|KIT:||Italeri 1/35 LAV-25 Air Defense|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
To quote from the rather brief historical section in the instructions: "The U.S. Marine Corps has chosen this version of the amphibious vehicle LAV-25 as its standard anti-aircraft tank. The weapons system is based upon an added turret packed with sophisticated gear to aim and fire Stinger missiles, which are in easily replaceable containers. Furthermore, it is equipped with a rapid-fire 25mm gun for close distance defense."
If you've watched the news or live anywhere near a Marine Corps base, you've seen these eight wheeled vehicles cruising around.
This kit is based on its standard LAV-25. Molded in tan plastic, the molds are in good shape and while I did find ejector pin marks on a few bits that will make cleanup a bit tough, it does look like a well molded kit. I did find several areas with sink marks, and that includes the ends for the Stinger tubes. It will be very hard to fill these and not destroy detail. I also found large sink areas on the main suspension center piece. This will be easier to clean up as there is basically no detail on this part.
Judging from the instructions, the doors and hatches should be able to be displayed open, but you'll have to find an interior as that part of the kit is bare. You'll also have to fill in more ejector pin marks so most of us will have this one with the doors firmly shut! There are the usual plethora of handles, grab bars, lights and other accoutrements that you find hanging all over modern armor. The turret is well done with the Stinger pods atop the main gun and on brackets to the side. The turret rotates and I assume that things elevate as well, but I can't tell from the instructions if this is true or not.
Instructions are well done with color information in generic, FS 595 and Model Master references. You can paint your LAV-25 any color as long as it is Marine Green, though the box painting shows one in sand. At least, it doesn't look much like FS 34079. I'm sure that there will be lots of pics on the internet to help in getting the paint down. The small decal sheet is for one vehicle, well printed, and should work just fine.
Those of you who like modern military vehicles will like this one. It is really what I'd call an armored car or AFV and I'm sure it can hold a squad of Grunts in addition to having the anti-aircraft capability. I've seen similar kits built up and they look quite nice. This one will be as well and with the Stingers, will be a bit different from the norm.
Thanks to for the review kit. You can find Italeri kits at your favorite hobby shop or on-line at www.testors.com
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