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Shar2

M-ATV MRAP with CROWSII RWS. 1:35

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M-ATV MRAP with CROWSII RWS
Panda 1:35

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History
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 were to be delivered by March 2010.

Additional contracts increased M-ATVs orders to 8,108 as of September 2010. Beginning in 2009, 8,700 M-ATV vehicles were purchased by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Special Operations Command for use in Afghanistan. As part of the overall divestiture of the wartime MRAP fleet, the U.S. Government will keep about 5,600 M-ATVs, with some 250 vehicles for SOCOM. M-ATVs are being re-fitted at government depots upon their return from combat, with Oshkosh providing parts and technical expertise. The company is also working on a series of safety, survivability, and mobility upgrades for the vehicles, including suspension upgrades and a new communications suite for international customers that would allow them to integrate more and different radios onto the platforms.

The M-ATV utilizes the MTVR chassis and TAK-4 suspension with the Plasan designed armoured hull developed for the Northrop Grumman/Oshkosh JLTV. The V-shaped Plasan armoured 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 kilometre. The Stat-X engine fire suppression system provides for further survivability. 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 an M240 machine gun, a Mk 19 grenade launcher, an M2 Browning machine gun, a MILAN anti-tank guided missile, 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. Unique among MRAP vehicles are the M-ATV's rear-hinged, aka, suicide doors. At AUVSI 2013, Oshkosh announced it will integrate the TerraMax system onto the M-ATV to allow the vehicles to be converted into unmanned ground vehicles. The goal is to use the M-ATV as an unmanned platform for route clearance and counter-IED missions by engineers.

The Model
The kit comes in a very nice top opening box with what looks like a photograph of the real vehicle on the front. Inside there are ten sprues of sandy coloured styrene, separate roof and bonnet parts, five rubber/vinyl tyres, two sprues of clear styrene, three sheets of etched brass and two small decal sheets. All the parts are very well moulded with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are quite a few moulding pips. There are a lot of parts to this kit, some of which are very small and look particularly fiddly, but that’s what you get for having lots of detail, which this kit certainly has. The kit is in fact an update of the original M-ATV kit released by Panda in 2011 but with new parts which are mostly for the CROWS II Remote Weapon System, (RWS).



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Because of the high suspension and large gaps between the tyres and the wheel arches these types of kit really need to have the running gear, suspension and chassis well detailed and that is exactly what Panda have provided. The build beginning with the construction of the chassis cross-members with the front one also having the four piece winch attached within the three piece box structure, whilst the rear one is fitted with several smaller parts as well as the towing hook and tow guides. The intermediate transfer box is assembled from two parts whilst the part representing the underside of the engine sump and gearbox is moulded as a single shelf like item. The cross-members, transfer box, and engine section are then sandwiched between the two longitudinal chassis rails followed by the addition of further cross-members and suspension mounts, rear differential and the drive shaft between the diff and the transfer box.



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The complex suspension units are now assembled, each consisting of the main supporting structure, upper and lower wishbones, ball joints, two piece springs, which would be better replaced with real ones which are easily available, cross-shafts and links. Be aware that the front and rear pairs are slightly different so keep them separate before fitting to the chassis. To each suspension unit the brake drums are attached along with the associated brake cylinders. The thing that is most notably missing are the complex nest of piping seen on the real vehicles, but these can easily be made out of fuse or lead wire. Once all four suspension units are fitted to the chassis the main drive shaft is fitted between the rear transfer box and the front differential followed by the two underside cross braces that fit between each pair of suspension units. Now at this point the instructions call for the wheels to be assembled and fitted. But it’s probably best to leave the fitting part till after painting. Each wheel is made up of inner and outer hubs which are glued together before the vinyl tyres are fitted over the rims.



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Construction now moves onto the bodywork and the crew compartment in particular, with the assembly of the rear cabin bulkhead with its accessories such as the fire extinguisher, some pipework and brackets. The front bulkhead is then attached to the main cabin floor, followed by the instrument binnacle, onto which the instrument decals are positioned along with the etched stitches and knobs.. Between the front seats is a complex framework which looks like it should contain radio equipment or the like, whist between the rear seats is a similar structure, but a lot less complex. Each of the four seats is assembled from the underseat frame, backrest, squab and headrest. These are further detailed with a rear framework, arm-rests, and handles. The four seats are then glued into their respective positions along with the co-drivers LCD screen, which fits on the front console. The cabin is then attached to the chassis along with the rear bulkhead. To the rear the truck bed is fitted along with the two mudguards foreward of the rear wheels. Next, the four wheel arch liners are attached, each with several etched parts attached. Onto the rear wheel arches two three part storage boxes are glued into place. The large frame that is fitted to the rear of the vehicle is assembled and this included the rear mudguards, reflectors, and aerial base support. To the frame the various communication and anti-IED aerials are fitted before the whole assembly is attached to the chassis. The spare wheel mounting frame is then assembled and fitted to the rear of the truck bed fooled by the spare wheel itself.



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Each of the four doors are single piece items, to which the clear parts are added which represent the armoured glass by having them fitted to a deep frame. The door large internal door handles are then attached as are the wing mirrors fitted to the front doors. The forward IR sight is then built up form five parts and then fitted to the front of the single piece cabin, followed by the fitting of the doors. If you’d like to show the interior it’s best to pose the doors open, as there isn’t much of a view through the small windows. Once the smaller items such as roof mounted lights, several brackets, the font windscreens and windscreen wipers the whole cab assembly is fitted to the chassis. Whilst on the underside the three sections of the anti-mine, “V” armour is fitted to the centre section, between the wheels. Nearing the end of the actual vehicle build the bonnet is fitted out with the, headlights, sidelights and front wheel arches PE grille before being fitted to the model. There is another anti-IED device, which looks like a stiff flag is assembled and fitted to the front of the vehicle. The last assembly to be built is that of the CROWS II RWS, the hatch of which is fitted to the roof of the vehicle and can have the two doors posed open should the modeller wish. The CROWS II itself is a series of sub assemblies, such as the IR lights, sights, and comes with a choice of weapons and their respective mountings, one for an automatic 40mm grenade launcher and the other for a good old 50cal heavy machine gun. Both mountings are detailed with ammunition belts, and ammunition boxes. With the lights and sights fitted the whole assembly is attached over the roof mounted hatch. The last items to be fitted are the seven parts that make up another large aerial fitted to the co-drivers side wing.




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Decals
The small decal sheets provide lots of placards, the computer screens, instruments, window surrounds, and ID numbers. The have been printed in house and look pretty good, with very little carrier film, but do feel quite thick.



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Conclusion
The assortment of light and medium vehicles that have been born through experience both in Iraq and Afghanistan has been quite amazing and there are quite few now released in model form. I think this one will sit quite nicely with others in the genre. It looks to be quite a fiddly build and I’ve heard that the fit isn’t always perfect, but with a bit of work and some additional details such as the extensive pipework and some crew kit it will look very good indeed. It would also make a good basis as a centrepiece of a diorama. Highly recommended




Review sample courtesy of
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and available soon from major hobby shops

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All pics ok here

I've not heard of any nicknames for these trucks or any other similar item its names a mouthful I,m sure some one called summat else

Looks value for the cash with what's in the box, but having done a Panda kit they're not shake and bake you just have to watch what your doing.

D

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Thanks for pointing those out, that'll teach me to write a review late at night whilst on strong painkillers. :doh:

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