The LAV series of vehicles are due to be replaced but due to a number of factors the service life has been extended, and with the current financial situation who knows for how much longer the LAV will serve. The main weapon on the LAV is the 25mm chain gun and that has now been upgraded to a 30mm Bushmaster II chain gun. In this review I will be taking a look at the 1/35th scale 30mm Bushmaster II barrel from Phoenix Model.
This replacement barrel from Phoenix Model is a single piece metal barrel that is packaged in a stiff clear plastic tube that is attached to a card hanger.
The 30mm Bushmaster II chain gun is a difficult barrel to make in plastic as the flash suppressor has 3 sets of slotted openings around it and the barrel is also fluted most of the way along its length. Phoenix Model offered this brass barrel primarily as a straight replacement for the barrels in the Trumpeter kits, I believe, but they just indicate its suitability for the LAV III and LAV 25 vehicles. The barrel is nicely turned with no obvious imperfections, the flutes are nicely represented but I am unable to verify if they are of the correct length on the barrel. The slots in the flash suppressor all look accurate bearing in mind the flash suppressor on the 30mm Bushmaster II is tubular, rather than conical, in shape.
I have checked the barrel against those offered in Trumpeters LAV 25 Piranha kit and, as can be seen from the pictures, the turned barrel is shorter. I believe this can be attributed to the fact that the kit barrel is the 25mm version of the barrel, I however felt that you would all find the comparison in barrels helpful. I did try to find data on the Bushmaster II barrel but due to how it was measured, and being unclear where exactly it was measured from point to point, I am unable to verify if its length is correct. The fit of the barrel into the receiver on the Trumpeter kit is exactly the same as the kit version but is obviously a little shorter.
So, what am I left with to offer you? The turned brass barrel has crisper detail and doesnít require the clean up that the kit version needs due to blocked slots in the suppressor and a seam line down each side. My personal opinion is that this barrel makes for a good replacement that is easy to use and will look better on your finished model. If you are concerned about the barrel length you can always insert a piece of plastic of the required extra length inside the barrels shroud.
Despite being unable to verify accuracy of the dimensions of the barrel I do feel it is worthy of your consideration when looking for a replacement barrel for your LAV 25 or LAV III build.
Highs: The areas that catch my attention on this product are the flutes along its length and the effort that has been put into the slots in the flash suppressor.Lows: There are no obvious low points to this barrel unless you can verify the length is incorrect.Verdict: A reasonable product to replace your LAV 25 or LAV III barrel.
Our Thanks to Thor Hobby! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...