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1⁄35Have Gun - Will Travel: Wire Paladin
And his signature moment was to hand clients and bad guys his calling card which read: "Have Gun - Will Travel. Wire Paladin S.F." The show was of course total bosh, but my dad and I loved it, and I thought Paladin all dressed in black was very sophisticated (for 10 years old).
Apparently I wasn't the only one who grew up on the show, because the U.S. Army named its upgrade of the hoary M109 155mm self-propelled gun the Paladin. The M109 has been the Army's go-too self-propelled gun since the Vietnam War, but armored warfare has changed so much that the old war horse needed modernizing. After all, a heavy howitzer is still a useful tool on the modern battlefield, but it better be able to keep up with the tanks, helicopters and HUMVEEs with their sophisticated electronics.
According to my sources, the goal of the refit for the A6 (and later A7) version will be to bring the vehicle into the 21st Century, including the ability to fire within 30 seconds of stopping, as well as a sophisticated interface with a fire direction center (FDC). The newer A7 achieves some logistical simplification among Army tracked vehicles by using the same engine, transmission, chassis and tracks as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. For this reason, I chose to put the Bradley-style Friul tracks on my build.
The build other than the metal tracks also includes the Legend Productions Paladin Stowage Set and the usual Orange Hobby PE radio mast. The Legend set includes "sea" bags, folded cots, an ice chest, MREs, cases of water bottles, ammunition, and tarps, including the large one hanging off the end of the turret. The metal tracks are the Bradley-style "Big Foot" variety. The paint scheme shows a newly-arrived vehicle in NATO camo making its way in the desert environment, and the wooden tool handles sport Decalomaniacs' wood grain decals.
The kit builds up pretty well, though the travel lock is more than a little fiddly. I had to build it attached to the gun barrel (a nice metal one is furnished in the kit), since otherwise it wouldn't hold together. Other than that, it was a fun build.