Kinetic 1/35 M3A3 Bradley CFV Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||February 2018||Manufacturer||Kinetic|
|Subject||M3A3 Bradley CFV||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||61014||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Well engineered and lots of options||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$26.99 (From Luckymodel)|
The M3 Bradley is an armored reconnaissance version of the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). Designed to replace the M113 armored personnel carrier, the M2 ran into a number of problems during its early years leading to the Army retaining the M113 in service. The M2 was incrementally improved as replacements failed to materialize, including the IFV that was part of the cancelled Future Combat Systems and Ground Combat Vehicle programs. The M3 Bradley was similar to the M2, with the notable differences being the absence of firing ports on the sides of the hull and more ammunition stored inside the hull. While improvements to armored protection were added with the A1 and A2 variants, the A3 introduces the integrated mission systems for communications, situational awareness, and fire control.
Here's the latest kit from Kinetic, an all-new-tooled M3A3 CFV. The kit in molded in gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus upper and lower hull halves, one tree of clear parts, and one fret of photo-etched parts. You can see the nice detailing on the two views of the hull.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Detailed suspension and drive train
- Link and length track
- Positionable rear hatch
- Positionable rear ramp
- Positionable rear entry door
- Positionable overhead door
- Positionable driver's hatch
- Optional ERA protection
- Detailed targeting sensors
- Positionable TOW launcher
- No interior details in hull or turret
While some may prefer the detailed individual track links, having just built two sets for a pair of M1 Abrams kits, I am happy to see this as another alternative to the traditional 'rubber band' tracks.
The painting call-outs use Mig paints and while they provide generic markings, there are no instructions on what markings should be applied and where. Generic color profiles provide the tri-color NATO camouflage or the desert sand camouflage.
While there are a few M3A3 kits on the market, this kit is an easy build and offers some outstanding details at a very reasonable price.
My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample! This kit is available directly from Lucky Model at a nice price - check it out!