HobbyBoss 1/35 Defender XD 'Wolf' WMIK

KIT #: 82446
PRICE: $48.99 SRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New tool kit


In 1994 Land Rover created the Defender XD (XD= eXtra Duty) to replace and complement then-current vehicles. Powered by 300Tdi engines, the XD has a much stronger chassis, with fibre webbing around the welded joints in the chassis and around stress points to massively increase load capacity. The XD was available both in Defender 90 and 110 forms and known to the British Army as Land Rover Wolves. Usually 110-inch (2,794 mm) Soft or Hard Tops, they are used for patrol, communications and supply duties. 90XDs are less common, but are generally ordered as Soft Top or Hard Top vehicles for light liaison and communications. Short-wheelbase vehicles lack the load capacity needed by modern armies, and the increased power of heavy-lift helicopters has made the larger 110s easily air-transportable- a historic advantage of the smaller, lighter 90.

Land Rover always offered its "Core" military Defenders with the 300Tdi engine rather than the more powerful but more complicated Td5 engine offered in civilian vehicles. Before the 300Tdi engine was introduced, military Land Rovers were offered with 2.5 litre petrol and diesel engines, as well as the 3.5 litre V8 petrol. Although trials with the Td5 engine proved it to be reliable in battlefield conditions, it was decided that servicing and repairing its electronic control systems should they fail was too complicated and reliant on having diagnostic computers available. Land Rover were also unable to guarantee they could make the Td5 resistant to electro-magnetic interference. The Australian Army also tested the Td5 and found it to be reliable, but was concerned that the extra performance and speed that the engine gave would result in more accidents and vehicle damage on rough tracks when driven by inexperienced drivers, so opted for the older engine as well.


Hobby Boss has garnered a rather good reputation for molding and engineering over the recent years. Yes, they pull a boner once in a while, but overall their kits have shown to be well thought out and accurate. This kit of the most recent Land Rover is an example.

The kit is very well detailed with a complete engine, chassis and drive-train components. The frame itself consists of all the appropriate cross bars and suspension attachment points as separate parts. The suspension fore and aft is quite complete with all of the proper linkages. A full exhaust is also included. Two piece wheels trap a rubber tire, or you can slip it on afterwards as the tire is somewhat hollow.

Not surprisingly, much of the parts count is for the body and this is built up from the base interior/cargo section. A full roll cage that mounts a scarff ring for a machine gun is also part of the build. The kit includes both inner and outer fender section as on the actual vehicle and you have a plethora of bits and pieces to attach to it. From the look of things, this is a kit that one will be painting as one goes along. In addition to the heavy machine gun for the cargo mount, there is a lighter one to fit on a swing arm in the passenger compartment. The photo etch fret is used mostly for the radiator screens and for a mesh carrying container on the rear of the vehicle.

Instructions are superbly drawn and as usual, offer minimal painting information. That info is given in the full color exterior painting guide. You basically have a choice between OD or Sand in your choice of overall colors. The painting guide has a number of manufacturer options when it comes to choosing paints so finding one locally shouldn't be a problem. As another note, Hobby Boss is one of those companies that wraps fragile parts in strips of bubble foam as they did in several places on this kit. They should be commended for doing this as it keeps the parts from being damaged in shipment.

Those of us who like vehicles like this will find the 'wolf' to be a great addition to our collection. The detail level is quite high and should produce an exceptional replica straight from the box.



 April 2011

Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview sample. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer

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