Panda-Hobby 1/35 Husky Mk.III VMMD w/GPRS Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2018||Manufacturer||Panda-Hobby|
|Subject||Husky Mk.III VMMD w/GPRS||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35015||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||None noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$47.95|
The US Army procured an off-the-shelf armored mine detection vehicle with the Husky. Developed in South Africa for their own counter-terrorism forces, the US Army ordered the Husky Mk.III in 2010. These vehicles provide their operators with armored cockpits and high technology detection equipment to provide convoy protection in high threat areas. The bottom of the vehicle features a sharp V hull to deflect detonations underneath and modular construction to allow the vehicle to be restored to service within hours after an mine/bomb detonation. The Husky is powered by a Mercedes diesel engine driving a 4x4 power train which gives this vehicle some impressive capabilities. The vehicle features a mine detection system mounted on retractable arms under the center of the vehicle (Vehicle-Mounted Mine Detector - VMMD) and many of the Huskys have also been equipped with a Ground-Penetrating Radar System (GPRS) that can be extended ahead of the vehicle to look for buried explosives.
Panda Hobby has released a second version of their Husky Mk.III kit, which also appears to be a simple build with some nice details. This is a smaller vehicle and the kit is not over-engineered, so construction of the basic kit will be quick and easy. Among the kit's features and options:
- Detailed suspension/drive train
- Nicely detailed hull
- Photo-etched grilles on the engine hood
- Positionable driver's hatches
- Clear armored glass (need tinting)
- Positionable mine detection antennas
- GPRS antenna and system boxes
- Optional CREW system
The Army's Husky vehicles come in a variety of colors as long as they're all Desert Sand. That means the base coat will be simple with time spent on bringing out the details. The box art does a nice job of illustrating the various colors of the details on this vehicle. If you go online and look at some of the photos of these vehicles in the field, you'll see some interesting variations that may be worth adding to your model. The kit does provide an optional Counter-IED Electronic Warfare (CREW) antenna for the front of the vehicle.
The decals provide a nice array of stencils and placards.
While AFV Club did release the Husky Mk.III first, it cost twice the price of the Panda-Hobby kit. The AFV Club kit didn't include the distinctive GPRS system, nor did the first release from Panda-Hobby. Legend released the GPRS antenna as an aftermarket item, but it costs more than the first Panda release. With this release we have the Husky Mk.III with the GPRS and at a price still much lower than the original AFV Club kit.
My sincere thanks to Panda-Hobby for the review sample.