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135
Meng's M2A3 Bradley

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Well here we are at the conclusion of the M2A3 Bradley w/ Busk III by Meng Model and I am feeling very satisfied with both the process as well as the results. As it seems to be as of late, Meng Model has provided us with an excellent kit. From the moment I cut the first piece of plastic I was enamoured with this kit. Just so the readers are aware, the traits I typically evaluate a kit on are the following:

1. Quality of the mold and the plastic.
Are there heavy mold lines on the parts, are the ejector pin marks in places that will be seen, is the plastic too brittle or too soft, are the parts easy enough to remove the sprue?

2. Overall fit.
Is there any warping of the major parts, hulls, etc, are locating pins in the right place, do pieces need to be trimmed to fit?

3. Instructions.
As odd as it may seem, Iím a sucker for a set of good instructions. Iíve found that the better the instructions the quicker and easier the build goes.
4. Overall look of the completed model.

I pride myself on being a ďbuilderĒ of models and not a perfectionist or a rivet counter. Therefore, if the final build looks like the subject its intended to Iím happy. Sometimes itís easy to get caught up in making sure all the nuts and bolts are 100% accurate but Iíve found that can take a lot of time and can take away from the enjoyment of building a kit.

So, how did the Meng Model Bradley stack up in all these areas? The quality of the plastic reminds me a lot of something from a Tamiya kit. The sprue arenít too soft or too hard, a good example is the fact I did not snap or break a single part in removing them from the sprue. All too often, if the plastic is too hard, Iíve snapped grab handles and other small parts, but not in this case. Conversely, Iíve found that plastic thatís too soft can be difficult to sand and polish. Not here, it was exactly the right balance.

When I first started building models I would get very annoyed when I had to remove mold lines and ejector pin marks but Iíve come to accept there is no way to create a model kit without them, itís just part of the process. That being said, in terms of mold lines and ejector pin marks, there were a few parts that had a little of each but nothing that couldnít be easily removed with a good set of sanders.

When it comes to fit, Iíve gotten into the habit of dry fitting everything multiple times throughout the process. That way, when problems do arise, I can deal with them before Iíve applied the extra thin. Now, itís hard to break a habit once itís formed, so I found myself dry fitting parts over and over again looking for issues but I couldnít find a single one. The only time I thought there might be a problem is during the construction of the tracks. The instructions call for 80 links a side, which appeared to be a little too loose for me. I took 1 link out of each side and found that I was happy with how they came out.

Iím not going to write a whole ton about the instructions booklet except to say that itís absolutely superb. Parts are clearly marked, complicated sub-assemblies are clear and easy to read, and color call outs are given for the interior and small detail parts.

Lastly but not least, the overall look of the final product is pretty freaking incredible. Iím not an expert on the Bradley so I could be totally wrong but everything from the track pads to the Busk system appears to be right on target. Meng Model even went the little extra mile and added some decals for the monitors. The only part I didnít like were the seatbelts provided for the passenger compartment. The way they were produced in rubber meant that the details were very soft and a fabric like appearance was difficult to reproduce.

So, there you have it, my overall opinion is that this is a great kit and certainly worth the time to build it. There are a few small issues I had during construction which Iíll explain below but nothing that would make this a frustrating build. Last but not least, weíve got the painting phase of the build. Meng Model goes out of their way to include a mask for both the road wheels and the track pads. Typically I use a plastic template for painting road wheels but the fit can be a little finicky. This time the mask fit perfectly and painting went extremely smoothly. The same can be said for the track pads, the mask allowed me to paint the tracks quickly and with limited errors.

Other than the decals, that was just about it. There really werenít any issues with the decals except that there were a few ďPINCH POINTĒ decals to say the least. With a little help from some MicroSol everything went down great.

Following the decals I followed the kit instructions by brush painting the Blue Force Tracking system, ammo boxes and pioneer tools. Lastly I added red reflective Mylar to the vision blocks and began the weathering process. And that folks, is about all there is to this one.

Thanks again for checking this out!
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About the Author

About Adam Phillips (adampolo13)
FROM: RHODE ISLAND, UNITED STATES


Comments

What a great work!
JUL 08, 2014 - 12:21 AM
Great job on this one Adam!! Well done!
JUL 08, 2014 - 03:15 AM
Thanks guys!!!
JUL 08, 2014 - 04:41 AM
Really nice. Where can one buy small amounts of red mylar?
JUL 09, 2014 - 04:23 AM
Party stores, Hobby Lobby Lobby, Michaels. Don't foget the coupon. Mylar is used in those little shiny disc used for decoration, confetti, etc. Nicely done, by the way.
JUL 09, 2014 - 06:58 AM
great build and review
JUL 11, 2014 - 08:12 PM
Great work and great WIP pictures!
JUL 12, 2014 - 06:27 AM
Great Review - Awesome pics... this gotta be one for my modern AFV collection
JUL 17, 2014 - 05:48 PM
Nice one, thanks for sharing!
AUG 28, 2014 - 12:59 PM
Great job, great model! Can you tell me what you used for the interior green color?
SEP 15, 2014 - 03:36 AM