by: Seb Viale [ ]
Kinetic Model is a pretty new company in the field of armor subjects, previously they dedicated their time to the subject of aircraft.
The MRAP is a new class of vehicle introduced both in Iraq and Afghanistan. The main feature of this vehicle is the V-shaped bottom hull to protect the crew from land mines and IED’s. The original design came from a special design done by the Rhodesian Army in the early seventies and further developed by South African manufacturers, beginning in 1978 with the Buffel (Buffalo) armored personnel carrier.
Nowadays, urgent need to replace the obsolete Humvees provided an opportunity to design new vehicles with extraordinary dimensions and looks such as the Buffalo, MATV, Maxxpro to name just a few.
Packed within a carton box are the following:
• 9 plastic sprues for more than 400 pieces
• 1 transparent plastic sprue
• 1 bag with vinyl parts: tires, mudflaps and hydraulic lines.
• 1 PE fret
• 1 decal sheet printed by Cartograf
• 1 Instruction set in B&W
At first sight, I was amazed at the quality of the engineering detected by intensive reading of the instructions. After carefully inspecting the plastic parts, which are molded in beige, I found noticeable flash that need extra work to clean and can be tricky especially on small items. The details are present but not as crisp as they could be. Generally speaking, the quality of the molding can be improved especially on the K sprue with the jerrycans and M2 where flash and lack of plastic is noticeable. So ejection pins are located in the floor of the cabin but they will not be visible after construction. This kinetic kit is a first of its kind for them in 1/35 so there is so adjustment in molding those needs to take into account. The exterior details such as bolt heads are soft and some corrections may be desired by the most demanding modelers.
The tires are molded in glossy vinyl without sidewall details, and the lack of details is striking: no brand name, no dimension data although this is clearly due to licensing issues but the most important point I need to comment on is the odor of the vinyl parts. I am surprised to find this in a modern kit and it is clearly an item that needs to be addressed immediately by Kinetic.
Kinetic decided to thoroughly reduce the use of PE, only the front of the bonnet and some parts of the tool racks are done in this medium.
Regarding the dimensional issues, it is clear than the Kinetic kit is oversized and from my calculation the excess is around 5-7mm in all directions.
One interesting point is the presence of a complete radio and FCB2 system, a very welcome detail.
So as usual, I will review the kit following the instruction set.
This part is covered in the first 4 steps and numerous pieces are used. Small pieces of details are used such as nuts, so extra care will be needed while building this component. Using two pieces for the universal joint makes construction a bit more finicky but allows the front wheels to be easily turned and positioned which is a plus. The level of details is great here although cleaning all the small parts can be tricky…but the results should be worth it.
Same approach as above, tiny connectors are present for the hoses and lines which are provided in vinyl, a nice addition to the kit. The attachment of these is covered in step 9, and this is a nice addition to detail.
A cross member was broken in my review sample on the chassis, clearly due to transportation issues, which can be fixed with a styrene strip. In order to achieve the rear bumper: 3 pieces are needed; normally such pieces can be achieved with one plastic piece.
The front and rear suspensions are attached to the frame and the protective hull V-shape is assembled here. Extra pieces are affixed here to provide more detail. The foot step is also attached at this point.
The exhaust pipe comes in two halves so you will need to carefully fill and sand the seam as it will be clearly visible on such long part.
The interior starts off by assembling the gunner step and radio rack. The seat belt connectors are present and after cleaning and removing the extra plastic the results will be great. As a nice addition, the bottom part of the seats can be folded so you will have the option to fill up the cabin with extra gear.
The SINCGARS radio or communication set are present, they are good in details especially on the dials, screen and buttons. Some sink marks are present on the top of certain electronic elements which will need to be addressed if they will be visible after construction. No handsets are provided in the kit but the presence of the radio set, as well as the FC2B2, is a great addition to the kit. All antennas are also provided, see below.
The front windshield is nicely done, the windows are thick and some distortion on the plastic can been seen. The dashboard is nice in detail but some of the detail around the AC duct is missing and will need to be added with putty or styrene, although this may not be noticeable after the cabin is closed up.
Doors & Body:
The doors are constructed in two pieces to approach the scale thickness of the doors. The handles are nicely detailed, some drilling may be required. I cannot comment if the doors can be displayed open or not.
The rear and side parts are glued together onto the floor. The rear panel has the box for the storage of the electronics of the anti IED device. The roof has the inside light connector present which is a nice addition, although some sanding will be required.
The exterior details include the search lights assembly with transparent parts and is nicely done, the main body lights will need some extra cleaning up due to excess plastic. The small plastic parts need to be reworked since there are no details and are basically blobs of plastic (mainly all the reflective lights). The anti IED device on the right hand side of the truck is nicely done, while the Duke shows a noticeable seam line. All the antenna bases are lacking sharp details, meaning the springs are not clearly shown.
Front Bonnet and Rear Compartment:
The bonnet is molded in thick plastic with the grill furnished in PE (this is the first use of PE and we’re at the 21st step). The front lights are simplified and there are some dimensional and shape discrepancies found here.
The rear compartment is detailed here, with again some PE for the accessory boxes. The mud flaps are too thick; this would have been a great area to use PE.
The assembly of the rear main frame is covered in one step, again the bolt heads and small details are softly molded. All the antennas such as the X-wing, GPS, and bend antenna are lacking in details but can be easily fixed following reference pictures. The Duke is glued here, but needs some extra work to reach a decent look since a mold misalignment deforms this part.
Step 24 covers the accessories, which in my review sample, the mold was not aligned properly. The handles are filled in on the water cans and will require work to open them up. Excess flash is present on the handles of the fuel cans and the boxes have a sink mark. In order to use these pieces extra work will be required. In this sprue is also located the M2 which is molded in two pieces, the cooling jacket holes need some drilling and a barrel is a single plastic rod, a brass one will be a good replacement.
All sub components are glued on the frame in steps 25- 27. The spare wheel is attached to the rear frame and the V shaped protective unit is added underneath the chassis.
The OPGK turret is simplified and the bolt heads need some extra work because the surfaces are all flat and the bolts heads are really too small and look like dots. The Rhino anti IED device will require some sanding and trimming if this will be used.
You have the choice between a M2 with nothing to use because it is molded in two pieces. As mentioned before, the cooling jacket has the holes perforated but requires a lot of drilling due to the excess styrene from the poor molding. The barrel is bent and has no details; it is only a plastic rod. Regarding the Mk19, it is the prototype of the Mk19 as depicted in the old Verlinden kit. The muzzle flash on the gun is absent due to poor molding. The weapon will best be replaced with an aftermarket item.
The turret, Rhino and wheels are glued in place to complete the kit.
I did not thoroughly check the instruction set but some mistakes are present in the numbering of the parts. Moreover, the overall quality of the parts can be improved. According to Kinetic Model, my review sample was from a pre-production run, so I will need to do some extra sanding and filling. This kit has good potential when the production issues are corrected.