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In-Box Review
135
HEMTT Gun Truck
Review of Italery HEMTT Gun Truck Item number 6510
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by: Seb Viale [ SEB43 ]

Introduction

The Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) series is a range of eight-wheel drive diesel-powered off-road capable trucks, used by the US military. Formally described as "Truck, Cargo: 10-Ton, 8x8", it has been nicknamed the "Dragon Wagon". HEMTT trucks first went into service with the U.S. Army in 1982, as a replacement for the M520 Goer.
A 10x10 variant of the HEMTT truck is used as prime mover in the Palletized load system (PLS). The vehicle is produced by the Oshkosh Corporation. In the civilian realm the truck's chassis is also used in the Oshkosh Striker as an airport crash tender.

Kit contents

12 pages B&W instruction booklet.
6 Plastic sprues
1 Transparent sprue
One small decal
Review

Italeri has just released brand new fully upgraded moulds for this item.
This vehicle depicts a HEMTT gun truck with field modified armor on the flatbed as well as on the cabin. Extra weapons stations are welded onto the flat bed.

I never had the chance to see or own a previous HEMTT from Italeri but with the big mention on the top of the box: “Fully upgraded moulds”, I was expecting an outstanding level of details similar in such with contemporary release from other plastic companies. Well, I have to admit that finding no vinyl tires, or a PE fret was a shock. Moreover the level of detail on most sprues has made me dig deeper to check the details.

Out of the 6 plastic sprues, four have a 292 number. 292 is the kit number for Italeri M-977. So you can imagine with the age of that kit what level of detail you will be dealing with, so much forso called improved moulding. Generally, overall detail is pretty low, a lot of simplification is present. The evident mold design flaws are found in many locations, flash, sink marks, large seam lines, and numerous ejector pin marks. The level of detail is not up to the standard of today’s releases.

So, I am sorry to tell you that 77% of the kit is Not New. Only the extra armor plates and weapons stations for the flatbed are new.
So saying that, let’s start the review.

The build is done in 12 steps for the HEMTT, the last 7 steps covers the attachment of the field applied armor panels. Last step is for the crane.

Step 1 covers the build of the frame. In my review sample, the two large beams (1A and 16A) are not aligned and bent. The bolt heads are just plain cylinder shape not as seen on the real vehicle.

Step 2 covers the assembly of the suspension. The leaf springs are too big and over simplified. Flatbed support beams are again wrapped and need to be perfectly square prior to gluing, numerous ejection pins need to be sanded.

Steps 3 & 4 are for the building of the transmission. The gear boxes are over simplified, the main comment is again on the bolt heads which are again small cylindrical points.

Steps 5 - 7 are for the building of the engine. No details are shown on the parts. Exhaust cover which is actually in PE is molded directly onto the exhaust pipe. Air filter is nicely done. All boxes are engineered in strange way. Some parts in plastics would preferably be supplied in PE such as the mud flaps.

Step 8 finalizes all the mechanical parts for the suspension and transmission such as anti-rolls bars. Wheels hubs are attached to the drive shafts.

Step 9 covers the cabin which has a nice dashboard. The seats are molded in one piece, no seatbelts. On the outside the overall aspect is simplified for example; the lights are molded as a single piece, the passenger door is molded closed but the driver’s door can be displayed opened.

Step 10 covers the gluing of the 8 front wheels. Each wheel is molded in two plastic halves with poor engraving shown on the walls. Tire pattern is really simple and removing the joint line can be tricky. The cabin is glued onto the main frame

Step 11 covers the building of the flat bed. This is straight forward while the wall needs be sanded because of the presence of ejector pin marks.

Step 12 covers the attaching of the flat bed to the main frame and the attachment of the wheels. This is the final step for the HEMTT.

The rest of the build covers the extra armor plates being glued into the flat bed and cabin.

Steps 13 & 14 are dedicated to the assembly of the armor panels onto the flatbed. Surprisingly the level of details is great. All welding lines on the steel plates are really well done as well as the bold heads.

Step 15 covers the preparation of the cabin for the armor. Mirrors are attached to the cabin as well as the driver door.

Step 16 covers the gluing of the door protection panels. Since such items are welded in place, you need to sand off the bold heads.

Step 17 covers the assembly of all weapons and I need to be honest even though these items are part of the new sprue, the quality is poor. Large seam lines can be seen on the barrel of the M2 and the Mk19 barrel is totally wrong, the gun mounts however are nicely done; you can save them after some minor clean up.

Step 18 finalizes the assembly of the cabin protection armor and the gun ring is glued onto the roof.

Step 19 covers the attachment of all of the guns onto the truck bed.

Steps 20 & 21 cover the building of the crane; one missing detail is the cable for the crane.

Conclusion

Unfortunately the truck main sprues are not new and you will need to do a lot of work to reach a good level of detail. The model is out of date when compared to what competitors offers. I can only suggest that you find an alternate source for the HEMTT. It is really disappointing to see such lack of attention from Italeri when they have demonstrated a good level of quality on the new sprues. I am dreaming of a brand new tooled HEMTT. In conclusion, you will need a lot of AM stuff to ensure a high level of quality and details.
SUMMARY
Highs: Italery release a HEMTT if you want to spend some time in improving detail. Go for it. If not exstensive work will be require.
Lows: False commercial information on the novelty of the molds, lack of detail in every aspect. Not to current standard.
Verdict: Not recommended.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6510
  Suggested Retail: €33.oo
  PUBLISHED: Nov 02, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.06%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 79.70%

About Seb Viale (seb43)
FROM: PARIS, FRANCE

Back to Europe, I am living in Paris since december 2011 with my Wife. We have a nice 6 years old daughter, and a 3 years Baby boy. I am doing AFV modern era. I started when I was a teenager , back to business after 10 years of break due to Sport (Baseball, yes european plays baseball) and Unive...

Copyright ©2019 text by Seb Viale [ SEB43 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

So, Italeri VS Academy. Is that all we have for the HEMTT? Jeff
NOV 02, 2013 - 12:28 AM
The only 1/35 HEMTT is the Italeri kit, also reboxed by Revell and Academy. They are all the same plastic on the inside.
NOV 02, 2013 - 12:34 AM
Academy?... Never heard of any HEMTT release from Academy. Anyone has any info on that? There is a Hobby Gallery from Korea rebox with resin and PE included, but I never heard they are related to Academy.
NOV 02, 2013 - 08:07 AM
Academy has a 1/72 HEMMT, that's the only one I know of. I'm still going to get one of these.. only game in town and all that Plus, it's good enough for my skill level Hisham
NOV 02, 2013 - 08:24 AM
Apparently Hobby Gallery is or is related to Academy. It is litsed as Academy on some sites. Some say this -- "All of our items are officially distributed by ACADEMY PLASTIC MODEL CO., LTD. KOREA." It is still the same Italeri plastic though. It only comes with some PE and resin wheels. I don't think it is worth the price they are charging for it (about $70 plus shipping). The kit can be a good base for super detailing. Real Model has a few sets, along with Pro Art, and a bunch of wheel sets for it by various makers. Costly, but it can be made to look good when done.
NOV 02, 2013 - 08:43 AM
Honestly, If Trumpeter, (who seems to be the only one doing modern US trucks) was to do a HEMTT it would be more expensive the the Italeri kit with after market parts. Ye it would e nice to have a more detailed kit with everything you need in the box, But price point there wouldn't be much different.
NOV 02, 2013 - 01:26 PM
I can't speak for brands I have not personally seen, but I have these from Legend and they are quite good. LINK
NOV 03, 2013 - 03:29 AM
In some way or another some modeling companies like Italeri and Revell seem to focus on the average modeler, who may never have heard of PE sets, resin upgrade sets and what ever we spend our money on.( yes! They do excist!). This may be right from some marketing perspective, though I wonder if an initial better research ( how dificult can this be with a common truck like the HEMMT?) and a better tooling, at the end of the day would make higher turn overs and margins? Now, once again, a very attractive subject, which could be the base of a large series of derivates, is represented by a heap of plastic with flaws, inaccuracies and even failures. A missed chance for Italeri. Maybe, we are able to get an answer from an Italeri marketing manager why this is done?
NOV 03, 2013 - 04:10 AM
Not really false advertising, the box says updated molds, or new molds and the kit includes new molds. Anyone that thought this was a new tooled kit going into it, needs to give their head a shake. It was known from the start that this would be just the old HEMMT kit with the new gun truck parts added, so I am not sure why anyone would expect otherwise. Are we modellers? Or assemblers? Sure it would be nice to have a completely new tooled kit, but this kit isn't that bad for anyone with the basic skills to build a kit. So you have to clean up a few mold lines and fill a few sink holes. It still is the only game in town for a 1/35 HEMMT truck. What Italeri did is no different than most other companies when they re-release a kit from the past, with a few new, or upgraded parts. I see nothing wrong with this kit, provided you were going into it expecting to see something along the lines of a new tooled Meng, Trumpeter or Dragon kit.
NOV 08, 2013 - 04:22 AM
   

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