Thales Australia Bushmaster PMV
5/7 Royal Australian Regiment, Iraq 2006.
Dragon 1/72 .
The Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle was originally conceived in the early
1990s, intended for operations in the Australian Northern Territories. Based on a
design from Australian firm Perry Engineering, itself derived from an Irish design
by Timoney Technologies, it featured 4WD, commonality of parts with the US FMTV vehicle
series and a high level of protection for its occupants against small arms fire and
mines. Able to carry 9 troops and their supplies or up to 3 days, it is fully air-
A production contract was awarded to the former Australian Defence Industries (ADI), now Thales Australia. Over 800 vehicles have been built, seeing active combat service in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria. Bushmasters are used in various roles by the Australian forces (Army & Air Force), British Army and Royal Netherlands Army, as well as Fiji, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan and New Zealand.
Building the Dragon Bushmaster Kit:
Dragon’s vehicle kits are superbly engineered and seem to avoid most of the accuracy
issues that afflict their aircraft kits. This one is slightly simplified, reflecting
Dragon’s original intention to release it as a pre-
Assembly is very straightforward, and my only comment would be to take care when
attaching the wire cutters above the windscreen and the side mirrors -
So far as I can see, the kit detail matches photos of the real thing very well. A small set of decals are provided for 5/7RAR of the Australian Army, or 10 Airfield Defence Guards, RAAF, both with “must have” kangaroo motifs!.
The UK MoD acquired a small batch of 24 Bushmasters in 2008, apparently for use by
SF around Basra in Iraq. Supposedly going under the code-
Building the Dragon SAS Bushmaster Kit:
This kit contains an additional sprue to provide the RWS and the extra cabin armour. Dragon list it as an “SAS Bushmaster”. Well, possibly, although the picture on the front of the box and the decals are actually for a trials & demo vehicle used in the UK.
Pictures of Bushmasters in Syria are plentiful online and show a number of different configurations from that provided in the box, plus the suggestion that they are not all operated by UK forces. I couldn’t find any pictures from Iraq.
Once again, it is an easy build. Some of the spare parts on the sprues also suggest
another variant may appear sometime -