Friday, January 6

In-Boxed: IBG Models 35th scale KTO Rosomak with OSS-M Turret

Always happy to have a look at something different in his modelling - Andy gives us his review of his new kit of the IBG Models 35th scale, the  KTO Rosomak with OSS-M Turret. This is an unusual vehicle & Andy gets to examining what is in the box before he gets to building it. Let's see what's in front of him...

KTO Rosomak with OSS-M Turret
Manufacturer – IBG Models
Kit Number - 35034
Scale - 1/35th
Price - ¥7,680 • $65 • £53 • €62 from Hobbylink Japan
The Rosomak (Polish for Wolverine) is a modern 8x8 armoured vehicle currently in service with the Polish army. Sharing a similar design to other current multi-wheeled AFVs, such as the German Army's Boxer and Russia's new Bumerang, the Rosomak is a licensed and locally built version of the Finnish Patria AMV, designed to be a single multi-role vehicle that can replace various older, outmoded types.
Like it's Finnish cousin, the Rosomak is intended to be as versatile as possible, featuring a modular design which enables the fitting of a variety of different turrets and weapons systems allowing the vehicle to operate as an armoured personnel carrier, infantry fighting vehicle, command vehicle, or even a battlefield ambulance. It's a sizeable vehicle, coming in at 25 feet (7.7m) in length and weighing nearly 22 tons. It can hit 60mph on flat ground and, being amphibious, can travel at around 6mph in water, with propulsion coming from two rear mounted shrouded propellers.
Despite being a relatively new vehicle, the Rosomak has already seen action being deployed to Afghanistan, where the Taliban fighters who came up against it gave it the nickname 'Polish Green Devil' due to its strength and firepower. It has also served with the Polish Army's contingent to the UN/European Union mission in Chad during 2008/09.
The Kit
Polish company IBG have now brought us not one, not two, but three newly tooled Rosomak kits in 1/35, each representing a different version/weapons fit on the same base vehicle. The one we're looking at here is simply described as a Rosomak with an OSS-M open turret, but doing a little research (and by little, I mean looking at Wikipedia) it would appear to be officially the Rosomak-M3, though I'm more than happy to be corrected on that.
The kit comes in a surprisingly large (and strong) box, and although it's not exactly bursting at the seams, there's still plenty of plastic inside, with 12 sprues in a caramel coloured styrene and a further one in clear. Along with the main sprues, we get single mouldings for the upper and lower body halves, and eight tyre tread sections. A large number of sprues is partly down to the interior details included, although I'd describe this as a partial interior rather than a full one.
All the sprues come sealed in bags for protection and as a nice addition, the clear sprue comes in a resealable bag, so the parts stay protected during the build. There's also a small photo etch fret, a decal sheet and, of course, the instruction manual and marking guide. And as a nice bonus you get an A4 print of the box art which, if you were inclined, you could frame and hang on the wall. Everything looks very well moulded, with no flash or other imperfections visible, with one small exception which we'll get to later.
The Parts
Sprue A x4
First up we've got four identical sprues holding parts for the suspension and wheels, along with some internal details including the crew seats for the rear compartment. IBG have moulded the wheel and sidewall of the tyre as a single piece which, after the front and back halves have been joined, then slip into a separate tyre tread moulding to complete the wheel. I really like this method of building the wheels, as it means the maximum amount of detail can be moulded into each part, and painting and weathering will be much more straight forward than if they'd gone with a vinyl type tyre.
The wheels feature some very sharp bolt detail, and the sidewalls have the appropriate manufacturer logos. The rear half of the wheels have some basic brake detail moulded in place.
The rear seats are also nicely detailed, although in reality, these are padded canvas so the raised areas may need the sharp edges sanding down a little so they look more like fabric.
Sprue B
This one holds the engine block and its related details. Everything's very well detailed and this would make a very nice focal point on the model, but unfortunately there's no way to see any of it on the finished build except through the mesh screens on the top of the body, although I'm not sure you'll see much even through them.
Sprue C
Here we've got all the parts to build up the main chassis. The chassis rails come in four sections, split front to back as well as left to right, so you'll need to take extra care to ensure that they all sit flat and straight when assembling them.

Sprue D
This one's mainly the internal bulkheads and the driver's instrument panel. There's some nice tread plate detail for the driver's compartment floor, and the instrument panel looks appropriately busy.

Sprue E
The largest sprue in the box actually contains most of the smaller components. The driver's seat is here, along with the steering wheel and other controls. You also get the various roof hatched which, with the exception of the driver's hatch, can be posed open.
Sprue F
This one holds the rear hull plate, which has separate rear access doors. Like the roof hatches, these can be posed open to give you a better view of the interior detail. Sprue F also holds the propellers and their shrouds that propel the Rosomak when in water.
Sprue G
This sprue holds the parts for the OSS-M open turret and the Commander's hatch. The armoured glazing for the turret is supplied on the clear sprue. The turret base has separate mounting points for the two weapon options, meaning you could easily swap between the 12.7mm machine gun and the 40mm grenade launcher.
Sprue L & M
These two sprues hold the alternate weapons options. As mentioned above, you could go with one or the other, or build up both and swap them out as you wish. You may, of course, want to check available references as to which weapon option the specific vehicles shown in the painting guide were fitted with.
Sprue K
The clear sprue holding the parts for the various sights and armoured turret glazing, along with the lights and the glazed headlight covers. 
This was the only sprue that had a noticeable blemish on it, in the form of some marks on the headlight covers. These look like stress marks, or something induced by the cooling of the plastic. Unfortunately, they're in the plastic and not on the surface, so can't be polished out. Hopefully, this is just a one-off issue.
Upper & Lower Body
Both the upper and lower body sections are well-detailed mouldings. The upper half, in particular, has a lot going on, with open slats on the engine grills, lots of bolts, and all those anti-slip treads. The anti-slip texture is on the subtle side which for me is preferable to an overdone texture, and does seem to match well to photos of the real vehicle. If you wanted to beef up the effect, there are plenty of concoctions produced now that would do it.
Engine Grills
Anti-Slip Texture
As mentioned earlier, this is quite a large vehicle and the model measures out at around 22cm (8.5”) which scales out perfectly to the real vehicles 7.7m length.
The last styrene parts are the eight tyre treads. These have been moulded with a realistic chunky tread pattern that should look great when painted up and weathered. Of course, there's no flat spot or pressure bulge but, being styrene, it wouldn't be hard to sand a flat spot. A pressure bulge would be harder, but there'll no doubt be resin after market wheels available soon.
The only potential problem with moulding the treads and sidewall separately would be if the fit wasn't great, but there are no worries there. A quick test fit showed that the wheel/sidewall section slips perfectly into the tread moulding, and the whole thing looks excellent.
Photo Etch
IBG have kept the PE to a minimum, with the main use being the engine grills, along with a few other details. Some of the parts on the sheet are intended for the other Rosomak boxings and won't be required for this build.
The decal sheet is printed by Techmod and is one of the sharpest I've seen. Everything is in register, and the markings are nice and glossy and appear to be thin with very little carrier film, so I don't foresee any problems with these.
The manual comes as a stapled A4 booklet with colour printing on the cover and for the marking guide at the back. The remainder is in greyscale with 3D CAD illustrations for the 51 build steps. It's well laid out, but the construction sequence does jump around a lot, with lots of sub-assemblies built early on that suddenly reappear a few pages later. The additional inclusion of an A4 print of the box art is nice to have if you really like the art on offer.
Just two marking options are included, both for vehicles operating in Chad in 2009 and both in overall NATO green. In fact, the only colours listed in the entire manual are green for the body and black for the tyres. No info is given for any detail painting for either the inside or outside, which is a bit of a shortcoming I think. You'll need to check references to match the other colours. Paint listings for those two colours are given for AK Interactive, Vallejo, Hataka, Lifecolor and Pactra.
I've got to say I was really pleased to get this kit for review. I've got a real love for these 8-wheeled armoured vehicles that are becoming increasingly popular with armies around the world. This is my first IBG kit, so I was very keen to see what the box would hold, and I've been really impressed with what I've seen. The quality of the moulding is excellent, as is the level of detail. The interior parts are a bonus, although as mentioned before, you're only getting a partial interior, with many of the smaller details absent. In truth, you probably wouldn't see much more anyway, even with all the hatches open. Overall this is a very impressive model and I'm looking forward to getting started on it.
Stay tuned.
Andy Moore

Thanks to IBG Models for sending this kit to us – Andy is building it up as we speak for a second part article and in the third part, he will paint, weather and dirty this APC up in AK Interactive shades...