by: Kevin Brant [ ]
introductionThe Canadian Grizzly was a member of the Armored Vehicle General Purpose (AVGP) fleet purchased by the Canadian Armed Forces and entering service in 1976. The AVGP fleet consisted of the Cougar, a recon and tank trainer, the Husky, an Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV), and the Grizzly. The Grizzly was designed as an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), which could carry a section of troops with a 3-man crew. It was armed with a 7.62 MG and a .50 BMG. While the Grizzly had been originally bought for domestic use and training purposes, it was pressed into service in Somalia and Bosnia-Croatia, with one even captured by the Croatian Armed Forces.
The Grizzly has mostly been replaced by the LAV III, with a small number still in use by Reserve units for training. A few of the vehicles have been disarmed and given to Police units to use as Emergency Response Vehicles. Most within the Canadian Army are currently being retrofitted as Command Posts and ARVs.
The ModelThis is the third model in the Canadian AVGP family from Trumpeter, following the Cougar and Grizzly (Early). (Now we can only hope for the Husky next!) The model relies on the same basic chassis and hull as the two earlier releases.
The kit is extremely well molded in light grey, with excellent detail. There is no flash, and from first inspection, there are no ejector marks that will need to be filled - this would the same as the Cougar kit I have already built. The molded lower hull is identical to the first two releases, while the upper hull would the same as the Early Grizzly (I have not seen or built it, but they are the same vehicle). The detail is well represented, including the view ports, but it would have been nice to see clear plastic inserts to represent the glass.
Having built the suspension and axle assembly on the Cougar, I can say it is well done, and goes together very well. The kit contains soft "rubber like" wheels. While they look good, it makes it difficult to represent the realistic look due to the weight of the vehicle.
All the fine detail is very well molded, to include the lift points, tie downs, grab handles and door latches. All hatches and doors, including the rear and roof top doors, are separate moldings so they can be modeled in open and closed position, but unfortunately there is no interior detail. (We can hope for an aftermarket kit.)
The turret is assembled by two sides and top and bottom, and looks like it will go together very well. The plastic molded barrels look good, and will just need the mold seams cleaned up. And they have the ends hollowed out. Smoke dischargers and a gun-mounted light are represented.
The instructions are well laid out, as they were with the Trumpeter Cougar kit I built. The instruction booklet is 12 pages with 16 steps. It also includes a sprue part layout.
instructionsInstructions are broken down as follows:
Step 1 - Wheels and tire assembly, and transfer cases.
Step 2 - Construction and installation of transfer cases, drive shafts, and axle mounts
Step 3 - Construction and installation of suspension and fuel tanks
Step 4 - Front transfer case shield and wheel installation
Step 5 - Headlight and windshield construction
Steps 6 & 7 - Upper hull detail
Steps 8 & 9 - Construction and installation of rear
Step 10 - Mating of upper and lower hulls
Step 11 - Construction of guns
Steps 12 & 13 - Turret assembly
Step 14 & 15 - Spare tire mount and installation, optional parts for leaving spare tire off
Step 16 - Installation of turret.
markingsA colored sheet is included with the Light Green(NATO Green) paint scheme and markings for SFOR, Bosnia UN Mission. Paint color references include Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol. Not all paint brands are matched for required colors. Decal sheet is crisp with great colors, all within register. License plates are printed on colored reference sheet.
As for modeled accuracy for the SFOR mission, after looking as some reference pictures the model could be considered correct. A few things I did notice is most Grizzlies serving in SFOR/KFOR had an extra antenna mounted on the right side between the passenger view ports. Also a lot of pictures showed the lack of the driverís wind screen and most vehicles carried the standard Green/Olive Green/Black camouflage.
conclusionOverall, the Grizzly (Late) is a great looking kit, and I can't wait till I can start the build. But I may wait a bit, just to see if some aftermarket detail will be released. I know that Eduard released a PE set for the Cougar, and some of those parts would fit the Grizzly. I am really hoping for an interior, as I am not much of a scratch builder.
I would like to add I did serve in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve Force a few years back, well maybe a little more than a few, with the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa. And I had a few meeting with a Grizzly. One moonless clouded evening, while on a compass exercise on the Mattawa Plains in CFB Petewawa, my buddy and I were moving down a road to our next way point, when we thought we heard something. Well that something kept getting closer, at a very rapid rate. We turn, and soon recognized the "cats eye" headlight of a Grizzly roaring towards us. We quickly jumped off the road into the dust as that Grizzly went roaring past us. A bit of a close call, and a little ticked off that we were not told that the Grizzlies were out for night driver training!