Faced with fiercely resistant foes in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. troops requested a heavier armored and armed version of the venerable Humvee. The latest response is the M1151 Enhanced Armament Carrier.
While the M1151 looks similar to the M1141, it has a heavier chassis and improved engine. The most visible differences are the air-conditioning grilles above the rear wheels and the sunken center post on the windshield frame.
Thanks to Academy, there is now a fully injection-molded kit of the M1151. The tan plastic features good surface detail.
While the kit provides basic interior components for the crew area, only the lower half of the engine is represented. The tires are hard plastic molded in halves, and though they show excellent (and correct) tread detail, they have no brand markings on the sidewalls. Clear parts are provided for all the windows as well as the headlights and front indicators.
A small photoetched-metal sheet provides grilles for the rear fenders. Decals are given for three vehicles, two in desert tan and one in NATO camouflage. Two figures are included, a driver and a turret gunner.
The frame is a one-piece molding, helping to ensure correct alignment. The wheels are held in place by poly caps, so they can be left off until after painting. The fit of the exhaust pipe (Part C18) to the muffler (Part C17) is pretty poor, but tucked under the vehicle it is not noticeable. The springs required filing to remove some heavy ejector-pin marks.
Once everything was painted, assembly of the interior components went smoothly. The location of the photoetched-metal tray (Part PE2) is not precise, so I installed it after the main radio assembly was in place.
Academy does a good job of noting the various interior colors. Decals are provided for a couple of placards on the dash, but not for the instrument cluster. Surprisingly, there are no foot pedals provided for the driver. The doors can be glued closed or posed open using photoetched-metal “hinges.” You have the option of fitting a tall (Marine) or short (Army) air-intake stack.
The turret assembly fits well, but some of the parts have noticeable ejector-pin marks. The hatch can be posed open or closed. The attachment point for the gun shield to the turret is very loose, requiring it to be glued in place. The .50-caliber machine gun is well molded, but like the shield, it doesn’t have a strong attachment point and needs to be glued in place.
I had a bit of trouble fitting the hood. The air filter seemed to sit a little too high, and the hood’s hinges (parts E31 and E32) also were in the way. If I were to build another kit, I would leave the hinge assemblies off the grille until the hood was in place.
The decals went on well with just a touch of Micro Sol settling them down over a coat of Pledge Future floor polish. While I glued the rear cargo hatch closed, I did not cement the roof assembly. So, the interior can be shown off. By the way, the fit of the roof is very good.
While Academy includes the Duke antenna for the rear bumper, you’ll have to go to the aftermarket if you want to install a Rhino device up front.
I spent about 18 hours building my M1151. The scale of the finished model exactly matches published dimensions of the vehicle. With the level of detail and accuracy of the model, Academy’s kit is an excellent value.
A version of this review appeared in the December 2011 issue of FineScale Modeler.