Airfix 1/48 Bae Warrior

Originally developed by GKN, now part of BAe, Warrior is the British Army IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) which first entered service back in 1984.  A contemporary of the BMP, the Marder and the Bradley it has was built to replace the old FV432 APC and carried the heavier armament of a 30mm Rarden cannon in a fully rotating turret.  With a crew of three and carrying a 7 man infantry squad it is a fast and powerful machine.  Diesel engined it weighs in at over 25 tons and can reach speeds of over 40 mph on the road.  Designed for the Cold War, like the BMP, Bradley etc the only thing it doesn't have is the V-shaped lower hull to deflect blast from the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) that has become the major threat in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, a feature seen on the likes of the more modern Jackal.  It has proved itself in the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan, as well as previous service in Kosovo and the Balkans.

The latest release in the Operation Herrick series of models from Airfix is their 1/48 Warrior, which not only has the bar armour on it, over the top of the other extra armour panels that have all been added since the basic vehicle first came into service but there is interior detail in here as well.  The turret has interior detailing as does the rear troop compartment.  It has the basics but if you make it with the roof hatches open, there is enough to give the right impression of the inside without it being just bare space.  Same with the rear access door, which can be modelled open or closed.  If you have this one open, the ram mechanism is included, along with an alternative part for the rear bar armour, moved to be in the open position with the door.  It is the bar armour which bulks out the vehicle and Airfix have got this to look good within the limitations of plastic moulding.

It is actually a relatively large vehicle if you put it alongside their earlier Jackal, Coyote or Land Rovers.  A tiny point of detail missed is on one of the seats on the left hand side in the rear troop compartment, as these have a removable centre pad which enables it for use as a toilet.  It is part D23 and you could engrave the oval shape into the plastic if you wanted to.  Personally, I'm not sure I could face using that loo amidst a crew of mates in a closed-up vehicle!  The only other thing I think might have been done differently is that the vision devices on the turret are in grey plastic whereas perhaps they could have been moulded in clear plastic, but that is a relatively minor point to be fair and just a personal view.

Something to give you an idea of what is involved in the build though is that the instruction booklet stretches to 115 stages, so take your time.  Oh, and ignore the printing error that has crept into the instruction booklet where it is headed up as a 1/72 construction kit rather than 1/48 which it is.  Just the one colour scheme provided for, with an overall sand colour as used in Afghanistan.  Markings include number plates and the eye badge as used by the Guards Armoured Division in WW2.

There is plenty of potential for adding extra detail to the kit, such as crew and personal kit, or converting it with the other styles of armour used on the Warrior these days or perhaps the recovery variant.  Overall a great kit and one I am sure we will see plenty of at the various model shows in 2014 and beyond.

Our thanks to Airfix for our example and these are available now.

See the Airfix website for more details of their ranges