Panda Hobby 1/35 Oshkosh M-ATV
|KIT #:||PH 35001|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit with photo etch parts|
The Oshkosh M-ATV is an MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle developed by the Oshkosh Corporation of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It is designed to provide the same levels of protection as the larger and heavier previous MRAPs but with improved mobility and it is intended to replace M1114 HMMWVs.
The M-ATV utilizes the MTVR chassis and TAK-4 suspension with the Plasan designed armored hull developed for the Northrop Grumman/Oshkosh JLTV. The V-shaped Plasan armored hull offers protection for the occupants from IED attacks while the centrally inflated run-flat tires allow the M-ATV to travel at least 30 miles at 30 mph even if two tires lose pressure. The vehicle can also take a 7.62 mm round to its engine oil/coolant/hydraulic system and continue to drive for at least one kilometer. The Tak-4 suspension is coil sprung and fully independent, and offers 16 inches of travel. The M-ATV's roof mounted turret is capable of mounting weapons such as a M240 machine gun, a Mk 19 grenade launcher, a 50 caliber machine gun, or a BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missile launcher. The roof weapons can be operated either from the turret by person or remotely inside the cabin with a CROWS remote weapon system. The M-ATV also features modern vehicle safety systems such as Traction control and anti-lock brakes in addition to modern creature comforts such as an HVAC system and power outlets for charging portable electronic devices. The vehicle weighs 13.5 tons empty and 16 tons loaded. This near half million dollar vehicle gets a bit over 300 miles per tank from its turbo diesel in-line six cylinder engine.
Originally one of five candidates down selected for the M-ATV (MRAP All Terrain Vehicle) program, the Oshkosh M-ATV was chosen on 30 June 2009 to be the sole winner of the contest. Oshkosh Corporation received an initial order for 2,244 vehicles in a contract worth US$1.06B.
According to the United States Marine Corps program officer for MRAP, Brigadier General Michael Brogan, the Oshkosh M-ATV was chosen because it had the best survivability and Oshkosh had the best technical and manufacturing capabilities of all the competitors. The Oshkosh bid was also the second cheapest. The first vehicles arrived in Afghanistan in October 2009 and all should be delivered by March 2010.
Additional contracts have increased M-ATVs orders to 8,108 as of September 2010.
This is the first kit from Panda Hobby that I have seen. I do not think they have any connection with the older Panda model company as the logos are different. One thing I noticed upon opening the box, is that the sprues are well bagged and are very nicely molded. Tan plastic for the most part with the body and five rubber/vinyl tires in a separate bag. There is a single clear sprue and three superbly done photo etch frets.
The kit is very much detailed and it is also a curb side. I saw no optional parts so it looks like you will be using everything that is in the box. The photo etch is spread out over the construction of the kit, so it is integral to the build. Chassis components are very nicely done and quite detailed. The coil springs are in two parts so you will need to break out the files to remove the seam when attaching the parts. Of course, these may be near invisible when the kit is done.
It comes with a full interior that includes the radio racks, all the appropriate pedals and seats. Decals are used for the instruments. The clear bits are properly thick as you would expect from armored glass. Doors are separate and apparently can only be installed in the closed position, though I am sure that there will be modelers who will figure a work around on this. There is a very nicely done turret that includes the .50 caliber machine gun. A mass of antennas is also included, as is the norm for these sorts of vehicles as well as the 'sniffer' that rides front and center of the vehicle.
Instructions remind me a great deal of what you get in a Bronco kit. They are in booklet form, on glossy paper and superbly done. They are also totally devoid of any color information. In fact, none is given anywhere in the kit or on the box. Unless my sample was missing a color guide, you will have to guess at interior shades and use the box art to estimate colors when painting. The decal sheet is well done and those used during construction are shown in the instructions. External placement is shown on the 'Decal and Color' page on the back of the instructions, which, as I mentioned, is quite bare of any color information.
Aside from the color glitch, this is an excellent kit and a fine start for a new company. The Internet should provide you the color information you need to build this one. Due to all the photo etch and the small parts, I would only recommend this for the more experienced modeler. However you go about it, this will turn out to be a superb model.
January 2012 Thanks to Panda Hobby via their US importer, Pacific Coast Models for the preview kit. This kit is already in US stores and selling well as the LHS got in a ton of them last week and is down to just a few. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to Panda Hobby via their US importer, Pacific Coast Models for the preview kit. This kit is already in US stores and selling well as the LHS got in a ton of them last week and is down to just a few.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page