Trumpeter 1/35 M1126 Stryker (ICV) Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||February 2007||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||M1126 Stryker (ICV)||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||0375||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-etch|
|Pros||Excellent exterior detailing||Cons||No interior, 'roll your own' unit and vehicle markings|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
The US Marine Corps made the leap from tracked armored personnel carriers to their Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) in the early 1980s in order to have the capability to rapidly deploy a combat capability anywhere in the world without an excessive airlift effort. The US Army was reluctant to make the switch to wheeled vehicles, preferring instead its M1 Abrams tank, M2 Bradley APC and M3 Bradley.
When the Army's mission shifted from defending the line in Europe to more fluid operations worldwide, they reconsidered the LAV, only to have Congress choose the HUMVEE to meet their mobility needs. In Desert Storm, the Rangers borrowed a few LAVs from the Marines and found they didn't quite meet their needs.
By the turn of the century, the Army had embraced the need to have some of its forces capable of rapid deployment into remote areas where the transport of the M1 and M2 would be difficult and maintenance on those same vehicles would be nearly non-existent. A trade show was hosted to look over the available wheeled combat vehicles to understand the state of the art and the issues in adopting such a capability into US Army doctrine. A source selection followed and the team of General Motors/Canada and General Dynamics Land Systems (makers of the M1 Abrams) was selected to tailor the GM-designed vehicle to meet US Army requirements. The vehicle family was named for Medal of Honor recipient PFC Stuart Stryker. The M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) is designed to carry a crew of two and a squad of nine.
There has been much anticipation over this kit since Trumpeter announced it last year. This is the first Stryker kit to be produced in any scale. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on eight parts trees, plus the upper and lower hull haves. A small fret of photo-etched parts and a set of rubber tires round out the kit. According to the specs, this kit consists of 307 parts.
Assembly of the kit is similar to Trumpeter's LAV-25 kit released over a year ago (reviewed here). The suspension and drive train are the subject of seven steps to cover all of the detailing underneath.
Next up is the rear access door at the rear of the vehicle. While the door is molded separately and could be positioned open, the kit does not have an interior. This means that the kit is designed to be displayed open once one or more of the aftermarket interiors become available.
The upper hull is VERY intricately detailed. The array of antennas, vision blocks, access hatches, maintenance panels, and even the pioneering tool kit are all well done. With the separate roof panel, the kit will lend itself to the release of other variants of this vehicle from Trumpeter plus the potential of even more from the aforementioned aftermarket community.
The kit is presented in its standard mobility configuration as was common before post-war operations in Iraq. With the blistering RPG fire that was so intense that they even overcame several Abrams tanks, it is no surprise that RPG fire would threaten the Stryker as well. An ingenious slatted armor array was fitted to the Strykers in the field to neutralize the RPG warheads before impact on the hull.
This kit does not have the slatted armor though I am not sure that it would be feasible to render the armor in styrene. Look for this to be a rather interesting (and complex) photo-etch conversion in the future.
So what are the other possibilities for this kit with the help of some spare parts and/or aftermarket conversions?
- M1126 ICV Interior
- M1127 Reconnaissance Vehicle
- M1128 Mobile Gun System
- M1129 Mortar Carrier
- M1130 Command Vehicle
- M1131 Fire Support Vehicle
- M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicle
- M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle
- M1134 Antitank Guided Missile Vehicle
- M1135 NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle
The kit provides generic letters and numbers to go onto the blank backgrounds and let me tell you how much of a pain this was to use in my build!
This will be a relatively easy build straight from the box as this kit hasn't been over-engineered. Interestingly enough, the instructions only mention six of the eight parts trees since two of these trees that are not referenced contain the nice bedrolls, bundles, and backpacks.
You're going to love this release. According to the Stevens International, this kit should hit North America in March 2007.
For a look at the completed model, see our build-review here.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!