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Minicraft/Academy 1/35 scale Warrior MCV

Kit: No. 1365
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: Minicraft/Academy, P.O. Box 3577, Torrance, CA 90510, &310-325-8383
Price: $32
Comments: Injection molded, 340 parts, decals.

DEVELOPED in the mid-1970s for the British army, the Warrior mechanized combat vehicle entered service in the late 1980s. It can carry 10 soldiers including the driver and gunner. Armed with the Rarden 30mm cannon and 7.62mm chain gun, the Warrior has some offensive capabilities as well as being able to deliver troops to the field. The vehicle saw combat in Desert Storm, and now serves the British peace-keeping forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Minicraft/Academy's kit depicts a standard section vehicle and has many options, including add-on ceramic armor. The road-wheel suspension arms are keyed to the hull, but still have a great deal of play. I glued in all of the arms, and added the wheels. I was then able to adjust the position of all of the suspension arms to ensure all wheels touched the ground and the hull was level. The position of the idler tension arm (part A52) is not clear. It appears to go behind the idler arm, but it didn't look right in this position. My references showed it horizontal, so I trimmed the rear of the part until it sat level. I skipped past the mounting of the tracks until I'd finished painting.

Decide early if you're going to use the add-on armor. If you aren't, several sinkholes in the upper hull must be filled. (If you use the armor they'll be covered.) Part B15 is a step, and should be left off if you are adding the appliqué armor.

References showed the vehicle I was building did not have the fire extinguishers mounted on the rear door and panel as in step 4, so I filled the holes with stretched sprue, and left off the extinguisher. It also did not have the wire reel (parts B47, B48) on the back door, so I left it off and removed its mounting lug.

The fit of all of the hull components is excellent. While the radiator louvers on the front and top of the hull are well molded, all pictures of operational vehicles I have seen show screens over these vents, which are not provided in the kit. Some vehicles do not mount the radiator deflectors (parts C41 and C39), so check your references for the vehicle you plan to build.

The driver's and rear compartment hatches can be built to operate, and feature good detail on the insides. However the kit has no interior detail, so I glued all hatches shut. I added a stretched-sprue step on the front appliqué armor.

The fit of the upper and lower turret halves required filling. All seven turret periscopes were plagued with sinkholes and ejector-pin marks on their faces, requiring a lot of effort to fix.

Building the turret basket was a challenge. Rather than follow the instructions I left off the mesh until the basket was complete. One arm of the rear turret basket (part B42) would not meet up with the front arm, and I had to bridge the gap with thick super glue. I then filed the glue to the shape of the turret basket support. Plenty of mesh is provided for the turret and hull stowage baskets, but the mesh is too heavy for this scale. The instructions provide patterns for cutting the mesh.

The camouflage net pole sockets (part A26) do not attach to the turret basket correctly. These should be mounted on a strap that runs on an angle from the top to the bottom of the turret basket. The box art shows the correct mounting. I made straps from sheet plastic, and modified parts A26 for a more realistic appearance. The twin Raven sights on the turret can be built with their protective shutters open or closed, so I built one each way.

I painted my model with a base coat of Floquil flat white. After an application of Crystal-Cote, I added the decals which snuggled down even over the heavy rivet detail with an application of Solvaset. The blue on the Union Jack and United Nations flag is too light, and the turret numbers for the U.N. vehicle are too large when compared to my references. The Desert Storm and U.N. vehicles use the same decal diagram, which can be confusing.

After an overcoat of Floquil Flat Finish was dry, I used black oil paint on the radiator louvers. I washed the suspension with thinned burnt-umber oil paint, and mixed a medium gray wash for the rest of the vehicle.

The one-piece vinyl tracks are well detailed but a little long for my kit (perhaps due to the play in the suspension arms). Fortunately the upper run of track is covered by the add-on armor, so I hid the overlap there.

I spent about 25 hours building my Warrior, about average for an armor kit this complex. The finished model matches the dimension in Osprey's Vanguard-series book, Warrior.

Minicraft/Academy has done an excellent job of reproducing this important modern vehicle.

John Plzak

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