ARM: Review - Tamiya M1025 Humvee and Modern US Equipment

Kit Review: Tamiya 1/35 Scale Kits:

No. 35623; M1025 Humvee Armament Carrier; 163 parts (139 in tan styrene, 16 in clear styrene, 8 in black vinyl); price around $32.00

No. 35266; Modern U.S. Equipment Set; 116 parts in tan styrene; price around $10.00

Advantages: best Humvee kit produced so far; flexible options provide for doing nearly all the M998 family vehicles from this chassis; amazing mold work rivals the Tamiya Willys MB (new) kit for skill; add-ons permit building later model vehicles

Disadvantages: high cost may surprise some modelers (mold work is the culprit); late to the game in comparison with other kits

Rating: Highly Recommended (M1025), Recommended (Accessories)

Recommendation: For all modern softskin and US fans


The AM General High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle or HMMWV ? "Hummer" to the civilians and Humvee to the military ? was the winner in a long competition held by the US Army to replace its existing 1/4 ton (e.g. jeep class), 3/4 ton, and 1 1/4 ton trucks with a single, more mobile and more modern vehicle capable of meeting any existing mobility requirement. They began to enter service in the late 1980s as the M998 series vehicles, and have gone through an A1 upgrade in 1994 and an A2 upgrade a few years later. The main differences in the basic types were that the A1 series standardized on the so-called "Heavy HMMWV" chassis, giving all the vehicles the same "stretch" capability for weight carrying and development, and the A2 series introducing a new engine and transmission.

It comes in a myriad of modifications and variants, the main ones of which are these:

M966 TOW carrier M996 Mini-Ambulance M997 Maxi-Ambulance M998 basic troop carrier vehicle M1045 TOW carrier with supplemental armor M1025 basic armament carrier M1026 basic armament carrier w/winch M1035 Ambulance with Soft Top M1037 Shelter Carrier M1038 basic troop carrier vehicle w/winch M1043 armament carrier with supplemental armor M1044 armament carrier with supplemental armor w/winch M1045 TOW carrier with supplemental armor M1046 TOW carrier with supplemental armor w/winch M1069 Light Artillery Prime Mover (for the M119 105mm Lightweight Howitzer) M1097 Heavy Hummer Variant M1113 Shelter Carrier M1114 Uparmored HMMWV "Avenger" Light Air Defense System (8 x STINGER missiles and 1 x .50 caliber M2HB) Other variants are also offered, but these are the main ones. It should be noted that with the A2 models the TOW and armament carrier Humvees were combined into one series, the M1025A2/M1026A2. A "who's who" of variants is supplied with the kit.

The main visible changes to most of the models is with the hood louvers; these became all metal on the A1 series and are the so-called "large" louvers. The small ones were fiberglass or in some models Kevlar, and have since been replaced.

Thus far the Humvee has not been well treated as a model kit. In 1/35 scale, the first kit to be released was from Italeri, and it was based on a pre-production prototype; all of their subsequent kits have been based on those molds, which have a number of items that need to be changed. Second was one from ESCI, and while it represented a production M998 chassis, the mold designer must be a fan of dogs like the pug or boxer, as the entire front end was squished and totally wrong. Next came a very nice kit of the M997 from Academy, followed by an M1025 variant and then an M998 troop carrier. All three were the best available Humvee kits until the release of this model.

Tamiya has proven in recent years that when it wants to get serious about modeling, there is still no one in the world who can touch their engineering and model kit design group. This is a good example of that, and is an amazing piece of mold-maker's art. The entire body (less hood, which permits the later installation of an after-market engine kit) is one piece, and very nicely done with only a few easily removed ejection pin marks on the bottom of the pan. Chassis details are also done up very nicely, with all of the parts not fully molded being completely hidden when the model is finished (Italeri should pay attention to this; their M939 series 5-ton trucks are an example of how NOT to partially mold details).

The body comes with all constituent parts separate, so that the kit will obviously be changed at a later date to provide different variants. It comes with the correct "slant back" body for the M1025 series, but the two radiator grilles provided are only for the original M998 body variants. (Tamiya did call its kit an M1025, so that is correct.) The windshield and mirror brackets for the so-called "California" mirrors are one single part. (Early model mirrors are also included, as well as one of the three original grille guards.) All windows and lights are provided as separate clear parts, including the "highway" turn signal lenses. The main headlights are clear, but the depressions in the grille for the lights seem to be perfectly suited for MV Lenses, which have become pretty much standard among most intermediate and advanced modelers these days.

Two figures are provided, a driver and a gunner/observer in the turret. Tamiya provides a nice replica of the turret with a single-piece hatch, scored on the back so that it may be shown either closed or open. The only part missing from the turret is the strap seat used by the gunner for taking weight off his feet and making it easier for him to swing the turret around. Both of the figures are wearing body armor, but this appears to be the older "flak jacket" derived from the Korean War issue types and not the newer "Interceptor" vest.

The vehicle comes with a choice of either the .50 caliber M2HB "Ma Deuce" or the Mark 19 30mm automatic grenade launcher for mounting on the turret. This is correct, as most of the vehicles I have received info on carry both, and swap them to meet mission requirements. (M2s are better for dealing with light vehicles or helicopters, and the Mark 19 works better against personnel.)

The tires are another part of the kit that is amazing, for they are vinyl but have nearly zero mold seam on them. This by itself is a great piece of mold-maker's art.

Four sets of decals are provided, with one Desert Storm vehicle, one IFOR, one KFOR US Army and one KFOR USMC being the choices.

The reason I included the Modern Equipment set with this review is that it is designed specifically to compliment the Humvee kit, but also has more possibilities. This kit includes the A1 series hood louver for the Humvee kit, so it can be changed to replicate the later models.

It also includes the new Combat Identification Panels ? the "gizmos" that look like Venetian blinds ? for combat "friend or foe" identification to combat vehicles or helicopters equipped with thermal sights. These can be used to upgrade the Humvee for use in Operations Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) or Iraqi Freedom (Iraq).

The rest of the kit provides the British meaning of "kit" ? the items necessary for troop survival and quality of life ? for filling bustle racks or the outside of most combat vehicles. This includes: four standard folding cots, eight ground sleeping mats (sleeping bag underlays), four mountain type sleeping bags in carriers, two of what the kit calls tents but are actually camouflage net sets (part V12), two sets of camouflage net poles (V9), four duffel bags with twin shoulder straps, two "butt" packs, and six ALCE ("Alice"_ backpacks. While they call them "large" and "small" they are not; they are all the standard "small" Alice packs but four are stuffed full and two are not (the "large" Alice pack comes with a hard frame).

The kit also includes two 5-gallon fuel cans and two 5-gallon plastic water cans, four .50 caliber ammo boxes, and four large and four small 40mm grenade boxes (used for stowing anything troops can think of beside ammo!) Two small puppies are thrown in for good measure.

A sheet of brown paper is included with a total of 24 MRE case jackets on it. They are nicely done and with a magnifying glass even include the bar codes (!) but the sheet is quite flimsy and will make things difficult during assembly. Typical German-style road signs are also included on the side of the box.

The reason I downgrade items like this is that one would think that a sprue of them would be included in the basic kit they are to compliment, and also that Tamiya would get away from hollow back molding the items, thus limiting their flexibility and use. It's hard to hide some of the open backs in a bustle rack, and thus the modeler either has to spend the time tediously filling each one with putty or use resin parts instead.

Overall, while this kit is not a "cheap date" ? cost being about 33 to 40% more than the reasonably good Academy kits ? it is a tour-de-force of the mold-makers and a nice project for a couple of evenings. With the use of the later model hood grille, it can also be used for all recent combat experiences by the US. With other decal sets, it can be used for most of the wars fought by the US since 1986, to include Panama, Somalia, the former Republic of Yugoslavia, and now the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Cookie Sewell AMPS

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How about the wheels, Cookie? AFAIK none of the other Humvee kits had accurate wheels & the Verlinden resin wheels are getting darn near impossible to find.

Reply to
Al Superczynski

They matched the ones in the factory plans as near I could tell. I used the factory handouts for the A1 series and the A2 series for references.

But then again, for nearly twice the street price of the Academy kits, they BETTER be right...

Cookie Sewell AMPS

Reply to

Good review Cookie, I appreciate the work. Couple of questions:

  1. Didn't see any mention of a radio mount. Is there one and if so, does it include the old VRC-12 series or newer SINCGARS?
  2. Newer pattern or older pattern tires? (On the proper wheels as well?)

Was eyeballing the Tamiya M1046 TOW carrier in my local shop. I was extremely tempted but wasn't sure of what was inside the box. I just wanted some more info before I plopped down almost $40.

Rob Gronovius Visit my motor pool in the

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Reply to
Rob Gronovius


1 -- Nope, no radio or mounts included. One thing which did surprise me. It does come with an antenna, though.

2 -- Not sure but suspect from photos that they are the older tires as the tread pattern isn't very aggressive.

Well, guess even at that price you have to give the after-market boys a shot...

Cookie Sewell AMPS

Reply to


Just wanted to add my two cents. Eduard has a few PE sets that would provide the needed detail to correct many of the weakness that these TOW hummers come with. There is about 2 or 3 sets. Some include the armored doors, radio mounts, etc. I used on for the M966 Tow Hummer I built. The Avenger set has many of the features that would be needed to improve the Tamiya model.

Ed Manchu34

Reply to
The First Geer Family

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