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In-Box Review
135
IDF Puma CEV
IDF Puma CEV
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

The Israeliís are not known for wasting armour when it can be redesigned and or repurposed, it would seem Hobby Boss has picked up on this and so they have updated their offering of the IDF APC Puma and released a Puma CEV version of the model. The puma is based on the British Centurions that were the IDF MBT once upon a time and ended their MBT days as the Shoít version; this alteration basically means removing the turret in order to create a space for troops sit and go into battle in a vehicle that offers a good level of protection. This offering being the CEV (Combat Engineering Vehicle) version of the Puma its role is to carry engineers into areas of combat and in addition to getting engineers to a destination safely it can also carry out specific tasks and provide small arms defensive fire. Hobby Boss has not been covered much on the network in the last few years but thanks to Creative Models in the UK providing this kit for review that has changed.

Review

Hobby Boss takes the protection of the models seriously and so you get a sturdy cardboard tray and a separate equally sturdy cardboard lid. Inside the box there is a divider that further stabilises the packaging and helps to prevent movement of the contents. The model sprues are packaged in a large number of bags that helps prevent damage to the parts from rubbing against each other or parts getting locked together. There are a few duplicated sprues that are packed together with no ill effect. An examination has left me with a positive feeling about the contents. The actual mouldings only have one issue and those are ejector pin marks that are hidden for the most part.

The hull of the Puma clearly shows itís Centurion heritage, the tub has a nice level of detail on the lower face and the suspension unit while consisting of a number of parts and so a little tricky to assemble will add a lot of finished detail. The same is true for the bell housing, for the rear drive wheel, I suppose my only complaint would be that there is some lovely detail here, none of which you are going to see. There are seven return rollers on this vehicle, two doubles and five singles , I cannot recall ever having seen so many return rollers, however being an Israeli vehicle and there tendency to modify things this number of wheels may just be one of those modifications. The road wheels are provided with two options, with either six or three lightening holes, I am unclear as to exactly what wheels are specific for what reason. Something else that may perturb some modellers is that the rubber on the wheel is vinyl rubber, wait a minute no it's not it's injected moulded plastic; nicely done Hobby Boss. The track links are individually moulded and have four connection points that will need to be cleaned up. The detail is very good and will in my opinion make for a nice level of detail on the finished model. I am aware that individual track links are not to everyoneís taste, but I do feel these are a big improvement over rubber band tracks.

The track guards provide a good location for the protective systems, but surprisingly not tools are located here. Protection wise you have very good smoke launchers that can be assembled with or without a cover on them. There are stowage bins on the track guards towards the rear of them and this provides the crew with a good field of vision, when using the defensive weapons mounted on the hull. On each track guard is one of the electronic devises for preventing the detonation or detonating of road side devices usually referred to as IEDís. The track side guards have nice sprung detail on the inside, which will again unfortunately not be seen in any great detail. The bolt detail on the guards is very good and is the heavy type of side armour with RPG shielding at the rear and on the rear bed of the vehicle. I was expecting to see a droid in place, but that is not an inclusion but can be obtained from the aftermarket if a desired inclusion.

The upper surface of the hull is provided in an interesting way in that you have a single piece covering the front to rear, and then a raised crew compartment that is attached to that. The crew compartment has a number of hatches that can be opened or closed, and again provides smoke dischargers that can be assembled with or without a cover. The dog house as I seem to remember it being called looks to be well replicated and while it is not mentioned I was told it was coloured green or blue. The handles on the hatches would be better replicated with wire and using the kit parts as a pattern. The defensive weapons on the crew compartment consist of one manually operated machine gun and two further in the dog house plus a fourth which is a remotely controlled turret. These MGís have been slide moulded, which I am sure everyone will approve of.

Moving to the rear of the upper hull and you find a relatively clear area as regards additions. The RPG shields are present and well replicated considering they are plastic rather than photo etch. Itís when you see this you are glad that Hobby Boss did a pretty good job of the engine deck, but it also adds a large area for the modeller to add their own details and individuality to the finished look.

Finishing options: Hobby Boss has only supplied a single finishing option for this model, which I would normally be harsh about. However, on this occasion due the limited number of vehicles used in this set up I will happily forgive them.

Conclusion

This offering from Hobby Boss is a very nice representation of an IDF Puma used in the CEV role and brings it into the affordable realm for the modeller who cannot afford the photo etch and resin conversion sets available. I have made some observations and suggested a few alterations that could be tackled by most modellers without too much difficulty. With that said, the model built as is from the box will still make a particularly eye catching addition to any modellers show case depending on ability. I do like that the tyres are injection moulded rather than vinyl rubber and the tracks use links rather than providing rubber band tracks.
SUMMARY
Darren Baker takes a look at the latest offering of the IDF Puma CEV from Hobby Boss in 1/35th scale, and is largely pleased with what he finds.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 84547
  PUBLISHED: Nov 07, 2020
  NATIONALITY: Israel
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.94%

Our Thanks to Creative Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2021 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



   
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