Canadian AVGP Grizzly (Early)

Published: December 1st, 2011     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Michael Novosad, IPMS# 36721
Scale: 1/35
Company: Trumpeter
Price: $35.99
Product / Stock #: 01502

History and Performance

The Grizzly armored personnel carrier is part of the Canadian Armored Vehicle General Purpose (AVGP) family.  Also included in this family are the Coyote and the Cougar.  Originally purchased by the Canadian military in the 1970s, the Grizzly is no longer in front line service.  The surviving vehicles have been converted to support vehicles and some were sold to other countries.

Instructions

The instructions are in a twelve-page book form that include 15 construction steps.  Each step involves exploded views with parts numbers for placement.  The plans are supplemented by a two-sided painting and markings guide.  The first is an IFOR vehicle marked in green and black, while the second is an all-white UN vehicle.  Paint reference colors are shown for Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol.  The Tamiya colors are noted incorrectly for the IFOR vehicle: each should be moved up one cell on the paint chart.

Sprues and packaging

There are six grey-colored sprues, the upper hull, and the lower hull, all separately bagged.  One clear sprue is included, as are six black vinyl tires and a small photo etch fret.  Some of the delicate parts are also wrapped with foam plastic for added protection.

Decals/Markings

Decals are included on two small sheets.

Figures

There are no figures included.

Construction

Lower Hull - The construction of the lower hull is addressed in steps 2 through 4, with step 2 broken down into four sub-assemblies and step 3 into three sub-assemblies.  The mating of the upper hull and lower hull is shown in step 11.  This occurs after all the surface-mounted parts have been placed.  I found this a bit of a concern and thought that I better study the instructions further as I felt it might be better to fit the two hull parts together first.

I did decide to fit the hull top and bottom together out of sequence from the instructions and this proved to be a proper decision.  The circumferential joint proved to be less than perfect and required minor filling and sanding.

The rear transaxles and drives shafts are shown in an exploded view in step 2, and move onto placement in channels in the lower hull in the same step.  The transaxles/drive shaft sub-assembly is actually rotated 180 degrees before placement: this rotation is not noted in the instructions and initially I had installed those parts incorrectly.  The drive shaft was short on one end and long on the other.  That was my clue to rotate the sub-assembly and the parts fit perfectly.

Two propellers and four rudders are included for in-the-water propulsion.  I painted these parts separately and installed them at the end of construction. The fit was quite tight as I had installed the guards in place before painting the hull.

I glued the wheels to the axles as the fit was quite loose.

Upper Hull - The fittings on the upper hull were attached with no issues.  The brush cutter mounted in front of the driver's position may be posed is an upright position or folded down.  Separate parts are provided for either position.

In addition, there is a four-part assembly for the driver's external windshield.  Three of the parts are clear, and the assembly requires some finesse to get the parts to fit just right.  I decided to fix the sub-assembly in place and mask the clear parts rather than try to fix the windshield in place after painting.

The headlight/rearview mirror assemblies are rather delicate.  I fixed mine in place prior to the painting phase.  Sometime during painting, the right side assembly disappeared.  I plugged the opening with a small styrene disc and finished painting, hoping no one would notice. Later while sweeping the floor under my work area I found the missing headlight/mirror assembly.

Rather than use the kit aerials I used stainless steel wire cut to length and wrapped the base with copper wire.  The stainless steel is more durable than the kit's plastic parts.

Turret and Armament - The turret assembly is addressed in step 13.  The most glaring omission is the lack of instructions for the turret main body.  The turret itself consists of the top, bottom, and two side panels.  The top has mounting channels for the sides that will assist in placement, but care is required to fit the correct part for each side.  I had a rather large gap in the turret front where the top and bottom section meet.  This was the only place where any significant filler was required.  Even without specific instructions for the turret assembly, I was able to complete this step without problems.

The commander's viewports' clear parts are a bit fiddly to install.  Each parts rests in a pocket molded into the turret sides, and must be carefully glued in place.

Painting and Finishing - I first primed the model with Rustoleum Painter's Choice flat white primer.  Minor construction issues were addressed and a final application of touch-up primer was applied.  I pre-shaded various surface nooks and crannies.  I used Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green and XF-69 NATO Black for the IFOR camouflage scheme.  Future floor wax was airbrushed in preparation for decals.

Decals - The decals were thin and went on without any problems.  All but one decal was placed on a flat surface, while just one spanned a hatch opening.  The decals reacted well with MicroSol. 

Conclusion

I found several instances in the assembly where the part's tabs were too large to fit into the receiving slot, and after the tabs were trimmed down in size, the parts fit.  The detail of the parts is more than adequate.  Some of the sprue attachment points are a bit robust and care is required during removal.  There is some very minor flash on a few of the parts, especially those with long edges (i.e. the hull top and bottom).  I initially planned to use all the kit parts without substitution, but some of the smaller parts were replaced as cleanup was beyond my skills.  I did break one shock absorber during removal from the sprue.  Replacement was limited to latch handles, twin aerials and the larger rear grab handles.  During the painting phase, I found the vinyl tires did not fit snugly to the wheels - there was a slight gap in places between the vinyl and hard plastic.  I filled the gaps with white glue.

The headlight/mirror assemblies and the wire cutter in front of the driver's hatch are quite delicate and care is required not to damage those parts.  I did need to reinforce the wire cutter with a short length of stainless steel wire superglued to the back edge.

The kit went together well without any significant difficulties.  There were no fit problems to contend with.  I would recommend this kit for any fan of armor. It is a quick, simple project, but will add an interesting subject to any collection.  The super-detailers will have a good time finishing the rear compartment, as the two large doors may be posed open, allowing an ample view into the cavernous interior...

I wish to thank Stevens International and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to build and review this kit, and my thanks to the guys at Trumpeter for this interesting subject.

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