IDF M151A2 OREV (Tow Mutt)
Ref. # LF1142
Scale: 1/35th
Manufacturer: Legend
Price: £16.99
Material: Resin, PE

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Introduction

Legend conversion set LF1142 IDF M151A2 OREV (TOW MUTT), if you would like to know that the Hughes Aircraft Company developed the BGM-71A or Tube launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided missile system ‘TOW’ has been in service since the 1970, with more than 650,000 missiles produced in various guises, and we must not forget the Ford Military Utility Tactical Truck or ‘MUTT’.

The Set

Legend designed this update for the Tamiya ‘TOW MUTT’ M151A2 kit number 35125 and Academy ‘TOW MUTT’ M151A2 kit number 13406, as you will need one of these kits, as there is no missile launcher in the update, so you cannot use any of the other MUTT’s. This is the second in the series, and of the two it will be the one that will stand out on its own, as it is the fighting vehicle of the series. This is also in the same vain as its partner the Missile carrier update, it is designed to save you time researching parts, and it will transform the base kit into the Israeli TOW launch vehicle. Again the only drawback I have found is the lack of any painting instructions, so you will need to do some research after all, as you get a colour set of instructions to help you see the parts fit against the donor kit, it is a shame there are none of the full size vehicle or finished model, you do get one nice picture of both models unpainted?

This 1:35 scale conversion comes in one of Legends standard small boxes, all the parts come in one plastic bag with the exception of the brass fret, which is separately packed. This brass fret has about 64 parts, which combines with resin parts to make a new tripod for the launch tube which sits on the front wing of the MUTT, this is a well detailed model in its own right. In the back you get a framework in brass for a new resin radio, take your time with this, as it needs a steady hand, plus a two-part grill for the radiator to make it in to an Israeli MUTT. I counted 94 resin parts in this conversion set, in Legends familiar cream colour, I found no air bubbles in my set but again some light flashing on a number of parts, none of the parts were out of alignment, there were also no casting faults that I could find. In this set you get a small 25x25mm one millimetre thick square of lead foil, which is supposed to be cut into strips, and used to support the three ammo tubes, again I think this is a fine idea of Legends but it is too thick and should be consigned to the spares box. You also get a good length of brass wire this is 0.5mm thick fine for the work on the pedestal for the lunch tube, this is an all-new resin assembly, that when you combine all the donor kit parts for the launch tube you will find it gives this model its focal point. But you will need to find an alternate length of wire for the radiophone cable.

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There are five replacement tyres with revised tyre treads to replace the ones in the kit; these have some nice detail around the edges of the tyres. There are two sets of parts supplied that are meant to make life easier for you, first and number three in the instructions is a block of resin with little squares on it, these are buckles for the straps that hold the ammo tubes, this set works fine, and will save you time and more expense, but I found part 39 as in the previous conversion are too small and fiddly, these are the tie downs for the bonnet canvas. Legend propose the use of paper in the instructions for all the strapping on this vehicle, I would use tape, lead foil or thin plastic sheet all cut to size for this task, especially for going under those bonnet tie downs.

The defensive armament for this MUTT consist of two M16 rifles which are well protected on their sprues and are not misshaped, these two rifles are finely detailed, that brings us to a MAG- pattern machine gun like the M16s it is nicely detailed, but it is not protected at all on its sprue and mine has suffered for it, it will definitely need helping with a hairdryer to get it back in to shape.

What makes this ‘TOW MUTT’ stand out is the overall amount of new detail that has gone into such a small space, the TOW launcher, radio, and brass work in the back of this vehicle. The only difficulty here will be in the painting, as the instructions show the parts lay out very well in colour, there is no painting guide. With even less space left on the ‘TOW MUTT’, compared to the missile carrier it seems that every surface has a box of some kind attached to it. The seating arrangements are different, as two of the TOW’s ammo tubes take up the space for the front seat passenger, here you get a complete new seat; moved to behind the gear leaver, also you get a new seat for the TOW operator in the back of the MUTT. To finish you get to replace the US fuel can with an Israeli style one, and to finish up a new shovel to dig your MUTT out with.

Whichever MUTT you use as a donor there is very little conversion work needed, first up the donor kit instruction show removing the windscreen from the dashboard, as this MUTT does not have one, the only other surgery is to cut out the radiator grill section of the donor kit, US type, for the new brass radiator grill Israeli Type.

Conclusion

Legend produced yet another Israeli conversion along with its partner update the missile carrier, this should keep you Israeli fans busy for a while. This straightforward update set is for the Academy or Tamiya M151A2 TOW MUTT, its sister model Legend LF1141 the Missile Carrier, will need the utility vehicle. These two models will look great side by side; there is definitely some great diorama potential here.

Thanks to Friendship Models for the review sample

Friendship Models

is the main importer of Legend into the UK.