Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekly Review: Rebel Miniatures 15mm MATV

In an attempt to make this blog a bit more useful for the community and a bit less about my own personal stuff, I'm going to attempt to give an in-depth weekly review of a product that pertains to the 20th/21st century in the spirit of greater transparency and to help guide those thinking of investing. These reviews will be random, product wise, but hopefully they will be useful to you guys!

This week we look at Rebel Miniatures' MATV Commanche

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-51356505839231_2272_127146613

Background

Although not a precise rendition of the modern Oshkosh MATV used by US and allied forces, the Rebel Miniatures model nevertheless offers us the closest rendition of this big bastard of a truck in 15mm. The MATV and similar MRAP-type vehicles were gradually phased in over the past decade in our various forays in the Middle East and Central Asia to deal with the rigors of counterinsurgency warfare. The Humvee it sought to replace had performed to a substandard level in withstanding the day-to-day perils found in the widespread use of IEDs. Designed specifically to withstand such devices, the MATV has since become somewhat ubiquitous in the contemporary arsenals of the US Army and the USMC. Anyone seeking to create an ultramodern force will naturally seek to acquire a few of these badboys.

Kit Overview

 photo MATV1-1.jpg

The kit is split into eight major components: the chassis, suspension, four wheels, an optional armored cupola and a weapons sprue containing an oversized M2, grenade launcher, minigun and M240. The design has integrated a few extra 'sci fi' styling, most noticeably in the tires and the belly armor, but overall matches fairly closely with the original MATV design. There is a reasonable amount of customization available in this kit. Weapons can be mounted as remote-controlled, or as part of a cupola. Doors are all molded shut and unfortunately the gunner's hatch can't be opened to mount a crewman.

Quality 


 photo MATV4.jpg
 The sculpt itself is extremely high quality and the kit is bursting with character, much praise needs to be given to the original artists. The casting of the metal components is precise and flash, while present, is easily dealt with. Unfortunately the two examples I purchased had some pretty heavy miscasts on the hull that were not easy to sort out. The resin itself is not high quality and has a grainy texture that I am not too keen to attempt to paint.


 photo MATV3-1.jpg photo MATV2.jpg

Initially after contacting Rebel about this I got a response that they would talk to their molders, but have had no further response from them. I think this is a pretty serious issue of quality control, especially when comparing to companies like Skytrex who pour with resin flawlessly.

Conclusion




This is a relatively solid rendition of the MATV, with little other competition on the market outside of the hideously-expensive 1/87 offering by Arsenal M and a junk matchbox toy. Sadly, the version I received was let down by poor quality control in its most significant section. This either needs to be fixed by using a higher quality resin, or by switching this piece over to metal. I think a slight price increase would really be worth the added quality.


2 comments:

  1. Good review- I agree with all the points you have highlighted. I had the same issues with the resin casting of the example I ordered, yet the casting of the metal sprue accompanying was flawless. This should be an excellent model, but this one aspect lets it down. Incidentally, I had an HAMR Recon walker, in metal, in the same order, and this was also of a very high standard, so your suggestion of metal over resin for this model, at a slightly increased cost, has merit as far as I'm concerned.

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  2. soon to be cast in resin:
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.737432119634913&type=3

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