Kit by Real Models
Being a fan of the M2/3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, I've always been a little disappointed that the Tamiya kit didn't include an engine compartment like they did on the M113A1. Real Models rectified that by producing a resin engine and transmission for use in the Tamiya Bradley.
The detail set consists of 7 pieces of dark gray resin. The parts include the combined engine and transmission compartment, an engine hatch, two lifting arms and the engine hatch handle. The parts are crisply molded and the wiring harnesses are clearly replicated.
The instructions are a black and white photocopy of the picture of the resin kit installed and a picture of the actual engine compartment (color photos are the same on the box top, the smaller photo’s quality is quite poor). The black arrows of the instructions disappear when they enter the dark photo. Not too much use, I suggest getting hold of a better photograph or taking a look at the actual vehicle. See my photo album, Major Rob’s Motorpool
, for some good shots of an actual Bradley engine and transmission (shameless plug). Other good references are Squadron Signal’s M2/3 Bradley in Action, Verlinden Publication’s Warmachine #5 M2/M3 Bradley or Osprey New Vanguard M2/M3 Bradley. Also available is an R.P. Hunnicutt Bradley book; however, it is quite pricey ($60 ). The Warmachines book does have a good color photo of the engine compartment.
The engine compartment should be painted sea foam green and the engine and transmission should be painted black and aluminum. The underside of the engine access door should be painted forest green, even if doing a desert sand colored vehicle.
Since this is an engine compartment, the engine and transmission cannot be displayed outside the vehicle. There is not too much to this resin set and a beginner can make the necessary modifications to the kit with little problem. The engine access door on the upper kit hull has to be cut out and replaced with a two-piece resin door. Additionally, the two posts that hold the poly caps that Tamiya uses to clamp the hull top and bottom together need to be removed. If a full engine and transmission was included, then the “pack” could be displayed on the ground. That being said, the resin kit is a nice addition to the Bradley kits.
I recommend this kit for someone wanting to do a diorama with a Bradley under-going repairs, but it would not do a casual builder much good if all they want is to build a Bradley “in action”. The kit retails for about $22, but it can be found for about half that at shows and swap meets. Now, where is the turret interior detail set?