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In-Box Review
135
SINCGARS VHF Antenna
SINCGARS VHF Antenna AS-3900/VRC (30-88 MHz) with Base Matching Unit
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]

Introduction:

The AS-3900/VRC is a broadband vehicular whip antenna system designed for use with the US Army’s SINCGARS secure radio system. It provides VHF communication for a range of military vehicles and can be used with any frequency agile radio that operates within its 30-88 MHz frequency band.

The complete antenna system is comprised of a two piece whip antenna and an impedance matching base unit. The antenna portion is made up of an upper whip and a lower section which are assembled by screwing together by hand. The assembled antenna portion is then screwed onto the rugged spring of the base matching unit to complete the system.

Review:

Live Resin utilizes 3D rapid prototyping to produce high quality weapon and accessory sets in 1/35 scale. This review covers their SINCGARS VHF Antenna AS-3900/VRC (30-88 Mhz) with Base Matching Unit (LRE 35158), a set offering a significant revamp to antenna bases on most plastic models depicting modern US vehicles. For all reviews of Live Resin products on Armorama, please check this link.

The set is packed in a typical Live Resin fashion; a zip-lock bag safely secured between a firm cardboard backing. The CAD box art on the front shows all the kit parts, while the one on the back displays the complete antenna mounted on a vehicle, also stating this set can be used with all 1/35 scale vehicles from any manufacturer. The kit consists of 10 parts organized on 2 resin casting blocks. The parts are molded in grey resin and the cast is absolutely perfect.

Labeled as AS-3900/VRC with base matching unit, this set provides the base unit of AS-3900/VRC together with the bottom hexagonal screw of the antenna element. The resin pieces in this set look great and the details are extremely sharp, very faithfully reproduced in scale. Every antenna base features four vehicle mounting bolts on reinforced base cover, six smaller bolts on spring base support, nicely rendered spring coils and aforementioned hexagonal screw of the antenna. The set also includes vehicle antenna mounting bracket often seen on Humvees and MRAPs. Die-hard modelers would probably want to add two thin semicircular railings seen on the reference photos in order to superdetail the bracket.

In order to complete the AS-3900/VRC system, the modeler needs to add the whip aerial using stretched sprue, piano wire, thin brass rod, carbon fiber or some more expensive aftermarket options (i.e. Adlers Nest antennas). I suggest carefully drilling the top of the antenna base to insert and firmly secure the antenna.

I wish Live Resin would also consider producing a set of antenna bases with their heavy duty spring bent thus representing tied down aerials, a common practice for vehicles operating in urban terrain with lots of low obstructions.

Conclusion:

Antenna bases are usually poorly represented in plastic vehicle kits. With inadequate details and seam lines almost impossible to clean from base springs, plastic antenna mounts definitely need a resin revamp.

SINCGARS VHF Antenna AS-3900/VRC (30-88 Mhz) with Base Matching Unit (LRE 35158) from Live Resin offer 5 vehicle antenna bases with vehicle mounting brackets in 1/35 scale. The resin cast is perfect and the details really nicely reproduced in scale. Live Resin antenna bases are easy to install and provide a very welcomed upgrade to many different modern vehicle kits.
SUMMARY
Highs: Perfectly cast with nicely defined details.
Lows: None.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: LRE-35158
  Related Link: Live Resin website
  PUBLISHED: Feb 18, 2015
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 93.37%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.95%

Our Thanks to Live Resin!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Mario Matijasic (Maki)
FROM: CROATIA HRVATSKA

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright ©2017 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Good review, Mario. While these are a step-up from kit parts, I doubt I would buy them, since you still have to fiddle with the antenna itself. There are PE & brass alternatives from Voyager and others.
FEB 18, 2015 - 09:08 AM
Now if someone would just make a good VIC 1 intercom system and a set of AFV dome lights we would be in business
FEB 18, 2015 - 09:42 AM
James, Check out Mouse House Enterprises. They had/have a VIC-1 system in resin that they marketed for the M113 that had the 1780 and Charlie Boxes. I never ordered it but thought hard about ordering several times, especially for my stalled M1064A3 build. As for the Live Resin products, the mounts and matching units are nice but I guess that it is up to the modeler to come up with the rest of the antenna... Perhaps a better alternative is that LR would leave a cavity in the top of the hex shaped fitting to avoid drilling into that beautiful casting. Just a thought John
FEB 18, 2015 - 09:56 AM
Great statement John. I agree completely. I really wish this had been done as a complete antennae.
FEB 18, 2015 - 02:20 PM
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