The Husky Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector entered service with the US Forces in 1998, after testing and alterations the Husky began active duties from early 2002 till the current day. The Husky went into combat in 2005 and saw service in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Husky Mk III entered service in 2007 and is often accompanied by the Buffalo as a defensive and support vehicle, so with both of these vehicles now available in model form some large and interesting dioramas may begin to appear. This is the first Husky offering from AFV Club
and the second model of the Husky to become available, I would also suggest that with the track record of AFV Club
further offerings of this model will appear if sales permit, offerings such as the vehicles fitted with the Fassi interrogation arm, Visor ground penetrating radar and of course the ubiquitous slat armour package.
This offering from AFV Club
is supplied in the usual fairly sturdy card tray and lid boxes favoured by them, the box is reasonably sturdy, but factor in extra protection when purchasing online. Inside the box you should find;
8 tan sprues
A clear sprue
A vinyl rubber sprue
4 vinyl rubber tyres
A set of polycaps
A photo etched fret
A decal sheet
A box art poster
An instruction booklet
A look over the contents of this model offering confirms that is of the usual standard that AFV Club
provide. I did not locate any flash of note and while ejector pin marks are present, I believe they are all in hidden locations once the model is assembled. The mix of materials provided for the construction of this model make sense as far as I can see and have the potential for a very pleasing model to be the result. I do have some minor niggles about the contents which I will cover later in this review.
The drivers compartment is a very cramped area of the vehicle, and AFV Club
have captured this area very well for the most part. The drivers compartment has no doors with entry being made via a climb at the rear of the cab and entry through a twin door hatch. The floor of the vehicle is smooth in the model, but my reference indicates an anti slip matting to be present, some may wish to replicate that. The position and general look of the instrument panels appears to be correct for the most part; the master lighting controls are incorrect on the left hand control panel, but that is not a major issue.
The four point harness for the driver is completely absent and should ideally be replicated by the modeller. I do like the fact that details such as the air conditioning unit and fire extinguisher have been included. My reference does include a man portable radio set in the cab, but I suspect this to be a temporary feature of the vehicle in my reference. As you would expect there are a number of pipes and cables missing inside the cab area, but this does not disappoint me as it is these kinds of details that the super detailers enjoy replicating in their models. The armoured glass for the cab is correctly identified as requiring a clear green paintjob done on it, but I would have liked to see this aspect correctly replicated in the mouldings, I believe it has not been done so that the light lenses could be moulded on the same sprue.
The painting instructions called out during the build process for this area are for the most part correct, but I do recommend you get yourself some reference such as the recent release from Tankograd Publishing on this vehicle. On the whole this is a very well done area of the model, right down to the ‘DO NOT STEP’ warning on the top of the air conditioning unit.
The exterior body of this vehicle is best described as agricultural looking. There are a lot of wires and cables running all over the place with AFV Club
having supplied a good number of them. My reference shows a number of spot lights fitted to the vehicle, but these are field modifications as they look like a 17 year old boy racer attached the wiring for them; if you wish to replicate the effect the light sets that Bronco Models released some time ago will do the job. There is a frame work that extends from just below the vehicles roof and forwards above the armoured windscreen, this contains electronics equipment that is sometimes fitted to the vehicle, it is not present in this offering and the modeller may wish to replicate it as a way of making their model different.
The main lights of the vehicle are corrected positioned and located on the model, when colouring the lenses please not the colours indicated during the build rather than how they are coloured in the painting chart at the end of the instruction booklet. One thing that may catch you out is the number of red items on the vehicle, but I have to say that AFV Club
looks to have done a very good job of picking up on and pointing out this detail. AFV Club
has also done a very good job of replicating the stairs or ladder at the rear of the vehicle; an EOD robot can also be purchased and mounted on the side of these stair or ladder rungs.
The very exposed suspension and axles of the Husky have been nicely replicated by AFV Club
, and this includes to a large degree the hydraulic cabling, this has been supplied on the vinyl rubber sprue and while many may replace it with wire, I cannot see how else AFV Club
could or should have tackled this issue. It should be mentioned that vinyl rubber has a habit of breaking down if it comes into contact with some oil based products, and so make sure you protect these parts when painting and usually more importantly when weathering the model.
The mine or metal detecting system can be displayed in the lowered or raised position, and remains workable. The facilitate this AFV Club
has again provided cabling and hoses in vinyl rubber, so again take note of my previous warning in relation to these parts. Having looked at these vinyl rubber parts, I believe that most reasonably competent modellers could replace these parts with wire and shaped styrene, but you would of course then need to decide whether you wanted the metal detection system deployed or not.
The tyres provided by AFV Club
look to accurately replicate the tread detail of the sand trail tyres which can be fitted to this vehicle, but it is my understanding that two other tyre tread patterns are also used, as such do not dismiss these are incorrect. The wheel themselves have nice detail present, even the system for inflating and deflating the tyres depending on terrain is present on the wheel hubs, very nice detail AFV Club
. the mudguards with their ribbed detail present on both the top and underside has again been well replicated by AFV Club
The decals included for this model are primarily warning signs, there’s a shock. The decals look to me to be very comprehensive, but I am not going to hold it against AFV Club
if they have missed something, as there is a lot of warnings on this vehicle. Two finishing options are provided with the model, but neither vehicle is identified as in use by a specific unit or location, the differences consist of a couple of decals that I doubt most would even notice.
I am a happy camper or should I say modeller with what AFV Club
has provided us with here. Looking over the model and checking it against images in the Tankograd Publishing offering, I was only able to find the incorrect detail in the cab controls. Yes there is some missing details, but the only one that really bothers me is the missing four point harness detail on the drivers seat, and that is because it is quite a large detail that is easily picked up on. In all other respects I am very impressed with this kit.