Italeri 1/35 LAV-25 'Pirhana'






Two vehicles


Scott Van Aken




The LAV-25 is a Swiss designed armored car that was chosen by the US Marines because of its excellent rough terrain capabilities and its light weight. Armed with a single 25mm gun in its turret and also sporting two 30 calibre machine guns, the LAV 25 is able to deal with most threats in its class. Since the main purpose of an armored car is scouting and being able to survive infantry assault, heavy armor just defeats the purpose of the vehicle. Top road speed is about 60mph, more than fast enough to get in and get out quickly (though on a paved road, I'd rather have a Ferrari!).



As with a number of Italeri kits, a new mold this one isn't. The date on the box is 1983, making it nearly 20 years old. As such, it has some of its detailing as raised panel lines. However, on an armored vehicle, this isn't the crushing disaster that  some aeroplane model builders would have you believe. To my untrained eye, the kit offers everything you might want from such a kit except an interior. Apparently those were not in vogue during the design of the kit.

The general level of detail seems quite good with a full suspension and exterior turret detailing. There are the usual myriad of small bits (and who was complaining about 1/72 having teeny pieces) that make up hand holds, handles and things like the Jerry cans (which are four pieces each). The tires and wheels are in plastic so no worries about the rubber splitting a few years down the road.

Markings are for two of these beasties. One appears to be in a European color scheme of black, dark green and dark brown with another a more desert-like with tans in the paint. The small decal sheet covers what little in the way of markings these had. Now I'm not sure if these are still in service, but I can tell you that the grunts who guarded the nukes at NAS North Island in the early '90s drove around in these things trying to look ominous.



It seems to me that if you have a penchant for wheeled soft-skins like this armored car, then this will make a very nice model. I'd be highly surprised if there were not a LOT of aftermarket stuff for this kit.

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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