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Javelin – The Ukrainian Anti-Tank Crew (MB35229) 1:35


Mike

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Javelin – The Ukrainian Anti-Tank Crew (MB35229)

Russian-Ukraine War Series #6

1:35 Master Box Ltd via Creative Models Ltd

 

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The Javelin Anti-Tank missile is a fire-and-forget missile that a small crew can carry into battle against tanks, firing it from a distance before making their getaway without leaving a tell-tale trail of smoke to their current position.  It replaced the M47 Dragon in US service, and its automatic infrared guidance carries a HEAT warhead to the target, rearing up at the last minute to carry out a top-down attack on the enemy, where the armour is at its thinnest, increasing its chances of success.  Of course, the new generation of infrared dazzler countermeasures can give the enemy a chance of surviving, assuming the detection of the threat occurs in time.  The manufacturers estimate that around 5,000 engagements have been made worldwide using the system, although that number must be rising on a daily basis, given the fact that it is being used by Ukraine to defend their homeland from the invader.

 

Usually crewed by two soldiers, the device is man-portable and can be lugged into position for use, making a soft ‘poop!’ sound as it exits the launch tube in what’s called a soft-launch, igniting the main rocket motor once it is a safe distance away from the launch-point, protecting the crew from burns, and if it is a close engagement it gives them an additional fraction of a second to down-tools and make tracks out of the danger zone.  In top-attack mode, the climb at the end of the trajectory can take it up to 150m from the ground, but an alternative low-level profile rears up to only 60m to keep visibility to a minimum.  The operator of the weapon can work alone for a one-shot mission, but if additional rounds are needed, the weight of the extra missiles requires a carrier to join the party, and during the set-up and aiming phase they act as target spotter and threat assessor, countering the tunnel-vision required of the operator to dial-in the target.

 

 

The Kit

This is a new figure set from Master Box’s Russian-Ukrainian War series, created by a Ukrainian company to honour their armed forces that are helping keep them safe from attack.  There is a little bit about that on the back of the box, and they clearly state that a portion of their profits goes toward helping their fight, so you can choose whether to buy it or not, depending on how you feel about that.  Nuff said.  The set arrives in a figure-sized end-opening box with a painting of a Javelin crew on the front, and a depiction of the models, a sprue diagram, a swatch of camouflage and a paint chart on the rear.  Inside is one sprue in grey styrene, although the box shows it in sand, so your boxing may include either colour, which is fine.

 

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One crewman is sitting down with his legs out in front, holding the Javelin launch tube on his right shoulder, looking through the sighting unit on the side, and stabilising the weapon with his opposing hand.  His colleague is kneeling on one knee and pointing to a potential target, while his other hand appears to be resting on his friend’s shoulder.  Both men are wearing BDUs with a tactical vest covered in MOLLE loops over their shirt.  They are festooned with pouches, and the spotter has his AK-74 slung barrel-down over his shoulder by its strap.  The Javelin is made from nine parts, and is a model in itself, with a patch of digital camouflage printed below the instructions.  If you’re not a brave modeller, you could always paint them in a one-colour BDU, or pick up a set of decals from Breeze Decals (35-001), and apply small sections with plenty of decal solution.  The colour chart shows codes from Vallejo, Lifecolor, Mr.Color, Tamiya and AMMO brands, plus swatches that should allow anyone to choose their paints from their preferred range.

 

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The parts for each figure are found in separate areas of the sprue for ease of identification, and parts breakdown is sensibly placed along clothing seams or natural breaks to minimise clean-up of the figures once they are built up.  The sculpting is typically excellent, as we’ve come to expect from Master Box’s artists and tool-makers, with natural poses, drape of clothing and textures appropriate to the parts of the model.  As well as the AK-74, there is a Malyuk assault rifle that is a home-grown bullpup AK-74 development, sometimes called Vulcan-M, which is probably just as well, as Malyuk translates to ‘baby’, so isn’t all that aggressive a nickname for a weapon.

 

 

Conclusion

Building this figure set as a tribute to the brave fighters of Ukraine in a small diorama base of long grass or snow would look great in your cabinet, especially if you’re one of those crazy people that can create realistic smoke and flame from a recent launch.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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