Hobby Boss 1/35 Jackal 1 High Mobility Weapon Platform Kit First Look
|Date of Review||April 2021||Manufacturer||Hobby Boss|
|Subject||Jackal 1 High Mobility Weapon Platform||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||84520||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice kit||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$106.99|
British Army forces operate a variety of combat support vehicles in the sandbox to protect convoys, reconnoiter adversary movements, and conduct combat operations as required. Like the US Army and the HUMVEE, the British Army performed these duties with variants of the Land Rover, and while these vehicles had been upgraded to protect against small arms fire, they were vulnerable to Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). While US forces developed the M-ATV for protection of its troops in the field, the British Army developed the MWMIK (Mobility Weapon-Mounted Installation Kit) family of vehicles based upon the Supacat 4x4 which include the Jackal 1. The Jackal 1 could seat four troops with a potential fifth up inside the gun ring. The Jackal 2 was the follow-on version which incorporated changes/additions based upon lessons learned in the field, including the relocation of the gun ring.
Here's a new-tool kit from HobbyBoss that represents the Jackal 2 configured vehicle. When I first posted this first-look, I incorrectly assumed this was indeed the Jackal 1 as shown on the box, but I had noted that one of the notable differences between the Jackal 1 and the Jackal 2 was the placement of the gun riing. According to various sources online, the gun ring on the Jackal 2 sits on the back end of the area behind the driver/front gunner whereas the ring had been shifted to the front, immediately behind the driver and front gunner. So even as I wrote the first version of this first-look, I wondered when HobbyBoss would release the Jackal 2. I don't wonder any longer. Thank you Niall for the heads-up!
Molded in tan styrene, this kit is presented on nine parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus upper and lower body halves, one tree of clear parts, six frets of photo-etched parts, and one set of rubber (vinyl) tires. Considering the lower half of the shell includes the lower armor hull for IED protection, the kit provides some impressive details with the 4x4 suspension system.
Considering the full-scale vehicle isnt that big, this kit is loaded with details in the crew areas including mission electronics, structural frames and armor plates, pioneering tools, ammunition/fuel/water stowage, and more. There are some tiny parts in the kit as well as extensive use of photo-etch to replicate the details of this vehicle, but with patience and carefully following the instructions, you can build this kit with no problem. While I'm not one of those modelers who can build a kit and do all of the painting near the end, this is one of those kits that will easily support that approach given that the vehicle is painted desert sand, and you only need to paint the stowage, weapons, and whatever other details you wish, before they're installed on the model. The only detail I couldn't find (probably locked away somewhere) is the BV. You can't have a British combat vehicle without a boiling vessel (tea pot) for that essential cup of tea.
Given that this kit is really a Jackal 2, you could backdate the kit to the Jackal 1 configuration by moving the gun ring, removing the IED jammer rack at the rear of the vehicle, and removing the armored doors for the driver and front gunner (check your references). Somewhere along the way, the Jackal 1 has the spare tire mouned on the driver (right) side of the vehicle where it was later relocated to the left side. The parts are in the kit, you'll just need to make some adjustments to either go all-on on Jackal 1 or Jackal 2.
There are some nice photos of the full-scale vehicle online which will help with painting and detailing this kit, as well as how crews stow their own gear for extended operations in the field.
I'm looking forward to getting this kit on the bench as it will be a nice counterpoint to the US' M-ATV for sandbox operations.
My sincere thanks to Model Rectifier Corporation for this review sample!