Detailed In box review of the 1/35th Trumpeter ASLAV-25 Phase III kit.


By Jason Miller


First published in the March 2009 AMMS Brisbane newsletter


In this review I intend to cover all of the highs and lows with this kit in an out of the box fashion as a modeller who has an intimate knowledge of the vehicle. I will be including a VERY detailed if not picky look at all of the ASLAV modifications for the Phase III. The review will not be a full history lesson or how to fix up the kit but will explain what inaccuracies exist in the kit and will explain some of the differences between the ASLAV-25 Phase II and III modifications included in this kit. I apologise about the quality of the photos.


To begin: – what confuses most people is the difference between Type and Phase.

Type refers to the hull type


The Phases.


The Trumpeter kit is a hybrid of Phase II and III. However, once the Phase III program started (2003-2004) and the initial vehicles were sent to units after the upgrade, not all of the Phase IIIs had all of the external mods. The crew commander’s sight head assembly and cam pole stowage rack are two items that were not upgraded in the first Phase III batch delivered. Some vehicles also did not have spare tyre racks and drivers windscreen box.


The first, second and third rotations of the Security Detachment (SECDET) in Iraq were completed in Phase II ASLAVs. Subsequent rotations were Phase II upgraded in theatre to Phase III.


Opening the box we find:


The kit is well packed with all the sprues in separate bags. Soft foam like material has been carefully wrapped around a few of the finer parts such as the turret bins. The sprues a well laid out and numbered clearly. All the parts are cast crisply with very little or no flash. There are a few injection pins marks on some of the parts.


For the main body of the review and more photos, go to : Armorama review






Highs

Nice crisp casting in places, especially on the thin brush guards. Clear instructions. It’s Aussie and looks like and ASLAV.

Lows

Soft detail in a lot of places. Inaccuracy issues.

Conclusion

I have been anticipating this kit for some time now after Trumpeter stated they were doing one about 18 months to 2 years ago. Then when Trumpeter asked members of Armorama to help out with the kits accuracy a few months ago, I must admit I was a little worried. Not because I thought the members would steer them in the wrong direction, but because I was bit worried about if they would actually take note. It is disappointing that with all the images on the web, together with published information in the form of books and help from Armorama some of the basics should have been done better. As it turns out the advice members gave was not taken onboard in its entirety, hence the problem with the accuracy of the kit and missing details. I think it was a bit late to ask for advice when test shots had already been made.

There is enough information on the internet and in the ASLAV thread on Armourama to build at least 2 different Phases and 2 different Types for that matter.


Canadian fans will probably buy this kit as well to convert it to the Coyote.


I have no doubt that Trumpeter is now one of the world’s leaders in Plastic injection kits , but the soft detail is something that should have been rectified before the kit was realised. The technology in injection model making is now starting to give resin kits a run for their money. However, in saying this I would still recommend the kit not only to those who build out of the box, but also to those who are not afraid of a bit of extra work to bring the kit up to speed. As the built up model looks like an ASLAV, but only at a distance. It’s when you come in closer that the problems will start to show.