Sunday, 4 May 2014

M998 & M-102

The Humvee

The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) better known as 'Humvee' is the light vehicle developed for the American army in the late 80's. It replaced all light vehicle's and trucks in the 1/4 to 1 1/4 ton range. Commonly said it's the new 'Jeep'. The Humvee received a lot of criticism for not being heavily armoured enough. Point is that the Humvee was not designed to be armoured or to carry out roles in combat area's. Nevertheless operations in Somalia and Iraq forced the Humvee to serve in the front lines so upgrade and armour packages are issued. This led to the M1114, a Humvee able to withstand small arms fire. These vehicle's are always in the short supply though. A dozen other versions of the Humvee also exist for various roles from anti-aircraft versions to armoured ambulances. The Humvee is used by several armies around the world.
A cargo version, 'standard' and M1114 humvee respectively. The Humvee on the last picture carries a M102 light howitzer.

The M-102

The M-102 light howitzer was introduced as a replacement for the M-101 light howitzer used since the second world war. The M-102 was made mainly out of aluminium to reduce weight (1500 kg in total) making it transportable by a helicopter. An other large difference with it's predecessor where the trailer-legs, or better 'leg' since the gun is mounted on a single 'leg' which in turn rotates on a round platform allowing the gun to turn 360 degrees. The M102 for ceremonial shot's only these days and replaced by the M-119 light howitzer. The M102 was used by several armies around the world.
The M102 in the first picture has an experimental carriage, the only part it shares with the 'normal' versions appears to be the gun barrel.

The Revell Humvee model

Revell released two boxes with both two Humvee models each. One box (kit no.003137) contains the M1025 'standard' Humvee and M998 cargo/troop carrier. The other box (kit no. 03147) contains the M966 TOW missile carrier and M997 Armoured Ambulance and is currently out of production.
The model is simply perfect. A few sinkholes can be found but these are al hidden under other parts once the model is assembled. There are fine details inside , outside and on the underside of the model. The wheels are less detailed, the thread pattern on the tires is almost absent while it is a quite prominent feature on the real thing. Also the big version of the bumper has a steel mesh between the main bars in reality but this mesh is moulded as single (textured0 surface. Needless to say this is because a plasic mesh is to weak to be even released from a mould. A replacement has to be found if you want to improve this part. Windows have to cut from a sheet of acetate. The precise measures are noted in the building instructions and there is sufficient acetate to give it a few tries.

The Ace M-102 model

Ace model produces a M102 in plastic. Like all of the models of this manufacturer this one too needs a lot of clean up as well. Also a good amount of filler is need to fill up sink holes in the 'trailer leg' which is quite a massive part. Also there is quite a large seam in the gun barrel where the mould halves came together. I found it difficult to remove this seams and keeping the barrel really round. A replacement from metal tube is better but I had none available. I did replaced the 'elevation springs' with plastic rods wrapped with thin iron wire. Note that the length of the 'depressed' evelation springs from the box is still too long for the minimum elevation of the gun.

I painted the Humvee and howitzer in a standard NATO three tone camouflage scheme.

I can recommend the Humvee for all modellers since it is not a very difficult model to build. The installation of the acetate glass might be the most difficult, The M-102 needs somewhat more work, as usual the part numbers are not moulded on the sprue but have to looked up on a 'map' on the instructions making this model not a good choice for beginners.