With wars in the late 20th century becoming more asymmetric against less technical enemies, the use of land mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are becoming more and more common. To counter this threat, well-protected, robust vehicles were needed. These vehicles are known as MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected). The International MaxxPro MRAP vehicle is an armored fighting vehicle designed by American company Navistar International's subsidiary Navistar Defense along with the Israeli Plasan Sasa, who designed and manufactures the vehicle's armor.
MRAPs are categorized as category 1 or category 2, depending on usage and passenger compartment space, and Navistar produces the MaxxPro in both sizes, although the vast majority of those sold have been category 1 MRAPs. The MaxxPro utilizes a crew capsule with a V-shaped hull, mounted on an International WorkStar 7000 chassis. The V-hull deflects the blast of a land mine or improvised explosive device (IED) away from the vehicle to protect its occupants. This design has survived a 7 kg (15 lb) land mine blast with no injuries. MaxxPro MRAPs have proven very effective in both Iraq and Afghanistan and is in us by all branches of the US military and many foreign users.
In speaking with Raymond Chung at Kinetic
, he told me that “Kinetic
’s intent is to provide a simple and easy to build kit with an affordable price tag. Therefore, some of the design and details may not fit the 1/35th scale master modeler sector.” With their new 4x4 MRAP kit, they definitely bring descent quality for an affordable price that will build into a very nice model. Kinetic
brings us the first kit of the International MaxxPro in plastic. It comes in a sturdy cardboard box that is packed full of plastic. Inside are 7 sprues of light gray plastic, 4 rubber tires and 4 poly caps, an upper hull tub, a good-sized PE sheet, a nice decal sheet, and a large clear sprue for lenses and windows. Also included is a nicely done, black and white, 8 ˝ x 11 ˝ inch, 16 page instruction booklet. There is a paint chart which includes colors codes for eight different paint manufacturers. Throughout the instructions, color callouts are given and decal placement is shown clearly. There are decals for two unidentified vehicles.
The sprues are free of flash and full of crisp details. Parts are broken down logically and the 17-step assembly sequence follows a logical order starting with the chassis and running gear, moving to the interior, then to the exterior details, and concluding with the weapons ring and gunner’s station.
The chassis is very detailed and represents the actual vehicle well. Individual parts are included for the springs and shock absorbers, along with the drive shafts, axles, and other major components. Also included are individual parts for the air brake cylinders and steering components. As a bonus, a feature not shown on the directions is that the front wheels can be left to turn if you construct the front wheel assembly by not gluing the hub halves (E21 x2, E30 and E31) to the pins on the ends of the axle, then attach the connecting rod (E25) by melting the ends of the locating pins instead of gluing it. With these simple modifications, the front wheels can be left steerable. The lower hull also comes with nice PE air conditioning vents for both sides along with stowage bins that can be left open on each side.
The interior is very detailed and includes radios, equipment and radio racks, and parts for six seats, even though only four are called for in the instructions. The vehicle can have six seats, but it is more common to see only four mounted so there is more storage room inside. Additionally, there are six, very nice PE headrest webbings for the rear crew seats as well. There are separate pedals for the brake, clutch and gas. It also includes a very detailed instrument panel with decals for all the instrument faces. The radios are the correct SINCGARS setup with VIC-3 intercom system control boxes. The interior also includes a couple storage boxes and A/C equipment with PE grills for the A/C vents. The interior is completed with the upper hull that has spall liners on the sides and roof and details throughout. All of the doors are able to be glued in the open or closed positions to show off the interior details. The front door interiors are very detailed with separate pieces for the inner panels and separate inner and outer latch pieces. Lastly, the rear ramp is very nicely molded as well. It includes the integrated steps as well as representing the hydraulic piston that allows it to open and close smoothly.
In addition to the stated interior detail parts, there are a lot of parts on the K sprue that are not called for in the instructions. The K sprue is the same one that is in Kinetic’s MATV kit. These include a complete Rhino anti-IED device and its mounting hardware (minus a few securing pins), Harris radios, intercom equipment, and a rear camera monitor as seen on USAF vehicles. All of these parts have been used on the MaxxPro in different configurations and can be added if the builder likes.
The exterior is equally as detailed with such features as clear lenses for all the lights and all windows. PE details are included for the exhaust guard and PE brush covers for the sides and rear windows. There is also a full complement of antennas to include three FM radio antennas, a SATCOM antenna, an FBCB2 antenna, and a Duke anti-IED antenna. Also included are a spot light and a Driver's Vision Enhancer (DVE) camera to mount on the roof. Lastly, all steps, handrails, and lift points are accurately depicted.
The OGPK (Objective Gunner Protection Kit) finishes off the kit on top of the hull. It is very nicely done with multiple pieces making up the armor plate and weapons ring. There are very nice clear parts for the armored glass windows on the armored surround, the shields, and the armored roof section, which can be left off if desired. The hatch can be built either open or closed. A choice of two weapons are included; an M2 .50 cal MG or a Mk 19 Grenade launcher. The weapons are probably the weakest part of the kit though. I recommend replacing them with ones from another kit or AM ones. They look blobish and lack details.
The final step in the build is the decal and painting guide. At the bottom of the page is a good description of modern CARC (Chemical Agent Resistant Coating) Tan paint that is used on current vehicles in desert enviroments and common model colors that can be used to represent it. There are markings for two unidentified vehicles that appear to be from a stateside or German location since there are decals for PTDE, which stands for Prepare To Deploy Equipment, which is a set of equipment a unit uses to train on before deploying to Afghanistan or Iraq. For a deployed vehicle, leave the PTDE markings off. The rest of the decals are for common stencil markings and look to be very complete.
One other potential issue with the kit is three small vertical sink marks on each side of the hull that correspond to the three support posts on the interior. The shrinkage is minor and will probably not be seen once the model is built and painted. If the builder wishes though, he can fill these and carefully sand to make the hull sides flush and true.
Overall, this is a great kit, a true winner for Kinetic
. It is very detailed inside and out. It will build into an impressive, large model of a great vehicle. It has only a few errors which are easy to overcome for the average builder. I highly recommend it for anyone who likes modern armored vehicles.
Thanks to Kinetic
for the review sample.
Photos courtesy of Jay “hliu24” Genteslau. Check out his MaxxPro build log to see more of this kit:
Jay Genteslau MaxxPro Build