Yes, I was right. This Bradley kit has many, many parts making up a complex of subassemblies. I suspect this is reflective of how the real vehicle was designed and built. So far, with the exception of the working suspension assemblies as noted before, this is going together very well. Building the Meng Bradley is an exercise in patience though. There is a lot of modeling to do before the vehicle begins to assume an identity. But now, with many of the small assemblies brought together one gets a sense that a outstanding representation of the Bradley is emerging.
I still have a way to go before starting the interior and exterior painting. That has to be done before the detailed interior painting and decals are applied. In fact, I have been saving the tracks for last. I made a few forays into assembling the links and decided to break that up over a few sessions. Along with the overly complex and rather stupid suspension design, the tracks are the worst part of an otherwise well done kit.
Why in God’s name model manufacturers think that they have to supply multi-part tracks, or, even worse, multi-part track links is beyond me. I suppose there are a few obsessive-compulsive model geeks out there who insist on flagellating themselves with unnecessarily complex track assemblies in the name of extreme accuracy, but the rest of us would like to be freed from this abomination. Please, Meng (and the rest of you armor kit makers) give the majority of us modelers one piece tracks. Include the little baggie of a million track link parts if you must, but just throw in a couple of completed, one-part tracks. I would certainly buy more kits that have this feature. Frankly, there are many AFV kits that I would like to buy but won’t because they have these stupid and frustrating multi-part track assemblies, and I don’t care to spend half again the amount of the kit to buy after market tracks that are easy to construct.
Here are a few photos of the work so far. Again, the detail is amazingly good and, with the exceptions of the issues already noted, this kit goes together very well. It is time consuming but I think in the end it will be well worth the time.