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Model Review

1/35 Kinetic Model Kits

M-ATV Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle

By David Haugh - Content Editor

Basic Item Information


M-ATV Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle

Stock Number



Kinetic Model Kits




Styrene Plastic

Kit Contents

(460) Tan & (25) Clear Plastic Parts; (23) Black Vinyl Parts and (10) photo etched brass parts 

Retail Price

$74.95 ($49.99 from Lucky Model)


David Haugh - Content Editor

Review Date

May 7, 2012

Review Summary*

Review Type

Full Build Review

Basic Positive Features

Detail of individual parts very good and which results into a very accurate version of an early production M-ATV

Basic Negative Features

The instructions are spotty at times and the styrene plastic used in review sample wouldn't respond to common plastic cements making it necessary to assemble with CA “super glues”.


Highly Recommended for more experienced modelers. 








Detailed Review


First of all, to be up front with you all, Lucky Model (owner of Kinetic Model Kits) was a sponsor of WarWheels.net at the time of the review.  With that being said, we can start with the model review.

This is review build was completed over several weeks and took 87 and 1/2 hours (give or take 1/2 an hour). Although I did fully build the kit, I only did minimal painting of it when necessary to accentuate parts and I didn't apply any of the decals. Being a fan of modern wheeled fighting vehicles I jumped at the chance to build one of the new family of mine-protected vehicles. The Oshkosh M-ATV certainly fills the bill.


Kit Accuracy

Comparing the model (as completed) to photographs and Oshkosh literature, the Kinetic offering is spot on accurate. If there are any errors in the finished product it's more due to my modeling skills rather than to Kinetic's effort. One of the surprising things for me when I got the kit completed was the size of the original vehicle. The M-ATV is only small in relation to other mine-protected vehicles. It is about the size of a conventional long-haul tractor without the trailer.

Although the large number of parts certainly helps increase the accuracy of the model kit, a small drawback to having a lot of parts (and there are about 500 +/-) is that you end up with lots of fiddle-bits to hang on to and keep track of; more than once I found myself on the floor, using a flashlight to try and find that little piece I just dropped.

Oddly, with all of the parts supplied and the great care in detail taken by Kinetic; no engine is provided. Even a basic engine block/oil pan/transmission would have made it possible to leave the hood in the open position. I don't think the lack of an engine is a drawback, but I would have liked to have gotten one with the kit.

Fit of Parts

I built this kit out of box for purposes of the review, I didn't even add a stretched sprue antenna. The fit of most parts was excellent, but there were a few exceptions. Unfortunately,  it's those few exceptions that hassle the builder so I'll touch upon those, which I'll note below. I don't know if it was the molding process or the plastic used, but the holes in which most of the mating pins were to be fitted, were too small. I ended up having to drill out, or enlarge with a knife point, many of the mating surfaces.  I could have sanded down the mating surface with the pins, but the plastic (and I think this also has to do with not accepting regular plastic glues) was very soft. As I learned, just a pass or two of a sanding stick was enough to take too much material off. In the end I used the edge of a hobby blade and scrapped away plastic. Of course, I'd rather have the mounting holes too small rather than too large, or worse, non-existent…

Finally, to my consternation, "normal" glue for styrene plastic kits did not work on this model.  I don't know if this fact is unique to only our sample kit or applies to all the kits.  However, I had to use CA (AKA Superglue) to construct the model. Below is a listing of some things I discovered during the build process and thought you should know about. 

Page 5: Part F12 (coil spring) should go to the right of the position shown in the instructions. Part F51 (shock absorber) should go to the left of the position shown. This is true on page 7 as well where your putting together the rear suspension unit.

Page 9: The location of Parts E11 and F32 should be switched. Also, parts listed as C21 should be G21.

Page 11: Lifting rings and base(s) are list as F9 and F6, but should be C9 and C6.

Page 12: (Floor plate of cabin module interior) Part D29 (equipment mount surface) shouldn't be added until parts K18 and K20 are fitted in the following step.

Page 13: Although it isn't shown, Part(s) D4 have an “up” and “down” side. The hollowed area goes up.

Page 15: It may not be clear that the assembly drawings show the inside of the left hand (driver's) door and the outside (right hand) passenger's door.  The front of the doors' are pictured to the right.

Page 16: If you want to model the doors in the closed position you'll need to either enlarge the door openings or sand down the edges of the doors. The camera mount on the right hand side of the crew capsule (B8, B15, B20) will also need a clear lens (I7), which is not indicated in the instructions.

Page 17: A rectangular piece (with out an identifying number) is shown floating in space in front of the firewall. I still have no idea what that part is.

Page 19: Part(s) G17 (the base of a tow ring) are too thick and will need to be filed down.

Page 23: Parts E16 and E10 make up the fuel filler and cap; you'll need to put this piece on before you attached any of the other pieces. (Trust me, it's much easier this way).

Page 25: Don't let the drawings of parts E17 and E18 confuse you. The bottom of each piece is straight, not angled. The drive shaft (Part E27) is OK (as it is mostly hidden by the belly pan) but you might want to make a long shaft out of sprue or tubing.

Page 25: Since I was going to have a weapon mounted in the turret, I modeled the turret hatch (Parts H4 and H41) in the open position.

Page 27: I mounted the automatic grenade launcher and so did not build the M2HB .50 caliber machine gun. It will make a nice addition to the parts box. I also did not fit the “Rhino” anti-mine device as many of my photographs show in-service vehicles without them.

Page 28: The instructions have you mounting the vehicle turret (this will have to be glued in place) Rhino device (if you choose to use it), and the wheels in this last step. I would recommend fitting the wheels back on Page 23 to make it easier to handle the chassis.

Page 29: Includes the painting suggestions and decal placement. I would really recommend painting the vehicle as you go along as many parts will become almost impossible to reach later. The few decals/markings can easily be applied on at the end of the project.

Pages 30 & 31 contain detail photos of an actual M-ATV, which is definitely a welcome addition by Kinetic.


Quality of Casting/ Detail Level of Parts

The quality of the casting of the kit parts is very good and there is no flash on the pieces and only a few knock out pin marks present.  The great news is that most of the knock-out pin marks won't show even if you don't fill them or sand them flat as they are in hard to access parts of the kit.

The detail of the individual kit parts is excellent and will look good when painted.  In terms of the overall detail level of the model kit, MOST everything looks to be present.  The only things I identified that were missing were the Oshkosh logo for the front of the hood and instrument panel dial detail or decals.   Of course though Kinetic probably didn't include the Oshkosh logo due to possible Copyright "issues".

Finally, Kinetic utilizes Vinyl for some of the parts in the model kit, including the tires, hydraulic hoses and mud flaps.  Although this isn't necessarily a "negative" aspect of the kit, I personally don't like vinyl parts in model kits. I much prefer plastic parts, especially the wheels as paint adheres better.  Although you can admittedly rub the tires down with steel wool to create a worn effect as well.

Decals, Marking Information and Painting Information

The decals themselves are very good, on register and crisp although there's not (of course) much in the way of color as they mimic the real deal; Black. From the photographic references I've seen s at least, the majority of the M-ATVs used in Afghanistan have either none (or very small) individual vehicle markings anyway.

To help you mark and paint your model, Kinetic provides a number of black & white drawings on Page P29 of the instructions and some color photos on the side of the box. As I mentioned earlier it would have been nice to have a set of dashboard instrument face decals. Painting information is basic, but then there isn't a lot to say anyway as the vehicles are tan only.


Kinetic uses the "diagram with arrows technique" common with many plastic kits today. While the drawings are well done, exact placement can sometimes be puzzling and the part numbers and the illustrations didn't match at times as well. In fact, as noted before this fact complicated the build process for me.  With that being said, the instructions did what they needed to do, got me through the building process.

The packaging of this kit is very good; and I like the addition of the color detail shots of an actual vehicle on the sides. Finally, the clear parts and decals are bagged on their own to prevent damage or scratching by the other model parts, an added plus.


Despite some of it's issues, I was pleased with the final result.  The detail level of the individual parts is very good which helps to create a final product resulting in a very accurate rendition of an early production M-ATV.  However, in my opinion this is a kit for a experienced modeler as the instructions were a bit spotty at times as well as requiring the use CA (superglue) for the construction.. However, with patience it builds into a model you can be proud of, a contest winner!

Highly Recommended for more experienced modelers.

Thanks to Kinetic Model Kits/Lucky Model for the review sample.

Copyright: David Haugh - May 2012