Panda-Hobby 1/35 M1296 Stryker Dragoon IFV Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2018||Manufacturer||Panda-Hobby|
|Subject||M1296 Stryker Dragoon IFV||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35045||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$59.95|
The US Army decided to acquire six brigades of armored wheeled vehicles based upon the Canadian LAV III after the failure of the Future Combat Systems program. The resulting new family of vehicles was named after two Medal of Honor recipients, one from WW2 and the other from the Vietnam war, both named Styker. The vehicles soon saw action after the second Gulf War shifted to counter-insurgency operations and while it had its share of problems, neither the Stryker nor the LAV were designed for these type of combat operations. Nevertheless, the Strykers proved their worth and were given a series of upgrades to improve survivability as well as combat effectiveness.
One of the latest variants of the Stryker family is the M1296 Stryker Dragoon that is so new, that the first units took delivery of the vehicle in December 2018. The most notable improvement to this Infantry Fighting Vehicle is the 30mm Mk.44 Bushmaster main gun, which fires the same ammunition as the GAU-8 Avenger that arms the A-10 Thunderbolt II. The Mk.44 is in service on a variety of platforms from the newest AC-130J Spectre (GAU-23) to the San Antonio-class amphibious transport ships (Mk.46 GWS).
Panda Hobby has just released the Stryker Dragoon, the first of the Stryker family from this company and as I said above, it is so new that the full-scale vehicles are also just arriving with their units. Kudos to Panda Hobby for getting such a new subject out in scale so fast!
The kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on five parts trees (duplicate tres not shown) plus upper and lower hull, one tree of clear parts, eight in black (wheels) and one small fret of photo-etched details.
Among the kit's features and options:
- Detailed drive train and suspension on the lower hull
- Tires are styrene and molded separately from the wheel hubs
- Nicely detailed laminate armor plating and skid plates
- Photo-etched screens for engine deck
- Clear periscopes
- Positionable rear hatch and rear ramp
- Positionable driver and commander hatches
- Detailed side and rear stowage racks
- Detailed main turret
- Slide-mold provides hollow gun barrel (at the tip) and air horn bell
- Fuel cans provided for rear stowage
The kit provides markings for the 2nd CAV in Germany who are the first recipients of the M1296 as well as hull stencils.
Overall, this looks like a nice kit and comparable in layout to Trumpeter's original Stryker which I built over a decade ago. I'm looking forward to seeing how this kit goes together and how it will look alongside my M1126.
My sincere thanks to Panda-Hobby for the review sample.