login   |    register
[ WEBSITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

Book Review
MRAP's #2
MRAP's #2
  • 000167

by: William Ritchie [ BOGGIE ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

introduction
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles have taken over the IED and mine infested world of war. Few models of these vehicles exist: the currently released Buffalo by Vajra Miniatures and the comprehensive kits from South African Bax Models http://www.baxmod.co.za who do an extensive range including the Casspir, Gecko and Buffel vehicles in 1/35th and other strange scales.

This CD (#2 of 2) provides low resolution (72 dpi), large sized (31.556 inches x 23.667 inches) images which are excellent for viewing on monitors. The pictures were taken with a Fujifilm Fine Pix S3108 camera.
review
This collection of MRAP vehicles includes 356 images. The breakdown of subject matter is as follows:

•Buffalo with slat armour 106 images
•Buffalo interior 21 images
•Buffalo with Mine Roller attached 16 images
•Buffalo without slat armour 81 images
•Caiman (LSAC) 29 images
•RG 31 66 images
•Husky, Route clearance Vehicle 37 images


This timely collection shows vehicles parked in motor pools in Iraq. The lions share of this collection is of the Buffalo which should help modelers if they choose to tackle the Vajra Miniature model Reviewed Here on Armorama. The photographs are comprehensive and are arranged in a logical way.

Buffalo with and without Slat Armour:
Two Buffalo vehicles are explored, one with, and one without the slat armour package. The slat over the windscreen is shown open and closed in case you want to tackle either scratch building project. Pictures are of over, under and all around the vehicles - everything you’d expect from a fellow modeler who has an eye for detail. Both folders show comprehensive pictures of the IED probe, affectionately known as the “pickle fork” for those who use these vehicles in the real world. Both folders also explore the spaghetti like hydraulic cluster that feeds the various operational features of this complicated MRAP. Lots of undercarriage images of the suspension are included to satisfy the most exacting needs of the super detailer.

Buffalo Interior:
An entire folder with 21 images is provided to explore the interior of the Buffalo, but they tend to be on the dark side. There are enough shots both front to back and back to front to show the various cramped elements inside this vehicle. The drivers area to the back door are covered with good details of seats, steering wheel and computer paraphernalia.

Buffalo with Mine Roller:
The next folder has 16 images of the mine roller attached to the Buffalo. Shown from a stand up angle the photographs explore the entire front and left sides, and care is taken to examine the connection to the Buffalo itself. It is left for us to assume the right side is a mirror of the left

Caiman (LSAC):
This folder has 29 images of the vehicle labeled “Mystery MRAP” which is actually a Caiman (LSAC) “low signature armoured cab”. Lots of clear interior shots of this spacious troop carrier. Pictures of the roof and turret are provided, but the down side is that the turret was tarped over. This is the same style turret that current HMMWV’s have with the multiple ballistic glass ports and front shielded 50 cal. (in this case). There are side views that show the turret clearly but nothing of the insides. This version sports a Rhino and no slat.

RG 31:
Folder called RG-31 has 66 images, a complete 360 walk around of two separate vehicles, one with partial bar armour around the exterior crew compartment and another fully bar armoured. One vehicle sports a blower device for clearing debris away from IED’s. Detailed photos of the blowers' motor, fuel tanks and connectors are also included. The other vehicle has no IED detection devices attached. This set includes good wheel portraits, undercarriage and top down views, unfortunately there are only two views of the cab and they have been shot through dark green ballistic glass.

Husky:
Route clearance vehicle folder has 37 pictures of what is actually called the Husky. This is much like a road grader on steroids - a single cab atop a complex arrangement of steel. This folder includes some great overall pictures to acquaint anyone interested in exploring mine resistant vehicles up close and personal.


A review of Robert Skipper's MRAP CD1 can be found Here.

SUMMARY
Highs: Incredible value for the money. Pictures taken by a modeler for other modelers. Diverse and unusual vehicles which are hard to find resource material for on the internet. Good over all understanding of the subject matter.
Lows: Images would be better at higher resolutions, say 300 dpi and smaller image size for clear print outs. Some interior shots are dark. Neither the CD nor the box it came in was labelled which meant it was easy to misplace.
Verdict: This is a must have if you want to explore these MRAP vehicles in the way a modeler needs to understand these subjects. This CD will save hours of frustrating searching on the internet and you wonʼt find the close up details that are here in one CD.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: none
  Suggested Retail: $14.99 US
  Related Link: Contact Robert Skipper
  PUBLISHED: Jan 27, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.35%

About William Ritchie (Boggie)
FROM: NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA

Born Windsor Ontario. Dad was a model wooden boat builder, brothers built plastic war ships and aircraft, I built plastic WW1 aircraft, then WW2 aircraft. Met a good friend and influence Derek Fish who brought my expectations of quality and research to a new level. Got back into modeling 15 years a...

Copyright ©2019 text by William Ritchie [ BOGGIE ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



Comments

I purchased the first MRAP CD and found it excellent. It will be perfect for scratch-builders and kit builders alike. I have just ordered the second in the series and based on this review I expect more of the same high quality photography at an exceptionally good price. Although the subjects are in US Military livery, the vehicles are widely used by other members of the NATO team in Afghanistan. In my own case I am interested in the Canadian Army employment of these vehicles. The detail shots and the excellent interior views will be very helpful in constructing the Canadian versions. These vehicles are not widely seen or used in North America so this is certainly an excellent opportunity to capture these unique armoured vehicles. I look forward to CD#2 and hope there are other volumes to come. Don Allen, Major ( Retired) 8th Canadian Hussars
FEB 02, 2009 - 11:40 AM
Nice review, William! I'd like to order this as well as the first one. Is there another method of contact ? The link you provided leads to the PM function, which he does not seem to be answering.
FEB 03, 2009 - 03:00 AM
First of all thanks for checking out the review, I'm happy it was not over looked. I am certain Rob is watching this thread so if he doesn't get back to you soon it is because he is currently in the Everglades with limited access to internet (lots of access to alligators though) ;o) I will PM him and ask to post an alternate email address. Again thanks for the constructive comments. Bill
FEB 03, 2009 - 06:02 AM
Intereasting review thanks for that!. Often modern vehicles are over looked some what with them still being deployed over sea's . Its a shame they are stilll over looked because it is hard to build accurate and up to date vehicles that have under gone re developement programs
FEB 05, 2009 - 12:13 PM
Leprecaun Responded to your PM, hope this helps. Yes I really appreciated the SOAR disk as well. newfish I'm glad you liked the review, there is supposed to be another review for Volume 1 MRAP CD happening as well. Bill
FEB 05, 2009 - 12:58 PM
Bill, while I can neither confirm nor deny being there, my cap was, and you're right, there were quite a few potential pairs of boots sunning themselves everywhere we went. Due to uplink problems was unable to respond often, but could monitor from time to time. All PM's answered, (mailings on Monday) and thanks for the review. BTW, Mother already did the MRAP #1 review a while back. Don't want to bore anyone with too many gator photos, but my Photobucket account has quite a few @ 18bravo_photos. The gators were fairly sedentary due to the weather. Imagine sloshing aroung the 'Glades in near freezing weather. This fella looked a little hungry though:
FEB 07, 2009 - 04:27 PM
Nice gator shot, Robert. I linked the two reviews to each other, so folks should have an easier time finding them
FEB 07, 2009 - 05:32 PM
   

What's Your Opinion?


Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • 000441
  • 000731
  • 000635
  • 000536
  • 000348
  • 000245