Panda-Hobby 1/35 Cougar 4x4 MRAP Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2014||Manufacturer||Panda-Hobby|
|Subject||Cougar 4x4 MRAP||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35003||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice details inside and out, full interior included||Cons||None noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$45.95|
In 2004, the US Marine Corps was looking for a quick solution to protect their troops in the field from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that were devastating Humvees and similar utility vehicles in Iraq. Force Protection Inc. responded with a new vehicle that leveraged their experience with similar vehicles for South Africa and Rhodesia. The initial 27 vehicles were ready within six months of contract award and under the expanded multi-service MRAP program, the US military received another 4,000 examples. The British Army has also adopted this vehicle as the as the Ridgeback PPV (Protected Patrol Vehicle).
I remember lamenting a few years ago about how model companies had been overlooking this new class of combat vehicles that came out of the Iraqi and Afghani wars - the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles. Since that time, we've had two companies (Panda Hobby and Kinetic) release the MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), Kinetic released two versions of the RG-31, Bronco Models released two versions of the Buffalo, Kinetic released the MaxxPro, and now we have the first Cougar kit from Panda Hobby. Let's take a look:
This kit is molded in light tan styrene and presented on 15 parts trees (duplicate trees not shown), three trees of clear parts, four rubber tires, and one fret of photo-etched details. This kit features a full cabin interior complete with mission electronics rack and nice details with the SAG (Save a Gunner) turret. Among the kit's features and options:
- Detailed suspension/drive train
- Dust filter/air cleaner on front right fender
- Detailed driver's station
- Detailed commander's station
- Detailed mission electronics rack
- Seating for four passengers in rear of vehicle
- Positionable front and rear doors
- Lots of stowage boxes inside and out
- M2 .50 caliber machine gun on SAG turret
- Nice array of communications and jamming antennas provided
The decals provide markings and stenciling for a US Marine Corps example. There are many good photos online of the Cougar and its larger 6x6 brother.
This is another great-looking kit from Panda Hobby and it is gratifying to see another member of the MRAP family is finally available in scale. Keep them coming!
My sincere thanks to Panda-Hobby for the review sample.