Italeri 1/35 M1120 HEMTT LHS Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2018||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Subject||M1120 HEMTT LHS||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6525||Primary Media||Styrene, Vinyl|
|Pros||First kit of this subject||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$71.50|
Note: This kit was released by Italeri over a year ago, but due to some unfortunate circumstances, it was one of many Italeri kits that was unavailable for almost a year. The US importer at the time, Hobbico, filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of 2018 and by that time, the flow of kits from Italeri and other brands imported by Hobbico were cut off. In the last few weeks, Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) started stocking up on the variety of new and existing kits from Italeri, and those kits are now reappearing on hobby store shelves once again.
The Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) was designed to move 10-ton payloads across a theater of operations where other heavy trucks would falter. The vehicle is an 8x8 powered by a 500+ horsepower diesel engine and features a lower center of gravity for greater off-road stability. The first variant was the M977 which was a flatbed truck that entered serviced in the early 1980s and surviving vehicles have undergone periodic refurbishment to keep them fully capable. The current version is the M1120 which replaces the flatbed with a removable pallet or payload that can be loaded or unloaded using the hydraulic-powered Multi-Lift Mark 5 arm operated by a single person. For a look at the M1120 with a HUMVEE payload, look here.
Italeri has followed the US Army's example and has refurbished their M977 HEMTT into the M1120 HEMTT LHS configuration. Molded in gray styrene, this kit is presented on five parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and nine tires molded in black vinyl. This release shares two trees with previous releases of the HEMTT and adds three new trees to make up the M1120.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Detailed cab
- Positionable driver's door
- Detailed chassis with updates for the load handling system
- Detailed drive train with partial engine visible under the cover
- New vinyl tires have Michelin XZL tread pattern
- Detailed payload platform with adaptors for 20' container (not included)
This kit is configured without cab armor which is typical for CONUS, NATO, or other lower threat environments. With the variety of aftermarket products available for the HEMTT in 1/35 scale, you have choices to create the configuration that interests you. Straight out of the box, this is a simple build that makes up into a nice model of the M1120. The only pause I had when examining the kit was with the vinyl tires. While the sprue trees were protected in clear plastic, the tires were sitting at the bottom of the box and whatever mold lubricants were used in producing these tires had soaked into the bottom of the box. If you use the tires, wash them thoroughly though I will likely replace mine with aftermarket resin examples.
If you want an interesting subject for your bench, grab one of these M1120 kits. I was privileged to see a demonstration of the LHS system when (in my former life) we were going to design a special purpose M1120 with the LHS and the Indiana Army National Guard brought one of their M1120s over with a HUMVEE tied down to the platform. Check it out. I might have to build two, one with the Humvee as shown in the photos, and one in the special purpose configuration. We shall see!
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!