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The Much Maligned Italeri HMMWVs

Special Forces Stinger Hummer #254

This kit is basically a plain Jane 2-door M1038 (M998 with a winch) with no rear troop seats, canvas roof or doors. The kit is one of the better Italeri variants; it includes the ďBĒ pillar not found in any other Italeri based kit. It also includes the rear door covers and folded down seat backs to properly model a 2-door truck. The use of the winch instead corrects the four-holed front bumper problem.

Being a soft top without the canvas top brings unique problems. For instance, the plywood board that covers the interior between the driver and passenger seats is missing. This detail is missing from all Italeri HMMWVs, but since there is no top or doors on this one, it is more noticeable. This item can be easily added with a piece of sheet styrene. Also missing are the two rubber bumpers that are just inside of the windshield wiper pivot points. These bumpers are only found on soft top HMMWVs (M998/1038) and keep the windshield from rattling if it was tied down (rarely done). Also missing is the two tie downs that are between the hood grill and the windshield (also found on soft tops only) and the corresponding tie downs and straps on the inside edge of the windshield frame.

A couple of omissions can be explained away. The interior cargo bulkhead is missing. This is a thick aluminum insert that fits behind the driver and front passenger seats. It is designed to keep cargo in the bed from sliding forward into the crew compartment. This bulkhead is sometimes removed in 2-door vehicles. The missing radio rack can be attributed to no radio because there is no antenna mount.

The front and hood grills on earlier Italeri kits represent the armored type found on hard top HMMWVs. The armored front grill has metal louvers visible through the grill; the soft topís grill has wire mesh visible. The top grill of the hard top has narrow metal slats; the soft topís grill has wider slats and is made out of fiberglass. The fiberglass grill on the actual vehicle is sometimes replaced with the armored type because some units carry a roll of concertina wire here. The fiberglass grill breaks under the weight and movement of the roll of wire. The front grills can be drilled out and a piece of mesh inserted from the inside.

The item that makes this HMMWV different from a regular one is the four Stinger anti-aircraft missile mount. There are not any photographs available of this Stinger mount so the accuracy canít be readily determined.

This is one of the few Italeri HMMWV kits that come with extras such as an M-60 machine gun, M-16 rifles, ALICE packs, Kevlar helmets and 5 gallon fuel cans. Decals depict a generic US Army HMMWV with no bumper numbers provided.

Copyright ©2002 - Text and Photos by Robin Gronovius (sabot). All Rights Reserved.

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