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RG-31 Mk.3 US Army MRAP Kit

Kinetic 1/35 RG-31 Mk.3 US Army MRAP Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2013 Manufacturer Kinetic
Subject RG-31 Mk.3 US Army MRAP Scale 1/35
Kit Number 61012 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Well engineered and lots of options Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $69.95

First Look

RG-31 Mk.3 US Army MRAP Kit
RG-31 Mk.3 US Army MRAP Kit
RG-31 Mk.3 US Army MRAP Kit
RG-31 Mk.3 US Army MRAP Kit
RG-31 Mk.3 US Army MRAP Kit

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 MRAP service was the South African RG-31 Nyala which was developed from the Mamba APC. The RG-31 is in service with a number of armed forces around the world including United Nations peacekeepers.

Kinetic has released the first kit of the RG-31 in 1/35th scale styrene and is very nicely done. Molded in tan styrene, the kit is presented on five parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one set of rubber (vinyl) tires. As a bonus, the kit also provides a set of MB figures 'US Soldiers Check Point Iraq' (one tree in tan styrene) and a set of J's Work 'Check Point Road Block Equipment Set' consisting of two trees molded in gray styrene.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Detailed boat hull underside armor plate
  • Detailed suspension and drive train
  • Full interior with seating for eight
  • Detailed armored turret with M2 .50 caliber machine gun
  • Positionable overhead hatches
  • Positionable rear entry door
  • Rubber tires and styrene wheels separate for easy painting
  • Optional checkpoint figures
  • Optional checkpoint fixtures

Like the M-ATV kit, Kinetic provides good antennas on the vehicle but the radio racks inside are empty so you'll need to get your own gear from the aftermarket.

The kit provides markings for:

  • RG-31 Mk.3, 278, unknown US unit, Iraq, 2006
  • RG-31 Mk.3, 522, USMC
  • RG-31 Mk.3, UNIFIL, Lebanon, 2007

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 using this vehicle. In addition, this kit can also serve as a diorama with the figures and checkpoint parts that are included in this box for additional modeling fun.

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!