
The well-illustrated 40-page instruction book will walk you through the assembly process and you shouldn't find any surprises. About the only thing this kit doesn't have is an engine and engine compartment but the model would have been quite a bit more complex to create the positionable hood and related armor slats to make that work. An AMS modeler could make that happen with some scratchbuilding and/or aftermarket items but kudos to Bronco Models for not making the model so complex that it would also be more expensive.
My sincere thanks to DML for this review sample!