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DML 1/72 AAVP7A1 RAM/RS with EAAK Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review November 2006 Manufacturer DML
Subject AAVP7A1 RAM/RS with EAAK Scale 1/72
Kit Number 7233 Primary Media 161 parts (100 in grey styrene, 29 etched brass, 22 in DS plastic)
Pros Finally adds the up-armored kit to the AAV7A1 kit; etched brass and optional parts a plus Cons DS styrene wheel bushings will make assembly require extra care; nice, big hatches open up on...nothing!
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $13.95

First Look

DML has now finally answered requests from small-scalers for the most current version of the big USMC AAVP7A1 and provided the applique armor fit for it. This Israeli-designed applique armor first appeared on these beasts back during Operation Desert Storm but really were most common during and after Operation Iraqi Freedom.

DML has now taken their AAVP7A1 RAM/RS kit (No. 7237) added one new sprue with the new parts. The applique basically comes in two sections, one for each side of the hull, but they are relatively thin and look to be in scale once installed. All of the external fittings such as antenna base units (matching units) and guards are provided as well.

The DS styrene tracks are a plus as they can now be cemented down to "sag" correctly, but since the wheels all use a bushing between two halves for assembly it will require care to avoid getting cement on them and getting them out of plumb or having wheels failing to roll (a great advantage in painting the tires!) Note that both the wheels and the tracks are shared with the M2/M3 Bradley kits, which is correct.

This variant again provides for the post- 1990 upgrades when the vehicles received the ability to mount supplemental armor protection and also an upgraded firepower suite via the "UWS" or upgraded weapons station. This combined a 40mm grenade launcher and a .50 caliber machine gun in one turret. However, the original smaller cupola with .50 caliber only is also provided on the sprues, so the model could be "backdated" much more easily than the diecast one.

The wave-breaker can be installed either closed (part A3) or deployed (A4), as can the water jet drives (A21/22 open, A23/24 closed). Thanks to "Slide Molding" the headlights are integral with the upper hull; this gives this kit the same technical capabilities as the diecast predecessor.

An etched brass fret is included with bits for the engine gratings as well as the muffler guard and handholds. The RP (right puny) parts include handles and brackets.

Markings are provided for four vehicles: 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, USMC, Iraq 2005; ROC (Taiwan) Marines, 2005; 26th MEU, USMC, Iraq 2005; and Italian Marines, 2004. The first three are in the NATO tricolor scheme – the 26th MEU one with its applique armor in sand – but the Italian one is in what appears to be FS34102 Forest Green, the as delivered finish for many modern US armored vehicles.

Overall this vehicle finally permits building the "combat" version of this vehicle.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue breakdown:

29 A turrets and details 40 B M2/M3 wheels and drivers 2 AAVP7A1 hull 29 D AAVP7A1 applique armor and details 22 DS plastic (M2/M3) 39 Etched nickel