ARM: Review -- DML 1/72 M3A2 ODS Bradley

Kit Review: DML 1-72 Armor Series Kit No. 7229; M3A2 ODS Bradley; 156 parts
(126 in grey styrene, 22 in black vinyl, 7 in grey vinyl, 1 steel screw); price
$8.95
Advantages: new kit of a very popular subject; all styrene kit; first kit in
this scale with the zimmerit paste application molded into the plastic
Disadvantages: some parts simplified, e.g. tools molded in place, one or two
bad seams may be hard to align
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for beginning modelers and small-scale German armor fans
There has been so much minor modification made to US vehicles in recent years
that is now getting hard to keep up with them. In the "old days" it was simple:
a "T" prefix meant test or evaluation models of items; "M" meant it was
militarily standardized; an "A" suffix indicated a major revision or variation
of the original item; and "B" indicated a sub-variation. Ergo, an M32A1B3
meant: standardized vehicle number 32 (M32), first major revision (A1), third
sub-variant (B3). What it translated to was a tank retriever built on an early
M4A3 chassis that had been retrofitted with the HVSS suspension and some other
improvements.
Nothing is as easy in this day and age, and we have a plethora of changes to
designations that confuse even experts or service personnel. Note that in the
last 24 years we have had the following: XM-1, M-1, IP M1, M1E1, M1A1, M1A1HA,
M1A2, M1A2 SEP, and another M1A1 variant with a new electronics fit. The
Bradley infantry fighting vehicles/cavalry fighting vehicles have been no
different.
They went from XM-2 (IFV) and XM-3 (CFV) to M2 and M3, M2A1 and M3A1, M2A2 and
M3A2, M2A2 ODS and M3A2 ODS, and now M2A3 OIF and M3A3 OIF. This kit represents
the penultimate M3 variant, and yes, as I found out, the ODS does mean
"Operation Desert Storm." That variant incorporated the lessons learned from
the first trip to Iraq in 1991, and was the one used this time as well. (The
OIF ? Operation Iraqi Freedom ? machines incorporate what we learned in
2003.)
This kit comes with a box literally filled with parts. In this scale, it does
provide a great deal of options: all wheels roll, the rear ramp operates, and
the gun can be made to move up or down. The latter comes at a price, as it
requires using a vinyl aerial gunsight connector arm and other sight arm (parts
D2 and D4) made out of black vinyl, but the directions do not indicate if this
is "glueable" vinyl as in the Tamiya kits or not.
The hatches and missile launcher box are poseable but only if glued in place.
The kit also comes with a set of vinyl "kit" for stowage in the bustle rack
and side bins for that "lived in" look. Thermal identification panels are also
provided.
Only one marking option is given ? 1-4 Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division,
Germany 2001. This is in the NATO "tri-color" scheme with German highway
warning markers, so you will have to dig around for other markings if you want
to do an OIF ODS Bradley up!
Overall, it is a nice kit and a change from WWII items.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne
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Mea culpa, should have read:
Advantages: nicely done kit of current vehicle, lots of options
Disadvantages: only provided with USAREUR paint and marking scheme
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for OIF and other modern armor fans
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
AMPSOne

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