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GTK Boxer – GTFz (03343) 1:35


Mike

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GTK Boxer – GTFz (03343)

1:35 Carrera Revell

 

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The Boxer was originally a combined German/French development and was intended to be an advanced Armoured Personnel Carrier that replaced the Fuchs and ageing M113 derivatives in German service, but not before several partners joined and left the project for reasons political, including the UK, who later had another look at the Boxer when they couldn’t decide what APC the British Army would use going forward.  The first British Boxers are set to be built starting in 2024. The remaining partners included Germany and the Netherlands, entering service with the German Army in 2009 after some delays, and later into Dutch service, with a purchase by Lithuania and further order by Germany a few years later once the design had proved itself to be capable and reliable.  Australia has also made orders for a couple of hundred Boxers as part of their armed forces upgrades in the last few years.  The French went off and did their own thing in a repeat of the Eurofighter project.

 

The 8-wheeled Boxer is a modular vehicle, having a common chassis and driver's station, with a removable crew compartment to the rear, allowing the vehicle to be re-tasked as an APC, Command Vehicle, or battlefield Ambulance with minimal fuss. This also caters for the development of future modules and simplifies the upgrading of existing modules in the future without having to develop a platform on which to mount them, which has proven a sensible format as more operators come to them with different requirements. The Boxer is also capable of withstanding IED attack by design, and can stop rounds of up to 30mm without the help of additional appliqué armour, while still being capable of over 60mph (103kph) over smooth terrain.

 

 

The Kit

This is a reboxing of Revell’s original tooling that first appeared in 2011, not long after the real vehicle started service with Germany’s Armed Forces.  The kit arrives in a deep, end-opening box, and has a painting of a remote weapons station equipped Boxer on the front.  Inside are seven sprues of dark green styrene, a clear sprue, a sprue of black flexible plastic and a bag of eight flexible black plastic wheels. The instruction booklet is printed in colour, with profiles on the rear for the decal options, and it has a length of thin gauge wire taped to it to complete the package.  Once you get over the dated green styrene, you realise that this kit has substantial detail, which extends to removable crew compartment, and nicely rendered suspension layout.

 

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Construction begins with the hull, which is built up from a succession of slabs, with an internal bulkhead between the driver and the crew compartments, as well as a heavily riveted floor panel. The driver's compartment installs in the left front of the hull, and has enough detail to satisfy most in the shape of seat with stirrups and pedal box, steering column with a simplified instrument binnacle and something resembling a Soda Stream (seriously!) to the rear left of the compartment. Painting call-outs are given throughout in Revell's usual style, requiring mixes for what some might consider to be basic colours, which is due to Revell’s static range of shades.

 

The suspension builds up quite simply, with drive-shafts supporting the wheel hubs and twin springs providing damping for the y-shaped suspension arms. Hull detail on the underside is nice, but a couple of sink marks are present, although these are later covered by bolt-on panels that protect the suspension arms from damage in the real world, which probably explains their rather large size and seemingly careless positioning.  The wheels are made up from a three-part hub, with moulded in brake detail, and a single solid black plastic tyre, which has nice chunky tread detail moulded in. These are installed later once the detailed ancillary suspension parts and steering linkages have been installed, along with the inter-wheel parts and stowage bins.

 

The sloped forward portion of the hull is then covered over with additional panels, and the driver's raised position with clear front and sides, plus vision blocks for combat driving that are nicely rendered in clear styrene, with the vision blocks being cleverly moulded to the top of the front screen, slotting into armoured housings during construction. The large glacis plate then installs, closing in the driver's compartment, and detail here includes the many lozenge shaped patches of anti-slip coating that are evident on so many modern AFVs. The rear has a pair of light-clusters, and black mudflaps installed from the flexible styrene sprue, which also holds a set of flaps for the exhaust system to prevent debris and hand-grenade ingress, and a moulded tow cable that attaches to the top of the crew compartment later.

 

The anti-slip coating is also present on the top deck of the crew compartment, which is removable, just like the real thing - quite a nice feature. The crew compartment has no internal detail, but there is still plenty going on outside, in the shape of a weapons station featuring smoke discharge units, a .50cal M2 machine gun derivative plus ammo box and the remote camera unit that allows the crew to fire from the comparative safety of the cab. There is also an option of mounting a 40mm grenade launcher of the type seen on many modern AFVs, which has an almost machine-gun firing rate. Sadly, both weapons have a sink mark on their receivers, which will be tricky to fill due to the detail moulded in.

 

The rest of the crew compartment builds up on the V-shaped base, with the roof and main crew hatch completing the main box. The four auxiliary top hatches for the troops are moulded into the deck, and here their hinges have the traditional (for styrene injection) flat sides, which the purists might want to replace with more shapely parts. A pair of large stowage bins attach to the sides of the crew compartment, as well as antennae (using the supplied wire) and the obligatory flashing hazard warning light that is a peace-time feature for road use. The MG/grenade launcher turret is movable after completion, being held in place by a pair of lugs that align with the base on installation. The tow cable with integrated towing eyes affixes to the top deck with no mention of special glues, which led me to test it for myself.  The sprue that carries the mudflaps and tow cable was tested with a dab of Tamiya Extra Thin cement, and it doesn't appear to dissolve the material, so remember to test your chosen glue before attempting installation of the parts, or take the safe route and resort to some super glue (CA) instead.

 

 

Markings

Two schemes are provided on the decal sheet, one with traditional NATO European camouflage, while the other is painted for desert service.  You can build one of the following from the box:

 

  • Infantrerieschule, Hammelburg, 2016
  • JgBtl 292, Donaueschingen 2014

 

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Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The number plate frames are printed blank without digits, which are sourced individually from a large block of numbers, allowing the modeller to choose any vehicle number they wish, as there are twelve of each digit. Some pre-populated plates are provided for those that either don't wish to or don't have the confidence to make their own, as well as a pair with their digits overpainted with green for a vehicle on operations, presumably to make identification of individual vehicles difficult for the enemy.

 

Conclusion

The Boxer is a large and good-looking vehicle, uncomplicated by the familiar scabbed on reactive armour packages common amongst older vehicles, and Revell have made a good job of the moulding of exterior detail. The kit will build up into a good replica of this vehicle, although as with all military equipment, small changes are bound to happen, so if you are going for accuracy you should check your references before proceeding.

 

Recommended.

 

Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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1 minute ago, bootneck said:

If we are due to start getting these next year then this kit might be worth getting.  Thanks for the info Mike.

 

cheers,
Mike

That's as far as I know, Meekle, but it's been demonstrated on previous occasions that I know nothing :D

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