by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
AntResin is a new company from China dedicated to producing high-quality accessories and upgrade sets for 1/35 scale vehicles. This review covers one of their first releases: U.S. MAARS (Modular Advanced Armament Robotic System) (AR-35003).
The Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MAARS) is a small, tracked military robot developed by QinetiQ. Designed for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) to increase security at forward locations, the MAARS platform can be configured for non-lethal, less-lethal, and lethal effects. MAARS is armed with an M240B machine gun and four M203 grenade launcher tubes on a 360 degree rotating turret. Other features include an on-board loudspeaker, a siren, a laser dazzler, and a gunfire detection system.
The kit is packed in a hard cardboard box. The box art is nicely designed and features CAD image of the MAARS system, company logo and contact info. The box contains resin pieces secured in two bubble wrap bags and an instruction sheet.
The kit comprises of 21 pieces cast in grey resin. Closer inspection reveals an impressive casting quality; I found two tiny air-bubbles, but no seam lines or any other imperfections in the resin. The level of detail is very high and the pieces are nicely delivered in scale. Casting blocks are large, but have rather small attachment points located mainly in places which are not going to be visible after kit assembly.
Cleaning the pieces revealed a slightly softer resin than I anticipated. My usual routine of using X-acto blade for the process resulted in a less than perfect surface, so I turned to removing the casting blocks with sharp side cutters and then sanding the burr with fine grit sandpaper.
This is a small kit and I feel the assembly should not present a problem for modelers that have some experience in working with resin. The instruction sheet is included in the kit, depicting the build steps in a clear and concise way. However, I suggest taking the time and going through the assembly sequence, as well as gathering reference photos of the MAARS before starting with the build.
The assembly process is pretty much straightforward and this review shows the procedure I used for building the robot. I annotated the pieces on their carrier blocks in a bit confusing order... after taking the photo of the pieces I decided to do the nomenclature following the instruction sheet in order to avoid any misunderstanding. I'm showing photos of major subassemblies, noting the position of each part. Although the pieces are intelligently engineered and feature protrusions and indentations in corresponding pieces to facilitate the alignment, I did have to play a bit with dry fitting the main pieces to find their optimal position and thus preserve correct geometry of the system.
The completed model is very small (about 35mm) and very delicate. Heavy handed modelers should take special care when building this kit, but additional effort is well worth it in the end as the completed MAARS looks super impressive.
US MAARS kit from AntResin performed beyond my expectations. The resin pieces are well cast and offer a very high level of details. The assembly is relatively easy with just minor tweaks to get the optimal geometry of the system right. The finished robot is a very realistic and accurate 1/35 scale reproduction of the MAARS system… well done AntResin!
A big thanks to AntResin for this review sample. AntResin offerings are available from Hobby Easy: