M1240 M-ATV w/M153 CROWS II in 1/72...
...Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle from Galaxy Hobby
One of the experiences for US forces in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan was that their use of the Hummer as a patrol vehicle was very vulnerable to the widespread use of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). The M-ATV from the Oshkosh Corporation was one of a number of new designs for mine resistant patrol vehicles that led to large numbers of new vehicles being developed and produced in large numbers for the US Military. Designed back in 2009 they offered a greater level of protection than the M1114 it replaced and the same protection but greater mobility than some other heavier, mine resistant vehicles in service. Almost 10,000 have been built to date. They can carry a variety of armament on the roof mounted weapons station. As a general guide, the US Air Force have gone for CROWS (Common Remotely Operated Weapons System) while the US Marines opted for the manually operated OGPK turret (Objective Gunner Protection Kit). With a V-shaped lower hull designed to deflect the blast for any mine/IED these are a good deal larger than the M1114 Hummers they replaced. I saw one for real back in 2013, in the USA, and was surprised just how must bigger these are to the Hummer.
The Galaxy Model kit comes in two alternative versions, one with the CROWs remote weapons station and the other with the manually operated OGPK turret. Very well detailed and neatly moulded plastic parts along with some etched brass detailing, the clear glazing and the four black soft rubber tyres have an appropriate weighted 'flat' plus a full round tyre for the spare wheel, these are fine models. The build sequence starts with the 6 step build of the chassis. In stage 7 you get to another sub-assembly the , crew compartment with the four seats, dashboard etc. The 'etc' means some etch parts for the central benches that form the centre division between the seats on either side. They are very fine and need a little care to remove them from their etch fret, and to make the various fold, I think one of the etch bending tools will make this element of the build much easier to do. When folded, use superglue on the joins and everything fits very well I found. There is also an etch mesh part for the radiator grill. The seat unit will be fixed to the chassis with clear locating pins and then add the main bodywork and bonnet (that's 'hood' for US readers). The four doors are separate parts. The interior needs painting before you fix the bodywork and underside blast protection together.
The next subassembly is the rear load area which is followed by the GPK turret that fits to the roof before you get to the finishing touches, which involves a fair few external details to be fitted, including aerial mounts, aerials and so on. A mix of etch metal and plastic parts. The fit of parts throughout is very good, and actually a rather enjoyable build. A lot of them, but nothing difficult I found. I have the main sub-assemblies done now and need to paint the chassis and interior elements before they are joined together, so watch out for a future update...
...well, the sub-assemblies have gone together very nicely, with chassis and interior painted. It's one of those models you have to work out how to best fit in the painting with the assembly. I prefer to leave painting the exterior until the main vehicle is assembled, as otherwise there is a danger of glue getting on fingers and messing up the paint work as you fit the various sub-assemblies together. Hence waiting until they are together and external etch fittings are added. Now I have to fit the final couple of etch parts and last of all, the wing mirrors. The last thing to go on will be the spare wheel on the rear carrier.