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Shar2

M-ATV MRAP. 1:16

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M-ATV MRAP
Trumpeter 1:16


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History
In the summer of 2008, the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) began to examine the possibility of developing and procuring a lighter-weight, all-terrain capable MRAP variant to address the poor roads and extreme terrain of Afghanistan. Source selection activity considered responses from more than 20 companies to a Request for Information (RfI)/Market Survey dated 21 August 2008 and in mid-November 2008 the U.S. government issued a pre-solicitation for an M-ATV. In early December 2008 the M-ATV formal Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued. The original M-ATV program requirement was for between 372 and 10,000 vehicles, with the most probable production quantity stated as 2,080.

In March 2009, it became known that two each of six different vehicle types (from five manufacturers) had been delivered to the U.S. Army for two months of evaluation, at the conclusion of which up to five ID/IQ (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) contracts would be awarded. In addition to Oshkosh's proposal, BAE Systems submitted two proposals, these being a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) derived design and an FMTV-based Caiman derivative. Force Dynamics (a Force Protection/General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) joint venture) offered Cheetah, GDLS-C (Canada) offered an RG-31 MRAP derivative, and Navistar offered an MXT-based solution.

After GDLS-C's RG-31 was eliminated from the competition in May 2009, it was announced that the five remaining bidders had been awarded ID/IQ contracts, and were each to deliver three production-ready test vehicles for the next stage of the competition. At the completion of testing, the U.S. DoD stated that it planned to select a single M-ATV producer but could, at its discretion, place production orders with multiple producers as it had done with the initial MRAP procurement. On 30 June 2009, the M-ATV contract award was announced with a single ID/IQ contract award to Oshkosh. Brigadier General Michael Brogan, United States Marine Corps program officer for MRAP, stated that the Oshkosh M-ATV was chosen because it had the best survivability and Oshkosh had the best technical and manufacturing capabilities of all the competitors. The Oshkosh bid was also the second cheapest.

The initial M-ATV delivery order was valued at over $1 billion and included 2,244 M-ATVs. The overall M-ATV requirement had increased in early June from 2,080 to 5,244 M-ATVs, these split 2,598 (Army), 1,565 (Marines), 643 (U.S. Special Operations Command), 280 (Air Force), 65 (Navy), and 93 for testing.

In July 2009, the first 46 M-ATVs were delivered, and in November the 1,000th M-ATV was handed over. Oshkosh reached its contractual obligation to produce 1,000 M-ATVs per month ahead of schedule in December 2009, and by using its existing manufacturing facilities in Oshkosh, WI (50%), and making use of its recession-hit JLG telescopic handler facility in McConnellsburg, PA (50%). The first vehicles arrived in Afghanistan in October 2009 and were to be all delivered by March 2010.

In total 8,722 M-ATVs were delivered to the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) for use in Afghanistan. M-ATVs were delivered in two main variants. The base model is designated M1240 with the Objective Gunner Protection Kit [OGPK] manned turret); it is designated M1240A1 when fitted with the Under-body Improvement Kit (UIK). The second main variant is designated M1277 and is fitted with M153 CROWS remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS). Produced in smaller numbers, the SOCOM-specific variant is designated M1245; M1245A1 with UIK fitted.

As part of the overall divestiture of the wartime MRAP fleet, the U.S. Government will keep about 80% (around 7,000) of the M-ATV fleet, 5,651 of these (inc. 250 for SOCOM) to be retained by the Army. Work is currently underway at Oshkosh's Wisconsin facility and the Red River Army Depot to reset the around 7,000 M-ATVs retained to a common build standard. Oshkosh was awarded an initial 500-vehicle M-ATV Reset contract in August 2014. Three additional contract options for 100 vehicles each were awarded in December 2014. Total contract value is in excess of US$77 million. Deliveries are under way and will continue through September 2015.

Reset work centres on returning vehicles to Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) 22 standard: essentially the build standard for the final M-ATV production batch. LRIP 22 includes upgrades such as the UIK and enhanced Automatic Fire Extinguishing System (AFES). Reset work also adds Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs) that include acoustic signature reduction (muffler), Modular Ammunition Restraint System (MARS) ammunition storage, and some Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) relocation. On 28 May 2015, Oshkosh announced the U.S. Army had awarded it a contract modification for the reset of 360 additional M-ATVs. The modification includes options for the reset of up to 1,440 additional M-ATVs. Deliveries for this latest modification are to start is October 2015. Oshkosh is on contract to reset a combined 1,160 M-ATVs with a total value of over $115 million.

The Model
The first thing you will notice about this kit is that it comes in a very big box with an artists impression of the vehicle on the front. Originally released as a ready built model by Merit International, sister company Trumpeter have now released it as a kit. On lifting the lid of the box off, you are confronted with a sea of plastic and a second box which contains both the larger single piece items and the small parts, to keep them safe. In total there are ten sprues of grey styrene, two of clear styrene, eight separate parts, also in grey styrene, one small sheet of etched brass, four metal springs, eight metal shafts, one metal link shaft, twenty three screws of various sizes/types, five large vinyl tyres, each three inches in diameter, and a smallish decal sheet. The moulding of all the parts is superb, particularly on the large separate parts that make up the chassis and body parts, with crisp details, such as bolt heads. There is no sign of flash or other imperfections, such as sink marks on even the largest parts. Although it appears to be quite a small vehicle, the completed model measures out at 386.3mm long and 159mm wide so will take up quite a lot of display space.




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Construction begins with the with the wheels with the four central hubs being fitted with two inner hub parts before having the large vinyl tyres slipped over them. The inner hubs and brake accumulators are then attached. The wheels are then put aside whilst construction concentrates on the chassis. The large single piece chassis is fitted with the four suspension mounts, each pair fitted with two piece differentials which include the drive shafts for each wheel. Each suspension mount is then fitted with upper and lower wishbones and ball joint. Between the two wishbones a metal sprint is fitted, before the whole assembly is fitted to the mount, followed by the shock absorber and wheel assembly. The steering rack is then attached to the front axle and the large transfer box is fitted on the centreline, attached to the rear cross-member and the drive shaft fitted between the transfer box and rear differential. The front bumper is fitted with two uprights and attached to the front of the chassis. On the underside of the bumper there is a large crossbeam which is attached via two brackets. Whilst on the underside, the two scuff plates are fitted over the front and rear differentials.

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The build moves onto the cab, with the firewall being fitted with the two foot pedals, followed by the instrument binnacle, to which the instrument panel is attached and detailed with the appropriate decals. The steering column is added next, followed by the navigation screen which has a map represented by a decal, on view. The cab floor is fitted by the two racks that make up the centre console between the seats. The three passenger seats are each made up of a squab and backrest, whilst the drivers seat is mostly moulded in one piece, with just the base frame and headrest to be fitted. With the seats in place the front bulkhead/instrument panel is fitted, along with the door frame uprights and metal steering link shaft and put to one side.

The next major component to be assembled is the CROWS II gunners/commander cupola. The upper, armoured section of which is moulded in one piece, to which the lower section, which has been fitted with the access hatch, is added, along with the clear parts that represent the armoured glass. The 50cal heavy machine gun is a super bit of moulding and only requires the fitting of the pintle mount, two piece ammunition box, breech to plate and shield attachment fitted before it can be added to the cupola. The splinter shield is then fitted with the two armoured glass parts before being fitted to its mount on the machine gun pintle. The instructions now tell you to add the cupola to the single piece main body section, but it may be possible to leave this off till you’ve finished painting, although it does require a fixing ring to be fitted from the inside. The armoured windscreen parts are then fitted from the inside to the body section, along with the PE grille screen, and three boxes associated with the cupola rotation. The cab assembly is then fitted from underneath the body, along with the inner wings and the door hinges fitted to the door posts.

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Each of the four doors are fitted with their associated armoured glass parts, door cards and hinges. Each of the doors can then be hung on the opposite hinges allowing them to be opening if so desired. The front doors are then fitted with large wing mirrors. The main cab/body section is then fitted to the chassis assembly, along with the large single piece under chassis angled plate. The next stage is the fitting of the rear mud flaps and large equipment frame/truck bed. The upper beams of the frame are closed off with a single part that covers the three sides, whilst the storage lockers are fitted to the single piece wheel are section. The upper frame is then attached and is fitted with the three aerial bases. The assembly is then attached to the rear of the chassis and fitted with mudflaps, radio box with another aerial base, grab handle and reflectors. The three piece towing hitch is then attached, as is the spare wheel mounting frame, and step frame. The large exhaust is also fitted, along the right hand side of the vehicle. The thick DUKE aerial is fitted to the right hand side rear wheel arch, whilst to the rear the spare wheel, with two part hub is attached to its mounting frame. At the front the two piece headlights are attached, along with the two reflectors. Finishing off the build the modeller just needs to fit the roof mounted floodlights over the drivers and co-drivers positions, rear door mounted floodlights, two more aerial bases, one on each side of the scuttle, with the right hand one fitted with a two piece flat plate aerial. There is a two piece camera unit fitted on the centreline of the scuttle, between the two windscreens, whilst at the front the flag shaped anti-IED device is fitted to the mounting plate on the bumper. Finally the two three piece access steps are added to each side.

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Decals
There is only one colour scheme provided, that of overall sandy brown. Most of the decals provided on the sheet are for the various instruments and placards inside the vehicle, with just the vehicle ID numbers on the front, rear and sides and a couple of caution/tie down markings on the sides. Only one vehicles ID marks are provided.





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Conclusion
Having seen the built model at Telford in November, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this kit. But from what I’ve seen in the box I really like it and it actually screams, BUILD ME, so it could end up jumping to the top of my build pile. Although quite large, the model doesn’t seem overly complicated, but with enough detail provided to make an out of the box build worthwhile. For those who wish to go the extra mile there is plenty of scope to add further details, such as maps, bottles, ration packs, personal kit and weapons. It’s certainly a good size to display, either at home or at a show. Very highly recommended.



Review sample courtesy of
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That looks rather nice Dave... any bigger and you could drive round in it! :lol:

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