Trumpeter 1/35 Canadian AVGP Grizzly (late)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The AVGP (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose) is a series of three armoured fighting vehicles ordered by the Canadian military in 1977. The three vehicles are the Cougar, Grizzly and Husky. These were based on the six-wheeled version of the Swiss MOWAG Piranha I.
The AVGP had propellers and trim vanes for amphibious use, like the eight-wheeled Bison. But recent retrofits have removed the marine drive system, as it is no longer used and maintenance is expensive. The Canadian Forces' LAV III, the United States Marine Corps' LAV-25, and the US Army's Stryker are other variants of the Piranha family.
The AVGP variants were introduced into Canadian service in the 1970s. Intended for use only in Canada, they were pressed into service for several United Nations missions, including UNPROFOR and the mission to Somalia. One Grizzly was captured by Croatian forces in the late 1990s.
The Cougar is only used for training in Canada as a reconnaissance vehicle.The Grizzly is no longer in front line service but are being converted to support vehicles such as Command Post and Mobile Repair Team Vehicle. The Husky still serves in its original role. The majority of vehicles have had their marine propulsion systems removed.
In May 2007, the Edmonton Police Service accepted the donation of a disarmed Grizzly from the Canadian Forces.
This adds to Trumpeter's growing collection of armored cars. Molded in their usual tan plastic, the detail is all we have come to expect from a modern Trumpeter kit. The main hull has a complete upper and lower half to which all the various bits are attached. There is no interior, but lots of room for an aftermarket one.
The driveline is particularly complex on these vehicles and Trumpeter has done an excellent job of duplicating the large transfer cases and short drive shafts. To all this is added the suspension pieces, which make into a very hefty construct. They need to be hefty as the kit includes seven superbly molded rubber/vinyl tires. There are separate wheels so that painting is eased. As this is the late version, no props or rudders are included.
When the lower section is done, construction moves to the upper hull. This includes the large driver's area as well as hatches for the engine and the rest of the vehicle. These are molded closed, since there is no interior to see. Also included is a nicely detailed rear section with two hatches, also designed to be built in the closed position.
The final section to be built is the gun turret. This has a commander's cupola with seven small clear windows. The kit includes a small photo etch fret that has front side light guards and a small hatch for the cupola. That's it.
Instructions are well done and shows any holes to be opened or modifications to be made to kit parts to accurately portray the Grizzly. As usual, there is no painting information provided during construction. That is saved for the full color painting and markings guide which shows one vehicle with SFOR as shown on the box art.
If you are into wheeled armored vehicles, then this should be added to your list of ones to get. The kit has enough detail to please all but the the terminally unpleaseable. The end result of your endeavors will be a superb kit of this interesting vehicle.
Thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours at your local shop or have them order it for you.
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