by: Mark Millard [ ]
introductionThe LAV-150 is a 4x4 wheeled vehicle with a watertight hull and is fully amphibious. It needs no preparation for swimming or fording. The LAV-150 is available in 16 configurations, including command, recovery, mortar, TOW, air defense vehicles, and armored personnel carrier. A variety of armament stations can be installed, including most light and medium automatic weapons, missile systems, mortars, and cannons up to 90mm.
The M706 which later became the LAV 150 was used heavily in Vietnam War by United States forces mainly for light security. While it is not currently used by the U.S. Military, it is currently in use in approximately twenty foreign countries.
The LAV 150 has a crew of three consisting of a commander, gunner and driver. It also has the ability to carry 2 ground troops. Powered by a Chrysler 191 hp V-8 gasoline engine it is capable of going 55 mph on land, and approximately 3 mph in the water.
contentsThe kit comes packaged in a standard, thin cardboard, top opening box. All the sprues are molded in light grey styrene, with the exception of one clear sprue consisting mainly of vision blocks and lighting equipment. In my review sample all sprues are individually wrapped in plastic.
Included in the kit are the following:
•The upper and lower hull wrapped together with a type of foam tape. My sample shows no apparent signs of warpage.
•Six sprues of grey styrene individually wrapped. All parts appear to be cleanly molded with only minor flash present. There are several sink marks in the plastic that will need to be filled if you intend to model the vehicle with hatches open, which will take some modification as the hatches are molded to be closed with no option to show them opened up.
•One sprue of clear styrene individually wrapped.
•Four vinyl tires individually wrapped with a nice tread pattern. There may be some minor cleanup around the middle of each tire for the very small mold seam.
•One small section of brass chain (That I unfortunately am not able to locate now, but it was in the box).
•One thirteen step line drawing instruction booklet that is easy to understand with all steps very well defined. The instructions make no reference to the 20mm cannon parts that are included in the kit, but refer only to the 90mm version.
•One color sheet with painting instructions for one vehicle and color codes for Gunze Mr. Hobby paint. There is only one color option provided in the color sheet, that being olive drab. There are no decals included in the kit. If you wish to model something other than a generic olive drab vehicle you will need to check your references and source your own decals and markings.
reviewWheels and Tires:
The wheels consist of two parts each, inner rim and the outer rim. These rims match photos of the real ones quite well.
The tires are vinyl with a pretty good tread pattern, but there is a seam visible around the center of the tire that will be a little difficult to get rid of.
The lower hull consists of one solid piece. The basic interior components fit inside the lower hull. This, as well as the interior painting (if you choose to do so), will have to be done before attaching the upper to the lower hull. The suspension components fit to the underside of the hull and have cut outs for correct placement. I was able to test fit some of the parts and noticed that some of the openings will need to be opened up a little for the parts to fit correctly. The front winch is lacking in that all that is visible is a hole directly through the hull. You will probably want to cover it from the inside before closing the assembly permanently.
The upper hull consists of one solid tub that all accessories attach to. It is a nice setup since the attachment to the lower hull leaves very few seams to fill or eliminate. There are a couple of places on the rear that will need to be filled as there is no seam on the actual vehicle. You will need to be careful to keep the original angles in place and not sand them too much. The doors and hatches are all molded in the closed position and will take a lot of work to attempt to show them in the open position. This pretty much makes the interior components kind of useless since they can not be seen when the hull is closed up. The doors, hatches and interior have some large sink marks that will involve filling and smoothing out if you plan to show the interior.
The exterior of the turret is molded cleanly. There are more sink marks on the interior and next to nothing for interior components. As stated earlier there are parts for both the 90mm Mecar Gun and the 20mm cannon, though the instructions do not show any placement details or parts for the 20mm.
conclusionThis kit is going to be a welcome addition to your stash, and with some references you can make an interesting build out of it.