Build & Review: Dragon #7226: 1/72 Modern US M2A2 ODS Bradley (Iraq 2003)

This is the Dragon M2A2 ODS Bradley. A versatile vehicle that’s seen a lot of action.

The Kit

20150915_201857International Scale Modeller have a sig running at the moment: New Age Desert Rats. I couldn’t decide which of the cool modern vehicles I wanted to build so I selected a few of my favourites for a dio.

This is the Dragon M2A2 ODS Bradley. A versatile vehicle that’s seen a lot of action. Dragon have done an excellent job of capturing the detail is such a small subject and the mouldings are crisp and flash free.

The rear hatch can be modelled open but there’s no interior for this kit in the box. I did try and find an aftermarket set but had no luck. The view inside the vehicle is very restricted so I opted to scratchbuild a basic layout. Just something to give shape to the shadows through the hatch.

First, that screw moulding in the floor had to go, along with the moulding near the door hatch. I carved most of it out with a No. 10a blade and filled any gaps with plastic sheet.

Next, I layed the floor panels and made a tube for the turret housing.

Finally I built a bench out of plastic card. I wasn’t trying to be 100% scale accurate – you won’t see it.

With the interior sorted, I assembled the rest of the kit. It’s a Dragon kit which means: Odd instructions and a great fit. Just take your time building the sub assemblies. I left the two halfs of the body separate so I could paint the interior first.

All that was left was to put the wheels and tracks together. They are allegedly moveable but it would take a better builder than me to make that work!

They went together without a hitch so its on to the painting. Interior first, starting with poundland grey primer.

I gave it an undercoat of cockpit green, and a light highlight of cockpit green+white to pick up the flats.

A wash of burnt umber acrylic picked out the shadows nicely and helped dirty it up a little.

That’s all for the interior. Once it had dried I blocked up all the holes with kitchen roll and started on the exterior. Modern tanks don’t seem to get much weathering apart from wind and sand so this will be a clean looking build.

I used the Vallejo Desert Modulation set, using the darkest shadow, the base tone and the highlight. The set has mid tones between the 3 I chose but they would be utterly lost on a 1/72. I can get enough variation using the airbrush.

Next was a good coat of Vallejo Gloss Varnish and then a wash of Burnt Umber oils. There are a lot of details on the surface of this tank so I tried to ensure the wash picked them out.

Once it had dried, I assembled the tank and the began to remove most of the wash with Sansodor thinners and cotton buds. I did this a couple of times until I got the look I was after.

It’s about now I wished I’d got an after market metal barrel :-/

A glued the barrel back together and started picking out the black parts with Tamiya flat black.

I doubt very much you can see this once the side armour is on, but I added a little dust pigment under the wheels, fixing in place with thinners.

The tracks were vinyl and the usual pain but went on in the end. The join hidden by the side plating.

A final very light drybrush to pick out the edges and I was done.

I picked out the last few details and took it outside for some daylight shots.

I took this build, along with some others I’d done for the SIG, along to IPMS Telford this year to display alongside the other ISM member builds. They were favourably received 🙂

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