|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run resin kit|
The Patrol Air Cushion Vehicle (PACV), also known as the Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV) in Army and Coast Guard service, was a United States Navy and Army hovercraft used as a patrol boat in marshy and riverine areas during the Vietnam War between 1966 and 1970. Six hovercraft were built, three for the Army and three for the Navy.
The military developed the PACV because its lack of draft meant that it could operate unimpeded in the shallow and reed-choked waters widespread in South Vietnam, most notably in the Mekong Delta and Plain of Reeds. The PACV was also found to be valuable because of its unusually high speed of 60 knots (110 km/h; 69 mph), faster than other watercraft in the conflict. However, it faced major drawbacks, including its high cost of $1 million (equivalent to 13 Patrol Boat, Rivers) and unreliability. During the conflict, two of the Army’s three hovercraft were destroyed by the Viet Cong. The PACVs in Vietnam were considered "unsuccessful" in evaluations and were withdrawn in 1970. Following their service in Vietnam, the Navy PACVs returned to the United States where they were used by the Coast Guard, where another sank in an accident.
Croco continues to provide kits of subjects that are interesting and unusual, and this is a prime example. This is one of their larger kits in terms of size and is molded in nicely done resin. As you can see from the images, there are over forty parts to this one. However, it is also quite complete and offers optional air bags. One is molded deflated as when the engines are turned off while the other is provided in an extended position as it would be when under power.
Though the army and navy versions are pretty much identical, this particular boxing is for the Army PACVs. The kit also includes a photo etch fret for some of the parts like the large cooling fan, large vents and so on. Instructions consist of a number of photos of the completed kit as well as a parts layout. The photos show were all the parts are to be installed. Probably not as easy as standard instructions, but not impossible and after all, this kit is only for experienced modelers. In addition to the p.e. there is an acetate sheet for the windows. The decal sheet is nicely printed and while no color info is provided, the Internet does provide color photos to help you out with that. As a note, the large number fits atop the 'wing' in the back, facing forward.
This is another interesting subject from our friends at Croco and one that will really add some interest to your display shelf.
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Thanks to Croco for the review kit. You can find this kit on line by doing a search. You can also contact them direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
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Back to the Previews Index Page