Academy 1/35 M151A1 Mutt Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2005||Manufacturer||Academy|
|Kit Number||1323||Primary Media||Styrene and rubber tires|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit of this multipurpose utility vehicle||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$16.00|
In the early 1950s, the US Army began a competition to develop a replacement vehicle to the venerable M38 General Purpose (Jeep) vehicle. The Ford design was selected for production as the M151 Military Utility Tactical Truck (MUTT). The design featured independent suspension on all four wheels, selectable two- or four-wheel drive, and a quarter ton capacity.
Due to load problems on the rear suspension as the Army began mounting various weapons and ammo storage on the M151, an improved version was designed to support the various weapons loads. This version was designated as M151A1. One additional re-design of the rear end resulted in the M151A2 which improved the vehicle's stability.
As with the M38 that preceded it, the M151 is widely used in over 100 countries around the world. The M151 remained in all four branches of US military service until the M998 'Humvee' entered service in sufficient quantities.
This M151 Mutt is another beautiful Academy rendering, comprising three parts trees molded in dark green styrene, a separate Mutt body also in dark green, a clear styrene windshield, and rubber tires. All parts are flash free and also free of those annoying ejector pin marks in areas that would be visible after assembly. The only exception to this is the underside of the chassis/body which would have a few pin marks because it was cast without the usual tree around it. These pin marks are minor and will be easily removed.
As with the full-scale example, the chassis and body are one part. To this one part you'll be attaching a boatload of detail. Under the hood is a fourteen part flathead four-cylinder engine. The part count for the engine does not include the radiator, oil-bath air filter, brake reservoir and other details that are also included. About the only thing you can do to add any detail under the hood is add the ignition wiring, and radiator hoses. The detailing under the chassis is also complete with a detailed drive train and suspension system.
The detailing definitely doesn't stop here. The vehicle is equipped with a command radio, complete with antenna mount on the rear of the vehicle. Pioneering tools are provided as well as a Jerry can and spare tire. You did read correctly earlier - there are seven tires provided, though you'll only need five of them for this project. There are a few extra parts, including the two extra tires, that reflect other versions of the M151 are out there, at least one of which has a trailer. The kit is rounded out with a central pedestal mount and an M60 machine gun.
Markings are provided for two M151A1s as they appeared in Vietnam in the late 1960s. Academy's decals are beautifully printed and my example is in perfect register.
This kit follows the line of excellence that Academy is becoming known for in its 1/35 scale kit line. This kit is just as detailed as the Tiger, M10, M12 and Blackhawk kits that precede it.
This kit is highly recommended!
My sincere thanks to MRC for the review sample.