by: Pete Becerra [ ]
The Cougar 6x6 JERRV (Joint EOD Rapid Response Vehicle) is part of the MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) family of vehicles. It’s design was based off of U.S. Marine requirements in 2004 and produced in 2005. The first production vehicles were called Cougar HEV (Hardened Engineer Vehicle). When the Army came to order them, they re-designated them as JERRV. The JERRV is currently used by the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy.
The HEV was essentially a 14 passenger troop carrier, were as the JERRV is specifically modified for EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). The JERRV is equipped with a multiple optical camera (gyro cam). The camera provides day/night vision and forward IR technology. Also installed is a cabinet for storing different type of explosives and other tools the EOD tech needs to disarm IED’s.
13 tan sprues total
1 clear sprue
8 rubber tires
1 photo etch fret
200 mm flexible tubing (for Gyro Cam)
1 decal sheet
There is a lot of plastic in the box. As Jim said in the “Cracking the Box” video, it was hard to put all the sprues back in the box and close the lid. We will start with the interior first.
The instructions are for the JERRV version, but looking at some of the parts, the HEV version can be built also, but it is not shown in the instructions. Parts M3, M18, M25, M27 and M36 are for the 6x6 HEV version. Sprue D has all the seat parts for the troop carrier but once again, no instructions are provided to do this version. If you want to do the HEV version, you can refer to the Panda Hobby Cougar 4x4 kit (35003) to install the seats. Parts P1 and P14 are the interior walls of the Cougar and there are 8 squares that need to be drilled out to accommodate the seat brackets. Also included in the kit, but not mentioned in the instructions, is an AN/VRC-110 Harris radio system. Parts B43 and B44 along with A44 make up the radio, but it does not have the PRC-152’s installed in them.
Included in the instructions for communications is what seems to look like 2 SINCGAR’s and 1 ASSIP radio, part Q1. Since it is separate from part Q3 (communications rack), I would recommend adding shelves with sheet plastic and replacing radios with after-market sets.
Like the Cougar 4x4 kit, the 6x6 kit is missing some key components. We will start with the communications again. Even though the kit provides what seems to be the 2 SINCGARs and 1 ASSIP, the entire Vehicle Intercom System (VIS), also known as the AN/VIC-3, is incomplete. Two FFCS (Full Function Crew Station) are provided, but to complete the VIS system, you also need the MCS (Master Control Station) and a RIT (Radio Interface Terminal). Next is the FBCB2, or more commonly known as the “Blue Force Tracker.” The kit provides the transceiver, keyboard and monitor, but is missing the “plugger” (PLGR) and CPU for the system.
Next, we will move on to the anti-IED (improvised explosive device) systems, or rather, the lack of systems, in the kit. Again, the kit provides two different types of anti-IED antennas for the exterior, the Warlock and DUKE anti-IED systems, but no control system’s for the interior.
The last two components in the interior that are missing major parts are the DVE (Drivers Vehicle Enhance) system and the gyro camera. The kit includes the screen, part A45 and the joystick, part A33, for the DVE. The actual camera that is mounted outside the vehicle of the DVE is not included. One thing to note, especially for the JERRV kit. From watching episodes of “Bomb Patrol – Afghanistan,” I noticed that the JERRV in the show does not have the DVE system. My theory behind this is that because of the gyro cam providing the same capabilities as the DVE and more, why need to mount a DVE system on the vehicle. As for you, the modeler, if you’re going to add the screen and joystick, you will have to scratch build the camera for outside the vehicle. Now for the gyro cam, the prominent feature of the JERRV. While nicely replicated and detailed, again is missing two major components for the interior, the camera monitor and control box. The monitor is located between the explosive storage box and crew seat.
I mention all these missing components for the interior because if you want to model the vehicle with all its doors and hatches open, a lot can be seen inside. Most, if not all the missing interior components can either be scratched built or bought from aftermarket companies. As for the rest of the interior goes, the only major cosmetic problem, and Jim mentions it in his video also, are 6 horrible ejector pin marks on the inside upper hull. Those will need to be tended to if you are going to have this beast open.
Not much can be said for the exterior parts of the kit. Everything that is supposed to be there is there. There is some flash evident and some clean-up will be needed. See through mesh is molded on to the fuel cell containers, but a lot of flash is present and they will need to be cleaned up. Part P7 is the mesh bottom for the water can rack. It too has flash and needs to be cleaned up. Also, in the instructions, the part is labeled P14 and should be P7.
The turret that is provided is the same as the one in the 4x4 kit and for the most part, the same as in the MATV kit. There is an ejector pin mark that needs to be filled or removed on the turret hatch. Parts to make it a remote controlled turret is provided, but on minor piece is missing, the actual joystick box for the turret. This is easily reproduced with some stock plastic bits and pieces.
Some might read this and think that I bashed this kit totally, that was not my intention. I’ve built the Cougar 4x4 kit from Panda Hobby and it was a fun build, especially with all the extra I had to add. Panda Hobby kits, this kit, is not for the faint of heart. A lot has been said already about the in-accuracies and issues with this kit, but if you’re willing to bypass that and you have moderate scratch building skills and are willing to put a bit extra money with aftermarket parts into the kit, then this one is for you. Next up will be a “build feature” and I will address all the issues I mentioned in this review.