Armo's 1/72 LAV-25 Piranha with TUA
The LAV-25 is an eight-wheeled light attack vehicle initially designed for the US Army and Marine Corps, but has since found its way into many foreign services including Canada and Australia. The main version sports a turret with a 25mm chain gun, as well as an M60 machine gun. The LAV-25 is produced in more than one variant though, including the LAV-AT (replacing the main turret with an M-901 TOW missile turret), LAV-R (recovery unit with a crane and winch), and LAV-A (ambulance version), among others. All LAV-25s are amphibious, capable of switching from land to water with minimal effort from the crew.
The LAV-25 has seen action in Iraq, Somalia and most recently in Bosnia and has proven to be an effective fighting tool.
This is an all-resin kit, with no other media provided. As such, the detailing is very good and there's few parts all around. The majority of the kit is molded in a cheddar cheese-colored resin and initial impressions is that it is the same as the tan resin we're all familiar with. There are two other LAV-25 kits listed in Armo's catalog, and this kit is broken down to make all of those different variants possible with the least amount of work.
The main hull is molded as one piece, with the majority of hatches molded on as well as external odds & ends such as gas cans and a shovel. For the most part this is cleanly molded, but there are a couple of bubbles present in the casting. These bubbles wouldn't be much of a problem except that they're located in two of the gas cans, making the process of filling them a difficult task. In this example it will probably be best to remove the cans and replace them with some from the spares box.
The wheel assemblies are where the majority of the parts go, with the four front wheels receiving no less than five pieces each just to mount them in place. The rear four wheels are much simpler, mounting directly onto the one-piece hull. Other details included are the propellers and rudders for the rear of the vehicle.
The topside is where the main differences are between the LAV-25 kits offered. Since this one features the TOW missiles, it's this assembly that rests atop the main turret. This assembly is made up of four pieces and while it will need a bit of cleanup it should turn out looking pretty good. A few other small details and your LAV-25 is finished.
There is no painting information provided, nor is there any decals included. You'll definitely want to do some extra research on this guy to determine how to finish it up. With the LAV-25 serving in many armies around the world, there's plenty of choices out there.
This is a nice little kit of the LAV-25 and it should build up quickly. The only shortcomings are the air bubbles in the main hull and the lack of marking information. Even with these shortcomings this is still a very nice kit and if you've been wanting to build up a LAV-25 you should definitely grab one of these. The other two kits mentioned in the Armo catalog are a straight LAV-25 (kit number 72056) and a LAV-25 Air Defense (72057). Pick your LAV-25 appropriately and enjoy this little guy.
This kit, and the other Armo LAV-25 kits, are available from Roll Models for $15.00.