Best Value Models 6x6 AVGP Husky
Reference BVM #35060

Entered into service in 1976, the Husky is a recovery vehicle based on the 6x6 chassis shared by the Cougar and Grizzly family. It is crewed by 2 men. It is armed with a 7.62mm C5 or C6 MG and 8 smoke dischargers for its self-protection. This vehicle has been upgraded for example by the replacement of the nautical propulsion by supplemental bins.

The kit

The BVM kit represents an early type.

According to the BVM concept , this kit is a mix of plastic parts (coming from the Revell LAV25 and Trumpeter LAV-R), resin and photoetched parts. In addition to these parts, BVM give a bit of aluminum tube for the rear lights protection, a metal rod to stiffen the crane arm and some metal wire to represent the hydraulic pipes.
The kit comes with no decals. The instructions come with 2 A4 sheet depicting the 7 building steps.

The resin parts are well cast without too much flash, nor ill-placed molding lines. They comprise the heightened upper hull compartment, the various driver and vehicle commander hatches, a new engine grille, the main accessories like the side jacks, the C6 MG mount (the MG is not in the kit), the headlights and of course the lower hull part replacing the second axle.
The quality is excellent even if the driver hatch hinges are ill-oriented and if the engine grille has a slight shape trouble (due to molding). In my kit, the driver windshield and one shovel were missing.

The PE parts

The PE parts essentially help representing the nautical propulsion and side lights protections. Made for the Cougar and Grizzly kits, the sheet comprises useless parts (#1 and #2) for the Husky but this is not mentioned by the instructions. If the bending lines for the nautical propulsion protections are present, this is not the case for the side light protections, so one should be careful at this stage of the building.

The conversion requires a large amount of preparation work to shorten the LAV 8x8 chassis into a 6x6 one. BVM issue the measures in the first step. The upper hull will not be a problem. On the contrary, the lower hull with its peculiar shape will require a lot of attention in order not to "spoil" the kit. This is the reason why this kit is not advised for beginners.

The instructions are generally sufficient to build the conversion despite the lack of numbering for the resin parts which compels to sort them out at the very beginning. A little supplemental work is needed to redo the vision ports of the rear doors, to position the driver hatch and the engine grille. All of this remains in the average modeler's skills.

BVM propose a scheme to do the hydraulic pipes off the crane but not for the side jacks. Prime Portal will enable the crane pipes  detailing. It is a pity that BVM do not issue decals - at least for the registration plates, and painting references.

As a conclusion, this kit may be recommended to the fans of modern Canadian materiel. However, given the complexity of the cuttings to do to the lower hull, it is not advised to the beginners.

Thanks to Jim Carswell and Gaoyue for their pictures of details.

References :
Army Recognition (early type)
Prime Portal (late type)


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