Administrators Fran Posted September 3, 2014 Administrators Share Posted September 3, 2014 1:35 EPS SPRINGER MMKCatalogue # F3049 Available from MMK for €39 Resin parts: 56 Two photo-etched sheets MMK is a manufacturer of the Czech Republic since 1991. MMK makes resin kits and conversions of vehicles of Central and East Europe, topics that plastic mainstream manufactures don’t covered. MMK themes are always interesting, exotic and very attractive. Today, we have to analyze and review, one of the latest model kit launched by MMK, an EPS Springer. The Springer is an all-terrain vehicle developed for the UK Army by UK-based Enhanced Protection Systems (EPS). The vehicle supports British troops in Afghanistan. The new vehicle fleet was delivered to the army in summer 2009. Designed as a light role load carriage platform, Springer is based on the US-made Tomcar all-terrain vehicle (ATV) platform. Tomcar first entered into service with Israel's defence forces as a patrol vehicle. The two-seater British version design incorporates basic armour. It can accommodate two crew members. Springer vehicles have rear cargo beds to carry loads of up to 1ton, which is high in comparison with similar ATVs. In addition to the rear cargo bed, all Springers are fitted with a load tray in front of the vehicle to carry an additional 100kg of equipment. A roof section is also available for the transportation of electronic countermeasures packages. The payload capacity has been optimised through using light armour to achieve weight reductions. All vehicles are refitted to support missions carried out by UK personnel in Afghanistan. The new vehicle ensures an uninterrupted supply of equipment to frontline troops. The Springer has been designed for rugged and desert operational conditions. The fleet can be maintained easily with few special tools. The 4 x 2 vehicle can self load a 1t pallet of supplies. Each vehicle is equipped with an 8,000lb self recovery winch and sand ladders, which act as loading ramps for cargo pellet. The Springer is fitted with weapons holders to carry light support weapons (LSW). SA80 A2 standard assault rifles are available for two crew members. The SA80 can be fitted with a SUSAT sight and a common weapon sight (CWS). Other weapons include a C7 rifle or a Minimi, a fully automatic light machine gun. The vehicle can also be fitted with a general purpose machine gun (GPMG) mount. The Springer is fitted with a 1,400cc naturally aspirated Lombardini diesel engine with the option of turbocharger and petrol variants. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) in combination with a drive chain efficiently utilises engine power. Three modes are provided on the drive train. The top mode delivers high speed and low torque while lower mode gives more torque and less speed. The middle mode delivers a combination of speed and cross-country capability. The vehicle is lightweight and helicopter transportable. (History and detail information from http://www.army-technology.com/projects/springer-all-terrain/) The box is full of resin in light gray and two photo-etched sheets. By opening the box, all the pieces are well packaged within several plastic bags, being grouped to protect the most fragile parts. Also there`s a full diagram of all pieces and their numbers, with is quite useful during the construction, because this little kit has more pieces that I could imagine. Despite being a very small model, I truly surprise with the amount of resin parts (56) and the two sheets of photo-engravings, one considerably greater dimension than the model itself. The photo-etched are even more than 100 pieces… Must admit: sounds too many parts for such a small vehicle, but it would be a little gem with so much detail. Starting with the resin bits, the biggest piece is the full body of the Springer. The main body is one single resin piece, very well cast, with some sharp details, with no distortions or bubbles. The driver and passenger floor and the side steps have anti-slip floor cast on it, and different texture. Very impressive. Huge care and attention to detail. On the back, here`s some good details, with some cast wire and the battery. This piece is quite well achieved, because on the side, we can see several details on the suspension, exhausts, oil brakes pump (I think) and several wires. In the back, also a few wires are full cast. The only low back I can see on this central piece is the resin block cast. Removing it, while no difficult, will be a slow and careful process. The rear cargo bed is also on single piece, well cast, with real amazing raised floor texture. It real look like a metal floor! It will be fantastic with some paint and a weathering job on it! Some flash has to been removed for the side crossbar and ladder, a logical casting system to protect the piece and to give a solid structure. Another single piece is the iron bars structure, that besides of no having any distruction looks like very strudy. The casting technique, as above referred, allow to make this piece perfectly cast. The only low is that the modeler should be extremely careful in removing all the flash to not destroy the piece. But then again, as I always say, a full resin model kit is no for a novice modeler. Now, one of my favourite item: the wheels. You get 5 wheels with two differents sizes: the diameter is the same, but the width are quite different, from the front tyres from the rear tyres. The front ones are more thin. The spare tire supplied is placed in rear cargo bed, is a rear tire, a larger one. The wheels are beautiful cast with almost to removing or sanding work to do with the tires being top notch with the full detail on the tire rubber surface. The detail of the tire is extraordinary and very realistic. Staying on the resin bits, also have steer wheel and direction column, hand brake, fenders, suspension, headlight etc. The front fenders are well cast but should be reduced to scale thickness gentile with a mini drill. The seats have a quite refined texture detail which is quite impressive. I really like all the resin detail, and the seats, a quite visible thing on the full open model, are very well cast, with a subtle surface detail. Passing along to the photo-etched, no surprise on these ones because they are made by Eduard. And Eduard`s photo-etched are one of the best on after-market business. Starting with the color sheet, it gives the modeler, the dashboard, and the instruments, rear lights and the headlights. These metal parts are a complement of the resin main structure on the rear and head lights, being the “transparent” ones… I really do now if they are real effective and if we can real achieved the desire result with these ones. Clear resin from the headlight and orange/red resin for the rear lights could provide a better solution. You will also get color seatbelts, and licenses plates. I have never have been quite a real fan of color etched for interiors like dashboard, just because the all interior need to be painted and if is the same color, is very very hard to get the exact color of the photo-etched. For the reason only, I don`t appreciate color photo-etch for interiors. On other hand, just love then when comes to license plates, vegetation, kitchen tools, instruments dials and panels, and these ones, are no exception, simply fantastic. The brass photo-etched has lots of small pieces and sharp details, like clamps, hinges, steering wheels inner structure, wheels rims, name vehicle tag plate, eyelets, pedals, radiator mesh, load front tray and roof support cargo bay and both doors. The photo-etched is top quality, as usual by Eduard, with very good engraved detail, like the “EPS” on the inside doors. As show above, you only get the pieces diagram and number identifications: no instructions. However, you simply can download it on MMK site in pdf, format file. The instructions are very good ones, with good indications of the pieces and their locations. Being however, a resin kit, during construction you must dryfitting all pieces, before put glue in place. No markings or decals are given. Neither any color indication. So good references are necessary, easily obtain on the internet. Conclusion: The subject is fantastic with lots of potential for a modern diorama or a simply vignette. Casting quality is first rate, with no air bubbles or pinholes that I can find on first inspection. Casting blocks are minimal in all the pieces with the exception of the full vehicle structure. The resin block below the entire piece will take some time to be remove and with some care. A mini-drill should help up the taks and the time involved. The resin flash is quite minimal so clean-up should not be too much of a chore. The two photo-etched sheets are very comprehensive with tons and tons of details, enhance the model to the top of the details. The detail of all resin pieces is excellent. The texture of rear cargo bay is one of the highlight of this little gem and a little winner that MMK present to the modeler. Very Highly recommended Francisco Guedes Our thanks to Milan and MMK for the review samples and all the support given. To purchase this directly, click THIS link. Complete model kit (copyright from MMK) Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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