Blast Models Blast Models
M2/3A2 Bradley Running gear and new track - GW2
Running gear and new track - GW2
Blast Models 1/35 #BL35023K, 25K

Reviews by Terry Ashley

Set BL35023K is designed for the Tamiya M2/3 Bradley (kit No.35152) but of course will be useful for the soon to be released #35264 M2A2 ODS Desert Bradley as while this has the new tracks it still has the old shallow drive sprockets without the lightening holes and I suspect also lacks the shock absorbers and the road wheels lack the details of the Blast Models wheels. Set BL35025K is designed for the Tamiya AAVP7A1 (kit No.35159).
As the two update sets are basically the same I’ll look at them together with comments made on the minor differences.

The M2/3 set consists of 54 resin pieces while the AAV7A1 set has 73 resin pieces with both sets having an additional 46 pieces for the new style track.

The parts are cast in a light grey resin and have nice details, the road wheels in particular have excellent contours and bolt head detail including the small bolts on the outer rim as well as the very nice recess around the outer rim.
There are the usual casting blocks to be removed and due to the intricate details on the drive sprockets and idler wheels you will need to take care when removing the blocks. There is also some fine resin ‘film’ to be removed but this is easy with just a light pass of the trusty Xacto #11 blade.

Unfortunately there were also some small air holes in a few of the parts such as on some road wheels which would provide a task to fill and also in my M2/3 set there was three outer idler wheel parts and only one inner part. Gilles from Blast Models is always accommodating in providing replacement parts if needed so this shouldn’t be a big hassle.

Each set has the road wheels, drive sprockets, idler wheels, return rollers, shock absorbers and track as common parts while the AAV7A1 set has additional axle arms and new hull suspension mounting parts included.

There is as you would expect some surgery needed on the target kits to accommodate the new parts with the AAV7A1 requiring the most alterations but nothing that is too taxing.

AAV7A1 suspension parts

M2/3A2: (Click for additional images of the set)
All that is required for this set is to shorten the axle stubs on the Tamiya kit axles to receive the new wheels (as shown in the instructions) and reposition the first return roller 4mm further back than in the kit. (The instructions say to move this “forward” but should be moved backwards).
BlastA new rear idler shock absorber and axle mount parts simply replace the kit parts B69, B70 and you get the four shock absorbers to add to each hull side.
Just a note here when removing the resin shock absorbers from their casting blocks, make sure you cut through the casting point on the end attachment before cutting off the main body otherwise the end section could snap off.
On the back of the road wheels is a small square notch which is designed to sit flush on the axle arm to ensure the wheels are set at right angles to the axle, a nice touch.

AAV7A1: (Click for additional images of the set)
Firstly you have to remove all detail from the lower hull sides on the Tamiya kit to receive the new resin bits.
A full sized template is included in the instructions to show the location of the new hull suspension mounting parts and by cutting this from the instructions and lying on the bottom hull you can mark exactly where the new parts go, this makes the job a lot easier.
After fixing the new hull suspension mountings in place drill holes to receive the new axles, this will make a stronger join than trimming the axle stubs to fit the shallow holes in the suspension mountings. There are the new return rollers and shock absorbers to be fitted in place as well as the rear idler wheel axle and shock absorber part to the rear hull. The square stub on the back of the road wheels sits just on top of the axles stub for a stronger join.

The Tracks:
Each set has the new style track in various lengths as well as individual links and you use the longer lengths for the top and bottom track runs while the individual links are used to fit around the drive sprocket and idler wheels with the shorter sections used to join these up to the lower track. There shouldn’t be any problems fitting the track and by sticking the individual links onto a thin strip of masking tape you can easily position this around the drive sprocket and idler wheels and add a small amount of CA glue to hold the links in place (to themselves, not the wheels) and then add more glue after removing from the wheels. Remember that this “live” track does not have any sag so the straight lengths of track are perfectly okay for the job.

Track parts

The two sets have A4 sized page instructions with photos of the resin parts being fitted to the kits supplemented with text instructions and I found these very clear and easy to follow. The lower hull template in the AAV7A1 instructions really does make the positioning of the resin parts a non event and a welcome inclusion.

In all excellent update sets to bring the suspension and tracks up to current standards for the two kits and as mentioned can be used on the existing Tamiya Bradley and AAV7A1 kits or as an update set for the new ODS Bradley. The work needed to fit the parts is nothing that should pose any problems for average modeller.


Wheel parts shown with and without the casting blocks

The sets can be purchased direct from Blast Models or from Mission Models in the US.

Page created 10 August 2003

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