M-ATV (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle)
Kinetic Model Kits 1:35 Scale Kit # K61007
Preview by Terry Ashley
With a crew of 4 plus gunner the M-ATV is powered by a 7.2 litre inline-6 Caterpillar C7 turbo diesel developing 370 bhp driving through an Allison 3500SP, 6-speed automatic gearbox with an operational range of 320 miles (510km) and a top speed electronically limited to 65MPH (105km/h).
It has fully independent coil sprung suspension with the underside V shaped hull designed to deflect and protect the crews from hidden IEDs and the roof mounted turret can mount a selection of weapons such as the 7.62mm M240 machine gun, Mk 19 grenade launcher, M2 cal.50 HB machine gun, or BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missile launcher depending on the mission requirement.
The M-ATV was first deployed to Afghanistan in October 2009 with a total of 8,108 vehicles on current order for both the US Army and Marines.
I will make a few key comparisons with the recent Panda Models M-ATV MRAP kit #PH 35001 along the way but this is not intended as a full comparison so these will just be to show some of the major differences now and if time permits and more importantly reliable data/plans become available a full comparison may follow. But there is no point trying say what is right/wrong when I don’t have reliable data, but enough rambling so on to what you get in the box.
The most noticeable difference is in the overall size of the major parts with the engine hood and cabin being noticeably larger in the Kinetic kit by as much as 6mm in some places yet some of the smaller detail such as interior and others are basically the same size in both kits. This again without reliable data leaves one scratching your head at this time unfortunately. I should also mention the Kinetic kit doesn't include the "Oshkosh" logo on things like the hood, tyres and mud flaps for licencing reasons, something we are becoming quite familiar with these days due to the greedy corporations and their "lawyers" who can't see the value in some free publicity on a scale model, but that's a whole different story.
The Panda kit utilizes a lot more etched brass parts for finer details with these in plastic in the Kinetic kit and while the etched parts are obviously finer they do take a lot more assembly and lack some surface detail in some places.
The Kinetic kit consists of approx. 518 parts in light beige plastic with 25 in clear plastic, 23 in black vinyl and 14 etched parts along with a small decal sheet and 32 page instruction booklet that has two pages of close-up shots of the M-ATV, mostly interior and suspension.
The quality of the moulding is best described as adequate with there being some flash about the place, more so on some smaller parts and the mouldings are quite heavy (thickish) with the detail being between quite soft in places to better defined in others. There are very few if any pin marks but some minor sink marks due to the thickness of some parts but nothing excessive.
The clean-up and removal from the sprues will need care as the sprue attachments are again quite heavy and on some of the smaller nearly may pose problems if not careful? The clear plastic for the windows also suffer from some distortion due to the thickness of the plastic and replacing these with thinner clear sheet could improve the appearance.
The main chassis frame is in one major part that is again very basic lacking any real detail but is moulded perfectly square without any warping with the suspension units and other details added to the chassis. The Panda chassis is made up of multiple parts and while this takes more assembly the level of detail is far better than on the Kinetic chassis, not sure how much of the you actually see after assembly though?
The wheels are in vinyl in both kits but the overall tyre diameter is about 2mm larger in the Kinetic kit and tread wider by just over 1mm yet the separate plastic wheel rims are the same diameter in both kits, so all the size difference is due to the outside tyre diameter. The details on the tyre sidewall is quite basic on the Kinetic tyres but more detailed including the Michelin embossing on the Panda tyres, there are also small size differences in the hub rim details with the central hub slightly smaller and better detailed on the Panda hub and references showing this to be the more accurate of the two.
The underside amoured blast panel is again larger in length in the Kinetic kit but basically the same width in both with additional detail and the long crew step added to both, the step is moulded thinner on the Kinetic kit than the Panda step but the Kinetic part is longer due to the Kinetic cab being longer than the Panda cab.
The Panda fenders lack the small flat edge around the lower curve but his is oversized on the Kinetic kit. Also the recesses on the hood top are slightly oversized on the Kinetic extending a little too far forward, there are separate front light mounting brackets and lights that fit into the recesses on the hood front with both kits having etched mesh screen for behind the hood front frames
Details on the cab parts are also a mixture with some well done on both while other detail less so with the Kinetic kit including the armour panel lines on the lower cab sides missing from the Panda cab. The doors on both can be shown open with inner door panel detail included on both, this is engineered differently on both kits with again quite a bit of the detail provided as etched parts on the Panda kit while plastic on the Kinetic kit. Being PE doesn’t always mean better and one instance is the perforated door handles that are better represented in the plastic Kinetic parts than the thinner etched handle in the Panda kit.
Moving to the interior both include detailed seats and equipment racks with the Kinetic rack frames being a little on the thick side compared to the mostly etched frames on the Panda kit, the same goes for the seat frames but of course there is a lot more assembly with the etched parts. As mentioned the instrument panel is the same width on both kits with both including raised and embossed panel details although this is more finely done on the Panda panel and both kits include the driver’s foot pedals.
The Panda turret assembly also has separate armour panels that are moulded noticeable thinner with more detail included on the insides and again free of any pin marks and assembles for a more refined appearance overall.
The Kinetic kit includes a multi-part M2 cal.50 HBMG that has the receiver and cooling jacket moulded in two halves but there is considerable flash on the parts especially the cooling jacket and the holes will need to be re-drilled to clean out the flash. The M19 40mm grenade launcher again is a multi-part with more flash and quite heavy detail and a bit of work will be needed to achieve a good result, the ends of the barrels on both kits are in two halves to give an open muzzle but again the heaviness of the mouldings sorts of defeats the desired aim.
Similarly the cradles and supports are overly heavy and lack real definition and replacing both the weapons with aftermarket items would be the better solution for an overall better result. The Panda kit only has a single M2 cal.50 HBMG included that cleaner mouldings but the cooling jacket is solid and lacks the taper it should have and again replacing with a good aftermarket gun would be a better option.
Also included in the Kinetic kit is a selection of modern plastic fuel and water cans as well as a two part tool box for a bit of storage with the Duke anti-IED antenna and communications antenna mounted on the top of the frame. There is also the large square “Rhino” anti-IED antenna mounted on the front bumper that can be fitted in the extended or folded positions, these same antenna are also provided in the Panda kit with etched parts included for the mountings and antenna.
Regarding the substantial size differences between this and the Panda kit parts I unfortunately can’t comment at this point without the availability of additional data and hopefully more info will became available now we have two kits so a better determination can be made.
Also being just a preview I can’t comment on the fit or any other assembly issues with this just giving you an idea of what’s in the kit along with a brief comparison with the Panda kit. Overall the Panda kit has better defined details on many of the plastic parts but the amount of etched brass included adds to the assembly required and from the assembly sequences the Kinetic kit should provide an easier build.