Panda Hobby 1/35 Husky Mk III VMMD w/GPRS
|KIT #:||PH 35015|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Husky VMMD (Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector) or, as it was previously known, the Chubby system, is part of a mine-removal system developed by DCD-Dorbyl Rolling Stock Division which are based on the East Rand in Gauteng, South Africa.
The system was developed in the 1970s for the South African Defence Force to clear military convoy routes of mines in Namibia and Angola. The VMMD system consists of two Husky vehicles. The first one acts as a Mine Detection Vehicle (MDV). In the past this vehicle was called a Meerkat and wasn't a 4x4. The second Husky in the system tows a set of three Duisendpoots and is known as a towing /mine detection vehicle (T/MDV) The latest version of the Husky, the 2G, has high sensitivity low metal content detectors, ground penetrating radar, powerful air blowers and a robotic arm. This extra equipment has caused the design of Husky to evolve to take a second crew member. The Husky 2G was voted one of the US Army's Top 10 most innovative advances in Army technology.
The Husky MK III VMMD is a single occupant mine-resistant landmine and IED detection vehicle. Combat proven around the world since the early 1980s, the Husky is a unique landmine and IED detection vehicle that is blast survivable, overpass capable and field repairable. Suitable for use in both rural and urban environments, the Husky facilitates fast and efficient route clearance by creating safe passage for military convoys and civilian vehicles.
Each Husky has a detection ground penetrating radar array mounted under the vehicle that is deployed during route-clearance operations. If a suspected explosive is detected, the system marks the spot on the ground for follow-up interrogation by either the Husky, Buffalo or RG-31 MRAP fitted with an interrogation arm.
Adding to their growing catalogue of MRAP vehicles is this neat Husky III mine detection vehicle. One nice thing about it is that there are not a zillion parts in the kit. No tracks to sweat and pretty much everything is out in the open.
The main body of the vehicle is the largest part in the kit and is where the construction starts. There are some rather odd looking 'wings' on the side which I have to guess are part of the radar system. These can be posed open or up against the side of the vehicle.
A lot of work has gone into making the most detailed drive train possible and it shows. Panda has designed the kit so that you build up the complete front and rear suspension systems that include transaxles, fenders, and tires. Then, The fore and aft portions along with their drive shafts are attached to the central body and the rest of the build commences from there.
Installed once this is all together is the upper portion of the bodywork that includes the cabin. This section takes a decent amount of the photo etch that is supplied as it includes the engine cooling grille. Pretty much the rest of the photo etch is concentrated into the large forward radar array in the form of brackets and braces. The instructions show the array deployed as on the box art, but perhaps you can also model it in the stowed position. It slides back and up on the rails you see there. This would make for a bit more compact display.
Instructions are very nicely drawn and one should have no issues finding out what goes where. No interior colors are provided so you will have to do a web search to determine if anything in there is not tan. The full color painting guide is for one vehicle and Panda's decals are really very good.
This is the sort of military equipment that appeals to many, including myself. It has no tracks, it doesn't have a ton of small pieces, the photo etch suite is reasonable, and it is a rather quirky subject. I should also mention that my kit had a considerable length of black coated wire and as much as I went through the instructions, I couldn't see why it was there. Regardless, this is a well done kit and is something you should seriously consider if you want something a bit off the beaten track.
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Thanks to Panda Hobby for the preview kit. You can get yours at your favorite retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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