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Mike

FV432 Mk.3 Bulldog 1:35

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Mike    10,668

FV432 Mk.3 Bulldog

1:35 Takom

 

boxtop.jpg

 

Dating back to the 1960, the design for this British front-line "battle taxi" has undergone many changes over the years, and many British Army soldiers will be hugely familiar with this robust, quirky little vehicle.  Originally to have been declared obsolete and sent to the scrapyard or into private hands, the eruption of hostilities in the Middle East saw renewed use for the 432, and in light of experience gained in that theatre, a thousand chassis were upgraded and zero-houred to the new Mark 3 standard, including new steering, braking and propulsion systems, as well as reactive armour and even air-conditioning units for those bound for the sandbox were fitted.  In addition, new systems were employed to protect the crew and passengers from the perils of asymmetric combat, in the shape of IEDs and RPGs.  Along with a number of other vehicles in theatre, perhaps in a psy-ops style attempt to give the 432 some "fear factor", the upgraded vehicles were christened "Bulldog" to represent their pugnacious character and their by-now broad beam.

 

A heavily modified 432 (probably one of those sold off before the need arose) was seen performing duties as a Hover Tank in the new Star Wars film, Rogue One.

 

 

The Kit

Lots of British AFV fans were very pleased about Takom's announcement of a new series of models of this iconic and popular vehicle, which allowed them to push their ancient and iffy Academy kits to the back of the shelf, or offload them to a well-known auction site.  This is the second issue from Takom, the first being the 2/1 that came with a full interior, which we sadly missed due to unforeseen circumstances.  The Bulldog boxing is a substantially new issue due to the massive differences between the kits, and as we've not yet reviewed its stablemate, we'll start at the very beginning.    The box is the now traditional Takom style with separate lid, and individually bagged sprues (with the exception of the multiple sprues) inside, which are resealable if you're one of those folks that like to rebag your sprues after fondling them (you wierdos!).  In addition to the ten grey sprues and two hull halves, there is a sprue of clear parts, a small Photo-Etch (PE) fret, a decal sheet, a track jig, and the instructions with integrated painting and markings guide.

 

hull.jpg

 

sprue1.jpg

 

sprue2.jpg

 

sprue3.jpg

 

sprue4.jpg

 

sprue5.jpg

 

sprue6.jpg

 

sprue7.jpg

 

clear.jpg

 

pe.jpg

 

Not unusually, construction begins with the lower hull and the many suspension parts being added, lined up using the holes in the track jig mentioned above.  This is repeated both sides, and the twelve road wheels and two drive sprockets are made up in readiness.  The sprocket and one road wheel are placed in the jig and are dressed with the link and length tracks, with two being needed, so a bit of a delay will be necessary to allow the first run to set up before you can start the second.  Scrap diagrams show how the finished article should look from both sides, and above the sponson floor the sidewalls are fitted, with a number of mounts moulded-in to accept the stand-off reactive armour.  The exhaust is directed along the left side and exits at deck height toward the rear of the vehicle, which is also added at this time.  Large stowage boxes fit either side of the wide rear door, and a number of small holes are drilled out in preparation for the fitting of detailing parts.  The separate sponson rear ends have long mudflaps added from PE, and the door is made up with ammo boxes fitted to the inside, plus handle and number plate on the outside.  The glacis plate has a change of angle around half way up, and is built from two sections to accommodate this (the upper section moulded into the deck), with ERA blocks fitted to the fixed section and slat armour added over the hatch on the lower section.  More slat armour panels are fitted below the nose, with light clusters and sensor boxes for good measure.  The deck is full of holes at this point, but has pioneer tools and copious smoke grenade launchers installed before attachment to the model, which first needs the outer shell constructing before fitting.

 

detail-tracks.jpg

 

Engine ventilation covers are added to the right side of the hull, and are immediately covered by the outer hull panel and its appliqué armour, which has a separate top panel for preservation of detail.  This is repeated on the other side, allowing the fitment of the glacis and deck panels, which are detailed with the hatches and grilles to fill all those holes bar the main "turret ring" at the rear, and the commander's cupola, which is added later with clear vision blocks.  Additional slat-armour corner parts are inserted in the gaps to protect those areas, and this is repeated at the rear, with the air conditioning box perched on the very back of the deck, overhanging the rear door and decked with aerials and jammer antennae.  The rear of the vehicle has a complicated set of slat armour panels that allow the rear door to operate, with bracing struts preventing strumming over rough ground.  More sensors, antennae, the rear clamshell top hatch, and the large crew station are built and added, the latter made from a substantial number of parts, which provides more than adequate protection for the top cover man, with shields and armoured glazing all around his GPMG station, which can also be operated remotely from inside thanks to the TV box on the opposite side of the mount to the ammo can.

 

 

Markings

Takom and Ammo hooked up to do the colour and markings options fairly early on, and this carries on in the back pages of the instruction booklet.  There are three decal options, all of which are applied over a sand yellow base, with little to differentiate other than the weapons fit and unit markings.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • 1st Battalion Scots Guards Reconnaissance Platoon, Operation Telic, Southern Iraq, January 2008 – Yellow 12 marking on rear and unshrouded GPMG on the upper deck.
  • 1st Battalion Scots Guards Reconnaissance Platoon, Operation Telic, Southern Iraq, January 2008 – Rob Roy on sides, shrouded GPMG on the cupola.
  • 1st Battalion Scots Guards Reconnaissance Platoon, Operation Telic, Southern Iraq, January 2008 – Robert Bruce on sides, and unshrouded GPMG on the upper deck.

 

decals.jpg

 

The decals are printed anonymously, and due to their simplicity there is little need for register (which seems good anyway), with the lighter colours appearing suitably dense.  There is a tiny amount of over-printing of the yellow around the white backing, but that should disappear on a sand coloured backdrop.  A little variation in units would have been nice to see, but as there's not much in the way of decals anyway, it wouldn't be too hard to build your own choice of subject, taking note of the personalisations to the vehicles.

 

 

Conclusion

The FV432 is long overdue in 1:35, and this seems to hit the spot.  If you've spent a lot of time around these vehicles as some of my friends have, you'll be bound to pick up some things that might need attention, but for the majority of us (self included), this is a welcome addition to Takom's increasing armour range.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of

logo.gifUK Distributors for logo.gif

 

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Gekko_1    710

Love that box art! Inspiration right there!

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Mike    10,668

A top gunner figure would have been a huge bonus for the kit, thinking about it :)

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Julien    4,077

The Hover tank in Rouge one was a modified Alvis Stormer not an FV432.

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Ozzy    2,163

Looking forward to get one of these, hopefully someone will release a Samson remote weapon system that some of them carried. Got a nice little dio planned already.

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Vlamgat9    200

Wish someone would do a Peak turret for this.

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Julien    4,077
3 hours ago, Vlamgat9 said:

Wish someone would do a Peak turret for this.

I am pretty sure someone will do a Peak.

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Tim T    295

Forgive my total ignorance here, but were these vehicles ever used beyond Iraq?  Are they still in service?

 

Tim the complete Airhead on such matters....

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Richard E    645
3 minutes ago, Tim T said:

Forgive my total ignorance here, but were these vehicles ever used beyond Iraq?  Are they still in service?

 

Tim the complete Airhead on such matters....

 

I think this particular type was only ever used in Iraq but an updated version of the "basic" FV432 and some of its derivatives are still in service with the British Army.

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Dads203    3,839

The vehicle used on the new Star Wars film was a CVRT type thingy Mike :D

but the 43's have been used in films modified to look like Stugs 👍

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MickE    479

You can still see 432s operating around Salisbury Plain.

Edited by MickE

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