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Accessory/Aftermarket Product Review

1/72 ModellTrans Modellbau

M1129 Stryker Mortar Carrier (MC)-B Conversion Set (MT72151)

By Rob Teubert - Edgerton, Wisconsin USA 

Basic Item Information

Stock Number MT72151

Manufacturer

ModellTrans Modellbau

Scale

1/72

Medium

Resin

Kit Contents

16 parts

Donor Model Kit

Academy Models M1126 Stryker ICV Model Kit (13411)

Retail Price

16.90 Euro (Approximately $22 USD)

Reviewer

Rob Teubert

Review Date

September 16, 2012

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Detailed Review

Background Information

The M1129 Mortar Carrier (MC) is one of the many variants in the Stryker Interim Armored Vehicle (IAV) series. In fact, two (2) of the variants are versions of the M1129 MC; the "A" version and the "B". The MC-A carried two 81mm mortars internally, but they could not be fired from within the vehicle. The crew had to dismount and set up the mortars on the ground, which exposed the crew to enemy fire. The creation of the MC-B solved this problem by mounting a 120mm M121 mortar fitted on a 360 degree turn table mount. In 2005 the MC-B replaced the MC-A. This ModellTrans Modellbau conversion set was designed to convert the 1/72 Academy M1126 Infantry Fighting Vehicle Model Kit (13411) to the M1129 MC-B. 

Whatís in the box?

  This conversion set contains 16 resin parts- the upper hull and 15 detail parts. No interior or mortar parts are included as this vehicle was built to be "buttoned up".  Also, no decals are provided.  The resin castings are of good quality, with sharp/crisp detail and no air bubbles to be found. However, there was one part (a main hatch) that had a corner molded so thin that it broke as soon as I handled while attempting some minor clean up. To fix it, I cut out the rest of the thin spot and repaired it with some plastic stock.

  Although the conversion itself is very nice, a disappointment to me with this set is the instructions, or should I say the lack of them. The instructions consist of only one sheet of paper containing two grainy photos of the conversion that you are supposed to use for parts placement.

 The conversion packaging also has one 1 color photo that can be used, but to make sure of proper parts placement you will need to use other references to help you do so. My main reference was the M1129 MC vehicle index here at Warwheels.net.

Photos of Parts

   

Construction

There are two main components to this project, the upper and lower hulls of the Stryker MC. The lower hull consists of all Academy parts and the upper hull being mostly the ModellTrans resin conversion. I started with the lower hull and I did have some issues with the Academy kit; wheels, suspension, etc.  However, since this review covers the ModellTrans conversion I will not go into details about those issues here. I will start with the mating of ModellTrans Modellbau upper hull with Academy's lower hull, which I will describe as damn near flawless. The fit was perfect and I even a heard a satisfying little ďsnapĒ (not "crack" or "crunch") when the parts went together.  In fact, the fit was so good I did NOT need any clamps or other support to hold it together while the glue dried.

The "problem child" of this conversion build the was rear hull/ hatch piece.  Unfortunately, the fit was poor and it took a good amount of cutting and sanding for me to get it to fit and look just right. In fact, I did break off an end of a stowage bin during construction but I was quickly able to fix it with some card stock cut to size. The rest of the assembly consists of adding detail and smaller parts to the upper hull.  I had no major issues with this last portion of the build, once I figured out where everything went using my extra references. Finally, I did leave off a few of the last small parts like the machine gun mount and antennas as Iíve got plans for this kit a bit later down the road.

Accuracy

As far as the accuracy of the conversion set when compared to the real vehicle, it looks as if the size of the vehicle is spot on.  However, there are a few details that appear a bit "off".  For instance, the tool rack on the conversion part extends past the upper hull and hangs over the end of the vehicle. However, the reference photos I consulted show that the rack is flush with the upper hull and does not extend past it.  Since the tools are molded into the rack it will not be an easy fix.  Also, the side stowage racks of the Stryker are molded as if they were static (non-moveable) but in all my reference photos these are moveable and able to be folded up when not in use.

Painting

As mentioned above, Iím going to do some post review work on the Stryker MC. So after assembly so I did not fully finish the model as usual.  In this case I primed the kit then gave it a coat of Tamiya NATO Green to see how the resin reacted to the paint.   Great news as I had no issues. Lastly, since this conversion did not come with any decals I could not use or review any.

Photos of Completed Conversion

 

Conclusion

Although not perfect (like all other kits/conversion), I recommend this product because itís an interesting and unusual subject. And with just a little work it can become an outstanding model.  However, I would suggest that people wanting to use this conversion have a few resin builds under their belt.  This comment is due to the sparse instructions included and the few hurdles that popped up during construction. Now on to phase 2 of the build.

Thanks to ModellTrans Modellbau for the review sample.

 
Copyright: Rob Teubert - September 16, 2012