The Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) is a series of vehicles, based on a common chassis, that vary by payload and mission requirements. FMTV vehicles were manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments until 2011 when Oshkosh Corporation began producing the fleet. The FMTV were derived from the Austrian military truck Steyr 12M18.
The Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV) has a 5-ton capacity (cargo and long-wheelbase cargo with and without material handling equipment, tractor, van, wrecker, and dump truck models). Three truck variants and two companion trailers, with the same cube and payload capacity as their prime movers, provide air drop capability.
The cab-over FMTV replaces the 2.5 ton and 5 ton M35 and M939 series of trucks and performs local and line haul, unit mobility, unit resupply, and other missions in combat, combat support and combat service support units. It is rapidly deployable worldwide and operates on primary and secondary roads, trails, and cross-country terrain, in all climatic conditions. Commonality of parts across truck chassis variants significantly reduces the logistics burden and operating and support costs. New vehicle applications are being developed to meet new requirements.
This is a build review of Trumpeter's 1/35 scale M1083 FMTV, which has a great feature in-box (p)review here
on Armorama, so I decided to concentrate more on the build of the kit.
The build takes off with the bed frame, transmission and the suspension parts. The bed frames are the largest parts and everything else connects to them. They are easy to clean up since there are a lot of molding plugs that are cleverly attached to the parts thus ensuring that no sink marks or pin holes are present. All of the details are crisp and sharply molded but I would like for the bolts to have better definition, since they are very visible.
Since no engine is supplied, the bottom of the cab is represented only by a panel that has oil drip pan and transmission fluid bottom halves molded. Since this will be closed up, this is a decent solution for the common modeler. A couple of cross-member parts are attached to this panel and it fits well in place on the chassis side frames.
I would like to point out that it would be wise to clean up all of the cross-member parts to have them ready for assembly to avoid movement and misalignment of the chassis frame sides.
A short shaft connects the transmission box to the aforementioned panel. The gearbox is comprised of 5 parts leaving a few lines to clean up and some holes that are visible when everything is assembled. This is a small matter as it cleans up fairly nice, and the holes are not visible once the gearbox is placed onto the frame.
Five more cross-member parts connect the two sides, and by now you should have a sturdy platform that will provide the necessary rigidity of the entire frame. The winch housing is a multi-part affair (8 parts) and looks really busy, but the instructions push you to install three D6 clear parts (position lights) in this early stage of the build that would require some complicated masking afterwards, so I chose to add these later.
The suspension systems build starts with the rear wheel leaf springs, a couple of tie hooks, bumper rods and their mounts. The leaf springs are easy to assemble and place, but I canít shake the feeling that these parts are over-engineered just to add more to the parts count. Of note to the modeler is the fact that the front bumper rods are asymmetric and the instructions are vague on this part. With the addition of the suspension parts, step 1 is complete.
This step is broken into two segments. The first is the exhaust and rear mud flaps assembly and the second is the front axle. The exhaust is a 6 parts subassembly. The pipes have molding seams so you will need to clean up all parts but otherwise there are no issues. Also in this subassembly a first PE parts is necessary. The frame mount for the exhaust is a plastic part which connects to a PE exhaust sling. This looks very realistic and is easy to make. The only part which doesnít fit easily is the exhaust end Ė part WC12 that needs some sanding to fit properly.
The rear mud flaps are also the housing for the rear lights. Again, I chose to leave off the clear parts to ease the painting/masking later. One nitpick (a subjective opinion) is that the flaps could use some sanding to get realistic thickness. Other than that, the overall fit is good and no problems are present.
The ďAĒ segment is the front axle. This is where the build goes a bit wonky. A relatively easy build requires two wheel housings (B18, B19) to be glued to the axle. A connecting rod is attached to both housings without glue (according to the instructions) I chose not to permanently glue these parts to achieve some freedom in the wheel angle placing. Other than this, no issues are present.
The suspension is further complicated by the build-up of the rear axles and the front leaf springs. The rear-most axle is a simple subassembly that connects to the frame via the rear leaf-spring attachment points. At this time build the other axle with the transmission (cardan joint?) housing. This way you can easily place the two axles onto the frame and connect them with a shaft part WA30. Take note of the shaft orientation to avoid pulling and replacing the parts. The other shaft (part WA20) connects the rear axle to the transmission housing and goes directly over the exhaust. Front leaf-springs are exactly the same as the rear ones (build wise) and have good fit and are easy to assemble. The only part which is vague on placing is B50 the connector hose to the exhaust, so I chose to add it at a later time.
This step places everything linked to the suspension together and builds a couple of other sub-assemblies like the front bumper and fuel pump/canister. The ďAĒ front axle sub-assembly is connected to the frame by a shaft element (part A30) and 4 side link rods and a couple of perpendicular tie rods interconnect the two rear axles.
The front bumper is a 2 main part assembly with great fit, so I opted not to glue them together or to the frame for that matter so it would ease the painting of the clear parts. Two PE parts are given for the reflectors, but since these are molded on the bumper you can choose to leave them or replace them with the provided brass parts.
The ĒBĒ segment is the fuel pump/canister which has a lot parts that need cleaning up as well fine placement so take care when doing this one. Once you do the canister the only thing needed is the PE shield and youíre done and onto the next step.
This step adds more detail to the chassis frames. The main build-up is the air canister housing. For such a large part number assembly (10 parts) it goes quickly and hassle-free. The canisters fit well together with their caps and mount onto the housing itself made of 6 parts. It is sturdy enough and holds shape well and is easy to make. PE part WA13 is the shield for the entire assembly and is not mounted on the real thing. The only FMTV that has these are the up-armored ones so in my opinion I didnít bother with this one and I left if off. A couple of wishbone links are added to the rear axles to connect them to the frame and a few other items like the air filter are added to the frame.
Separate segment ďCĒ is the main fuel tank. The tank is a complex shape and is made of a number of parts and needs careful alignment, filling and sanding to obtain a united shape without any seams. Another PE part, WA26 is the shield for the up-armored version so you are free to leave this one off as well.
Segments ďDĒ are the rear tires. The hubs are made of 6 parts and look realistic. They allow free rotation on the axles which is a good thing. The model provides parts for the CTIS (E1) that are somewhat fragile so take care when taking them off the sprue. Everything is the same for the front tires (segment ďEĒ). The tires are vinyl, and are nicely detailed. The sidewall writing is present and accurate, the thread is decent but a center seam line is there and some sanding will be needed to remove it. Once you place the tires onto the hubs, there is some loose play between the two but itís no big deal. For those wanting to super detail, there are lots of after-market options out there.
The final segment in this step is the battery box (?), segment ďFĒ is pretty simple although over-complicated in my opinion. The basic box fits well but the smaller segments need some attention while fitting everything together.
This step brings the entire lower chassis assembly together. In this build I did deviate from the instructions since I didnít want to secure the wheels due to lots of intricate painting that still needs to be done. This step also features the assembly of the winch mount that is very detailed and will look great once painted and weathered.
Large parts connect in this step to the chassis frame. A9 and A25 fit very tightly and have no need for any filler. One problem is the locating holes which are used for proper positioning on the frame have smaller diameter that the pins going to them so itís a very tight squeeze and they canít come off easy, so take care when moving them prior to final gluing. The front mudflaps (parts B20&B21) if placed per instructions will have no clearance over the tires so you will need to fill the locating holes and make new ones offset by few mm. Other crossbeams go on without any issues but as noted itís a very tight fit so take care not to put a lot of pressure on these parts. The air/gas filter (parts A8&A27) needs some cleaning up, but other than that, no problems are noted here, and youíre left with complete lower chassis and bed frame.
This looks like pretty simple step Ė the cargo box. The bed is surrounded by four side panels that are thin enough to be slightly warped, but once clamped down and glued everything is square as it should be. The underside seam lines need to be filled, but itís a pretty straight through affair. You need to place four mounting brackets (parts H3) on the underside but all of these have pin marks on the inside so you might want to take a look if it will be visible once everything is placed. The only repetitive thing is the cleanĖup and gluing of 26 hooks on the side panels. Itís a pity that the kit doesnít come with the canvas cover for the cargo bay.
The following step is almost identical to the last one as you fit more crossbars and brackets. Take care to ensure that everything lines up properly and is straight since you will be fitting these onto the lower frame. Once the crossbars are glued, fitting the ladder is easy as only the frame gets glued-thus ensuring the ladder is movable. Part B9 is the exhaust mount which unfortunately doesnít look much like the real part and proved to be a problem in my build, but later on that.
Steps 10 & 11
This is an optional section of the build. You either build the foldable troop seats stowed or collapsed. I chose the stowed position and ended up with another pitfall of this kit. The seats are made of 4 segments. The smallest segment is from the later mold also present in the up-armored version of this truck. Itís also the only one without pinmarks on the lower side. Every other segment has them and they are of the nastier kind, the one you canít really sand off, fill them or anything as they are quite inaccessible. I chose a different solution of adding some thin plasticard on top of them. Itís not really the accurate way of how to deal with them, but ended up looking acceptable. The sides fit nicely and the segments are a 3 part build, with the curved supports and a single PE locking bracket on each one. It takes a while to clean up seam lines and if you choose so to do the pin marks, but it looks very interesting once assembled.
Step 12 begins with the placement of seat panels onto the cargo bed. There are 3 posts per side with the first and last having appropriate cutouts in the cargo floor. Unfortunately the center post is located directly onto a mooring ring in the floor, so you might want to remove the eyelet ring before gluing everything together.
Second part of this build deals with the cab. The exterior is a very well done representation of the real thing. The radiator mounts onto the front interior wall of the cab which is a part of the dashboard. The instruments are raised and are followed by decals with the gauge dials. The cab floor has a couple of crossbars that mount to the chassis frame and mudguards which have some pinmarks that needs sanding/filling.
The interior is not so enjoyable. Youíve probably seen the update sets for this kit such as ProArtís resin update or some PE sets. The insides are pretty basic and could use a lot of TLC. The front wall/radiator housing adds to the floor in this step and everything fits very nicely. The 3 seats are a multi-part affair with PE connectors for the seats and the back rest. Overall they are simple things which could use some PE or scratchbuilt belts. A couple of stowage boxes are behind the driver and passenger seats and with the addition of a single fire extinguisher and the steering wheel column thatís pretty much it. The interior I mean.
This step finalizes the cab exterior. Windows are added to the interior, rear view mirrors, side lights, radiator grille and windscreen wipers. Since this is a fast and error-free step of the build, there isnít much to note here.
With the former step, you need to add PE sunscreens to the interior of the cab in this step and mate the cab floor to the cab. One power conduit/adaptor is located on the back so make sure you donít forget to add this little sucker like I almost did.
This step gave me much trouble. The exhaust has a very complex shape and comes in 2 halves. Itís easy to mess up the shape with sanding so please ensure the best fit prior to gluing so you woní have much difficulties later. As you can see from the pics in the review I didnít add the exhaust yet to my model. Why? The mounting brackets simply donít fit in to the holes and they are too tight. The cable that needs to be connected to the side of the exhaust is too tight as I donít think itís molded with enough length to reach as it should. The mounting bracket on the cargo box is also the wrong shape IMO and needs to be reworked to look like the real thing. This was the only thing I didnít like about this kit.
Last step of the build has you mating the cab and the chassis and build the spare tire carrier. Even though it looks fiddly while assembling, itís pretty sturdy and looks the part. Only thing missing are the straps securing the tire onto the carrier. The cab fits pretty well onto the frame and no problems should be while doing so. And thatís it! You now have a very true model of the standard US 5-tonne cargo truck in your hands Ė now have that beer thatís waiting for you :)
This is a good model. It's a good basic model and an excellent base for super-detailing, conversions (WarPig anyone?) or even scratchbuilding if you don't want to buy the up-armored version but build one yourself. It's somewhat lacking in the interior but is good enough to stand alone as a centerpiece of a diorama or a single model. Recommended.