M1224 MaxxPro MRAP...
... from Bronco Models
The only way of starting this in-box review is simply WOW! I have looked at a lot of AFV kits over the years and this is, in my opinion, one of the most stunning I have ever seen. When you take the lid off the box you are faced with a very full box, packed with neatly packed sprues. Bronco have a reputation for well detailed models but this one really stands out.
The MaxxPro was one of the solutions to the vulnerabilities of US equipment such as the Humvee, when faced with the threats of IEDs, particularly in Afghanistan. An MRAP, 'Mine Resistant Ambush Protected' patrol vehicles. The first examples were built in 2007, since when over 9,000 have been produced.
I think one of the most telling guide is that the 40 pages instruction booklet extends to no less than 78 stages in the build sequence. Pretty much everything is as fully detailed as I think it could be. It starts with the chassis and the support arms for the crew module along with the engine and the complete drive train. All this takes up the first 22 build stages before you get to start the first of the lower body panels! So lots of plastic parts in this section of the kit, just a few etch details to fit. The lower body panels carry elements such as the mudguards and an air conditioning unit, along with the V-shaped panel designed to divert the blast from a mine/IED. This element closes with fitting the wheels at step 34.
At stage 35 you start on the crew cabin. Another V-shaped floor pan, tools and the 4 suspended seats in the rear part of the compartment, radio and equipment racks that includes the step for the gunner who would crew the roof mounted weapons station. Then the front seats, including that of the driver and engine firewall. With this done, the body side panels include both inner and outer elements, with armoured glass and shuttered covers (etch parts) and front crew doors. Add the roof panel, instrument panel, windscreen and so on, before you fit this crew module onto the chassis at stage 62. This is followed by assembling and fitting the bonnet (that's the 'hood' for those of you in the US) before adding the rear body panel, which carries the large rear access door/ramp, with etch treads on the access steps. Then carry on to the protected weapons station which fits onto the roof, and has a choice for fitting either an M240 7.62 MG or a larger 12.7mm .50cal MG. The final stages of the build involve fitting the assembled weapons station along with aerials and mast on the front bumper.
Four marking options are provided, though all four in the same overall plain sand colour. Two are US Army examples, one on Germany and the other in the Continental US, while the other two are both Czech Army examples operating as part of the ISAF in Afghanistan.
This won't be a quick build by any means, but the detail in the completed kit will be well worth it. Bronco have made a super job of it.
This December 2017 release is now in production and going on sale.
Thanks to Bronco Models for our example.