by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Legend Productions does it again with the latest addition to their great range of stowage sets... Bradley Stowage Set (LF1119) is a 66 part set consisting of everything you could find strapped to a typical OIF vehicle: backpacks, sleeping bags, ammo crates, coiled concertina wire, camouflage netting, duffle bags, various infantry gear, c-ration boxes, CIP panels and loads of water canisters. If you’re planning to build OIF-style Bradley, this is definitely the set for you.
M2 Bradley IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) entered service with the US Army in 1981 with the mission “to transport infantry, to provide fire cover to dismounted troops and to suppress enemy tanks and armored fighting vehicles”. Bradleys were deployed to their first combat missions in Operation Desert Storm with great success as they destroyed more Iraqi armored vehicles than the M1 Abrams tanks. Bradleys were also deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom; most of the references on US vehicles used in OIF show them filled with all kinds of stowage and Bradleys were no exception to this rule. Legend Productions’ LF1119 is designed to give Bradley IFVs serving in OIF a serious stowage upgrade.
Inside the box:
The set is packed in a firm cardboard box sporting a nice color photo of the kit. The resin parts are additionally protected inside the bubble wrap and I did not found a single stowage part broken although the kit contains some really delicate items. There is no instruction sheet included and quite honestly an average modeler does not need one… determining the placement of the stowage items is not a problem after studying the reference photos.
The set consists of 66 parts cast in cream resin; the quality of resin castings is flawless… not a sight of air-bubbles, no warping and no flash. The details are crisp and I was particularly impressed with thin parts that are perfectly executed, although some care should be taken when removing these from molding plugs. Most of the stowage in the set is generic, but there are also couple of “Bradley specific” items; OK, let me list the contents of the set:
1 side rack filled with gear
1 Bradley turret bustle rack with gear
1 Bradley exhaust shroud with gear
1 camouflage netting
1 wooden crate/water cans/c-ration boxes combo
1 water cans/c-ration boxes/tarp combo
1 wooden boards/concertina wire/camouflage netting/water can combo
1 water canisters combo
1 coil of concertina wire
3 large sacks
4 combat identification panels (CIPs)
6 duffle bags
3 entrenching tools
4 sleeping bags
4 sleeping mats
5 40mm ammo boxes
11 plastic water canisters
The side stowage rack is molded in one large piece. It includes the rack itself filled with various stowage items (c-ration boxes, duffle bags, water bottles etc.), CIP panel and a backpack attached to the side of the rack. There is no warpage on this rather big “chunk” of resin and side rack bars are cast in really thin resin with no evident air-bubbles. Bradley turret bustle rack is also molded in one piece. The piece comprises of a complete turret basket filled with stowage (duffle bags, water canisters, tarps etc.) and antenna mount ready to be glued to the Bradley’s turret. Unfortunately I can not comment on the fit of the rack to Bradley turret as I finished building my Tamiya Bradley quite some time ago… Exhaust shroud with additional gear is also a nice bonus for upgrading Bradley models to OIF standards.
The backpacks are particularly nice and they are all in different configurations; all are ALICE backpacks and 6 of them are in camouflage protective cover - a common practice for avoiding desert dust getting inside the backpack itself. A really nice touch is a small fabric tear on one of the backpacks… a great addition to the realism of the stowage set. I noticed all of the backpacks are taken from Legend Productions US Backpack Set (LF1115). Duffle bags are in three configurations; one of them is clearly designed to be lying on its side, the other is to be strapped to a vehicle as it has a nice weight tilt and the last configuration is probably best used standing on its base. There are two types of nicely detailed sleeping bags included and two types of sleeping mats. Some of the plastic water canisters have straps molded on as well as some of the 40mm ammo cans.
Legend Productions continues to release really nice modern AFV update/stowage kits. Although the price of this set is higher than the cost of most full kits (hey, Tamiya’s Bradley ODS offering is cheaper than this stowage set), I think Bradley Stowage set provides a really good value for the money… In addition to the perfect molding, most of the 66 parts in this set are not “Bradley specific” and the amount of stowage included is probably enough to update two OIF vehicles. Highly recommended.
Let me end this review with a hint for all those interested in getting this stowage set. Ordering Legend Productions items from US on-line hobby shops could turn out to be rather expensive as I found the Bradley Stowage Set priced to about $54... Lucky Models have the same set listed for $34 with the «free shipping» option for all Legend Productions items. Quite a difference there, don't you think?