Hobby Boss continues its run of tanks and vehicles from the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). When you look at the cover art for this kit, the vehicle bears a strong resemblance to the iconic HMMWV. Well, this was based on said vehicle. It’s manufactured by the Dongfeng Motor Corporation for the PLA. I don’t know if this means Hobby Boss will also begin producing the HMMWV line, but their catalog indicates several variants of this vehicle in the works. The kit of approximately 170 parts includes six sprues and several body parts, one small sprue of clear parts, a fret of photo etch, four tires, and decals. As with most Hobby Boss kits, it includes two color profiles, one for a UN mission and the other for the PLA. The PLA version has no markings. The parts look great, with a fair amount of detail, though there was a small amount of flash on some of the parts.
As with most vehicles, assembly begins with the chassis. The order of assembly is logical, beginning with the drive train and axles. There is no engine. The only challenge I encountered in these first steps happened to be the springs. The front springs (B6) fit fine but the rear did not. One the chassis is done, it is glued on top of the vehicles floor. The only tricky next steps are the remaining exhaust pipes that are attached to the vehicle after the chassis is mounted to the body. Before I attached the floor to the chassis, I did some painting. Unfortunately, the kit instructions do not include interior color call outs, so you are going to have to do some research to find out what’s needed for the PLA vehicle that’s listed in the color profile. From what I found on the internet, the interior of the vehicles seem to reflect what the exterior color is. The seats are black and the dash is light grey with several black instrument clusters.
From the undercarriage, assembly moves to the body. There are several different sub-assemblies. The first is the floor and dash. There is photo etch that is used in the cargo compartment; otherwise, assembly is straightforward. You will want to be careful when you assemble the various components on the dash. Part D22 has to be square for the front hood and windshield to fit properly. A decal depicts the instrument cluster. The next sub-assembly is the hood, which includes several PE grills. The grills are a perfect fit. Unfortunately, when I put in the headlights, I neglected to paint the interior plastic piece silver so now the headlights are the color of the molded plastic, a light brown.
The remainder of the body goes together quickly. Rather than using traditional clear styrene for the windows in the back and on the doors, they are all together on a clear sheet labeled as “PVC” in the instructions. The pieces for the doors are sandwiched in between the front and inside pieces of the doors. The front windshield is dropped in, followed by the roof of the vehicle. It was difficult to mask the side windows without the tape (low stick) pulling them off the vehicle, so I painted the edges by hand. The last sub-assembly is the roof of the vehicle. While I assembled it correctly, it did not sit snugly on the doors. After some sanding, there was a tighter fit, but I am still not satisfied.
As mentioned previously, despite the addition of a full color exterior profile of the vehicle, there are some questions. It appears the chassis is black, regardless of the exterior color, so I painted the chassis black. I opted for the PLA version of the vehicle. It has no markings, but appealed to me. The Tamiya color code on the instructions was wrong, so I used the closest approximation to light green and used olive green (XF-58).
I really enjoy the wide array of PLA subject matter that Hobby Boss has been releasing. While it is unfortunate that Hobby Boss instructions continue to disappoint when it comes to identifying interior color schemes, this was a fun kit. My thanks to Squadron and IPMS-USA for giving me the opportunity to review this kit.