The Multiple Rocket Launcher System is well recognised weapon system and it has had a successful career and is still in service with many nations. The US Army has upgraded the original vehicle in 2005 to the A1. The launcher appears identical to M270, but incorporates an improved fire control system (IFCS) and an improved launcher mechanical system (ILMS). This allows for significantly faster launch procedures and the firing of new types of munitions, including the GPS guided rockets.
have previously released this kit on a number of occasions and it first saw the light of day back in 1992. This release is based upon the Dragon
kit No:3523 which was the M270 MLRS with M26 Rocket Pods. This release is the same kit with an additional set of sprues to upgrade the M270 to the A1 standard.
So what is in the box? On opening the standard large box that comes with a photograph of the M270A1 and it also has illustrations of the extra parts. Inside the box there is the usual mass of parts that is expected of many Dragon
- 16x Grey Sprues
- 1x Lower Hull
- 1x Sheet of clear plastic
- 1x Decal Sheet
- 1x Instruction Sheet
The instructions are fairly typical of early Dragon
releases as is the method of assembly. The moulds have stood up well for an older release and there is a minor amount of flash on the older sprues. The newer sprues are moulded to the typical newer levels of detail that is expected from Dragon
The kit does have a reasonably detailed cab interior and will look reasonable if the doors are left open. The communications equipment is inaccurate for the system that should be fitted to current vehicles but the newly tooled targeting computer is accurate. Please pay attention to the instructions as there are a number of minor differences for the Bundeswehr version. The clear sheet must be cut to size using the template on the instructions.
The weakest item is surprisingly are the tracks on the plus side they are link and length and were accurate with the original release. The tracks have a number of knock out pin marks and will require filling to hide them. The vehicle now uses the ‘Big Foot’ tracks and not the older style supplied in the kit, as these tracks were withdrawn from US Service around the mid 90’s. However they are seen on the British Army version.
The main rocket pod looks fairly straightforward but the actual rocket pods will need careful assembly to ensure they remain square. The pods themselves are then slid down the rails inside the main box as per the originals. There are a number of options the rocket pod can be built; stowed, elevated for firing and elevated locked up for maintenance. The pods can be shown out of the main box which would look ideal in a diorama.
The final stages of the build add the M270A1 features and include stowage boxes, air conditioning unit, M240 including the swing mount and an external (electronics?) unit. These parts are new moulds and the M240 has a separate and detailed feed cover.
Painting and Finishing
have only given the modeller two options in the box, both in tri-colour NATO:
- 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, South Korea
- Bundeswehr, Germany
Overall this is a welcome re-release there are a few negative points. Despite the extra parts that add the A1
have missed the opportunity to update the tracks and could have offered a few more decal options. Dragon
have re-released another one of their older kits whether modellers are getting value for money will be down to the individuals choice. If the tracks are replaced then an accurate M270A1 can be depicted.
Prime Portal M270
Military Photo Report from Julie Ludmann