A small local label here in Australia, Armour Bits has been producing a lost wax cast brass 25mm fluted barrel for the Italeri LAV-25 kit for a while which can also be used for the Trumpeter kit and features six flutes on the barrel and correct sized muzzle brake.
The standard of brass casting is quite good overall but there is a minor casting seam at the base and a couple of small ‘pits' on the muzzle brake and what appears to be a small mould join part way down the barrel. These blemishes are only very minor and don't take much to clean up with a fine file, sanding paper and a dab of soldering on the muzzle brake.
The muzzle brake is cast solid with small indentations for the gas holes and you will need to carefully drill this out and then open up the holes. I used a small drill initially and then a progressively larger drill bit so as not to put too much pressure on the holes while drilling and using a low powered drill will also be preferable.
Fitting the barrel to the Trumpeter kit is quite easy but the base of the brass barrel is slightly narrower than the Trumpeter barrel and will need a little 'padding' to fit snugly into the barrel collar. This can be done by wrapping masking tape around the barrel base and then using cyanoacrylate to fix the barrel in place, that is how small the ‘gap' is but the brass barrel will flop about a bit without this.
Photos also show different muzzle brakes on the fluted barrels, the original “long” type with eight gas holes seen with the unfluted barrel and a shorter type with four gas holes, but there are also three rows of holes as opposed to the two rows on this and the Trumpeter barrel.
There is a fair bit of cleanup and drilling needed on the barrel but it is an improvement over the plastic kit barrel and will look good on the finished kit.
The Armour Bits barrel is available exclusively in Australia from;
Victorian Hobby Centre
1st Floor, 21A Swanston St.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3001
Phone (03) 96504817 (from outside Australia 61 3 96504817)
VHC doesn’t have a website at this time but offers a worldwide mail order service.
Thanks to Eric of VHC for the review barrel.
Page created September 8, 2005