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AAVR7A1 Assault Amphibian Vehicle, Recovery

DML 1/72 AAVR7A1 Assault Amphibian Vehicle, Recovery Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review July 2007 Manufacturer DML
Subject AAVR7A1 Assault Amphibian Vehicle, Recovery Scale 1/72
Kit Number 7319 Primary Media 186 parts (133 in grey styrene, 31 etched brass, 22 DS plastic)
Pros Now the recovery version of the AAV7A1 joins the family; etched brass and optional parts a plus Cons Boom crane only a dummy; DS styrene wheel bushings will make assembly require extra care; nice, big hatches open up on...nothing!
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $13.98

First Look

After a year's silence DML has now released another member in the USMC's AAV7 family, the recovery variant. Of all of the variants, the engineer and recovery versions have always been the most interesting as they have a number of external fitting which liven up the basically barn-shaped hull of the vehicle.

DML again based this kit on their AAVP7A1 RAM/RS kit (No. 7237) and EAAK kits (No. 7233) and once more added one new sprue of parts. The kit retains the EAAK applique 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.

While this kit includes the post- 1990 upgrades via the "UWS" or upgraded weapons station (40mm grenade launcher and a .50 caliber machine gun in one turret) the recovery version does not mount them. (The term "buoyancy" comes to mind about why the vehicle is unarmed.)

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.

The new parts include a boom, winch, side pannier, and cupola for the boom operator (which goes where the gunner's weapon station used to go.) The crane looks to be accurate, but is inoperable and as such, while it can be posed, cannot be extended. Considering that companies such as Kibri can make these parts in 1/87th Scale (HO) operable and in scale, I was a bit surprised to see this one is basically a dummy.

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 one vehicle: Unidentified, USMC, Iraq, 2006, and it is in the three-color NATO standard green/black/brown scheme without the EAAK kit. This is a bit of s shame as the kit provides a number of options but for that the modeler is on his own.

Overall this kit does provide for the recovery variant, and hopefully DML will also do the engineer versions.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Breakout:

  • A 45 AAV7A1 turrets and details
  • B 40 M2/M3 wheels and drivers
  • C 2 AAVP7A1 hull
  • D 29 AAVP7A1 applique armor and details
  • E 22 DS plastic (M2/M3) tracks and keepers
  • E 17 AAVR7A1 boom and parts
  • MA 31 Etched brass