Buffalo 6x6 MPCV, 2004-2006 Production

Published: October 23rd, 2012     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Chris Graeter - IPMS# 39558
Scale: 1/35
Company: Bronco Models
Price: $93.00
Product / Stock #: CB 35100
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

History

The landmine has always been a danger to troops traveling in unprotected vehicles, and this threat was taken to new levels by insurgent forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result of attacks by mines and IED's, the United States military invested in a special mine clearing vehicle manufactured by Force Protection Inc. Called the Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle, or MPCV, it is based on a 6x6 truck with a specially designed armored body. Its shape is designed to deflect blast away from the crew compartment, allowing the vehicle to survive quite large explosions. It carriers a crew of two, plus four plus engineers trained to detect and make safe mines and IED's planted by the road side. A 30-foot extending arm allows the crew to uncover suspect devices while staying safely within the vehicle. Powered by a 443hp Mack AI-400 engine, the Buffalo is capable of 65 mph and has a range of 300 miles. Combat weight is 27.5 tons, with a load capacity of 19 tons. The US Army has 200 Buffalos in service since 2004, the British Army has 18, Canada 15, France 5, and Italy has 6.

The Kit

The kit comes boxed with nice box art. Inside, there are 15 tan plastic spruces, two clear spruces, one PE fret, three bags of black soft plastic pipe in three different sizes, and a decal sheet. The instructions are in a booklet form with 51 steps. Three options are shown to choose from for decaling and painting - one for the US Army, one for the US Marines, and one for the French Army. Right up front, I am going to tell you that there are a lot of parts. The detail is exceptional and the parts are molded very crisp and clean, with little to no clean up. There is a Correction instruction sheet included for step 12, sub-assembly 9 & 10, and step 14, sub-assembly 11. Several options are in the instructions to build and display things on the model. For example, you can model the roof hatches open or closed, the rear door open or closed, etc. Reference which vehicle option you want to build and depict, then follow the instruction booklet. The kit does have a full interior.

The Build

The construction of this kit took awhile. There are a lot of parts, and the quantity of detail that you have to build into the model is time-consuming. As I said before, the parts are crisply molded and lot of them are very small. Be careful not to lose any parts. Several pairs of tweezers are required to hold the parts. Even though the build took a lot of time, it went together without any real fit issues. There's very little clean up, if any, on the parts. I chose to depict the vehicle used by the US Army. I also chose to leave the rear door open to show off the detail inside the vehicle. You can choose to model the probing/digging arm in the stowed position or in any extended position. I choose to show the arm extended. I painted the vehicle with a combination of Vallejo and Tamiya paints. Weathering was done with AK Interactive washes and Mig pigments.

Conclusion

I highly recommend this kit. I also recommend it to intermediate to advance modelers only. This is not a kit for beginners.

I would like to thank Bronco Models and Dragon Models USA for this review sample, and would also like to thank IPMS for allowing me the chance to review this kit.

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