In the mid 1980s, the US Army replaced its aging
M151A1/A2 (a.k.a. “Jeep”) and its omnipresent, M416/M416A1 ¼ ton cargo
trailer, combination with the new M998-series High Mobility Multi-Purpose
Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) manufactured by AM General. Pronounced “Humvee” or
called “Hummer”, this vehicle became the Army’s workhorse and was put into
service in about a dozen variants, some differing only by the addition of a
winch for recovery operations.
Italeri produces several HMMWV variants and other companies re-box the basic
Italeri kit adding parts to create their own unique variants. Despite
inaccuracy problems the kits are well engineered, fit well and look good.
The Italeri HMMWVs are pleasures to build and look like HMMWVs when
M998 Hummer #247
In 1988, Italeri produced its first HMMWV model. It
was kit number 247 and called “M998 Hummer.” The kit was, in fact, an M966
Armored TOW (tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missile) Carrier.
The nomenclature of the vehicle was not the only error the kit had.
The kit represented a pre-production prototype and had several errors. First
of all, the front bumper of the production HMMWV has three circular holes in
it; the Italeri kit had four. The front bumper is also missing the two “U”
shackles and brackets. Next the windshield wiper blades of the HMMWV hang in
a straight line with the wiper arm. Italeri molds the wiper blades at an
angle so they remain parallel to the top of the windshield frame. Early
Italeri HMMWVs are also missing the three oval indentations found below each
door on the sides of the chassis. Italeri corrected this on later models.
Another item missing is the air vent grill for the crew compartment. This is
located on the right side of the chassis, just forward of the front
passenger door. Italeri HMMWVs do not have “AM GENERAL” embossed in the
tailgate, but that omission may be due to licensing reasons.
Other short comings to the Italeri kit are simplified interior details such
as the driver and passenger seat assemblies and the missing heater. The
doors are given the option of being opened; however, the “B” pillar is not
included and would show if the doors were opened. Both the gunner’s hatch
and cargo hatch are molded closed with no option to pose them open. The
gunner’s hatch is also molded in reverse [thanks Marcel]. There is just an
empty shell inside the vehicle. Missing are the radio rack, gunner’s stand
and other storage racks common to a TOW HMMWV. Italeri omits the pioneer
tool rack that stores under the rear bumper.
The tread patterns on the kit tires do not match either the older bias ply
tire pattern or the newer radial tires. Also the front and rear hubs on the
actual vehicle differ, Italeri gives the same hub for all four wheels.
Additionally, the kit decals depict a USMC vehicle; however, the wading
exhaust and raised air cleaner are not provided in any Italeri based kit.
Therefore no Italeri kit can be built into a true USMC vehicle. This kit was
also boxed by Testors in the yellow box and was kit number 830. The box top
featured photos of the assembled kit.
Copyright ©2002 - Text and
Photos by Robin Gronovius (sabot). All Rights Reserved.