by: Pete Becerra [ ]
IntroductionDeployability/mobility and lethality/survivability, thatís what the Stryker brings to the table on the war on terrorism. The M1127 Reconnaissance Vehicle is just one of the different variants in the Stryker family. Mounted with either a M2 .50 Cal machine gun or Mk19 40mm automatic Grenade launcher, crew of 2, and a 6 member scout squad, the M1127 makes a formidable weapons platform on the modern battlefield. A Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System (LRAS3) produced by Raytheon, is mounted on the commander's cupola next to the main gun. It is a long range multi-sensor system that provides real-time ability to detect, recognize, identify, and geolocate distant targets. Miloslav Hraban of Real Models has brought us yet another outstanding conversion kit fro the AFV M1126/M1130 Stryker in the form of the M1127 RV with slat armor, blast panels, and RHINO anti-IED device.
Set ContentsWhen I opened the box, I nearly fell to the floor. Iíve never seen so much photo etch in one box. Nine sheets of photo etch are in the box including the huge 3-sheet Slat Armor. Also included are the two newly released Blast Panels and RHINO Anti-IED Device photo etch sets. The resin parts consist of a replacement upper hull, commander's cupola, gun/shield mount, 24 empty 66mm M6 Smoke Discharger Systems, 12 loaded 66mm M6 Smoke Discharger Systems, 1 right side smoke discharger mount, 1 left side smoke discharger mount, 1 front smoke discharger mount consisting of 3 pieces to either mount them with or without slat armor, 4 .50 Cal ammo cans, 1 ice chest, 1 DUKE antenna mast, 7 antenna matching units, 1 LRAS3 mount, 2 carrying handles, 2 joysticks, 1 eye guard, and 1 LRAS3 main unit.
The instruction are comprised of 15 sheets. Most of the instructions look very familiar if you already built the Stryker with slat armor. Most of the instructions for the photo etch sets are in the Eduard standard format with Miloslav Real Modelís logo on them. Pictures of the built model are provided in the instructions for a guide to place the resin and photo etch parts.
ReviewNow onto some key points on some of the parts. Lets start off with the upper hull. Almost no flash was present on my sample. I found two tiny specks of flash in the driver's hatch and in one of the rear air guard hatches. A new cupola is added to the hull along with removing the squad leader's hatch. The best feature about the new hull is that Miloslav added the ANTI-SLIP coating to it. The sides of the hull are left blank with out any detail so that the add-on armor can be incorporated. If you wish to build your kit with out the slat armor and additional armor, just follow the AFV kit instructions and parts to re-place the missing parts with the provided photo etch.
There are three fragile handles located on top of the commanders cupola. Two are located left and right of the hatch and one in front of the hatch. Be extra careful not to break these off or make sure they are there when you open the zip lock bag up. Also, once the pour block is removed, be sure to add the two missing bolts and washers. You have to use either the AFV kit .50 Cal or Mk19 or purchase and after-market weapon for the commanders cupola. You also have to acquire the .50 Cal ammo can holder that mounts next to the weapons cradle or a large 40mm ammo can holder from another photo etch set. The Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System (LRAS3) is cast very well with lots of small fine detail. The only thing that you need to add is the control and power cable with some brass wire or fine solder.
Care needs to be taken when opening the box up and pulling out the zip lock baggies. Two of my antenna matching units were broken. This will be an easy fix because they broke off clean and at an unnoticeable point. A set of Grandt Line nuts and bolts will also be needed to place at all the attachment points on the photo etch.
ConclusionOne might say that paying close to $200.00 for a conversion kit is outrages, but for a kit that comes with this much photo etch and nice clean casting is well worth the price. Many modern modelers have asked where are the kits? Slowly, model companies have heard the call, and small companies like Real Model have added to those kits already on the market by bridging the gap and giving us a chance to model the rest of the variants in a particular line of vehicles. Miloslav makes building Strykerís look so easy and although there is a lot of photo etch and it might seem intimidating, with a little skill and a lot patience, a very convincing looking M1127 can be turned out.