Improvised explosive devices (IED) are currently being widely used by insurgent forces in modern conflicts. The ability to defend a vehicle against such weapons is critical. Currently, many vehicles deployed overseas, particularly in Iraq, can be seen with anti-IED systems mounted on them.
This new release from Voyager includes the Duke and Rhino anti-IED devices in one set. Listed as being for the M1117, it appears it can be used for other vehicles, such as the Humvee variants. For those not familiar with the devices, an online image search will yield much information. The Duke device is a long tube type structure mounted on an antenna bracket, and the Rhino device is a large square extended perpendicularly from the front of the vehicle, horizontal with the ground.
The set arrived in a clear plastic blister type pack. The items were packaged in small plastic zip pouches that were taped together, with the instruction sheet folded over the top.
The single photoetch fret consists of the parts to build the Rhino device structure, arm and mounting bracket. It also has mounting bases for the included antenna systems.
Three resin parts are included, two for the Duke antenna and base, and the third part appears to be a Blue force tracker transmitter, used to prevent "friendly" fire incidents. There is a minimal amount of resin to remove from the pour plugs on these parts, but detail is very sharp.
3 ABS plastic tubes are provided to construct a VHF/UHF Broadband vehicle antenna array, as is currently appearing on some vehicles.
3 metal spring antenna bases, tapered on the ends, are provided for the two VHF/UHF antenna and the Duke antenna base.
1 length of chain and a vinyl wrapped copper wire are included as the cable for the Rhino device and drag chain, for what I assume is to ground the Rhino device.
The instructions consist of one page, with line drawings depicting construction of the parts and placement on the kit.
As an in box review, I noted no damage and no issues with what I saw. I plan on doing a build of the Trumpeter M1117 using this set. If any issues do arise during the build I will bring them up at that time.
At the time of this writing, I have read multiple postings on a number of modeling sites from modelers looking for suitable aftermarket upgrades offering these items. To get the Duke, Rhino, Blue force transmitter and broadband antenna array together is a major bonus, and I think this will be one of the most useful sets for modelers trying to depict a currently deployed vehicle.
I purchased this kit from Lucky Model for $8.99 US, with free air mail. It should be available from most retailers who offer Voyager products in a similar price range. If you are trying to model a current vehicle, I highly recommend this set.
Highs: All inclusive, simple upgrade with the Duke and Rhino devices, Blue force transmitter and VHF/UHF antenna array.Lows: None noted.Verdict: This appears to be just what is needed to do a full, modern, anti IED upgrade for the M1117.
About Russ Amott (russamotto) FROM: UTAH, UNITED STATES
I got back into the hobby a few years back, and wanted to find ways to improve, which is how I found this site. Since joining Armorama I have improved tremendously by learning from others here, and have actually finished a couple of kits. I model to relax and have fun, but always look to improve. ...