In service for more than 50 years, Land Rovers are ubiquitous in the British Army. Current models, based on the One Ten, or Defender chassis, have seen extensive service in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Weapons Mount Installation Kit (pronounced Wimik) is a stripped-down vehicle with a strengthened chassis designed to carry heavy weapons.
There have been Land Rover models over the years, but HobbyBoss’ is the first plastic kit of the current version.
Molded in tan plastic, the parts have good raised and recessed detail. The thickness of the parts is appropriate, especially the edge of the fender flares and the roll cage bars.
There are a few color callouts within the instructions, but the overall camouflage and decal instructions are on a separate color sheet with five-view drawings.
A complete engine and drive train is included, and the fit of the parts is good. I’m not sure why HobbyBoss molded each rail of the chassis frame in two parts. The fits are OK but leave long, ugly, and difficult-to-remove seams. There is a little wiggle room in the chassis construction, so take your time and check alignment as you go.
Axles and drive shafts are attached to the chassis in Step 2, trapping the transfer case. The instructions have you attach the transfer case to a bracket, but the alignment is unclear. Leave it loose until you mount the engine in Step 3.
The remaining parts fit very well, especially the interior components and the photoetched-metal screens for the tailgate stowage basket and radiator grille. Even the awkward roll cage went together perfectly.
Because the Land Rover is open-topped, I built it in several subassemblies — chassis, bed and cab floor, roll cage, dashboard/firewall, fenders, and hood — then airbrushed them the body color and hand-painted details. I left the clear parts as well as the wheels with their rubber tires off until after painting.
I was worried about everything fitting, given the number of components that need to meet just right for alignment. I worked slowly, pressing everything together as I went, and letting the parts dry before moving on. In the end it looks right, and all four wheels touch the ground.
The decals are thin. I’ve learned from experience not to use setting solution with HobbyBoss decals. Instead, I float them off the sheet into a puddle of water, maneuver them with a brush to the right place, then blot the excess. If necessary, a little Micro Sol will help them settle into detail.
The delicate photoetched-metal headlight guard fit very well.
The model includes an M2 .50-caliber machine gun for the turret ring, an FN MAG for the passenger’s pintle mount, and two SA80 rifles in a rack between the seats. The rifles should probably be mounted vertically, and the spare tire should be on the side of the roll cage, not the hood. The tires are correct for early-service WMIKs.
But these are minor gripes about what is otherwise a nice kit that builds into a solid model of a neat vehicle. I spent 22 hours on mine.