ARM: Review - DML 1/72 HMMWV 1 + 1

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Scale Armor Pro Kit No. 7294;
HMMWV 1 + 1 Kit (M1025 HMMWV with ASK plus M1025 HMMMV); 174 parts (154
in grey styrene, 10 in clear styrene, 8 in grey vinyl, 2 in etched
brass); price US $10.95
Advantages: very nicely done kits and equal of any others in any other
scale; clever molding makes getting good fit with windows not a problem
Disadvantages: differences between variants hard to see; painting will
require care and forethought
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all "Hummer" fans and modern US modelers
When the AM General High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or
HMMWV came out in the mid 1980s, many in the military were not happy at
its size. Designed to replace the M151 "jeep", the CUCV series of 1
1/4 ton trucks and personnel carriers, the M561 Gama Goat and any other
remaining 3/4 or 1 1/4 ton trucks, it was considered either too big or
too small, depending upon whom you asked. But over the last 20 years,
the vehicle has acquired a great reputation for reliability and
mobility, and has handled every task given to it. Currently it serves
in many nations other than the US, where it is the backbone light
vehicle for both the US Army and USMC. It comes in a myriad of
different versions, with at least two different armor kits to enhance
protection to its crew and the ability to carry any crew-served weapon
from the 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapon to the .50 caliber M2HB and TOW
missile launcher.
DML now offers a "one plus one" - double - kit of the M1025 or
M1026 version of the HMMWV (the nickname "Hummer" is commercial;
most military refer to the vehicle as the "Humvee".) This is the
basic "hardtop" personnel carrier with seats for four and a hip
ring with sling seat mounted on the roof for weapons. (For those
curious about other variants, the M1026 is the same vehicle with winch
and the M1114 is the "Heavy Hummer" factory armored variant. DML
does offer the winch bumpers for the M1026s in the kit.)
The kit provides two different versions of the HMMWV, so the modeler
must pay close attention as it is difficult to tell them apart. The
basic M1025 body has more slots in the lower rock panel body moldings
than the ASK armored version, so note that there are two body styles.
Most of the rest of the parts are interchangeable less the doors and
roofs.
The chassis is well detailed but only takes a few assemblies to
complete, and compliments go to DML's engineers for that work. Each
vehicle has a shifter and case selector lever as well as a SINCGARS
radio and KY-57 crypto box provided for it as well (part A13, one
assembly in the front seat area.)
The kit provides a choice of four weapons for the hip ring: M249 SAW,
M60, M2HB or Mark 19 30mm grenade launcher. The weapons are very well
done and consist of several parts each (e.g. mount, ammo box, handles,
locks, etc.)
There are some odd things however. The tailgate can be positioned
opened or closed, but the "turtleback" hatch above it is fixed,
which somewhat limits its usefulness. (Most of these versions have
racks in the back for various weapons and ammunition, and some come
with more than one weapon for mission flexibility.) Also, the
headlights come as grey styrene even though separate parts; I
personally recommend replacing them with MV Lenses or similar parts,
but at least DML has been kind enough to have the mounts pre-drilled
for you.
The tires are in a grey vinyl type plastic, so they will have to be
painted. I do not have much experience with how well this works, but
there have been problems with DML vinyl tires on their 1/35 kits when
painted that appears to lead to cracking. However, given their recent
DS vinyl product, this may no longer be a problem.
Finishing options are provided for two vehicles in Iraq, one straight
sand and one in "Euro" tricolor with sand color ASK upgrade parts.
Note that the decal sheet that comes with these kits is quite
extensive, and that indicates many more options will be forthcoming
from DML with these basic chassis.
Overall these are nice appealing models that should compliment the
M1A1 and M2A2 vehicles DML already offers in this scale for Operating
Iraqi Freedom.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review samples.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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