by: Mario Krajinovic [ ]
To deal with the increasing threats to soldiers from various IED forms, updates to the most common HMMWV vehicle family were needed. These came in the FRAG kit shapes. The additional Fragmentation armor kits are specifically designed to protect the crew from the IED threats they face in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. FRAG 5 armor kit upgrade includes a much heavier 600-pound door and additional armor plating at key points on the vehicle.
A critical improvement was in the design of the doors. All the window and latch hardware have been moved from inside to the outside of the armor plating. This prevents those parts from becoming a source of secondary fragmentation inside the cabin during an attack.
Another major modification was the addition of a large "D" ring and a combat-lock bypass system on the outside of the door. These changes help rescue teams quickly open blast-damaged doors to save trapped personnel. The actual kit weighs about 2,200 lbs., but the overall vehicle weight is only increased by 760 lbs.
These kits are available for the M1114, M1116, and M1151 vehicles.
The small plastic box holds a multimedia affair:
4 resin doors packed in pairs in small zip-lock bags
single sheet of clear plastic (or perhaps clear resin) protected by paper in a zip-lock bag
2 photo-etched frets
set of instructions
This is a pretty complex update set that can be applied to the older Tamiya kit (that will need a conversion set since its not intended to be built straight from the box) or the Bronco kits. If you bought the Bronco M1114 and want to update it to a different version this will be a relative inexpensive way to do it, or perhaps you want to super-detail the newer Bronco kit and want to replace the doors for some reason.
This looks easy when you first open the box, but then you realize from the instructions that these are a small kit for itself. A lot of complex PE parts assemblies go on the resin door and it will need a lot of patience. The resin parts are free of any deformation and air bubbles and are numerated so no one gets confused. Thickness of the clear parts will also need some patience as care will be needed when cutting out the windows.
With this set you can bridge the gap from the M1114 and M1151 if you don't have the later boxing of Bronco's kit. A good number of countries used this type in Iraq/Afghanistan (i.e.Croatian ISAF detachment, ANA, Iraq Army, Polish ISAF forces...). Detail wise - it's great. Take your time with the bending and you can really show off your Humvee.