Revell 1/72nd M2 A2 "Bradley"
Reviewed by Chris Crofoot
The M2A2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle is named for World War II General Omar Bradley. Bradley was known as the “GI General” for his perceived concern for the average dogface. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle family currently consists of two vehicles: the M2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the M3 Cavalry Fighting Vehicle. The main difference between the two types is the absence of firing ports on the CFV. Just as with its predecessor, the M113 family, the Bradley will eventually be the platform for a wide range of support vehicles. Unlike the M113 family of vehicles the Bradley replaces, this is not simply a "battle taxi". The Bradley is capable of providing tremendous firepower in direct support of the Infantry it carries.
The Bradley’s main armament is the M242 25mm "Bushmaster" Chain Gun, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The M242 has a single barrel with a standard rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute, and has a range of 2,000 meters. The M240C machine gun, mounted to right of the Bushmaster, fires 7.62mm rounds. When facing heavier enemy armor the Bradley relies on the TOW Anti-Tank Missile, manufactured by the Hughes Aircraft. The range of the TOW missile is nearly 4 kilometers and the missile will reach a speed of almost Mach 1 on its way to the target. This weapon is capable of destroying any armored vehicle in existence today and is deadly accurate.
The vehicle's reliability, survivability and lethality have surpassed initial expectations. Of the 2,200 Bradleys involved in Operation Desert Storm, only three were disabled. In fact, Bradleys destroyed more enemy armored vehicles than the Abrams in that conflict!
The hull of the Bradley is constructed of welded aluminum and supplemented at critical locations by spaced laminate armor. The latest version of the Bradley, the M2A2, has additional appliqué steel armor to help defeat ballistic ammunition, with provision for explosive reactive armor for increased protection against shaped charge weapons.
The Bradley A2 versions are currently going through an upgrade to A3 standards. The A3 upgrade is a major component of the Army digitization initiative, designed both to complement the capabilities provided by the M1A2 and to incorporate needed enhancements identified during the Gulf War. When equipped with upgraded Bradleys, mechanized infantry units will be able to share battlefield data with M1A2 equipped armor units. The A3 upgrade will also increase the lethality of the Bradley by adding an improved fire control system and a commander’s independent thermal viewer. It will also allow an additional trooper to be carried increasing the squad size to seven.
1/72 Scale Bradley M2A2/M3A2 is a masterful kit. The molding on it is some of
the best that I’ve ever seen in a 1/72nd scale AFV. The kit consists of
171 pieces (that’s right) molded in dark green styrene. There are options
for both the IFV and the CFV. The tracks are molded in the same styrene as the
kit (no rubber band treads). The hatches are molded closed with the exception
of the commanders’ cupola. The rear drop gate can be posed open and while
there is detail on the interior of the hatch, no interior is provided in the
kit. A commander figure will have to come from your spares box if you want to
add any sense of scale. I really would have liked to see this included. The
engineering on the kit is well thought out, the tracks and running gear can
be built separately as a sub assembly. The detail on the bolt on armor is great…
this kit will look superb with a little dry brushing. Even the detail on the
Bushmaster is well captured. All in all I cannot say enough good things about
this kit. Take a look at the casting detail on the photo of the drivers hatch.
Note the texture and also the grill detail towards the top. Add the fact that
this vehicle is right now being heavily used in Iraq and this kit has got to
be a great seller for Revell Germany. I hope they continue to release Modern
Armor subjects in this scale!
Get this kit, NOW!