by: Seb Viale [ ]
Originally published on:
IntroductionPro Art Model is Belgian after market company dedicated to modern armor. They have produced quite a few kits for the HEMTT and more recently have been releasing some quite impressive modern communications equipment kits. Pro Art Model jumps into the Stryker market and releases a multimedia slat armor kit.
The boxThe set comes in a small box made of stiff paper. It is a neat box, but a corrugated cardboard box would be better as the box I received was slightly damaged in transport despite being packed a inside bigger cardboard box with Styrofoam chips inside. Some small parts were damaged. The box features a photo of the finished model. Inside the box, there is one plastic bag containing all of the kit contents. The bag contains all of the resin parts (86 in total), the eight PE frets and the CD with the instructions. This is a multimedia kit with the traditional PE for the slat armor and the unique resin detail pieces.
the kitThe kit contains PE slat armor and includes the additional armor panels in resin. The kit also contains PE panels for the perforated suspension guards. The tool rack is also detailed in PE.
The instruction CDThe instructions are provided in a CD with a pdf file that contains a 37 page document. The instruction shows step-by-step pictures of the completed model and are broken down into the following steps:
1. Construction of each panel separately
2. Assembly of each side panels.
3. Assembly of the complete slat armor.
4. Attachment of the slat armor to the hull.
For the panels, a CAD diagram is also provided with a picture of the finished panel. The instruction booklet is user friendly until the attachment of the slat onto the model. There is too much information is gathered in the pictures and you need to pay attention to properly identify the resin parts and their locations.
The Resin UpdatesAmmo baskets and grenade launcher covered with tarp for the Remote Weapons System are added as resin parts, this is a nice addition but can be easily home made. An other plus is the driver hatch cover in resin that will replace the horrible vinyl part provide by AFV. Finally, the exhaust cover, tow bar and elevated support for the front lights are provided as additional resin parts. These resin parts are not numbered and are easy toidentify.
The exhaust cover is dimensionally correct and while some details have been neglected the construction is fairly simple. The tow bar is Stryker specific and consists of one single bar.
The PE and Resin armorAll the resin parts are cast in a light cream resin and are free of air bubbles (in my sample). This is really an incredible casting job by Pro Art and all the air bubbles are trapped at the end of each resin section. Resin is used on the lower section of each slat panel making the build easier. Care must be taken during assembly to square the outer PE frame and the middle support. When finished, the entire slat slides inside the small grooves of the outside frame. Unfortunately, no jig is provided to obtain a perfectly square panel. Special care should be taken when cutting the resin parts since the length of some of the parts does not match the size of the mating PE parts. Also, some of the small resin parts are warped, which can be straightened using hot water or replacing with 2.2 mm strip styrene. Either methods work perfectly.
The attachment points of the slat armor to the hull are very tiny U shape parts (thickness approx 0.5mm) that did not survive the trip to Mexico. I do not understand why such parts are not provided in PE?
ConclusionThe use of resin parts is a nice addition to help the builder to speed up the building process. Since this is an in-box review, I cannot comment very much on the actual build. Please check my build blog for construction details.
Concerning the accuracy of the kit, the resin parts and PE are dimensionally correct. The additional armor in the on the left hand side shows some inaccuracy around the hatch.
Finally, since the Pro Art Models' kit is the only mulitmedia slat armor kit on the market it is hard to make a fair comparison to other slat armor kits.