Hobby Link 3D printed M60 AVLB kit first impressions

So I spent several hours last night (sorry, my fellow modelers who ordered 3D prints from me - they’re being delayed) examining the 3D printed parts, comparing them to reference photos on Prime Portal, and comparing them to Vodnik’s masterpiece work found at: M60A1 AVLB gallery (Thanks to @petbat).

The bottom line: I am disappointed with the details and accuracy. For a $100 conversion kit, I was expecting something better. Overall, it appears to be an improvement over the OOP Dragon kit but not mind-blowing improvement.


  1. Having been in 3D resin printing gig for sometime, I see that the print quality is very good. Minimal warping, clean prints, and easy support removal. Test fits were good with the ones I tried.

Except for these that had one piece completely missing and one misprint - one bottom part had a print failure (see the center one).

  1. Most parts are there to make a descent M60A1 AVLB - corrected numerous errors in the Dragon kit.

  2. The instructions are not too bad. Much better than other AM resin kit producers.

Now Bads

  1. Some parts are incorrectly shaped or oversized and did not correct the errors in the Dragon kit.
    Like this one - Too big or wide:

    Reference photos (courtesy of Prime Portal)

Vodnik corrected the size by scratch-building his - see how the kit part dimension is more like the Hobby Link’s:

The hatches are pretty disappointing - oversized, soft details, carrying over the Dragon’s errors:

Here’s what Vodnik did - corrected on the left and the Dragon kit on the right:

Should be smaller:

Another photo of Vodnik’s scratch-built:

One more close-up of Vodnik’s:

The cable reel is improved a little from the Dragon kit but still retains a wrong shape/width:

Vodnik’s reference photo. Real object on the top and Dragon’s awful job below:

  1. Some needed detailed parts are completely missing.
    a. Does not include the smoke grenade launcher parts or attachment parts:

    b. Completely missing any parts to convert the rear of the vehicle:

  2. Now comes the biggest disappointment of the 3D printed kit (literally and figuratively):
    The bridge is overall incorrectly shaped (the length seems OK), has soft details, missing a lot of noticeable details, and has many accuracy issues (especially with so many rivets).

Real thing on the top and the Dragon’s on the bottom (photo courtesy of Vodnik):

See how Hobby Link’s erroneously copies the Dragon’s. Tapers too narrowly:

Another reference photo to show what I am referring to:

Now comparing to Vodnik’s awesome scratch-built version:

More close-up photos of the resin parts

Hobby Link did a poor job in my opinion. A lot of incorrect or missing small details are hard to show with camera b/c of the cream color of the 3D printed parts but again, disappointing.

Another very obvious missing detail is the complete lack of a rail on one side of the bridge:

See this reference photo to see what I mean:

What’s up with that?!

There are also minor, annoying inaccuracies like incomplete anti-skid patterns and wrong hole placements (or lack of).

I cannot recommend this kit if you are looking for an accurate, vastly improved version of 1/35 M60 AVLB compared to the Dragon’s. Luckily for me, I can correct and add the missing details by CADding and 3D printing but that’s going to be a lot of work and time.
I may have to completely CAD and 3D print new bridge parts - and that’s going to be many hours CADding, a lot of resin, and a long printing time. :frowning: Very disappointed on that.
My initial excitement quickly died after examining the bridge parts.

Some silver lining is that this gives me an opportunity to produce a more accurate 3D printed model, provide it to those who want one, and recover the cost by selling it. What I don’t have is time however…

Welcome your thoughts.

Kind regards,


Seems like one has to dance with the one they can get with Dragon being OOP.

I don’t disagree with your assessment.

Would be nice to see some of the detail or lack of with a wash and/or primer in some locations.

Certainly a disappointing result. But it is not uncommon for a so called ‘upgrade’ part to be inaccurate. A lot of manufacturers build to fit existing kit parts with their inaccuracies, not fix them. Take Black Dog’s Aussie ALV “Dog of a conversion”:
Made to fit Tamiya’s ancient M113. This conversion has so many inaccuracies to the real thing, I have not got time to list them… and does not replace a lot of inaccurate parts and giving you a segment of track to add to Tamiya’s already detail-less smooth vinyl!!!

This part is not totally off. The original M60 AVLBs were built on M60A1 hulls with a standard rear plate of just the two louvered doors. A second batch in the mid-'80s was built using M60A2 hulls. You have a pic of the A2 hull w/added bulge for a compressor as part of the CBSS (Closed Breech Scavenger System) from the original 152mm gun/launcher.

M60 AVLB w/standard rear end.

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Hi Ryan,
I have added several close-up photos of the 3D printed bridge parts to show the soft detail and inaccuracies. Hope that helps - w/out me having to paint it b/c I may sell this kit away.

Kind regards,

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OK, that’s another silver lining at least. Thanks, Gino.

O boy, Black Dog - notorious for giving you fictitious ‘upgrades’. It’s not quite up to that level but yeah, disappointing…

Kind regards,


Ah, the CBSS housing. I sold dozens of those over the decades. Each one has to be cast in resin. Now a guy like you can design one in minutes. Complete with casting data. Sigh…

Or buy the AFV Club parts off eBay for pretty cheap.

I think most of us are aware of the AFV Club parts now available. I also think you miss the point of the post. I could just as easily be talking about corners on a shipping container. Things that took us hours to do back then - making a master, adding casting marks, making a mold, casting the parts - can take minutes now. I fooled with Fusion 360 myself so I know that of which I speak. And I’m not even that good with it. Primarily because we’ve got guys like James who are.

That’s disappointing.

Don’t forget me. I made some ISO shipping container corners. And a shipping container. But that now starts to get off topic.

Not at all. Just giving another option.

Hi Rob,
Thank you for your kind words but I’m not too good with Fusion 360 yet. I’m sure 3D printing takes less time than the traditional resin casting but making CADs can take hours and days if they’re complex…

Any chance we’ll ever see an M60 AVLM or an M48A5 AVLM? (Other than the long out of production Hobby Fan offering)

The picture posted above got me going, although I’m sure one of you guys have scratch built one……

Edited to add: I’ve often considered bashing the Rye Field Assault Breacher kit for the MICLIC and using a Takom M60.

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First i sale this so im not try to hide that. His is based on one of the plain jane m60 used in vietnam. The other one soon is a m60a1 from a later time. Im not sure if this acvounts for any of the differences or not.

i think Hobby Fan makes the M58 MCLIC Launcher on an M200A1 trailer.

M58 Mine Cleaning Line Charge, Hobby Fan HF058 (2005) (scalemates.com)

Just a matter of putting the M58 together and plop it atop the ABLV.

Hi Scott,
First, thanks for making this kit available through your shop. I plan to email my thoughts on it to Khang and see if he’s open to making some improvements in CAD. The differences between M60-based version or M60A2 version may account for some hull issues (like Gino pointed out above) but many of the other things - especially the bridge parts are not derived from it.

Kind regards,

Thanks. I’ve looked for the HF M58 and haven’t been able to find one.
I saw an open RFM M1150 ABV kit at a recent show for $50 and I should have bought it just for the MICLIC box and laiuncher but hind sight is always 20/20…
I’ll continue to search.

Ok have you seen any of his other conversions…If so worth the money…