|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle or Infantry Mobility Vehicle is an Australian-built wheeled armoured vehicle. It was originally designed by Irish company Timoney Technology Ltd under a license agreement with Perry Engineering in Adelaide; that license was sold, with permission granted by Timoney as required by the license terms, to Thales Australia. Once the Bushmaster was selected by the Australian Army after trials in 1998 to meet the Bushranger project requirements, the range of variants was developed further by Thales Australia in Bendigo. Oshkosh Truck has a contract to provide support and would manufacture in the US if there was an American order. The Bushmaster is currently in service with the Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Army and British Army. There are at least six major variants of this vehicle and it has seen quite a bit of use in Afghanistan.
It is not often that we see non-US/European/Russian military vehicles in kit form so this is a nice surprise. Though the kit is dated 2010, this is the first time I have seen it so apparently it is a recent import to the US.
The Bushmaster is not a small vehicle and is pretty much a wheeled APC as much as anything else. The kit is molded in grey and the molding is first rate. The upper surface of the body, for instance, has what appears to be a non-skid surface. The molding is such that one side of all the large parts has a myriad of small ejector pin indentations. While most of these will be hidden during construction, some will need to be attended to during construction. The kit includes a large photo etch fret that is used throughout construction.
Though the kit has no engine, the rest of it is superbly detailed. There is a full interior with armored troop seats and ammo lockers. The driver's position is equally well done with full controls (on the 'wrong' side, of course). Detail continues to the chassis with every part superbly molded. There are vinyl/rubber tires and all the clear parts are properly thick to simulate armored glass. The exterior has all the screens and hand holds and hatches and weapons that you would expect on a vehicle such as this. All the hatches and rear door are shown moldedclosed, but I see no reason why these could not be posed open as they are separate pieces. Besides, if closed, then not that much of the very nice interior detail will be seen.
Instructions are well done providing painting information during the build as needed. Several paint options are provided in the color reference. All of them are painted the same as shown on the box art. The four options are for AMTG2 in Iraq during 2005/6, RAAF Airfield security at Avalon in 2007, Motorized Combat Wing School of Artillery in Puckpunyai in 2005, and 6RAR during Operation Acolyte in 2006. The nicely sized decal sheet looks to be well printed and should give good service.
For those doing modern military vehicles, this one is a must have for your collection. It is a combat veteran and looks cool as well. What more could you ask?
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. This one should be at your local retailer so get one today.
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