Kinetic 1/35 4x4 MRAP AFV Kit First Look
|Date of Review||May 2014||Manufacturer||Kinetic|
|Subject||4x4 MRAP AFV||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||61011||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Well engineered and lots of details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
As Operation Iraqi Freedom transitioned from combat to peacekeeping, the number and intensity of improvised explosive devices (IED) grew significantly leaving many of the US forces' combat vehicles vulnerable to insurgent attacks. In a push that hadn't been seen since World War II, the US Department of Defense sought off-the-shelf solutions to provide much-needed protection for the warfighters in-theater, but these solutions needed to be delivered in a VERY ambitious timeline. Contracts were issued to multiple US and international companies for adapted armored cars and riot vehicles, with the better solutions fitted with mission equipment and shipped overseas. These would become the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) combat vehicles.
One such vehicle selected for service was the MaxxPro (Maximum Protection) 4x4 MRAP developed and mass-produced by Navistar Defense (a subsidiary of what used to be known as International Harvester). Unlike most of the other MRAP providers, Navistar had the unique capability to mass produce these heavy vehicles in parallel with their heavy commercial trucks, allowing for much of the MaxxPro to come from off-the-shelf solutions and roll off the production lines in greater numbers.
Kinetic has released the first of the Navistar MaxxPro variants, this representing the earlier Maxxpro that served in Iraq and to a limited extent in Afghanistan. While the MaxxPro was four-wheel-drive, it had solid axles on leaf-spring suspension which made the vehicle prone to roll-overs in rough terrain. With similar mobility problems in other MRAP versions, the US Army contracted for a more agile MRAP All-Terrain-Vehicle (M-ATV) which Kinetic released previously while the US Marine Corps opted for the MaxxPro Dash ISS (Independent Suspension System) upgrade to their existing MaxxPro Dash variants.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Detailed boat hull underside armor plate
- Detailed chassis, suspension and drive train
- Choice of air conditioning packs for both sides of the vehicle
- Full interior with seating for six
- All seats have the unique shock-chord suspension depicted with photo-etch
- Mission equipment including radios, computers, and jammer
- SAG turret
- Choice of M2 .50 caliber machine gun or Mk.19 grenade launcher
- Positionable driver and commander doors
- Positionable rear entry door
- Rubber tires and styrene wheels separate for easy painting
I like the combination of frames and photo-etch along with the clear parts to depict the armored glass. It is ironic that the clear windows provided in most kits are finally in scale thickness with these MRAPs.
This is a great-looking kit on its own and provides the basis for any number of variations based on the wide range of countries and government agencies now using this vehicle.
My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample! This kit is available directly from Lucky Model at a lower price - check it out!