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British FV510 Warrior TES(H) AIFV (SS-017) 1:35


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British FV510 Warrior TES(H) AIFV (SS-017)

1:35 Meng via Creative Models Ltd




The Warrior was a design by GKN that won the MCV-80 contract at the end of a very long process, reaching service in 1984, twelve years since the beginning of the project.  GKN Defence eventually ended up as part of the BAe conglomerate, with service and supply passed over along with the intellectual property.  After lessons learned in the first Gulf War, upgrades to armour and other systems were made to protect the crew, which was made easier by the original design having no weapons ports on the side of the vehicle, which with the benefit of hindsight was a feature more suited to the last war than the next.  The weight crept up to almost double its initial level, which required changes to the torsion suspension, upgraded to keep the same ground clearance as before, as well as new carbon-ceramic brakes that helped slow down the now bulkier vehicle, which is capable of speeds in excess of 40mph on metalled roads.  It can carry seven full-equipped soldiers plus a crew of three, and is capable of keeping them safe within for 48 hours if required, but it wouldn’t be a nice experience by any stretch of the imagination.


With operations taking place in the Middle East, an improved Environmental Control Unit (aircon) box was fitted to counter the hot and dusty conditions, plus the appliqué armour and cage armour outside that give protection against small arms fire and shaped charge weapons such as the Rockt Propelled Grenade (RPG).  The small turret carries a 30mm Rarden L21A1 cannon, which packs more of a punch than the typical 25mm guns used in other current IFVs, although it is not designed with tank combat in mind, so doesn’t carry any anti-tank missiles for weight saving reasons.  The recent versions have a fully-upgraded active night vision system and clear armoured glass around the top of the turret that gives the crew better situational awareness, and the added rear infrared camera above the rear ram-operated door allows the troops to exit the vehicle with a good idea of what awaits them during those vital few seconds after disembarkation.


There are plans for an upgrade programme to keep the Warrior in service until 2040 and beyond, which involves a stabilised 40mm cannon as well as many other improvements to the electronic systems for battlefield awareness to keep the vehicle and crew in the best shape possible.  As usual with these things, it is currently running over budget and behind schedule by a substantial margin, begging the question “was it ever thus?”.



The Kit

This is a brand new tooling of the modern Warrior, and we’re a little behind with our review because the first batch in the UK were very popular with the average AFV modeller, who snapper them all up, and who can blame them?  The kit arrives in a standard Meng top-opening box and inside are five sprues and three separate hull and turret parts in light grey styrene, a clear sprue with self-cling wrapping to protect it from scratches, a turned brass Rarden barrel, a bag of individual track links, a tree of poly-caps, a small but thick fret of nickel-plated Photo-Etch (PE) brass, which is also protected on both sides by a sticky clear plastic cover.  Detail is excellent and visible on all parts from the hull halves to the track pins.  It’s also a comprehensive package, with wheel and track-pad masks on the PE sheet, and a two-part hinged track jig on the clear sprue that is a step above the earlier editions, as are the tracks – more on those later.  As well as the instruction booklet there is also a four page detail booklet with holes punched in the top, giving a little information about the real thing you're building a model of.














Construction begins with the lower hull half, which has C-shaped armour block added above each suspension mount, which then has the two-part torsion bars and swing-arms inserted to latch upon sockets in the centre of the hull.  The upper hull has two hatches on the glacis plate, the larger one for the engine, which has a four-panel mesh grille, grab-handles and intake scoop fitted before being glued in place, while the smaller transmission hatch is just a single part.  Lifting eyes are attached to the sides of these heavy panels, and grab-handles are fitted to the lighter transmission hatch, with another grille on the forward section of the upper hull and another on the raised intake on the left along with more grab-handles.  The two hull halves are put together, mounting firmly on six pins and turrets within, and having the final drive housing installed on pins at the front of the lower hull.  The rear bulkhead has the large stand-off brackets pushed through from behind before it is fitted, then the chassis is flipped and the armoured final drive covers and underside protection are glued over the original hull, and the idler axles are attached at the rear.


Make up your own wheel pun here, and then make up twelve pairs of road wheels with a poly-cap trapped between them, the same for the smaller idler wheels, and a pair of four-piece drive-sprockets again with more poly-caps.  The return rollers are also paired, but are fixed in place with glue so won’t rotate.  The road wheels simply push in place onto the axles for ease of painting, which is handy.





Notice I've already put a set of pins in this length, they just need a tiny bit of clean-up


In the past Meng have supplied good tracks and bad tracks, but this design is IMHO is one of their best.  There are 79 links in each run, and you will find the parts in two places.  The main track links with moulded-in pads are in the bag, with one sprue gate per part for minimal clean-up.  The links are put together by slotting them together on the pin moulded into one of the joints, holding together relatively well already.  The two-part clear jig holds seven links, and when closed over it has slots ready to take the track pins, which should be left in groups of six on the carriers that they are moulded to.  Insert the pins firmly to secure them in position, then open the jig and cut off the carrier to complete the job, giving the pin heads a buff with a sander if needed.  They work perfectly, and the track is incredibly flexible with good detail throughout.  With 158 to put together, it shouldn’t take too long, especially as there is almost no clean-up required.  If Meng’s engineers are reading this, please stick with this method.


The basic hull is completed, but there is a lot more to do still, to add the accumulated upgrades over the years.  First up is the appliqué armour for the lower glacis with lifting eyes and a gridwork applied before it is installed.  The front mudguards are also set in place at this time too.  More armour is added to the upper glacis, with a palette of pioneer tools and grab-handles glued on with a wire-cutter and fire extinguisher to the side.  This drops onto the original glacis with some more grab-handles nearby, plus a hatch and angled panel with grenade launcher also fitted.  Nearby, the driver’s hatch is still vacant, which is filled by the two-layer hatch that has a closure handle and three clear periscopes inside, plus two exterior panels with their own miniature windscreen wipers moulded-in, all of which need a coat of transparent blue to show their bullet-proof material.  The hatch is fitted, another triangular panel, front light clusters and other small parts are installed, followed by the clamshell top hatch with handles, louvered panel and headlight cages, then stowage boxes, other small parts including more grenade launchers are also glued in place.  The rear door also has two layers and a glass vision port, and on each side of it are the rear fenders and large mudflaps to help reduce the dust kicked up, another fire extinguisher, an angled box with rear lights and cage surround the lights, a large tool box above it, and on the other side the much improved ECU, both of which are made up from individual panels to maximise detail.  The first part of the bar armour is attached to the stand-off brackets on the rear door, then the side appliqué armour panels are first fitted with brackets, they have the nicely-moulded bar armour panels fixed, stop-ends and the Electronic Counter-Measures turrets on L-shaped brackets at the rear, before they are both added to the vehicle sides, and the curved panel on the starboard front, upstand panel on the glacis and a sinuous bundle of cables from the hull to the ECU are added on the roof.


The turret has no interior, but instead has a cylindrical pivot inside with poly-caps slowing down the movement of the barrel when fitted.  It is clasped between the top and bottom halves of the turret, with an additional panel under the mantlet.  The roof is almost covered by the two large hatches, with internal inserts, handles and external grab-handles added before they and their hinges are fitted to the roof along with six clear vision blocks with armoured covers, an aerial base and rotating periscope.  What little space remains is taken up by the dual sighting boxes with clear fronts and external housings that can be posed with the protective bullet-resistant covers either open or closed at your choice.  The coax machine gun barrel is slotted into the inner mantlet, then the highly sloped outer mantlet is installed along with a lifting eye, then two large armoured glass panels are mounted on the sides of the roof, with the front being protected by two large outer boxes over the sighting gear.  Smoke dischargers are mounted on pattresses on the cheeks, with more brackets, equipment and boxes that are later partially hidden by more slat-armour and a stiffening bar that spans between the armoured glass panels to prevent knock-down by enemy fire.  The gun sleeve is slid into the mantlet, then the brass barrel with hollow conical muzzle is slipped into place until it stops, with a small section pointed out in 1:1 scale for painting in silver, representing the recoil length of the barrel in its sleeve.  The turret twists into place on a pair of bayonet lugs, and that’s it.




Any colour you like as long as it’s desert sand.  There is only one decal option in the box, but as there aren’t many decals on any AFV (for the most part), if you can source some extra number plate decals (there is ONE spare set on the sheet), you can depict other vehicles.  From the box you can build the following:


  • B Company, 3rd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (Staffords), British Army, Durai East Region, Helmand, Afghanistan, 2011.







There are of course the two PE masks for the wheels and track pads, allowing you to paint the hubs of the wheels and the rubber track pads without worrying about paint getting everywhere.  The fit is exceptionally snug, but don’t forget to clean the PE parts if any paint creeps underneath, and take care with the quantity of paint you’re spraying or brushing, as thick paint stands more chance of seeping through.  Decals are printed in China and of sufficiently good quality to be used with the model.



It’s an exceptionally well detailed kit that should please most modellers out of the box, and the bar armour is well-moulded given the limitations of styrene moulding.  It’s already popular, and deserves to be.


Very highly recommended.



Review sample courtesy of



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2 minutes ago, Mick4350 said:

Not sure what a metalled road is.

Noun: metalled road
Usage: Brit

A road with a hard smooth surface of bitumen or tar
- paved road, sealed road [Austral, NZ], surfaced road

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