This kit is basically a re-release of Tamiya’s earlier M2A2 Bradley with some updated bits to represent an ODS vehicle.
The ODS represents modifications implemented after the 1991 Iraq war and were not used during that conflict but were seen in Iraq 2003.
The kit consists of 330 parts in light beige plastic and has some sprues from the original 1985 Bradley, with others from the re-issue in 2001 plus a new sprue with the ODS bits. There is also a new set of vinyl ‘rubber band’ type tracks featuring the new square block pattern, a good sized sheet of thin plastic card plus a colourful decal sheet and of course the typical Tamiya instruction sheet.
Although some of the parts are quite long in the tooth they do not show it with the mouldings on the old sprues being as good as the new ones with no flash or other signs of deterioration and are of the usual moulding standard we have come to expect from Tamiya. There are obviously quite a few parts from the earlier sprues not used in this kit.
The turret is basically the 2001 kit of the M2A2 still with the incorrect mantlet setup where the whole mantlet elevates when it should only be the centre section with the barrel. You do get new doors (front and top) for the main sight box and new armour panels for the turret front and there is also a fluted barrel to replace the original (with flutes on all four sides) plus a few small fittings.
The hull is also as it comes from the 2001 kit with a new exhaust shroud on the right side, additional armour panels for the rear hull top hatch (as well as lifting eyes missing from the earlier kit) a new antenna mount of the rear hull and a small detail fitting on the front plate but there are no interior parts provided.
The running gear is the same as the earlier kit with the shallow drive sprocket without lightning holes and road wheels with adequate details but pales compared to the recent M2 suspension set from Blast Models with correct drive sprocket and road wheel features.
The extra ODS parts as well as those mentioned above are the CIP panels for the sides and rear of the hull, these are fairly basic renditions of the panels but should serve the purpose. A large selection of personal gear to hang about the vehicle (but remember to add attachment points and not just glue it to the sides of the hull like the box art) and a couple of water cans with good details plus two three quarter figures for the turret, these have very basic and soft levels of detail but should look okay with careful painting?
The new tracks are very good for vinyl ‘rubber band’ type tracks
and have nice crisp details on both sides of the tracks and the plastic card
included is to make the large panels for the unit marking placards on the turret
The decal sheet is the usual Tamiya standard with good colour register but thickish carrier film. There are markings for 6 Bradleys included on the sheet with some of the numbers having cut-outs to fit around raised detail of the kit.
The instructions provide three view drawings of each vehicle to show the markings and paint schemes with the box top sides showing colour plates of a couple of the schemes. Unfortunately the right side of the vehicles with the NATO cam are not shown so you will have to find the cam pattern elsewhere for this.
The markings are for:
Click on thumbnail for larger view
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While the kit provides some of the updated parts for the latest Bradley there is also some additional work needed to bring it up to date but provides a sound basis for a nice model.
Also see a review of the M113A2 Desert Version from Tamiya.
On the Web:
Rob's Motor Pool at Armorama.com (Excellent detail photos)
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Page 3 September 2003