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Wolf Kit

Hobby Boss 1/35 Defender XD 'Wolf' WMIK Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2011 Manufacturer Hobby Boss
Subject Defender XD 'Wolf' WMIK Scale 1/35
Kit Number 82446 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Lots of details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (Yen) ¥4800 (about $48.00 USD)

First Look

Wolf Kit
Wolf Kit
Wolf Kit
Wolf Kit
Wolf Kit
Wolf Kit
Wolf Kit

Land Rover is synonymous to mobility in the British Army as Jeep and Humvee are to the US Army. Land Rover Defender was the main vehicle type for the British Army and the armies of the Commonwealth for many years, and in 1994, Land Rover created a new variant - the Defender XD (eXtra Duty) to replace the older vehicles in service. The XD is powered by a 300Tdi engine and were produced in 90 and 110 inch configurations.

These XD Defenders were called the 'Wolf' and these can be equipped with hard tops or soft tops and where needed, could be fitted with a Weapons Mount Installation Kit (WMIK). WMIK vehicles could carry a 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine gun on a gun ring in the rear or the MILAN ATGM launcher. Gun mounts for squad weapons are provided for the driver and commander as well.

Hobby Boss has released another interesting kit that has not been rendered in plastic before, the Land Rover Defender XD. This kit is the top-less WMIK configured variant, and it is likely that Hobby Boss will release a few other Defender variants as well. Accurate Armour has also produced this kit in resin.

The kit is molded in desert sand styrene and presented on five parts trees plus one tree of clear lenses, one set of rubber tires, and two frets of photo-etched parts.

If you remember the SAS Jeep kit that shows how a special operations Jeep was equipped for irregular warfare during World War 2, you'll definitely see the similarities in the layout of this modern off-road warrior.

Assembly of the kit starts with the engine and this kit has a very nice turbo diesel engine here. There is good reason to have the hood open or positionable on this kit.

Next comes the frame rails, you're building the chassis from the ground-up. The kit provides a nice 4x4 drive train complete with reinforcement arms on the differentials.

The body is assembled next, and like the chassis, this gets boxed together from a number of parts as well. The kit provides nice stowage with photo-etched mesh and comes complete with ammo cans and fuel and water Jerry cans.

The three-place seating is replicated with the steering wheel on the right side of the vehicle, driver, commander, and rearward facing rear gunner. The roll cage gets built up with the gun ring that goes over the rear gunner's seat along with a section of PSP plate for getting unstuck, just like the old SAS Jeeps.

The kit comes with lots of nice details including the thermal IFF panels used in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. While these vehicles were able to get about the battlefield effectively during the shooting war, they were extremely vulnerable to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used by insurgents during the 'peace-keeping' phase of the conflict.

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • Wolf, 2003 Iraq War, British Army
  • Wolf, standard service (green camo), British Army

This is a nice looking kit of a modern desert warrior and will appeal to modelers of contemporary warfare. With all of the detail in the box, all you're missing are some crew figures and their personal gear to complete the vignette.

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!