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LAV-25 Kit

Italeri 1/35 LAV-25 Air Defense Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2005 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject LAV-25 Air Defense Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6274 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Currently only AD version available Cons No interior
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $36.00

First Look

LAV-25 Kit
LAV-25 Kit
LAV-25 Kit
LAV-25 Kit

The Light Armored Vehicle LAV-25 was adopted by the US Marine Corps before the first Iraq war to provide the Marines with inland mobility. These vehicles entered service with the USMC several decades ago and were subject to a variety of inter-service debates over the mobility. The US Army continued to evolve its M113 APC and was bringing the M2/M3 Bradley fighting vehicles online.

The Marines have taken the LAV into combat in a variety of theaters including the Gulf Wars. One of their greatest assets are their ability to be airlifted by C-130. The Marines still have over 400 LAVs in inventory and the Army has finally come around, buying the next generation of LAV - the Stryker.

The LAV Air Defense (LAV-AD) variant replaces the gun turret with a new 'turret' housing an operator position inside and a pair of four-shot Stinger missile canisters outside. For close-in threats, the vehicle also has a 25mm gatling gun for self defense.

Italeri has re-released their LAV-AD kit just in time to face off with the recent Trumpeter LAV-25. The kit is molded in tan styrene and is presented on three parts trees, plus a small sprue of clear windows for the air defense turret.

The Italeri LAV series had a few bugs in the details, the most noticeable of which were the narrow tires. As far as I can tell, the tires in this release appear to be uncorrected, though there are a number of aftermarket replacement wheels to fix this one visible detail.

Comparing the hulls between this kit and the Trumpeter release reveals minor differences as is typical of any two different kit manufacturers interpreting plans and photos into a three-dimensional representation. As for differences in suspension and other details, if Italeri does anything, they tend to keep their kits simple as not to frustrate less-experienced modelers with over-engineering.

Markings are provided for the developmental prototype as it appeared at Yuma test range in 1993 and for a typical operational vehicle. For whatever reason, my example did not include the decals

While I am happy to see this variant of the LAV available again, I am puzzled that the MSRP is $11.00 more than the detailed Trumpeter offering. Nevertheless, if you are a modeler of air defense systems, this is the only game in town in this scale.

My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!