T-Model’s first injection moulded kit was released in 2017, a 1/72 model of the M1114, which included a small number of etched parts. It was very well received, being highly detailed and beautifully designed for such a small kit, although containing an error in that the rear side louvre for the air-conditioning unit was moulded on both the left and the right component, rather than just on the driver side.
T-Model have now released a second kit of the M1114, this time with a GPK (Gunner Protection Kit) turret, which adds side and rear shields to the front shield that was included in the first kit. Pre-production CAD images suggested that while utilising the same sprues from the first release, the louvre error had been corrected, and that the additional details for the GPK would all be in metal. T-Model have now kindly provided a sample of the new kit, and we can confirm that the passenger side rear roof plate has indeed been corrected.
This review will focus on what’s different from the first release; for full details of how the first kit went together, please refer to the Armorama build review that is available here
. Included in this review are photos of the new kit (with black background) and the instructions, with the detail sprue shots from the first kit (with white background).
As before we get a high quality locking top flap box, this time with every sprue and the etched sheet packed separately in their own zip bags. Instructions are a full colour 13 page booklet on high quality matt paper, covers of heavier stock, and, like the design of the box, it is somewhat superior to that of the average injection moulded plastic kit.
The body and chassis parts are spread across the two main sprues, basically identical to the first kit, breaking down roughly like this:
Sprue A: chassis, axles, door interiors, wind shield, back door
Sprue B: roof and side panels, suspension, weapons, door exteriors
Sprue C x 2: wheels, tyres, seats, springs
Sprue G: windows, lamp lenses, front grille / lamp unit
Hood: the hood / bonnet on an individual sprue.
Instead of two small sheets of PE, one thick, one thin, totalling 8 parts, we now have one larger thin sheet of 30 parts.
No decals are included, and the painting instructions are as before, showing only one finishing option, overall desert yellow, the primary codes listed being Ammo by Mig. This kit has interior details but there is no paint guidance either at this point nor in the course of the build; NATO Green is included on the paint list without being indicated on the illustration, so possibly that is intended as the interior paint, but no instruction on where to use it is included.
Starting off with that pair of rear side panels, in the photo we see a comparison of those from the first kit, 7201 on the left, and the new kit, 7202 on the right. Everything else on the sprue appears to remain identical to the first kit.
One error in the instructions has also been put right: the rear suspension arms are now correctly numbered.
Turning to the photo of the etched sheet we can see that it is now much bigger. While the larger components on the fret are mostly to provide the structure of the GPK turret, there are numerous other additional parts, some representing modifications made on the real vehicle, others being enhanced details, and we will look at each of these below, as they appear step by step in the instructions.
Step 2: PE5 is the addition of a steel plate that the rear tow hook bolts through, with holes either side to allow steel cables to be attached without occupying the main tow hook.
Step 5: PE28 and 29 are a pair of double loops that attach to the chassis members right at the front and are quite visible in photos of the real thing, hanging down just a little behind the front winch. I think these rings are for securing the vehicle while in transit on various carriers.
Step 8: PE1 is a finely ridged square to represent the surface of the radiator on top of the engine; in the first kit, this was just sloping plastic, so this will provide more detail if the hood is up.
Step 12: PE4 is a rectangle of mesh that sits behind the bars of the front grille, a nice detail enhancement that will avoid just having the horizontal bars of the quite basic plate behind the grille visible.
Step 12: PE22x2 provide two additional plates to fit on the front of the brackets that the grille assembly is mounted on, representing the edge of the thin pressed steel plate that is visible from the front.
Step 13: Instead of just mounting the central hood / bonnet radiator grille on top of the moulded plastic bars, we are now instructed to remove the plastic grille by cutting it out, and replace it with a square of etched mesh (PE2) on the underside, with the etched grille (PE14) on top of it. This should not only look better from the outside, but also provides a more correct appearance on the underside of the hood, should you wish to open it up. Bear in mind that although there are a few ejector pin marks on the underside, it is otherwise well detailed with the correct pattern of reinforcement spars, so only a little work is required to show it in the raised position. Although as noted above the appearance of the radiator has been enhanced, you’d perhaps want to add in some cables and pipes to make the engine even more presentable for display.
Step 13: As before we have the surrounds for the apertures (PE25, 26) through which the lifting hooks protrude, either side of the hood grille, but behind it on the back of hood there is an additional component (PE3) shown to be formed into a ridged shape in the instructions, and is scored on both sides on the sheet; it seems that this is a Combat Identification Panel, designed to provide a distinctive image when seen through thermal viewers. I'm not sure I understand how the required bends can be achieved without some kind of jig.
Step 17: PE13 is the metal plate attached to the side of the ammunition box.
Step 18 covers the construction of the new GPK:
PE16 is the one piece gunner shield, now made from slightly thinner gauge than in the previous kit, when it was on the thicker fret. It also now has a ridged line on the inside as a guide for the bend that needs to be made, and the welcome addition of a small rectangular indentation to provide a definite location point for the mounting bracket, the positioning of which was matter of some guesswork in the first kit.
The gun options and their fitting to the front shield are basically as before (M2HB 0.50in heavy machine gun, or a Mk19 40mm automatic belt fed grenade launcher) but now we build the side and rear enclosure of the GPK mainly from one large plate, which requires several bends, with the additional details of PE18 and 19, two internal rear mounting brackets, plus PE20x2, two small plates that bolt to the interior of the side walls, then PE21x2, two external vertical corner reinforcing plates, and finally PE30x2, which are, I think, two grab handles mounted inside the curved front edges.
That all seems quite comprehensively detailed, though no doubt there is room for further enhancement if the modeller feels the need and can find suitable reference material. For example, the external protruding hex bolts are just rendered as small indentations on the GPK walls, and it appears that there should perhaps be some internal bar that braces crossways between the two curved edges right at the front.
Step 20: PE7 and PE10 combine to provide a double thickness plate over the fuel filler cap that is moulded into the plastic on the body panel behind the rear right passenger door. PE6 is an armoured cover for the small louvre just behind the front passenger side wheel.
Step 22: PE12 is the antenna mounting bracket for the rear panel just by the driver side rear lamp. This allows the use of the second antenna base, part A32, that was unused in the first kit, which only used the antenna mounted to the right of the rear hatch. PE11x2 are mudflaps that will fit straight on to the existing pips on the rear fender; these look quite detailed with the “rubber” flap etched to be considerably thinner than the mounting bracket. Pe27x2 are tiny tie-down loops for the ends of the rear fender.
Step 23: here the GPK turret is attached, but also there is the folding panel, PE8, with etched hinge detail, that sits on the tailgate supported by two brackets, PE9.
Step 24: PE23x2, as before, are the lifting rings that poke through the hood. Finally, PE15x2, are two tiny triangles that fit between the side headlamp surround and the hood.
Apologies for making this more or less a run through of an etched sheet, but I wanted to describe all of the additional parts in some detail to show that, apart from the GPK and the corrected rear panel, there is actually a fair amount of additional detail that has been added. With these extras, this boxing actually more or less renders the first kit obsolete, as with this newer kit you could build the same configuration as the first kit, but with enhanced detail.
For anyone who has skim read straight to this conclusion, please see the link in the introduction for a full build review of the first T-Model M1114. Once again then, T-Model display impressive attention to detail for a small scale kit.