by: Jan Etal [ ]
Introduction The M1126 Stryker is a modern U.S. designed armored personnel carrier version of the Stryker family of armored vehicles. The basic vehicle incorporates eight wheel drive, is armed with a remote weapon system (RWS) and is armored to resist 14.5 mm and smaller projectiles.
This review is focused on the build of the Trumpeter 1:72 scale M1126, kit number 07255.
Contents The kit includes one large sprue with 55 parts, a separate upper and lover hull, eight vinyl tires and a decal sheet for one vehicle. The moldings have crisp details with minimal flash. A few parts display ejection pin marks but for the most part these areas will be hidden after construction. Unfortunately, except for the drivers hatch, all the other hatches are molded in place so the option of having them open does not easily exist. One interesting aspect is that the rear armor plate that contains the ramp has quite a bit of detail molded on the inside portion that will be hidden after construction. The instructions are a single sheet folded to create eight pages. They include a title page, a parts diagram, assembly instructions as well as painting and decal placement diagrams. The instructions are divided into eight steps and are for the most part clear and concise.
Lower Hull Step one was the build up of the suspension components along with the two rear lower body sponsons. The suspension components required minimal cleanup and were assembled without issue. The sponsons each consisted of two parts (part A15,A16 and A13,A14) that are glued together and then the finished item is glued to the lower hull rear. The fit was not the best and a seem between the sponson pieces required filling and sanding.
Step two simply involves putting the vinyl tires onto their respective rims and then gluing these onto the axles. As I have read that there is some concern that these vinyl pieces will react negatively with any surrounding plastic, I chose to paint the rims before gluing the tires to them.
Step three involves adding the Jerry can racks to the hull rear and then the cans to the racks. Care will need to be taken with the racks (parts A31,A32) as the hole in the rear plate and the pins on the rack itself did not mesh properly. A bit of careful shaping with file or blade will be required.
Upper Hull Step four is the placement of various details on the upper hull. The two wire cutting blades (A9,A10) proved no problem. The base for the RWS (A26) would not sit properly over the commanders hatch periscopes. The little legs that are meant to hold the piece above the periscopes were too short. I could see only two ways to resolve this problem. One could create new legs using plastic stock or file down the tops of the periscopes so as the legs touch the roof plate. I employed the former method. The winch capstan is next placed on itís locating pin. The last pieces to attach in this step are the side storage racks. As with the Jerry can racks, these side racks have a pin that locates into holes in the side. Care will need to be taken when gluing these racks as the hole that the pins are placed in is a bit too large.
Step five starts off with three subassemblies of the front headlights and winch cable guide. These parts are tiny and will require patience and dexterity to assemble properly. Next up is the gluing of the winch cover plate, drivers hatch and the external tool rack. At this stage I took the time to create two brass wire hatch handles for the two small hatches located on the left side of the upper hull. These hatch handles are quite obvious in pictures of the actual vehicle but no representation of them was molded to represent them.
Step six is the joining of the upper and lower hulls and then placing of the nose piece at the front of the hull.
Step seven is the assembly of the weapons station pieces. Due to the small size of the pieces care and patience will be required. It should also be noted that two weapons station pedestals are provided. Part A42 is the one to be used for this kit while part A45 can be relegated to your spare parts box. After assembly the weapons station is attached to the RWS base and the headlight guards glued to the hull front. In my case the guards were somewhat distorted in shape and had to be reshaped after immersion in hot water for a time.
Step eight is the final step and involves the attachment of the side mirrors to the hull.
Painting and finishing Painting was done using acrylic colours exclusively except for the brass parts which were primed with Humbrol #66 olive drab enamel. Mr. Hobby H343 Soot colour was used to pre-shade various areas of the vehicle including the suspension components. I then used Tamiya XF-67 NATO green with a few drops XF-2 Flat white added for the main body colour. This mix was then sprayed over the vehicle in light coats. More white was added to the mix and a slightly lighter colour was sprayed in selected areas for contrast. The vehicle was then sprayed with Tamiya X-22 clear gloss, the decals applied and then they were sealed with another coat of clear. At this point various details such as crew tools, tail lights and head lights were painted. The various periscopes and optical sensors on the RWS received a coating of Tamiya X-23 Clear Blue in the required areas. The rubber on the tires was brushed with a lightened XF-63 German Grey and contrast was added with several washes of flat black and various shades of grey. The tires, suspension and lower body panels were subjected to numerous washes and dry brushing of XF-52 Flat Earth and XF-57 Buff for weathering purposes. A number of details such as the engine gratings were accented with a wash of flat black. Final weathering was done using various colours of Delta Ceramcoat acrylics using both a brush and a decorative artistís stencil sponge. When all the painting was done and had time to dry the entire model was sprayed with several light coats of Model Master #4636 Flat Clear Acrylic.
Conclusions Some may find this a simple model kit but with proper care it should build up to a fine representation of the subject vehicle. The detail is in many ways as good as kits found in larger scales. Except for a few personal issues such as molded on hatches I still would recommend this kit.