On March 22, 1983 the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive & Armaments Command awarded the AM General Division a contract worth $1.2 billion to produce 55,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV, pronounced Humveeģ), to be delivered in 15 different configurations over a five year period.
It was the largest multiyear contract for a tactical wheeled vehicle ever awarded by the U.S. Army.
HMMWVs were extensively over courses simulating worldwide off-road conditions in combat environments. Rocky hills, deep sand and mud, in water up to 60 inches deep, in desert heat and Arctic cold.
HMMWVs score high on Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, and Durability (RAM-D) requirements and specifications while incorporating new standards of reliability for combat vehicles as well as being able to mount a wide variety of crew-served weapons.
Since production of HMMWVs began in 1985, more than 150,000 Humvees have been delivered to the US military and countries around the world.
The box contains 5 sprues, 116 parts in light gray plastic, 2 PE brush guards, an extensive sheet of markings, 2 clear turtleback shells and 2 hulls allowing a modeler to make two complete HMMWV M1025 models, one with and one without the ASK upgrade. The instructions follow 6 steps and are the newer typical Dragon style consisting of drawings of completed assemblies and arrows indicating parts locations. The instructions leave a lot to be desired and I personally wish Dragon would refrain from this method and go back to a more traditional approach. Decals are by Cartograf and go on well, reacting fine to setting solution (Solveset in this case). Overall fit of the kit parts is excellent. Two options are given, one for a standard M1025 in overall desert sand and one M1025 with ASK upgrade in NATO camo with desert sand ASK upgrade. The first option doesnít give call-outs for the decals so you are on your own, the second version does, but the license plate decals called for are absent from the otherwise great sheet.
The quality of the molded parts is excellent with no flash or visible sink marks. The sprue connection points are not as large as on some other Dragon kits, and this is good because some of the parts are quite small and very fine in detail. The instructions are typical for newer Dragon kits and are ambiguous in some places at times omitting entire steps of assembly or in this case instructing the modeler to put parts in the wrong places. For example, parts A10 and A17 go in other holes than indicated. Also, the part A16 that appears to be the front of the radio isnít mentioned at all. Iíve mentioned this before about other Dragon kits and this one is no exception I personally wish Dragon would give better instructions for their 1/72 offerings. One great thing are the tires, the hare molded hollow and fit quite tight on the rims and accept paint very well with no cracking. They are also molding individually and have no seams! Thank you Dragon! Another very good thing is the inclusion of several armament options including a .50cal, Mk19, and two versions of the M249. One downside is the lack of accurate detail for the door hinges. They are more like old matchbox car hinges than an accurate representation of the M1025 door hinge assembly.
The kit goes together very quickly and easily. You will spend most of your time painting and weathering.
Assembly starts with the interior and I took some liberties here and added some parts from the second kit to busy up the interior. I also scratch built a gunners platform and the radio handset and wires. This little bit can hardly be seen on the finished models but does add something to an otherwise sparse interior. I should note I chose to build the ASK version and the modeler needs to pay close attention when selecting parts for the different versions as they are very similar.
The chassis is next and again there is no problem here. I masked the doors and clear windows on the turtleback next and finished the main assembly but left the gun ring off for the time being. Doors were dry fit and painting began.
The tires were primed with Mr. Surfacer 1000 and painted a personal mix of tire black.
Everything received a coat of NATO green. I then used silly putty to mask the NATO pattern and sprayed black followed by another silly putty mask and the brown. This works quite well and is easy to do.
After the basic NATO camo was done I masked the entire model with silly putty except the ASK parts and sprayed them US Desert Sand. The model was then given a gloss coat followed by decals. Once dry I gave the entire model a filter of thinner and sand followed by a pin wash in various places of Citadel ink Flesh Wash, most of which was covered by the heavy application of MMP weathering powders and pastels.
For the application of the powders I used some wet and some dry. The wet application of pastels and powders allows for better adhesion and when dry can be knocked off with a stiff brush.
Again Dragon has released a great little model. Iíve read remarks recently about there being too many humvee kits out there but I have to say as present as the humvee is in the military this is a good thing as they are everywhere. No modern small-scale collection will be complete without one, or two, and if you are building a diorama it will make an excellent addition. It is a quick build with a lot of armament options. With the exception of the poor instructions and the doors this kit is very recommended.
Thanks go to Dragon USA, via Saul Garcia, for the review sample.