Academy Warrior MCV “Iraq
2003”, 1/35th-scale injection molded plastic kit (Item 13201)
by Frank V. De Sisto
Contains: 402 styrene plastic parts, one piece of nylon string, one piece
of plastic mesh, 2 vinyl track lengths, 24 poly caps, two decal options
and 12 pages of instructions in 18 steps. Price: unavailable.
Academy has upgraded their originally quite decent Warrior MCV to OIF
standards (actually, in British parlance, “Operation Telic”)
and re-released it with 87 new parts, as well as two new sets of markings.
The new parts offer added stowage items.
These include: two each of two styles of ammo boxes, two each of two
styles of stowage bins, two folding chairs, two SA-80s, three communications
wire reels, one spare road wheel, and two oil cans. Other newly added
vehicle fittings include CIP panels, a pair of wire cutters (to provide
protection to crewmembers riding outside from wire strung across their
path of travel) and the driver’s external windshield. Also included
is a much better proportioned bow armor pack along with the large tow
The new markings are for one vehicle in Bosnia, 1995, and the other in
Iraq, 2003. The units to which these vehicles belong are not identified
in the instructions, but one appears to belong to the 2nd Battalion, The
Light Infantry, which served in Bosnia during “Operation Resolute
1” in 1995. I cannot find a reference for the Operation Telic vehicle.
I built the original release of this kit some years ago, so can say that
in general the fit of the parts are very good. Molding is also very good,
as are the smaller details. But, as with any kit, there are some things
to be aware of. For instance, the engine compartment vent cover (C-6)
should be open at the back, the opening should be covered with screen,
and it should be textured to represent a cast item. Many segments of the
turret are castings, notably the front end and the mantlet. The final
drive housings on the lower hull front are too wide, and should be narrowed
down and textured to represent castings. The turret hatches are not strictly
correct as the hinges should compensate for the angle of the openings,
which are not parallel to the turret roof. The bustle stowage rack is
mounted too high and should be corrected by mounting it lower so that
its top rim is at least below the level of the bottom of the turret’s
periscopes. Many modelers will also lament that there is no interior in
the kit, but that, of course, would make it rather more expensive. It
has been a source of wonder to me that no after-market interior has ever
been made available for this kit, which has been around for at least ten
years. On the other hand, Accurate Armour has made a number of fine upgrade
and conversion sets for this kit, while Eduard also has a nice photo-etch
set for it.
All hatches on the kit are separate parts, including the two on the turret,
the roof and rear doors on the infantrymen’s compartment and the
driver’s hatch. These are all movable, while the separate hatch
for the engine compartment is not. The main armament is moveable in elevation,
and the two main sights on the turret roof have two-position covers. The
hull features separate suspension swing arms, which as I recall, have
a rather loose fit, while all road wheels, the idler wheels and the drive
sprocket will rotate thanks to internal poly caps. The tracks are accurately
detailed but are made of relatively inflexible vinyl.
The new appliqué panel for the hull front is much better than
the original, poorly proportioned parts, but could use some detail enhancement.
Note that the large tow hook would not be seen in vehicles used in Operation
Granby/ Desert Saber, but can be seen in Bosnia and other vehicles in
use up through the present time. Likewise, the hull appliqué panels
are well done but could use some detail enhancement, especially on top
and where they attach to the hull sides. The new stowage items are all
very nicely done and visually accurate. The included items really dress
up the model and can be used in a variety of combinations to individualize
the finished item.
Therefore, in this case, Academy took a decent base kit and added some
improvements that not only corrected its one noticeable flaw (the bow
appliqué armor module), but made the kit as a whole, much better
than the original.
Academy kits are available from retail and mail order shops. MODEL RECTIFIER
CORP. is the US importer of Academy products. Contact them at: 80 Newfield
Ave., PO Box 6312, Edison, NJ 08818-6312. Phone: 732-225-2100, fax: 732-225-0091.
For images of Academy products see their web site at: www.academyhobby.com.