U.S. Infantry Fighting Vehicle M2A3 Bradley w/BUSK III

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Meng Model – SS004 – 1/35 scale

The Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) is an American fighting vehicle platform manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments, formerly United Defense. It was named after U.S. General Omar Bradley.

The Bradley is designed to transport infantry or scouts with armor protection while providing covering fire to suppress enemy troops and armored vehicles. There are several Bradley variants, including the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and the M3 Bradley cavalry fighting vehicle. The M2 holds a crew of three: a commander, a gunner and a driver, as well as six fully equipped soldiers. The M3 mainly conducts scout missions and carries two scouts in addition to the regular crew of three, with space for additional TOW missiles.

The M2’s primary armament is a 25 mm cannon which fires up to 200 rounds per minute and is accurate up to 2500 m depending on the ammunition used. It is also armed with twin BGM-71 TOW wire-guided missiles held in a rectangular compartment on the left side of the turret which are capable of destroying most tanks out to a maximum range of 3750 m. However, the missiles can only be fired while the vehicle is stationary. The Bradley also carries a coaxial 7.62 mm medium machine gun, located to the right of the 25 mm chain gun.

Bradley Urban Survival Kit

The Bradley Urban Survival Kit (BUSK) is an upgrade similar to the M1 Abrams TUSK kit. It decreases the vulnerability of Bradleys in urban threat environments. The kit includes a more powerful spotlight, a wire mesh protector to keep the optics from getting scratched and non-conductive arched strips of nylon that push away fallen electrical wires (power line protection) that would endanger crews, a remote controlled 5.56mm machine gun on the turret, additional armor on the underside, and a bullet resistant transparent shield for the commander outside the turret. It also includes sensors and a software package to quickly detect when components are wearing out and simulation software so the gunners could train more realistically. The BUSK kit adds 3 tons of weight to the vehicle. Because of this, a major upgrade was planned. Additional upgrades included a stronger 800 horsepower engine, a larger main gun, lighter armor, improved sensors and cameras to give a 360 degree view outside, and an improved fire extinguisher system. This system was supposed to enter service in 2012, but the Bradley simply became too heavy and the kit did not make it survivable enough. A newer BUSK III kit is now available for Bradleys incorporating a blast-proof fuel cell, a blast resistant driver seat, a turret survivability system, and an emergency ramp release. This kit was recently installed on 236 M2A3 Bradleys in Korea and is scheduled next to be added to Bradleys of the 4th Infantry Division.

The box

When this kit arrived I was surprised by the size of the package. This surely is a big kit in a big box. On opening the box you will see this one is filled to the top. You will find 632 parts in tan, green and dark grey plastic parts, also included are 188 individual track links in black plastic, 32 clear parts, 10 green tinted parts, eight metal tubes, eight flexible vinyl parts, three sheets of PE, 20 polythene caps and a decal sheet with markings for three vehicles.

The content of the box can be seperated in 3 parts : engine, interior and the rest of the vehicle. Every frame is seperatly packed in a sealed bag to avoid any damaging during transport. The moulding is excellent and I cant see any faults on the parts with exception the very minor seams on some of the parts. Ejection marks are reduced to a minimum and the one you will find will be covered during construction. The detail is very crisp and clear on all parts. The anti-skid on the upper surfaces is very delicate – good job! I did build the engine and interior – OOTB – and the fit was, as expected, spot on. You won’t encounter any problems here. Pictures will be shown here below.

Engine and transmissionparts – frame K and frame L 

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 Interior parts – frame M, N, P and S

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Exterior parts – frame A x 2, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J x 2, Q and R

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Tracks, PE, metal tubes and soft vinyl parts

Building this kit will/can take you all the way. You can build this very well detailed kit ootb or you can build some extra details in. I would reccomend to add some wiring to the equipment. Good information about this can be found on the internet. I will show you here some of the results of the parts I have build, so you can have a good picture about the fit and the looks of this kit. We go through the instructions step by step next. I will mention the problems “if” we will find them.

Step 1

Building the roadwheels, idler wheels and drive sprockets.

Step 2

Construction of the seperate torsion bars and shocks. These are ment to be build movable.

Step 3

Attaching the suspension system to the lower hull. Make sure you get the components in the right place like, don’t rush!

Step 4

Attaching the drive sprockets and return rollers. Make sure the returnrollers are aligned properly in case you want to leave the sideskirts off.

Step 5

Here we have to attach the roadwheels, but lets not do it right now. Keep them seperate for painting.

Step 6

Attaching floor for driver and passengers

Step 7,8 and 9

Attaching interior armor and other small parts. Here you can start adding the wiring to electronic parts in the driversection.

Step 10

Seats assembly, although the seats are nicely mould I think it will be a good idea to bring on some extra texture or folds in the seats.

Step 11

Installing the driver seat together with several storage boxes

Step 12

Radiator assembly

Step 13, 14 and 15

Engine assembly, mounting the radiator and building the transmission. Everything builds very easy, just a matter of cutting, cleaning and glueing the parts.

Step 16, 17

Attaching the powertrain and air-intake system to the hull together with drivers bulkhead wich we will have build in this step.

Step 18

Attaching the passengerseats. I would reccomend to leave them off for painting and attach them after the interior is completely finished.

Step 19 and 20

Assembly of the turret basket and attaching the build section to the interior. Also part D3 is mentioned to glue in place, but again, wait for this untill the interior is finished.

Step 21, 22 and 23

Attaching the top interior armor and several equipments like AC’s, communications and lcd screens.

Step 24

Closing up the hull after all the painting and extra detailing is finished. in hte pictuer below non of that happened, these are just to show you what’s poosible with this kit and what the overal looks are

 Step 25 and 26

Tools and spare track assembly and ataching them to the hull

Step 27

Attaching the glacis armor. Here you will have to drill 4 holes in the glacis for the additional armor later on. Some PE will have to be bend here and glued to the upper hull.

Step 28 and 29

Assembly of the driver’s hatch and driver’s vision enhancer and attaching them to the hull.

Step 30

Attaching engine hatches and covers and some extra external armor. Hatch of the engine is movable.

Step 31

Exhaust outlet assembly

Step 32 and 33

Passenger compartment roof hatch assembly and attaching it to the upper hull, can also be posed in an open position. Also several small rear hull parts are mounted here.

Step 34, 35 and 36

Ramp and acces door assembly, also movable. In these steps they want you to assemble the tracks and mount them to the vehicle. We keep them seperat for now to mount them later on.

Step 37, 38 and 39

Air-conditioner assembly (lefet and right) and attaching them to the rear hull.

Step 40, 41, 42 and 43

Assembly of the right and left side skirt with their additional armor module together with glacis armor module. Again, they ask you to attach everything to the hull but we will only do that with the front glacis module. We leave the sideskirts of untill later (after painting).

Step 44, 45, 46, 47

Building the interior of the turret together with turret basket.

 Step 48

Attaching turret basket with the turret.

Step 49

Attaching turret armors and smoke grenade launchers

Step 50

Attaching commander’s and gunner’s hatches.

Step 51 and 52

Additional armor module assembly for the turret

Step 53, 54, 55 and 56

Building and attaching the ISU, BFT and attach them to the turret. We also build the commander’s protection system together with CITV and also attach them to the turret.

Step 57 and 58

Building and attaching the TOW anti-tank missile launcher.

Step 59 and 60

Rear turret storage basket assembly and attaching it to the turret.

Step 61

Attacht the completed turret to the hull

 

Painting and decals

The decalsheet provided gives you the markings for 3 vehicles.

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Conclusion

One of the most detailed kits in plastic I have ever seen. The kit looks complicated for the novice modeller but this isn’t the case. The perfect fit of the parts makes the build of this kit a pleasure. The only thing certenly will have to do if you are building the interior is planning the build and paint stages. Everything can be seen through the hatches if you wish and there is even some room for improving this kit by adding some wiring if you would like to do so. Some crew and extra gear will finish this vehicle!

Points from the jury : 9/10

 

Disclaimer : reviewsample provided by Meng

 

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