ARM: Review - Academy 1/35 scale CV9040B Swedish IFV

Kit Review: Academy 1/35 scale Kit No. 13217; CV9040B Swedish Infantry
Fighting Vehicle;
688 parts (344 in black styrene, 268 in tan styrene, 28 etched brass,
24 vinyl keepers, 21 clear styrene, 2 vinyl track runs, 1 turned
aluminum barrel); retail price US$58.00
Advantages: first kit of this vehicle in styrene; nicely done hull
provides all hatches as optional positions; choice of tracks; choice
of barrels; crew figures a bonus
Disadvantages: no interior (!); injection marks on insides of parts
(see text)
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for fans of modern armored fighting vehicles and small
armies
When most people think of state-of-the-art modern infantry fighting
vehicles, only four countries usually come to mind first: Russia, the
US, England and Germany. These countries produce the BMP-1/2/3,
Bradley IFV, Warrior, and Marder series vehicles in those classes to
be sure; but they are not alone. While most other countries so far do
not earn the publicity of the =93Big Four=94 there are a number of other
contenders such as several vehicles from China, Ukraine, Belarus, and
Sweden. The latter has produced their vehicle series, the CV9040, for
over 15 years now and more than 1,000 have been produced for Denmark
(45), Finland (102), Netherlands (192), Norway (104), Switzerland
(186), and of course Sweden (509).
This vehicle began life as a Swedish military tasking levied upon the
Haegglunds company to develop an infantry fighting vehicle in the
early 1980s. Five prototypes of the new vehicle, dubbed the CV90, were
ready for testing in 1984. After seven years of extensive trials and
testing of optional configurations, armament and other systems, the
vehicle was accepted for service with the Swedish Army in 1991. The
first vehicle armed with a 40mm Bofors gun, the CV9040, was handed
over in November 1993.
Since then there have been several variants of the vehicle bought by
the Swedish Army as well as those sold abroad; the CV90 can mount a
wide variety of armament to include a 30mm US =93Bushmaster II=94 chain
gun (CV9030), the CV9035 with a 35mm =93Bushmaster III=94 gun, the CV90105
with a rifled 105mm tank gun, the CV90120-T with a tank turret and
smoothbore NATO type 120mm gun, CV90120-T: Equipped with tank turret
and smoothbore 120 mm gun, the CV9040 AAV (TriAD) air defense vehicle
with radar and a gun with increased elevation, the CV90 Command
Vehicle, CV90 Forward Observation Vehicle, CV90 (BgBv90) Armored
Recovery Vehicle and a proffered CV9056 Bofors RB56 anti-tank missile
carrier which was not purchased. Each export series has been adjusted
to the using country=92s standards and is suffixed as such (e.g. CV9030
CH for Switzerland, CV9035 NL for the Netherlands). South Africa has
also apparently trialed the CV9040 turret on its 8 x 8 Rooikat series
of vehicles.
There are four basic variants of the CV9040: the based (1993) model;
the CV9040A, which added a stabilized sight and gun to provide fire-on-
the-move capability; the CV9040B, which added the Vehicle Command and
Control System (FUM/SLB is the Swedish abbreviation for the system)
and the CV9040C which is modified for use in peacekeeping operations.
The CV9040B which is the subject of this kit is armed with a 40mm
Bofors L/70B gun which can now fire APFSDS-T ammunition, HE-FRAG, and
various rounds optimized for antiaircraft/anti-helicopter suppression.
It also has a 7.62m coaxial machine gun, six smoke grenade launchers,
and may be fitted with two 71mm illumination flare launchers at the
rear of the turret. It has a crew of three (driver, commander, gunner)
and carries a seven man dismount team. It is a =93medium=94 IFV as it
comes in between the BMP-1/2 (13-14.7 tons) and the heavy Bradley
(29-32 tons) and Marder (29-32 tons) classes of vehicles.
Academy has had a run of good luck lately with vehicles from smaller
armed forces such as the IDF and ROKA kits (Merkava IV, K1A1 tank, K9
Thunder howitzer) and this kit happily comes from that line. While I
plead that I am not intimate with the CV9040, the model appears to
match all of the photos and plans I have and the Jane=92s coverage of
the vehicle. All of the main hatches are separate parts, several
options are provided for the kit, and as with most of the recent
Academy kits it comes with a matching set of crew figures (here the
commander and gunner).
On the negative side, there is no interior detail whatsoever =96 the
40mm gun rests in a cavity with sealed components so there is little
to see there anyway. All of the hatches are without any internal
detail and what inner surface they have is peppered with ejection pin
marks. Anyone who wants to scratchbuild an interior will have to line
them anyway so that may not be a major problem except under the main
engine access hatch.
Assembly is straightforward. In the case of this vehicle, surprise!
The now familiar and annoying oval hole in the belly of all
=93motoritis=94 Academy kits is gone and a flush square plate is provided
to seal the opening. No cuts are found over the final drive slots so
this kit may not have a motorized compatriot.
Steps 1 and 2 cover the suspension and lower hull. There is a small
pin (F8) that cements in the back of the road wheel arms (F9/10) which
apparently is the axle. Nice touch! The wheels are installed in step 3
and are pretty conventional (two halves and trapped vinyl =93keeper=94)
but the other row of road wheels has a separate tire and rim (F12) to
simplify painting. Note that while the tires are black both the
painting directions and box art show white rims!
The lights are installed in Step 4 and have clear styrene lenses; as
they are rectangular it is difficult to replace them with any
commercial lenses that I know of.
The stern plate and details are installed in Steps 5, 6 and 7. This
includes the access hatch (E52) but note that it is one of the few
hatches which has interior detail. (There=92s still nothing to see
inside, however!) The modeler has a =93DML=94 choice of a solid access
ladder step (E46) or a frame (E45) with an etched brass insert.
In Step 8 the assembly of the upper hull begins with the installation
of the driver=92s hatch (which has no interior) and the engine hatch and
radiator grille assembly. While the latter has two etched brass
screens oddly enough the engine air intake (E57) is a solid plastic
part. The driver=92s hatch may be left operational, so it is a shame it
has no interior.
Assembly continues in Steps 9 and 10 with more hatch covers for the
side stowage bins and the OVM rack on the upper crew access hatches
(E60/63 and E62/63). An etched brass applique is added to the right
rear outside of the hull and also requires etched brass bolt heads
(PE6) and bracket loops (PE5) added to it.
Steps 11 and 12 cover the basic turret structure with separate clear
viewers (J1), whip antenna bases, and details added as well as two
bins and a case at the rear of the turret.
In Step 13 the outside bits are added to the turret, such as the
smoke grenade launchers, spare track links, and what appear to be
stowage =93pouches=94 (for lack of a better term) on the sides of the
turret. In Step 14 the commander=92s and loader=92s hatches are installed,
but these again have interior detail. They also may be made to work.
Step 15 covers the installation of the gunner=92s multimode sight and
its details.
Step 16 covers the assembly of the Bofors gun and provides for either
a single piece slide-molded styrene barrel (D25) or a turned aluminum
barrel with three styrene detail parts (D24/26). Either one mounts on
the breech assembly of the gun, which then drops into the turret
cavity where the side mounts (D30/31) trap it before the turret base
(C2) is attached. A partially folded canvas cover (D16) then mounts on
top of the gun breech. From what I can tell it gives the gun about 15
degrees of elevation (the TriAD version can go up to about 70-80
degrees from photos, but that may be coming in a later kit).
Step 17 covers the crew, but while the rest of the directions are
clean and refreshingly easy to follow after DML efforts in this case
the figures are shown assembled and with painting flags attached. Each
figure consists of a body, separate boots, arms (one witha separate
hand) and heads.
Step 18 is everyone=92s favorite =96 tracks. Here the modeler has a
choice of either using the single vinyl runs =96 nicely detailed if a
bit thin =96 or the two-piece single link tracks. Each link comes with a
separate pad, again to simplify painting, and link. They are not
working tracks. Each side takes 84 links per the directions and since
86 are provided it leaves four for sacrifice to the =93Carpet Monster=94.
Step 19 is final assembly. (Big deal =96 insert turret and turn 90
degrees.)
As the kit I received was a pre-production shot I did not receive a
set of decals. Painting directions are provided for the very bright
Swedish =93splinter=94 pattern for one vehicle, registration number
142041. I am not sure if more come on the decal sheet as the box art
is for vehicle 140154.
Overall this appears to be a lovely kit and one which will compliment
Swedish Strv 122 (Leopard 2A6) tanks on any fan=92s shelves.
Thanks to Bob Lewen of MRC for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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