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Shar2

German Dingo 2 GE A3.3 Patsi. 1:35

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German Dingo 2 GE A3.3 Patsi
Revell 1:35

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Since its introduction in 2000 the Dingo Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) has developed into a true all-rounder within the Bundeswehr. Both Dingo 1 and 2 provide an ideal combination of protection, cross-country mobility and speed. The ATF Dingo 2 GE A3.3 Patsi version has been used in Afghanistan since 2012 as a reconnaissance and security vehicle. The 6 occupants enjoy a maximum of protection thanks to excellent land-mine protection afforded by the V-shaped deflector under the safe cell. For self-protection, the Dingo is normally equipped with a type FLW 200 weapon platform which can be optionally fitted with a .50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine gun or an automatic 40 mm grenade launcher. Technical improvements over its predecessors include amongst other items optimization of crew protection, a hard-top over the cargo platform and IR driving lights to improve night vision capability.

The Model
Originally released in 2013 in the vehicles A2 form, this kit has new parts added to upgrade it to the A3.3 variant. Contained in one of their controversial end opening boxes are eight sprues of green styrene, plus two clear sprues, four vinyl tyres and a length of wire. The parts are very clean and nicely moulded with no sign of flash, but with quite a few moulding pips and rather awkward moulding points, particularly between the window openings. A lot of the larger parts have prominent flow lines, which whilst a little annoying shouldn’t cause too many problems under a coat of primer. There are also quite a few very slight sink marks on parts like the chassis rails but are worse on the rear view mirrors and more annoyingly on both sides of the vehicle sides between the doors. There are a lot of imperfections from where the ejector pins have been rather enthusiastic. Although they haven’t punched through these marks are slightly visible on the outside of parts. Like the flow lines, these should disappear under a coat of primer and paint, just be aware of them.

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The build begins with the construction of the chassis. This consists of two longitudinal rails, to which the front mud guards, rear air accumulators, front shock absorbers are fitted before the two rails are joined together by six cross members, the transfer gearbox assembly and power take off box. There is a rudimentary engine included in the kit consisting of jut two parts, but since you won’t see much, if any of it, it’s really just so that the drive shafts have somewhere to fit. Witht eh chassis assembled it is then fitted out with accessory boxes, exhaust silencer, front bumper beam, rear bumper, complete with towing eyes, lights, tow hook, and cover plate.

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Moving onto the drive train, the four wheels are assembled, each from a vinyl tyre plus inner and outer hubs before being put to one side. The axles are each made up of a single axle part, to which the brake discs are fitted. The front axle also has the steering rack and ball joints attached. Both axles are then each fitted with a two part drive shaft casing and their respective support arms. Before the axles can be fitted to the chassis, the suspension springs, airlines and front skid plate need to be added. Followed by the anti roll links, engine assembly and exhaust pipe.

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The kit comes with a nicely presented and pretty full interior which begins with the fitting of the front foot wells into the single piece floor pan, along with cross compartment mounting rails. The centre console is assembled form two side pieces and two sections, which look like comms/control units. The instrument binnacle is fitted with the decals instruments, foot pedals, steering column, steering wheels and passenger side console. Other sub-assemblies include the six two part seats, the three part radio set, storage shelve unit, two part IR/TV console and controller for the roof mounted machine gun. Once assembled these are then glued into their respective positions. It should be noted that the headrest of the rear centre seat needs to be removed as there is already one on the rear bulkhead.

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Moving the outside of the vehicle the front valance is fitted with the clear windscreen, windscreen surround and the three wipers. Inside the sun visors and compass are attached to the top of the frame whilst a map display unit, complete with decal is fitted to the bottom of the frame on the right hand side. Each of the four doors are moulded as a single piece, onto which the door cards and thick clear parts, (obviously attempting to represent armoured glass), are fitted, along with the door handles. The completed doors are then fitted to the body and can be posed open if required. The two sill plates are then fitted with two footsteps and glued into position under the door frames. Also fitted to the underside of the floor pan are two storage boxes, and the wheel arches for the four wheels. Meanwhile, the underside of the roof is fitted with an air conditioning, overhead control box and gun mounting display. The front valance, hull sides, rear bulkhead and roof are all joined together to make the complete armoured box that is the crew compartment. The roof is then fitted with a crew hatch, GPS antenna and aerial mounting plate.

Unusually for a four wheeled vehicle this one has a separate compartment fitted behind the main crew compartment. This is made up of a lower section which is fitted with the rear mudflaps, lights and storage racks. To this the sides, rear, and roof are attached, followed by the two rear access doors complete with their handles. The crew and storage compartments are then attached to the chassis followed by the bonnet, bonnet sides and grille. The main machine gun mount is quite a complex affair in that it is constructed from five parts, onto which a further six parts that include the sight, and spent cartridge bag are attached. The modeller then has a choice of which weapon to fit to the mount. You have a choice of either a Browning 50 cal with its associated ammunition box or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher and its associated ammunition guide. The completed unit os then fitted to the top of the crew compartment roof via a mounting ring. The model is completed with the fitting of the two pairs for rear view mirrors, tow bar, and a pair of aerial mounts to the roof of the storage compartment. The aerials can be made up using the metal wire provided.

Decals
Along with the instrument and screen decals mentioned above, the decal sheet includes several placards for inside the cabin, German crosses and unit shields for the hull, plus two pairs of completed number plates. As an added option for those modellers who wish to build a particular vehicle a pair of blank number plates are also included along with a whole selection of separate numbers to finish them off. The decals are well printed in Italy, so presumably by Cartograf. They are in register with good colour density and no bleeding between colours. Three vehicle options are provided in the kit and these are for:-

  • Dingo A3.3 of the Bundeswehr ISAF, Afghanistan 2012
  • Dingo A3.3 of the Bundeswehr ISAF, Afghanistan 2013
  • Dingo A3.3 of the Bundeswehr, 2015

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Conclusion
Whilst I’m not overly enamoured with the green styrene used in this kit there is a lot of detail provided that will make up into a good looking model. Shame about some of the imperfections and sink marks on some of the parts, but these shouldn’t cause too many problems to the seasoned modeller. There seem to be a number of vehicles from different countries that appear to be following a similar format, but they’re still an interesting vehicle to have in any collection. Recommended.

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers.

For further information visit logo-revell-2009.gif

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