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Trumpeter 1/35 M1083 FMTV Standard Cargo Truck Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2012 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject M1083 FMTV Standard Cargo Truck Scale 1/35
Kit Number 1007 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $77.95

First Look


The Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) is a series of utility trucks produced for the US Army (and other services) to replace the M35 and M939 trucks that had become unreliable due to age and essentially obsolete. Production of the FMTV series was awarded to Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc., with the first vehicles entering service in 1996. Stewart & Stevenson was subsequently purchased by BAE Systems and production continued until a follow-on contract was awarded to Oshkosh Defense who manufactures the series today.

The FMTV series includes the M1078 Light-Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) 2.5 ton utility truck, the M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV) 5 ton utility truck, both built upon a common chassis. In addition a number of variants of these two core types round out the series which include shop vans, tractors, wreckers, and even trailers. FMTVs have been used extensively in supporting the logistics in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the insurgent attacks on support vehicles and even armed combat vehicles, the soft-skinned cabs of the FMTV series were replaced with armored cabs to provide protection to the support personnel moving vital supplies out to the warfighters in the field.

Trumpeter continues their series of soft-skinned military trucks with this first release of the FMTV family, the M1083. You'll recall that they've produced the huge MAZ tractor in service with the Soviet/Russian military as well as their standard cargo hauler, the Zil-157 truck. This release covers the standard 5-ton utility truck and there will be a follow-on with the armored cab unique to the Iraq and Afghan wars.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on ten parts trees plus the cab, one tree of clear parts, one fret of photo-etched parts, and seven rubber tires According to the specs, there are over 460 parts in this kit. Much to my surprise, despite the number of parts in this kit, there is no engine - just plate that goes into the chassis frame under the cab that has the shape of the bottom of the engine/oil pan/transmission. It would have made an interesting option to be able to tilt the cab forward to reveal the engine.

Despite the shortcut with the engine, the kit does have some nice features including:

  • Detailed chassis
  • Detailed suspension
  • Detailed drive train (from the transfer case to the three powered axles)
  • Detailed fuel and pneumatic systems
  • Detailed cab
  • Detailed cargo bed
  • Choice of cargo bed seating stowed or open
  • Choice of boarding ladder stowed or extended

The top of the cab has the cover molded in place where the turret ring would be mounted if one were installed. This is the same ring used on the Humvee, so you can do a little surgery and install your own ring. The seats do not have any seat belts, so check your references here.

Markings are provided for two color schemes, desert tan or the standard NATO black/green/brown.

We usually don't see kits of modern support vehicles before they're near retirement but here is the first in the FMTV series which will provide modern war modelers with a fresh pallet for a variety of possibilities. You can build the basic truck, or you can build your truck with a crew and load to create the start of a contemporary diorama or vignette. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!