by: Evan [ ]
TALON is a powerful, lightweight, versatile robot designed for missions ranging from reconnaissance to weapons delivery. Its large, quick-release cargo bay accommodates a variety of sensor payloads, making TALON a one robot solution to a variety of mission requirements. Built with all-weather, day/night and amphibious capabilities standard, TALON can operate under the most adverse conditions to overcome almost any terrain. The suitcase-portable robot is controlled through a two-way RF or F/O line from a portable or wearable Operator Control Unit (OCU) that provides continuous data and video feedback for precise vehicle positioning.
TALON’s payload and sensor options include: multiple cameras (color, black and white, infrared, thermal, zero light), a two-stage arm, gripper manipulators, pan/tilt, two-way communications, NBC (nuclear/biological/chemical) sensors, radiation sensors, UXO/countermine detection sensors, grenade and smoke placing modules, breaching tools, communications equipment, distracters and disrupter's.
The TALON robot is also used for bomb disposal. It is operated by radio frequency and equipped with four video cameras that enable troops to determine which areas enemy soldiers occupy. In addition, the TALON is waterproof up to 100 feet, allowing it to search for explosives off-land.
The Talon began helping with military operations in Bosnia in 2000, deployed to Afghanistan in early 2002 and has been in Iraq since the war started, assisting with improvised explosive device detection and removal. Talon robots had been used in about 20,000 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan by the end of 2004.
The AFV Club kit is simply one small sprue packaged on a card with instructions on the front and back. It should be noted that AFV Club does not call their EOD tactical robot a TALON, but it is indeed a version of the TALON robot upon further inspection of the parts. The instructions have you start by assembling the main body of the robot, and then have you attach the sprocket and track assembly. The tracks are molded onto the sprockets. This means that the robot will not be movable; however, this type of molding most likely saves a lot of frustration for the modeler. In any case, careful painting will be needed in this area.
The next step has you assemble the extendable arm of the TALON. The main arm parts are molded in one piece, but lights and other small pieces are attached to them in this step. You also add the claw in this step. AFV Club gives you two options here: an open claw, and a closed claw. This is a nice touch if you are using the robot in a diorama.
Step three has you attach a series of cameras and antennas on the main body of the robot. The two major arm pieces are put together here, and then attached to the main body. There is a special note telling the builder not to glue some of these parts; making the arm movable. This is another great feature when being used in a dio. There is also a paint note that advises the modeler to paint the main body semi gloss black or yellow. I have never seen a yellow TALON robot, and it would be best to consult your own references on painting. Luckily, there is an endless amount of TALON photos out there.
I would also like to add that the sprue itself is labeled W and has kit no. AF35132 M1132 on it. This means that while being sold separately, this robot was originally designed to go in AFV Club’s upcoming M1132 Stryker kit. Time will tell if it is indeed included with the Stryker, but as of now it looks like a yes.
Another point that should be made is that there is no control unit or case included. These would enhance the overall kit, but are not a must have.
This is a nice little kit that has endless uses in a diorama scenario, and should be very welcomed by modern armor fans. I cannot speak too much into the accuracy of this kit, but there are no evident flaws after a quick examination of the sprue.
Introduction by: Shachtman, Noah. "TALON Small Mobile Robot." Blog. Web. 28 May 2010.
Additional photos by: Jim Starkweather, from sample provided by AFV Club.