Hobby Boss continues to release models that appeal to the modeller with the appearance of the LKW 7T GL LARS2 in 1/35th scale. The rocket launching systems of World War 2 of the Soviets and Germans started the idea of unguided rockets being used on mass to soften targets or break up mass attacks; move forward to the 1980’s and the idea of rocket artillery continued with the German LKW 7T GL LARS2 that was later replaced with the American MLRS system in the late 1990’s. Equipped with 36 110mm missiles that can be fired over a period as short as 18 seconds up to a 14km range it was a potent weapons system and if used on mass you would not want to be on the other end of it. This offering from Hobby Boss is I believe the first injection moulded model in this scale of this Bundeswehr weapons system and it is a welcome addition to the Hobby Boss range.
This offering from Hobby Boss arrives in a substantial cardboard tray with separate lid and inside there is a further protected call. The parts are all in good order and as expected due to the sprues being packaged individually. A closer inspection of the parts does not highlight any areas of concern beyond what you would expect.
The chassis of this offering is a multi part offering and will require care during assembly to ensure it is assembled square. The main difficulty here is that you have 6 cross members plus what I believe is the drive for the missile launching system none of which prevent lateral movement. I strongly advise a gridded cutting mat or set square is used to enable the structure to be set correctly. On the plus side this approach by Hobby Boss has enabled a very high level of detail to be replicated in this area. The axles with spring suspension look very good and will be a chance to check that the chassis rails are correctly orientated. The springs are not functional but do have very nicely moulded detail to them. The exhaust has been well tackled as it's nice to see a hollow end, and don’t go cleaning the joint as it would be present on the box.
The drive shafts may be a bit of a squeeze on the model as they are fitted between parts that have been previously fitted, but with care getting them fitted should be accomplished without damage. I suggest starting at one end and working your way along. The wheels have very nice detail present on the outer face which is good, but Hobby Boss has provided Vinyl rubber tyres which can be a bone of contention with modellers. I believe that resin tyres are available for other models of this MAN 7ton truck and so you could turn to the after market for a quick fix. With that said the rubber tyres do have very good detail to them and as long as they are protected against some of the chemicals we use should never be an issue. One piece of personal praise is that efforts have been made to enable the modeller to display the model with the front wheels turned.
The cab of the model has a nicely replicated MAN logo present on the front moving inside and it was also pleasing to see the roof reinforcement present via an additional part. The windows are of an acceptable finish and I was very impressed to find pre cut masks for the clear parts during painting. The cab interior is well laid out and provides everything I expected to find and then some with one exception which is the seating and that is because it has no wear to it or detail that gives it eye appeal. One thing that I would have liked to see included is the defensive machine gun used from the roof hatch. The doors are provided as separate moulding and so is the door furniture meaning that you get a much better level of refinement in the detail. The result is a great rendering of a truck cab and chassis that is of a great standard taken as a whole.
The rocket system itself is in some ways an anti climax as while it is accurate there is not a great deal to it. It builds up so quickly that I kept looking over the parts and instructions expecting to find more. The option of having the hardware in a stowed or in use position is a nice inclusion, but one you would expect to find. I have looked over online images and I have not been able to find any issues that jump out at me regardless of comparing model to image or vice versa. The rear support legs will need to be shown extended if placing the rocket launchers in a firing orientation and so you do need to make a decision on what you wish to depict. Where a crew is concerned nothing specific is available that I know of, but a three man crew is all you need to seek out with the modern figure set from MasterBox being a possible option. There is only one finishing option supplied with no real detail on what it represents, but then all of these would have basically looked the same and so you decide what you want; on the plus side three sets of registration plates are supplied.
Beyond the Leopard tank that I think makes a stunning model regardless of scale or type most other German armour has limited appeal to me; then this vehicle is put in front of me and Hobby Boss deserve praise for what they have presented in this release. Looking for negatives I can only fault what is not there rather than what is; I would have liked the ability to display the doors open and this is not covered and I would have liked the seats to have a little oomph to them. Of those critiques none will be difficult changes to tackle. On the plus side there is a great deal of detail covering the truck cab generally and the chassis is very well tackled and will really look the part. This also offers me my favourite aspect of wheeled vehicle models and that is turned wheels. The missile system is far simpler than I expected it to be, but I could not find any obvious issues in what it offers.