In this review I intend to cover all of the highs and lows with this kit in “Build Review” fashion. As there are a lot of common parts between both vehicles, I have just copy/pasted text from my last Trumpeter ASLAV-25 review, where applicable parts and construction steps have been called out: link to review
The Trumpeter kit #05535 is an ASLAV, Phase III, Type 2, Personal Carrier. Again as per the last review, what confuses most people is the difference between Type and Phase.
Type refers to the hull type:
• Type 1 ASLAV-25
• Type 2, ASLAV-PC (C,A and S) **
• Type 3 ASLAV- F/R
**Other variants of the Type 2 hull
• Command (ASLAV-C)
• Ambulance (ASLAV-A)
• Surveillance (ASLAV-S)
All 4 variants to the Type 2 hull are “bolt-on” only inclusions. These Type variants are classed as MRIK (Mission Roll Installation Kit), however these won’t be covered in the review. I was going to add the differences between Phase II and III, but decided not to burden the reader with it. From this point forward only the PC Phase III will be covered.
Phases of the ASLAV Type 2 PC
• Phase 1, were the trial vehicles. Canadian Bison’s.
• Phase 2, were the initial delivery of ASLAV Type 2’s to units. Basically Bison’s, but with a few design changes.
• Phase 3, were the second purchase of vehicles with more changes/upgrades.
Opening the box we find:
13 Sprues containing 417 plastic injected parts (including 46 that are not used).
2 Sprues in clear
1 Set of Vinyl type tires
2 Photo Etched frets
1 Sheet of water slide decals
12 page, easy to read, isometric exploded view drawings and a 2 page painting and decal guide.
The 13 sprues are made up of:
“B, C, Fx2, GP and upper hull” sprues are specifically moulded for the PC.
“A” is from the original LAV-25 kit.
“D, E, G, H, lower hull and tyres” are from the ASLAV-25 kit.
“Q” is from the Trumpeter M151 RWS kit (#TR006613).
The kit is well packed with all the sprues in separate bags. Soft foam like material has been carefully wrapped around a few of the finer parts such as the propeller guards. The sprues are well laid out, are injected crisply, and numbered clearly. There are a few injection pins marks on some of the parts.
Steps 1 - 8 Suspension Assembly, Lower Hull and Wheels
The first 8 steps cover the building of the main drive shafts, differentials, prop shafts, shock absorbers and the rest of the suspension and steering system. Pretty much the same as the other LAV kits Trumpeter have produced, apart from opening holes for the propeller guards and on the Trim Vane, C1 for the ECM boxes.
The detail is quite nice, but, for modellers that have not built one of these LAV kits before, care will be need when removing part A22 (steering arms) from the sprue. There are also a few posts here on Armorama on how to convert the steering geometry according to the Ackerman Principle.
A7 the “Bash Plate” is oversimplified but it is under the vehicle so it won’t be seen on most kits anyway. Construction of the wheels and tires is pretty much straight forward.
The detail on the rims is a bit soft in places, namely on the bolts on the deepest part of the rim and the depth of the rims is also a bit overdone by about 2-3mm. The hubs themselves are quite nice. There is no tyre company name (perhaps because of copyright issues) on the side wall of the tyre but the segmented reinforcing ribs have been faithfully reproduced as has the tread pattern.
Care will be need with the removal from the sprue and assembly of the propeller guards.
I would recommend adding these parts close to the completion of the model. They are very thin plastic parts and are easily snapped.
PE-B12 are the “orange reflectors”. These parts are not seen that often, as they are easily removed by underbrush and trees.
Step 7 also covers the first of the ECM (Electronic Counter Measure) parts B15, 16 and 24. I won’t name the particular ECM used, but the parts themselves are Ok, if only a bit under detailed. Granted, information on these items may have been hard to find. There is also no wiring guide for these parts. This ECM was only used in Iraq (see Fig 2).
The pioneer tool rack is also called out here. While the rack looks accurate, the tools are nice but not quite the right shape for “Cyclone” brand tools (see Fig 3).
Step 9-10 Upper Hull Assembly
First off, this would be a good time to attach the upper hull to the lower hull, and also attach the rear hull plate (part C9 and C15). The instructions call this out in Steps 18 and 22. However, trying to clamp the upper and lower hulls with all the parts added will no doubt cause all sorts of problems.
The overall upper hull is quite accurate and nicely detailed. It has no anti slip.
The engine deck itself is not correct. It lacks detail such as bolt heads, tie downs and the deck hinges are also poorly represented. PE-A10 and 11, the engine deck screens are again, incorrect. The mesh should be square in shape, and not diamond.
The Commanders Cupola (part C18) is oversized, missing the forward bulge and overlaps the left hand side of the engine deck. This is terribly incorrect. See Fig 1. Trumpeter should have rectified this 3 years ago when this issue on the mock up kit was called out by members.
GP4, are nicely injected clear periscopes and appear accurate in size, but have a recessed face. As do GP3, the drivers. This is incorrect for the M27 periscope. They are completely flat.
Trumpeter has again made the shock absorber housings too “pointed” on top.
B49, armoured fuel cap, I’m not sure why this was moulded as a separate part?
B5 and B6, Brush guard for POL (Petroleum and Other Liquids), is not too bad at all. However, B6, the forward mounting arms are a bit short. See Fig 4.
Single tie down points are moulded on in places on the front of the vehicle. Continuous tie downs are also included in the photo etch, but it would have been nice to see a few single tie downs added on the fret.
D66, air ventilators, are accurate in size, but not the shape of the top of the ventilator.
Top hatches are accurate and the photo etched hatch locks are very nice as well. The internal detail on the hatches is a bit sparse. ASLAV PC’s on Operations (after around 2007) have padding on the inside of the hatch.
Part B3, the winch hatch, no problems here, but a basic winch under the hatch would have been nice. The same can also be said for underneath part D36, Auxiliary power hatch.
PE-A19, B55 and B56 make up the “Bow saw” and is a very nice bit of photo etch. As for the location, I haven’t seen one stowed there before.
Step 11-12 Upper Hull Assembly
Parts D40, D41, D68, D74 and PE-B11 make up the muffler and exhaust. The PE strap for the muffler guard (part PE-B11) should be a bent piece of angle iron.
F8, are moulded as grab handles. They are in fact single tie downs. Again, extra’s tie downs on the PE fret would have been better and correct.
B12 and B7 make up the right hand side POL brush guard. See Fig 5 for clarity as bits are missing.
C11, Pol rack needs to have the solid “separator” removed. See Fig 5 for clarity. This will also apply to C10 in step 13.
B20 and B54, GPS. It’s basic, but looks like the GPS. Of note here, the GPS should be mounted on the front centre mount. ASLAV-C and S have it mounted as per the instructions on the left hand side.
All the antenna’s (B14, B19 and B46) are basic in detail and inaccurate.
F6, IVNS (In-Vehicle Navigation System) or digital compass, is moulded well. But, only one is needed.
B25, Sharks Fin ECM, (again I won’t say what the actual name is), but it looks like what it’s supposed to be. See Fig 6 .
D44, mirrors, nice detail but the part should have an upper and lower mirror on the face.
B9 (B8 in step 17), part is an Emergency style red and blue LED flasher used in Iraq only (see Fig 7).
B52 is not numbered in the instructions but is shown on the rear of the upper hull. This is the BFT (Blue Force Tracker) (see Fig 8).
The head light brush guards in very nicely injected, but not quite right is shape.
Step 13-14 Upper Hull Assembly
Heads up Display for the driver (parts D7, D25, D30, D61 and D67) are oversized and have a part that still has me stumped. Part D7 is either a complete fabrication by Trumpeter or they have mistaken the HUD blackout curtain for an armoured cover of some kind. Disregard D7.
D61 the instrument panel, has a dome added to the face of it. There is no dome. The instruments have a clear flat Perspex face to them.
D9 , LHS head light brush guard is shown in the drawing, but the number for it is not called out.
The smoke grenade launchers (F15, F20 and B47) are Ok, but quite soft in detail. They also do not have the retaining chains, which I think is quite an oversight considering they are in the ASLAV-25 kit.
C10, the left hand side POL rack, needs to have the “separator” removed, the same way as C11 in Step 12 (see Fig 5).
B63 is the “Dimarco” cupola with mounting plate for the Kongsberg M151 RWS. The hatch opening is a bit small and the detail is soft, but all in all, it looks quite Ok.
B26 and PE-A14 make up the forward mounted “Sharks Fin” ECM. Again, reference may have been an issue here with all of the ECM in this kit, it is under detailed and inaccurate (see Fig 9).
A quick note here about the ECM. The “Sharks Fin” was also used in Afghanistan. Whereas the boxes on the trim vane were not.
<> is the sub assembly for the “Platt” scissor mount. The “Platt” mount for the GPMG MAG58 is a real let down. The gun itself E1, which looks like a MAG58 at 20 yards, but on closer inspection, it is far from OK. As for the Platt mount itself, the same comment applies here as well unfortunately. Detail is lacking, the parts are grossly undersized and some parts to the mount have been missed altogether.
Step 15 Upper Hull Assembly
The Photo etched stowage/ammunition racks are very nice, but, are a bit too short and should extend just short of the edge of the hull where the tie downs are.
Sub assembly <> (Platt mount) is added here. The mount was originally designed for the PC to be used off any of the antenna mounting points. I wouldn’t say that this placement is incorrect, but it’s very rare to see it on this particular point.
The continuous tie downs are accurate in their placement.
Step 16 Kongsberg M151 Protector Remote Weapon Station
Trumpeter has included their updated version of TR06613. Originally this small kit was in the Stryker series of kits and was horrible to say the least. However to their credit it was vastly improved and sold as a separate item. The Australian version of the M151 differs from the US one and the extra parts have been added to Sprue B.
I cannot fault it and it is on a par with the AFV Club version of the same.
Step 17 Upper Hull Assembly
F28 and F19 make up the Australian pattern water jerry’s. The parts look like the water jerry’s, but are a bit anaemic. Also, “WATER” is only etched on one side in reality.
Spare wheel, no issues at all.
RHS head light cluster, the flasher B8 and B36 emergency siren are added to the head light mount. Detail on this part (B36) is very soft and only looks accurate from range (see Fig 9). Again, as with B36, it was only used in Iraq.
B11, B59 and B11 make up the “Sat Comms” antenna. C3 is far too thick and should have been done with PE (see Fig 10).
Step 18 Upper /Lower Hull Assembly
Refer to Step 9.
Step 19 and 20 Generator and Stowage box
The generator needs quite a lot of extra detailing. Two types of Generator are used. See Fig 11.
The only real comment here is that the generator is usually used by ASLAV-C/S and stowed on the inside of the vehicle.
The top stowage box has no issues.
Step 21 and 22 Rear of Hull and Ramp
The only issue I have here are the tail lights, F14. The housings are not the best.
This can be rectified by using D13/23 and slightly modifying D12 (see Fig 12).
Also the clear lenses part GP1 should be replaced with G2 if you’re going to use D12 and 13.
F5, Towing point, is not shown in the instructions and needs to be added below the tail lights (see Fig 13).
And last of all add the ramp. But you would have already done that in Step 9.
Painting and Markings
The Painting guide is not bad at all, clear, easy to interpret, and accurate, to a point.
The camouflage pattern on all ASLAV-PC’s (and other versions) is the same. The only time that it would differ is when TAC markings are changed, and then it is only slightly around the area that has been changed. Trumpeters painting guide is about 60% accurate.
The decals are printed well.
Painting and Marking guide “A”, “COOK THE MAN SOME EGGS”, well we won’t go into the name as there are threads here on Armorama that cover that one.
However the ARN (Army Registration Number) decal number 6 should be on the lower panel and the 15 tonne marking should not be there. ARN on the right, 15 tonne on the left for Phase III PC’s.
“B”, the only thing wrong here is that the Chevron (denotes Sqn) is facing the wrong way on the right hand side. A Squadron chevrons, point to the front of the vehicle.
Australian TAC markings do not denote what unit the vehicle is from. The instructions don’t say what unit the markings are for either. But, both sets of markings, at the time, were from 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry).
As for the rest of the markings, I'm not criticizing trumpeter but a little more care and attention to the spelling on the decals, will avoid negative comments from the modelling community.
Of worthy note is the marking on the sponson line.
Trumpeter’s decals say,
"TIRE PHESSRL HIGHWZY NUCPA CXDSSCDSS CONNRT WGUOO WUFC UDIPA"
"TYRE PRESSURE: HIGHWAY 290 kPA CROSS COUNTRY 180 kPA MUD 103kPA"
The kit, in a whole, is a bash of different versions of Type II’s, from different times and different operations with markings added from Australian based PC’s.
Trumpeter’s ASLAV-PC has been made by a model kit company that at times, can rely too much on what other modellers have done in the past, but don’t cross reference or research as much as they should, but leave it to someone else to do so. This kit confirms that my thoughts are pretty much the same as my last review. Accuracy issues with soft detailed moulded parts.
Still, I will recommend this kit to anyone that asks. 99.9% of modellers won’t care about the accuracy issues or the detail problems, but I will confirm it is a joy to build. The parts go together well and only a small amount of filler was needed in places.
For the hard core guys, be prepared for some work.