The FMTV family is currently expanding rapidly. These trucks can be improved by after-market items such as resin wheels, PE, and upgrade resin kits. But one point was still untouched: the leaf spring. Thanks to Minor, they just released a very simple and straightforward kit for workable leaf springs.
A leaf spring is a simple form of spring, commonly used for the suspension in wheeled vehicles. It is also one of the oldest forms of springing, dating back to medieval times. Just for the common form of its conception, in Italian language a "leaf spring" suspension is called "balestra" (="crossbow").
An advantage of a leaf spring over a helical spring is that the end of the leaf spring may be guided along a definite path.
Sometimes referred to as a semi-elliptical spring or cart spring, it takes the form of a slender arc-shaped length of spring steel of rectangular cross-section. The center of the arc provides location for the axle, while tie holes are provided at either end for attaching to the vehicle body. For very heavy vehicles, a leaf spring can be made from several leaves stacked on top of each other in several layers, often with progressively shorter leaves. Leaf springs can serve locating and to some extent damping as well as springing functions. While the interleaf friction provides a damping action, it is not well controlled and results in friction in the motion of the suspension. For this reason manufacturers have experimented with mono-leaf springs.
A leaf spring can either be attached directly to the frame at both ends or attached directly at one end, usually the front, with the other end attached through a shackle, a short swinging arm. The shackle takes up the tendency of the leaf spring to elongate when compressed and thus makes for softer springiness. Some springs terminated in a concave end, called a spoon end (seldom used now), to carry a swiveling member (source Wikipedia).
One PE fret for a complete truck (4 wheel drive)
If you know how real leaf springs are produced, well you know how to build this kit. Since the kit nicely reproduces leaf springs, the way to build is exactly as the real one. The thickness of the PE is very close to the real steel plates.
In order to achieve one leaf spring only 5 steps are required. Special care is required to center the plates. To perfectly match the spacing between the plates, the PE fret is used as a jig. The leaf spring is directly attached with the kit parts: F34/B34 F16/B66
The front support parts are replaced in PE (kit parts #F5 and F7).
It is a simple kit to represent a nice workable leaf spring to put your FMTV truck onto rough terrain.
A similar kit will be release soon for the M1083.
I'd like to thank Minor for providing this set for review.
Highs: Easy and fast building PE kit(yes, one does exist!)Lows: None I can think of.Verdict: A must for fans of the FMTV.
Back to Europe, I am living in Paris since december 2011 with my Wife. We have a nice 6 years old daughter, and a 3 years Baby boy.
I am doing AFV modern era. I started when I was a teenager , back to business after 10 years of break due to Sport (Baseball, yes european plays baseball) and Unive...