The LVTP-A1 is the first evolution of the LVTP7. Externally, it differs from it by the square shape of the headlights and the raised section leader cupola.
The vehicle has a crew of three and can carry 25 fully equipped Marines. It has an excellent buoyancy and can be in total immersion without sinking. Its armament is a .50 M85 MG.
The change in the amphibious doctrine of the USMC led to a change in the vehicle name currently known as AAV. Pending the fielding of its successor, the AAAV, the vehicle is constantly upgraded.
The kit was released by Tamiya in 1987. It comes with 3 sprues, a metal shaft for the idlers, vinyl tracks, a piece of string and a decal sheet. The instructions are clear and come in 12 steps plus the painting one. Three MERDC scheme variants are proposed. But we have to refer to the box to get the right side view.
The build is easy thanks to a quality
molding and a perfect fit. But at the box opening, we are struck by the huge
vacuum inside the hull. I decided then to scratchbuilt a first interior with
plastic card and the help of an article written by M.Bouet. The uprising of
Internet led me to notice how wrong was my first attempt but helped finding
valuable pictures. 15 years after, I dismantled the kit and started this new
Before starting, the kit need some modifications. To set the floor, the idlers metal shaft is to be cut. We only keep two parts of the desired length to set the idlers. The retaining clamps of the waterjets are set apart and the deflectors are glued in the road position. The axis jutting out in the troop compartment is removed.
All the hatched have their inner faces detailed with the missing handles. The central hatch of the troop compartment which is hollow cast is filled. Two handles are added.
the roof, the air inlet beside the exhaust has its mesh added from plastic
mesh. The engine grilles are detailed with a piece of mesh and small
pieces of lead strip. The engine cover hinge is detailed and its retaining bar (when
opened) is added.
The cupola is detailed with lifting eyelets, handles and the right smoke discharger protection. The hollow vision blocks are figured by plastic card squares.
The inner face of the rear ramp is detailed before it is glued in the open position.
The tracks come from a Friul set designed for the LVTP7, Bradley and MLRS. The sprockets come in two parts to suit the various vehicles. The kit sprockets axles are cut away and replaced by a metal shaft on which are set the sprockets thus making them moveable. The tracks have 84 links but this is too much for the kit. In addition to the wire to create the axis, Friul provide us with separate retaining bolts.
The camo scheme is the jungle one and adopts 3 shades of green (Forest Green, Dark Green and Light Green) and black patches. The colors are from Tamiya (black and dark green) and Prince August (the other green shades).