M2/M3 Bradley Reference

If you can get it for a decent price, do so!
It is great, even if rather fiddly and complex at times. The result is worth it.
Since I am backdating it to a mid-90’s M2A2 the tracks are incorrect. I got a set of Tamiya ones, but they they are slightly overstretched when fitted (with the appropriate idlers).
I am thinking of cheating a bit and cutting them, since the top run will be hidden by the side armour anyway.

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Sensible way to do it … Once it’s hidden away … :+1:

It looks like the US Army will now be equipping up to 150 Bradleys with the ‘Iron Fist’ APS developed by IMI.

Iron Fist (countermeasure) - Wikipedia

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It’s high time and better than not having APS for the Bradley IFV.

Still, I do think that it’s time for the OMFV and I hope OMFV is a winning design.

If I may add to this informative thread, I have just CADed probably the most accurate set of M2/M3 running gear in 1/35. None of the plastic kits above in the market have the sprockets, wheels, and return rollers quite right. I’ve based these designs on technical documents and reference photos by juxtaposing them in CAD software. I dare to say that no other 3D printers have sold anything as accurate as these when it comes to M2/M3 running gear:

















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Another Bradley option.

US Bradleys on their way to Ukraine; initially a total of 109 shipped.

They will be M2A2 ODS-SA IFVs, M3A2 ODS-SA CFVs, and M7A2-SA Brads w/T161 tracks. These are M2A2 ODS Brads with added digital architecture from the M2A3, but no CITV. It does have the driver’s camera and digital instrument panel, etc. Not sure yet if it has the rear blast seats like an A3, but they probably do. They do, see below.

Driver’s Viewer camera on ones going to Ukraine.

Ukraine-bound Bradleys in Mannheim, Germany

EDIT - Found some more info on the M2A2 ODS-SA. They do have the new blast-resistant seating and the rear rubber floor, like in the Meng kits.

M2A2 ODS SA w/new seats and rubber floor.


They are also getting M3A2 ODS-SA and a few (4) M7A2-SA BFIST.

M3A2 ODS-SA CFV with new seats and rubber floor.
image

M7A2-SA BFIST, no Cdr’s Thermal Viewer.

There are a couple ways to build one, depending on which version (IFV, CFV, or BFIST) you want to build.

  1. M2A2 ODS-SA ICV
  • Option 1 - Use Academy’s M2A2 “Iraq 2003” kit (13205) and you have to do some kit-bashing with parts from Kinetic’s M3A3 CFV kit (61014 or 61016). You would need Academy’s kit since it is a new-build M2A2 ODS. Change out the running gear and tracks from the Kinetic kit (61016, has the T161 tracks and square-block Bigfoot tracks). Do not add the hinges for the swim barrier on the front slope (parts F20 x2) and remove the hinge part on F22 (triangles in front of the handle at the center). Add the newer ammo stowage boxes on the back of the turret basket, thicker gunner’s hatch, new front mud guards, and newer Gunner’s Primary Sight box (cut off molded on one), and driver’s viewer parts from Kinetic. I would replace the whole TOW box w/the Kinetic one as well since it is just better detailed. There are many other parts that could be used off the Kinetic kit since it is generally better detailed. The box on top of the Gunner’s Primary Sight box is for an FBCB2 (digital tracking system) antenna and could be sourced form one of the Meng kits or some of the PE sets from Voyager. On the interior, they would have the blast seats down each side and rubber flooring as in the Meng M2A3 kit (you can use the whole Meng interior).

  • Option 2 - Use the Kinetic M3A3 kit and follow the below method for an M2A3 ODS-SA but graft the Academy (or Tamiya) M2A2 rear roof section onto it. I did this a while ago w/a Meng M3A3 to backdate it to an OIF M2A2 ODS. You would also need to lengthen or change out the rear turret storage basket as described below and add back the three periscopes on the rear sides (1 left, 2 right; seen below on the Meng hull), but that is about all. How I did it w/a Meng M3A3 hull. Disregard steps 2 and 3.

  1. M3A2 ODS-SA CFV - Use the Kinetic M3A3 kit (61014 or 61016) and you would still require some work. You would need to leave off all the ERA and mounting hardware, fill all the holes from the ERA with bolt heads, leave off TC’s shields, and leave off the whole CITV assembly. The one piece that needs extra attention is the rear storage basket. It needs to be full length to be an earlier A2 version, either replaced or extended where the CITV was. The box on top of the Gunner’s Primary Sight box is for an FBCB2 (digital tracking system) antenna and could be sourced form one of the Meng kits or some of the PE sets from Voyager. On the interior, they would have the blast seats down one side and rubber flooring like the Meng M3A3 kit, you can use the entire Meng M3A3 interior kit (SPS017) on it.

  2. M7A2-SA BFIST - Follow the above for an M3A2 ODS SA using the Kinetic M3A3 kit and swap out the TOW box for the Model Monkey BFIST Targeting head. Also add the extended rear light guards and additional antennas on them.
    1/35 M3A3 and M7A3 Bradley Fire Support Team “BFIST” Vehicle Sensor Box | Model Monkey (model-monkey.com)

  3. M2A2 / M3A2 ODS-SA w/ERA - Now that Bradleys in Ukraine are being seen with ERA on them (see link below), you can use the Meng kits mostly out of the box.
    M2A2 ODS-SA /M3A2 ODS-SA with ERA

  • M2A2 ODS-SA - On the Meng M2A3 kit leave off the whole CITV assembly. The one piece that needs extra attention is the rear storage basket. It needs to be full length to be an earlier A2 version, either replaced or extended where the CITV was. You would also need to replace the rear AC units with the standard stowage lockers from an earlier M2/M3 kit. The box on top of the Gunner’s Primary Sight box is for an FBCB2 (digital tracking system) antenna and is in the Meng kits. You will still need to source T161 tracks for it. All other parts, including the ERA panels are the same on the M2A2 ODS-SA Bradleys in Ukraine. The Meng M2A3 interior is correct out of the box.

  • M3A2 ODS-SA - On the M3A3 kit leave off the whole CITV assembly. The one piece that needs extra attention is the rear storage basket. It needs to be full length to be an earlier A2 version, either replaced or extended where the CITV was. The box on top of the Gunner’s Primary Sight box is for an FBCB2 (digital tracking system) antenna and is in the Meng kits. You will still need to source T161 tracks for it. All other parts, including the ERA panels are the same on the M2A3 ODS-SA Bradleys in Ukraine. The Meng M3A3 interior set is correct out of the box.

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That’s my idea. The Kinetic is the only kit currently sporting the T-161 tracks, so I’d go that route; then adding the other details from Meng’s M2A3 BUSK.

For other international Bradleys, here are some other options.

Lebanese M2A2 ODS: 32 in inventory.

Saudi Arabian M2A2: 400 in inventory.

Future Users: Croatia and Greece.

Croatian M2A2 ODS (deal already signed for 89 vehicles)

Greece has tentatively signed a deal for 350 M2A2 Bradleys.

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Man, I love the Bradley.

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I need to get that MENG kit, this year.

All of This… is GREAT Info and knowledge for those who were on ‘Bradleys’, I appreciate the stories and the reviews of kits and Also the advancements for the M2/3s and variants!!!

yeah, I was eyeballing that M3A3 then getting the interior also. But I have 4 w/interior kits yet to build already.

I built the M2A3 BUSK and i loved it, except for the fact that the M2A3 has these two big AC units in the back, which are seldom seen in the field. So The M3A3 BUSK is closer to the infantry version, except for the interior. You could build an M3A3 CFV and add the M2A3 interior.

Yeah; never saw those two AC units in the field.

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I can send you replacement storage lockers free of charge if you like.

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Thanks. I would’ve loved to have those when I was putting my BUSK together.

That wouldn’t be correct either as the whole rear deck, side panels, and top hatch are different on the M3A3. As 18bravo points out, you need to swap the A/C units on the rear for the storage boxes, and delete the fan unit inside (part S3) on the Meng M2A3 kit. I have extra storage boxes if you need/want them too.

Here is another small correction on the Tamiya (Academy) hull rear. The original Tamiya hull has a stepped rear plate (red outline). It should be flat. It also has small wings (red below) on the top rear hull to cover up the stepped rear plate area, which shouldn’t be there either.

IMG_2331
IMG_2330

You can see on the Orochi/Kinetic kit below how it should be. (Meng got it right too.) The rear plate should be flat and there are angled plates that the rear stowage boxes mount to.
IMG_2333

To fix it, I cut the wings off and added a piece of sheet styrene on each side to complete the flat rear wall (orange arrows below). This leaves the small opening between the rear of the hull and the plates that mount the boxes.


IMG_2332

The only cutting/sanding is on the little wings on the upper hull. For the lower, you only remove a couple triangle supports just inside the lower hull and add the new rear side walls, then paint it all to match.

I think it is a pretty effective way to represent this area and fix what Tamiya got wrong, and Academy copied onto their kits.

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The turretless Bradley AMPV is being fielded at 3ID, Ft Stewart, GA.

As to modeling it, the Kinetic M3A3 CFV would be the best starting point since it has the new T161 tracks included.

M - designations for the AMPVs:

M1283 General Purpose (522 planned)
M1284 Medical Evacuation Vehicle (low roof - 790 planned)
M1285 Medical Treatment Vehicle (high roof - 216 planned)
M1286 Mission Command (high roof - 993 planned)
M1287 Mortar Carrier Vehicle (386 planned)

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There were several at Fort Hood about five years ago. Of course, walkaround available once the inevitable kit comes out.

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Great thread, I am here mostly for the pictures. I was in the 24th IN DIV and right after we got our brand new M1IPs the 11B’s started receiving their Bradley’s. It was a fun time working together in the field.

I do have a questions about the Bradley which has been on my mind for a while now. I noticed that on some versions there is a black cover on the left side next to the drivers compartment and also on the right side in the same general location. Looks like a rubber cover or something. What is that?? Not sure which variant has it, seems to vary.