by: Paul Truhe [ ]
This conversion from Castoff gives another option for the AFV Club Scimitar kit. Scimitars with LEP (Life Extension Programme) upgrades have been used in Bosnia(SFOR) and more recently in Operation Telic. This conversion is mainly resin with some PE grill mesh.
The centerpiece of the conversion is the upper hull replacement that includes the new intake grills and exhaust. The grills are nicely done but there is a bit of thick flash to remove around the turret ring. This is the worst of the flash since the rest of the pieces show good riser placement and have very thin flash if any. The hull also has some minor detail added. Overall, the resin has sharp details but is not crisp and only had a couple of pinholes.Other components of the conversion are:
1. new style rear, side and front bins and replacement rear side bins with extra detail
2. turret rear bin with extra detail
3. covered headlights
4. GPS mast and commander's and driver's GPS displays
5. replacement gunner's and commander's hatches with added padding detail
6. new SPIRE (Sight Periscopic Infra-Red Equipment) sight
7. rolled grill covers
8. spare roadwheel and sprocket with mounting bolts
9. new style indicator lights
10. replacement barrel crutch, manlet with brass deflector, and barrel shroud
11. replacement exhaust pipe
12. photo etch grill mesh (more on this later)
The box photo shows a replacement commander's sight with corrected spotting scope ring but this was not in the box. This kit is from their first production run so it might show up later.
Grill Detail and Summary
As I mentioned before, the best part of this kit is the new grills. I had considered scratch building this but this is much easier. Good depth and detail. The PE covers are a nice touch but as mentioned in the instructions, this is the first PE attempt from Castoff and they don't fit as they should and thus 2 sets are included to allow for rework.
Personally, I have been chomping at the bit waiting for this conversion since I'm a CVR(t) nut. I've got the Castoff Sabre convesion so I knew what to expect. Not perfect but good details and not too pricey. The instructions are what you would expect from most conversions. A little short of diagrams but with the proper amount of text. Recommended to all Scimitar fans and worth a look from the rest of the crowd.
As far as I know, the best source for Castoff Products, at least for us in North America, is F & F Models (http://freespace.virgin.net/john.burrows3/). Good service once again.
Copyright ©2020 text by Paul Truhe [ ]. All rights reserved.
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