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  1. USAF XM706E2 (84536) 1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd The Commando series of light amphibious armoured cars was developed by Cadillac Gage in the US and was designated the M706. It was developed specifically for the Military Police and convoy escort in Vietnam, Its high ground clearance and waterproofing being suitable for the terrain being encountered. It was one of the first vehicles the US had which combined the roles of the APC and a conventional armoured car, carrying upto 10 troops in the back. The design would spawn a whole range of vehicles some with turrets carrying up to 90mm guns. The XM706E2, was supplied to the U.S. Air Force primarily for base protection purposes, but was also used for post strike reconnaissance and EOD roles. The open top lending itself to a variety of weapons including 50 cal, & 7.62mm machine guns, and in some case 40mm grenade launchers, though they were most seen with the duel machines guns. Not many of these vehicles were kept after the Vietnam war, but the USAF did retain some which served as late as the 1980s in Korea and the Philippines. Though by this time they were becoming very hard to keep operational. The vehicle would be replaced in various roles by the M1117 made by Textron who by this time had merged with Cadillac Gage. The Kit Hobby boss have done a variety of kits based on the same chassis. The kits are well engineered and build up with no problems at all as this reviewer has built one of them before. The kit arrives on 6 sprues of grey plastic, a clear sprue, upper & lower hull castings, a sheet of PE, I small sheet of masks, a small length of chain, and a small sheet of decals. All of the parts are well moulded with no defects. Construction starts with the interior, this is not massively detailed but there is enough in there to make it busy. The centre transmission tunnel goes in followed by some seats and the drivers controls, at the rear the engine compartment is boxed in. For the upper hull a series of holes need to be made and some internal equipment installed. The two main hull parts can then be joined, the lower hull actually slots into the upper one. Flipping the vehicle upside down all the suspension, steering, and drive components plus the axles are installed. Take care here as the front and rear springs look the same but are not (ask me how I know this!). To the rear hull a toll rack is added complete with individual tools. The wheels can then be made up and fitted onto the axles. Moving back to the top side the rear jerrican stowage is added along with various hatches, grab handles and the armoured windows. The exhaust grill is added to the rear also. Headlight guards and mirrors are added to the front. The main hatch for the vehicle is now made up. This can either be open or closed up depending on how you stow the covers. PE mounts now need to be made up the for machine guns. A 50cal and M60 are both included in the kit to mount here. Markings A small decal sheet gives markings for one camo vehicle and one overall green vehicle. No other information is given. Conclusion This is a great kit from Hobby Boss of a little seen vehicle, the kit is first rate and builds up easily into a good looking vehcile. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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