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In-Box Review
135
M1151
M1151 Enhanced Armament Carrier
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by: Olivier Carneau [ BISON126 ]

introduction
The M1151 is an Enhanced Armament Carrier which is a generic name for the family of up-armored and upgraded Humvees. Based on the lessons learned of the US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the M1151 features an improved chassis along with a new add-on armor package known as Frag5. The gunner protection is improved thanks to an armored weapon station of which several types are in service.


the kit
Academy M1151 is a kind of a response to the recently issued Bronco M1114s. Instead of trying to simply release another M1114, Academy made the right choice to my mind in issuing this original version, at least in plastic, of the Humvee.


the review
The kit depicts a vehicle fitted with the Frag5 armor package, the OGPK weapon station, the DUKE antenna and the latest Wrangler MT/R tires. It comes in the usual cardboard box and is divided in 7 sprues plus a bag of tires halves, a sheet of photo-etched parts and another of decals. The total of parts is 331 plastic parts, 17 clear plastic parts, 10 tires halves and 8 PE parts. The instructions come in two booklets, an 8-page one and another 4-page one. The drawings are generally clear enough. The building is divided into 20 steps.


The kit is well detailed and the details are generally crisp. The molding seams are very fine and should be easy to remove. There are a few sink marks of which some will require extra work as they are ill-located like on the inner faces of the gunner protection kit. Academy offers the possibility to have all the hatches and doors open but there are no oversized workable hinges.

The chassis is very similar to the one of the previous Humvee kits which is quite understandable. The novelty is in the tires choice. Academy provides us with the new Wrangler MT/R tires. If the tread is very nicely detailed with a seam line nearly invisible, the sidewalls miss all the markings probably due to a copyright issue. The tires are also a bit undersized as the diameter is 26mm while it should be 26,85mm.

The hull is features the sturdy look of this up-armored version. The add-on armor plates for the vehicle sides come as separate parts. The PE grilles for the A/C units on the sides are really thin and make a great addition to the kit.

The armored roof has the peculiar angular look. The OGPK looks a bit complex to assemble and is a kit in the kit with 23 parts to which you must add the 15 parts the superb M2HB and its mount.

Concerning the accessories, you have the DUKE antenna and a GPS antenna for the back of the vehicle. The air cleaner vent can be built with or without the extension while most of the pictures I have seen on the Internet show the extended version.

The interior is nicely done too. It comes with the new seats, two SINCGARS radio sets (with one handset) and the computer screen for the vehicle commander. The dashboard features four ventilation outlets in addition to the crew heater system.

The inner faces of the doors are nicely detailed. Optional PE parts allow the doors to be represented open.

Unfortunately the black padding present on the current versions of the Humvees is not depicted by Academy.

The kit comes with two figures, a gunner with sun glasses and a bandana and the driver exiting the vehicle. The poses are original but the detail is not as crisp as on resin figures.


painting and markings
Academy provide with a sheet of decals for two decorations. No unit indications are given in the instructions. Two are tan with one close to the M1151 displayed on Cybermodeler Online with some differences concerning the tires type and the gunner shield. The last one sports the 3-tone camouflage with no unit markings.

conclusion
Academy has released a very nice and original kit with some interesting features like the latest Wrangler tires or the OGPK. More affordable than the recent Bronco Humvees, it should be a best seller. With some accessories to fill the interior and AM tires, the kit will be a winner in modeling shows.
SUMMARY
Highs: An original version of the Humvee with interesting features like the MT/R tires and the OGPK.
Lows: A basic sheet of decals, the lack of accessories to fill the interior and the missing markings on the tires.
Verdict: This kit is highly recommended to the modern armor fans. You have enough accessories sets on the market to give it some life and DEF Model has already issued resin replacement tires.
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 13415
  Suggested Retail: 30 Euros
  PUBLISHED: Jun 10, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 82.86%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 82.63%

About Olivier Carneau (bison126)
FROM: AUBE, FRANCE

I have been in the hobby for years and I'm still learning. As a modeler, I only build 1/35 modern military vehicles, mainly armored ones. I also run a website where I share a lot of walkarounds. Just click on my banner to pay a visit to it.

Copyright 2018 text by Olivier Carneau [ BISON126 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

A question for Olivier: How does the overall size of the model compare to other Humvees? Tamiya and Bronco kits are "compatible" in size and I believe are considered to be more accurate, while Italeri and Academy kits, while also "compatible" with each other, are different size from Tamiya and Bronco ones and supposedly not that accurate. For example Tamiya kits are significantly wider, so many conversion sets designed for Italeri and Academy kits don't fit... Doors are also different in size. Is the new kit the same overall size as earlier Academy Humvees, or was it redone to be closer in size to Tamiya and Bronco ones? In my opinion the biggest flaw ("fatal" for me personally, so I don't plan to buy this kit, particularly that I already have the Legend converion set) of this new Academy kit is in the position of headlights - they sit clearly too low in relation to lower edges of fenders. Note how on a real vehicle - and even on the Academy kit box art above - the bottom of headlight lenses is at approximately the same height as the bottom edge of the fenders. Now compare it to photos of the built Academy model here: LINK Many modelers probably won't notice that, but for me it is very noticeable and makes the front of the vehicle look just wrong. I don't know what causes it, but it may be the hood sloping too much. I believe that earlier Academy Humvees also had hoods sloping more than similarly sized Italeri parts. Or maybe the front part of the fenders is not tall enough. Pawel
JUN 09, 2011 - 08:18 PM
Thanks for the review Oliver. The thing I'm wondering about is the price... the kit is listed on Lucky Models for $27 and HobbyEasy for $21. With $10 shipping it turns out to about 20-25EUR. Mario
JUN 09, 2011 - 08:33 PM
Pawel, I just checked the hull dimensions against the Tamiya M1025 and they are the same (length and width). I also checked the hood size and shape and it looks identical to the Tammy one too. So I can't explain the position of the headlight before I build the kit. My guess is the fender being not tall enough as you state it. Olivier
JUN 10, 2011 - 01:12 AM
In the box art it appears that the bracket that attaches the extended headlight/grill assembly is quite thin and is at a similar level (+/- 1mm) to the lower edge of the fenders. However on the model, the same bracket appears a lot thicker and sits a lot lower than the fender age. Perhaps the entire headlight assembly just sits to far down and needs to be moved up? though im not sure this is possible without significant work. (Did that even make sense? ) Still this doesn't spoil the kit for me since its great to have an M1151 that I can actually afford.Thanks for the review Olivier! Anirudh
JUN 10, 2011 - 07:21 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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