HMMWV "Gun Truck" and HMMWV Cargo
by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description
||Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Scale Armor Pro
Series Kit No. 7297; HMMWV "Gun Truck" and HMMWV Cargo
|Media and Contents:
||164 parts (120 in grey styrene, 26 in clear
styrene, 10 in grey vinyl, 8 in etched brass)
||"Pickup" versions of the Humvee now join
the "hardtop" versions; replicate the latest vehicles being used in Iraq
||Due to the plethora of HMMWV variants in
service may be confusing to modelers as to which is which, what it does
and if it is in wide service
||Highly Recommended for all modern US and
wheeled vehicle fans
the AM General HMMWV series of vehicles were adopted, one of the
prime considerations was that they replace four different vehicles
then in service with the US Army: the 1/4 ton 4 x 4 M151 series
("jeeps"), the ancient 3/4 ton 4 x 4 Dodge M37s still hanging around
in some locations, the 1 1/4 ton 4 x 4 M880 and M1008 series cargo
trucks, and the 1 1/4 ton 6 x 6 M61 Gama Goat.
As a result, the vehicle was
offered in a wide variety of models, of which four were considered
baseline: a four-seat "hardtop" with a turtle-back shell and access
via a hatch at the rear, plus a rotating weapons station in the
center of the rear section of the compartment; a four-seat "softtop"
with a short pickup cargo bet; a two-seat cargo version with
provisions for eight troops in the now familar folding slat benches
on the sides of the cargo compartment; and a two-seat shelter
carrier with up to a 100 kW generator and modified electrical
system. Since all of them used the identical body shell and frame,
the latter two simply had steel door inserts to close off the rear
door openings of the body when the two-seat models were produced.
This is the third set of two HMMWV vehicles offered in one box, and
DML should be congratulated for the consideration to the modeler
(twelve bucks for one would be pretty steep) as well as the coverage
of the wide variety of Humvees out there in service. This kit offers
two versions: the most common M998 1 1/4 ton 4 x 4 cargo carrier
version, as well as one of the semi-standardized "gun trucks" now in
use in Iraq with applique armor to protect the crew from roadside
bombs and snipers. This latter vehicle is nothing new, as its direct
ancestors have been around since WW I and were most notable in
recent memory due to the ones used in Vietnam ("Eve of Destruction"
– a 5 ton M54A1 conversion – is on display at Fort Eustis, VA, and
is the only known survivor from Vietnam.)
DML uses their familiar "mix and match" concept of kit offerings,
with 43 parts forming the chassis and basic vehicle and then the
specific add-on parts for the version being modeled. For example,
each vehicle comes with a clear styrene windshield and top assembly
molded in one piece, and a set of either soft or armored doors for
its respective version.
The cargo version comes with the door blanks and the troop seats,
but is a rather spartan model when complete. However, this is the
way the actual vehicles are so it is accurate in that account. Note
that the troop seat slats themselves are etched brass and there are
no replacement parts for them, something of a surprise as DML
generally gives you an option.
The "gun truck' has far more options and from what is shown in the
directions can be built as either a "gun truck" with drop-in armored
module and machine gun mount in a ready-for-action pose or with the
gun dismounted and top bows up in a storage or transit mode. The
armor parts can be either etched brass or styrene at the modeler's
option. The vehicle also comes with twin radio antenna mounts at the
rear of the body and an etched brass top rail for the tailgate (MA1)
which looks to be relatively difficult to bend to shape due to its
small size. Also not indicated in the instructions until step 6 is
the fact that the lower body applique armor can be added from etched
brass (MB1/2); this would appear easier to do at step 4.
One spare tire is included for this vehicle, but two spare tires are
included with the kit so an unmounted one could be displayed as well
or used as a "roof decoration" as seen on some of the hardtop
variants. All are slide molded with wraparound tread patterns.
Markings and painting suggestions are provided for three vehicles:
an M998 cargo carrier from 3rd COSCOM, Baghdad 2004, and two
different gun trucks, one with full armor from the 1st Infantry
Division's attached 82nd Engineer Brigade in 2003 and one without
the armor from the same unit back in Germany.
In summary, this is another nice job from DML, and it is hoped that
modelers do not become confused due to the nearly infinite variety
of HMMWV variants and options seen in the field.
Freddie Leung for the review sample.
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Page Created 01 March, 2006
Page Last Updated
16 March, 2006