Takom FV432 Mk. 2/1 with interior

Reviewed for Military Modelling by David Garden

The FV432 was to be an armoured personnel carrier for the British army, comparable to the US M113. Production started in 1962 by GKN Sankey and ended in 1972 with over 3,000 vehicles being produced. They first entered service in 1963 and following upgrades, variants were in service over 50 years later. Around 1,500 are still in service with support arms rather than the infantry which re-equipped with the FV510 Warrior series of APC/IFV. This kit models the Mark 2 version of the 432, the third in the series being the FV432/3 which has now been named ‘Bulldog’.

The crew consisted of a driver and commander and the vehicle was armed with a single pintle mounted 7.62 mm GPMG. Ten infantrymen were carried.

The kit consists of eight grey sprues, one clear sprue, two photo etched frets, a decal sheet and a jig to assemble the track. Mould quality is up to Takom’s usual high standard with an excellent level of sharp detail. A fully detailed interior is included enabling the modeller to open all the hatches for diorama possibilities.

Sprue A is duplicated and contains the suspension, wheels and drive sprockets. The Mouldings are clean and sharp on the drive sprockets but I felt the wheel nuts could be a bit more distinct.

A pair of Sprue Bs contain the interior parts. The small parts and frames will need to be carefully removed from the sprues to prevent damage. Even the fittings for the poles to attach cam nets and covers on the hull roof are included.

The Tracks are on Sprue D. These are link and length types. Opinions will vary but I like this method as it speeds up the building process. A bonus is that Takom have included a jig to simplify track construction and enable wheels and tracks to be assembled off the chassis to aid painting and weathering if you prefer. The jig is moulded in brown plastic which I suppose is to show it is not a part to be included on the finished vehicle.

Sprue E has the engine grills, hatches and exterior detail. Again the detail is very sharp for these very visible features. I liked the look of the separate slats on the engine grills particularly.

Sprue F contains the vehicle sides, fuel tank, MG and more external detail. The GPMG is adequate but a bit thin. Personally I would replace it with an aftermarket resin example. The hull sides have good detail such as the areas covered by mesh but the interiors have large moulding lugs to remove.

Sprue G carries the rest of the interior details and the parts supplied will enable a nicely finished driver’s station and interior to be modelled.

The vehicle chassis and floor pan is moulded in one piece. The troop compartment floor has some extremely fine tread plate detail. Although this might be in scale, care will have to be taken so it is not lost under paint.

The final grey part is the hull roof which is very busy with moulded on detail.

The photo etched frets give us the mesh for the storage basket and details like the light guards. I particularly admired the way two parts were pre-bent saving the modeller the trouble of getting this right! The storage boxes were only used on later vehicles, so check your references carefully.

The clear sprue, as expected, gives the lenses for the periscopes and lights. These are beautifully clear mouldings.

Although Takom gives us a pretty detailed interior for the driving and troop compartments there are no parts to build an engine. Does this mean it is not a fully ‘with interior’ model? I’ll let you decide.

The decal sheet is well registered and gives four marking schemes - Berlin Brigade 1980, Royal Scots 7th Armoured Brigade painted in Gulf War sand, ‘unknown unit’ with NATO green and black camouflage and an OPFOR unit at the British army training base Suffield, Canada. I am sure many modellers will opt for the unusual Berlin multi-cam scheme.

The instruction booklet takes the modeller through 36 clear and easy to follow steps. It starts with rather cute cartoon drawings showing us how to apply decals and work with PE. Not sure if I would recommend moving the decal on the model with a wet finger though! Another bonus is that in addition to giving external colour reference to AMMO of Mig paints, Takom gives the same reference information on the internal colours. No more guessing, long internet searches or Forum requests!

Given the past record of Takom I am sure we will see more variants of this vehicle. The absence of a Sprue C hints that this will be the case. Just before writing this review I have seen information that Takom are to release the FV 432/3 ‘Bulldog’ with its enhanced armour panels.

In service, the FV432 mounted the Wombat and Carl Gustav recoilless guns as well as the 81mm mortar. Some had the Peak engineering GPMG turret or the 30mm armed turret from the Fox armoured car. The chassis of the 432 was used for the FV433 105mm ‘Abbot’ self-propelled gun, a subject I’d really like to see in model form. In addition the engineers, artillery and signals used the 432 adding specialist equipment for specific tasks. If this is not enough you could model the ambulance or command versions.

Several FV432s are in private ownership and can be regularly seen at vehicle shows. They are also popular at ‘Tank’ driving ranges were you can take one for a spin. A few have been modified to resemble WW2 vehicles for film and re-enactment. One FV432 that had been rebuilt to look like a Stug III was in the ‘Band of Brothers’ TV series. A possible conversion perhaps?

I am sure aftermarket resin manufacturers will produce add on items to make some of the specialist vehicles or the many types of storage boxes and personal gear used by individual units. The missing motor is another resin possibility. This would enable a diorama to feature an engine change or repair work. Alternative decals are another area where they could produce extra items to enable modellers to make different models or possibly a favourite unit. Are you listening Accurate Armour? (I’m sure they are already working on several)

From an out of the box look, this is a highly detailed, nicely moulded kit that will easily build into an outstanding model given the features that Takom have included.

Highly recommended!

Special thanks to Rhiannon at Pocketbond for supplying Military Modelling with this kit for review. This kit is available at www.pocketbond.co.uk.

 

Product: Injection moulded plastic construction kit

Ref: 2066

Scale: 1/35

Price: Approx £37.99

Parts: 496.

Manufacturer: Takom.

Website: www.takom-world.com