is the second after-market company to release an upgrade kit for the Trumpeter LAV-III, I previously reviewed the kit from ET Model here on Armorama
At first glance, the number of parts is higher than the one from ET Model. The thickness of the PE is thinner in the Voyager set, especially on the net for the turret basket. I destroyed one just by manipulating it. So we will try to see if complexity means accuracy.
As usual for Voyager, the PE kit comes nicely packed in a small carton box to prevent damage of the frets during shipping and handling.
The kit contains five large frets of photo etch, plus 2 resin jerry cans (one water, one fuel), 3 antenna bases, 8 turned brass metal parts, some ABS and steels rods nicely packed in a plastic bag. The PE frets are taped onto small pieces of cardboard to protect them from damage.
The two jerry cans don’t have pour plugs and the handles and caps are nicely cast.
The PE can be used to update the following parts of the LAV-III:
• Transmission bars
• Suspension cover
• Spare wheels basket
• Rear basket support
• Both pole racks
• Tool rack
• All inside details for the hatches
• All turret basket grills and details
The Suspension Cover:
The suspension cover is well-rendered, and the thickness of the PE part is better than the plastic one provided by Trumpeter. Moreover, the details of the bolts are present, and are similar to the real ones. Some extra details on the hull are present such as transmission bars and some loops between the 2 front wheels. The baskets between in the lower hull are well rendered and the details are pretty impressive.
Spare Wheel Basket:
The attachment points of the basket are done in PE. All small details are shown like the small angles as seen around the main door.
The ratchet strap tie-down is also provided to secure the spare wheel. It is worth noting that the Voyager upgrade gives you the choice of 2 different registration plates for the LAV-III. The details are good, and they will easily replace the horrible one provided in the form of decals from the Trumpeter kit.
Rear Basket Support:
Numerous pieces of PE are used to replace the plastic parts G29, G15, G17. The details of all supports are outstanding, though some work is required to achieve these nice results.
The rear antenna mount is provided as well with the spring. Surprisingly, the rear box is not included in this kit, but you need to buy only a small kit dedicated to this part completely in PE (Voyager PEA 239). It may seem to be an odd approach from Voyager, but can be explained by the fact that most of the LAV-III in operation are not using such a box.
The two pole racks in the Trumpeter kit are molded in one piece, therefore, the pole quantity cannot be changed or removed entirely as seen on vehicles in the field. The Voyager part easily replaces the plastic one, so you will need to fill up these racks with 1 mm diameter rods. No jig is provided to cut such rods, and they can be tricky to make all the same length, but the results will be great and you can even leave these racks empty. Much more freedom for the modeller is always welcome.
The plastic tools suffer from lack of details, and the thickness of such parts is way too big. The PE ones provided in this upgrade are much better, both in terms of dimension and details. The extensive use of tie-downs will improve the final appearance of the rack, too. But special work is required to remove the plastic part, since mention of it is missing in the instruction set. A final touch is the small lock provided for better realism.
The Winch and Pulleys:
The main components of the winch can be replaced by the upgrade’s PE parts. All pulleys and attachment points are done in different pieces, and the final aspect is really outstanding. Overall this is a “must-have” element, but again, it requires extra work. Both front and rear final pulleys are presented. You can also put the cable on the left hand side of the hull, all details are here to help the modeller to represent the cable in this position
All the hatches can be detailed with small PE parts like grab handles. For the driver’s hatches, the periscopes can be done in PE. Additionally, the upper protection plate is provided.
Voyager Model includes 8 small turned brass cylinders for the grenade launcher. These cylinders can be further detailed by adding small chains.
Voyager Model provides a lot of PE for the Turret. Regarding the turret basket grills, the Voyager ones are better in term of details but very fragile and special care is required to work with them, though the difference is pretty slim. It’s up to you to decide which ones to use.
Moreover the laser sight is really well detailed with all the small changes in the angles. The wipers are also added. Two jerrycans for the turret in resin are present. Since Voyager has these fuel jerrycans, why they did not provide 2 extras to replace the ones from Trumpeter is the question.
Of course, all engine cover grills are provided by Voyager, not only the grills are provided but also the mounts. Numerous tie-downs can easily replace the plastic ones in the kit, and the same applies for the bolts heads. The hull number is embossed on a very small engraved plate, but the final touch is a small maple leaf provided as a stencil (not in as a separate stencil but in the middle of the fret). A nice addition is the film for all the periscopes as well as for the windows on the turret. The solar cell is also detailed using such film; a deep blue film would have been a better choice.
A must have for upgrading the Trumpeter LAV-III. Voyager provides a fairly complete set which, with care and patience, will enhance your LAV-III.
Thanks to Voyager Model for the review sample, and please mention you saw it here on Armorama.