HobbyBoss Jackal HMWP
The Jackal High Mobility Weapons Platform designed by Supercat British Army entered service in 2007 and saw action in Afghanistan. The HobbyBoss 1/35 scale plastic kit is labeled as a Jackal 1, but the parts represent a Jackal 2. The 711 injected-molded parts come in dark yellow and clear plastic. Five vinyl tires and six frets of photo-etched metal (PE) are included. Despite the level of detail, there are surface imperfections and ejectorpin marks that need to be removed. Overall, the parts fit great, and any filler I needed were because of mistakes I made.
Study the directions before you begin and plan subassemblies to make painting easier. I started with the major parts of the hull. Make sure the fuel tank and the cap (parts C64 and C65) are in place before gluing the upper and lower hull together. I glued the fuel cap to the upper hull instead of the lower hull as shown in the directions.
After the major parts of the hull were assembled, I moved on to the suspension. The complicated, independent, doublewishbone suspension will make you wish you had another set of fingers to help. Plan to do as much of the suspension at one time as you can. It took me about three hours to complete. Be aware that some joints get glued while others do not.
Weight on the hull ensured all four wheels touched the ground.
Speaking of wheels, all four can be posed. This is great for the front wheels, but you need to take care that the rear wheels are parallel. Sidewall detail on the vinyl tires is OK, but a seam around the center of each tire was hard to remove without destroying the tread. I hid the tire seams with liquid pigments. The tires also fit loosely around the hubs. The posable running boards are fragile, so I glued them lowered; they can also be glued stowed.
All of the doors are designed to be operable, but the two armored doors under the weapons station that lift vertically have nothing to hold them in place. It would probably be better to glue them in place. In Step 14, the instructions don’t show exactly how to position Part PE-A8, a cover to
protect the cables running to Part C6. A small strip of styrene glued to Part C43 will hold the cover in place. I also drilled a hole for the lever (Part C71) because there was not a lot of surface area to glue it in place.
In Step 18, the small part located next to the winch should be C90. On the real vehicle, the rear racks that hold the fuel/water cans are designed to pivot out of the vehicle to give more room in the rear. The directions do not show this option, but if you glue the small pins (parts B3) to the roll bars it could be made to work.
In Step 22, parts D10 and D11 are reversed. HobbyBoss has armed this vehicle with a grenade launcher, but the directions have you assemble ammunition boxes for a .50 cal. machine gun. Ammo boxes for the grenade launcher are included, but they do not fit in the door racks as shown. My references show the antennas to be rather thick, so I removed the top of the antenna base (Part A8), drilled out what remained, and replaced the antenna with styrene rod.
The decals went down with no problems over raised details, and I didn’t notice any silvering. I did separate the gauge decals from each other to allow them to sit better in their positions. The color profiles show an identification plate on the rear of the vehicle. It is supplied as a decal, but there is no place for it to be mounted. I applied the decal to a thin sheet of styrene before gluing it on the model.
The PE in this model is not overly complicated to use, but the large number of small parts and some complex assemblies make the Jackal a model for experienced builders. It took me 50 hours to complete this project, with 40 of those hours spent only on assembly.