The HMMWV was introduced into service in 1985 and has seen more than 150,000 vehicles of all variants produced for the US Armed Forces as well as over 30 other countries with newer versions also being developed.
The HMMWV is built on a box frame of high-grade alloy steel with an aluminium body for light weight and corrosion protection. It is powered by a General Motors 6.2 litre V-8 air-cooled diesel engine driving through a 3 speed automatic gear box. It features a double A arm independent suspension front and rear with coil springs and hydraulic double action shock absorbers which make for the good manoeuvrability and off road handling. The four wheel disc brakes are mounted inboard to protect them from debris and the low centre of gravity due to the wide wheelbase also adds to the excellent cross country mobility.
The initial M998 HMMWV series consists of the following models:
M998 Cargo/Troop Carrier Vehicle (in various configurations)
M1038 Cargo/Troop Carrier Vehicle with winch
M966 TOW Missile Platform with basic armor
M1036 TOW Missile Platform with basic armor with winch
M1045 TOW Missile Platform with supplemental armor
M1046 TOW Missile Platform with supplemental armor with winch
M1025 Armament Carrier with basic armor
M1026 Armament Carrier with basic armor with winch
M1043 Armament Carrier with supplemental armor
M1044 Armament Carrier with supplemental armor with winch
M977 Maxi-ambulance for four stretchers with basic armor
M996 Mini-ambulance for two stretchers with basic armor
M1035 Ambulance with soft top for two stretchers
M1037 Shelter Carrier
M1042 Shelter Carrier with winch
M1069 Prime Mover (Based on the M1097 HHV for towing the M102/M119 105mm Light Gun)
M1097 HHV (Heavy Hummer Variant)
Avenger Air Defence Missile System (based on the M1037 Shelter Carrier)
Between 1993 and 1995 the M998A1 series of vehicles were produced which were
based on the M1097 HHV chassis and featured upgraded differentials, coil springs
and other drive train components. There were new crew seats and modified rifle
racks and all A1 vehicles were fitted with metal hood grille as originally
only fitted to armament carrier versions of the basic M998 series vehicles
as well as the new door mounted truck style rear view mirrors. The hood grille
and new mirrors have been retro-fitted to earlier production vehicles but these
still retain the old attachment points for body mounted mirrors, while the
newly produced A1 vehicles do not have the body mirror attachment points.
The wheels were also upgraded with new hubs and new pattern radial tires; these use different size rims and cannot be mixed with the older bias ply tire on the one vehicle. The new radial tires have also been retro-fitted to earlier model vehicles but only as the older tires wear out and a decision made to replace the full set of five tires with the new type. There is still large stocks of the older bias ply tires and if only one tire needs replacing it will usually be with another bias ply tire.
Due to this there is often a mix of vehicles with the old and new tires in the one unit, but as mentioned all the tires on one vehicle will be of the one type only. Many HMMWVs were seen in Iraq still with the old style bias ply tire as well newer vehicles with the radial tires.
The M998A1 HMMWV series consists of the same models as the basic M998 series with the above mods and A1 added to the model designation.
From 1995 production switched to the M998A2 series and these vehicles had
a new GM 6.5 litre V-8 diesel engine fitted in place of the original 6.2 litre
engine for increased mobility. Other mods included new high back crew seats,
additional tie downs on the rear door and the full length rear bumper bar/fender
first seen on the M977 Maxi Ambulance and a larger front bumper with a square
hole where a winch can be fitted. The latest production vehicles have also
had four 4 smoke grenade discharges added to each corner of the roof and the
door truck mirrors mounted lower than previously.
The M998A2 series comprises six different models all initially produced without a winch.
M1097A2 HHV is the base platform for cargo and troop carriers.
M1025A2 Armament Carrier with basic armor
M1043A2 Armament Carrier with supplemental armor
M1045A2 TOW Missile Platform with supplemental armor
M977A2 Maxi-Ambulance for four stretchers with basic armor
M1035A2 Ambulance with soft top for two stretchers
A new model M1109 Up-armoured HMMWV based on the M1097A1 HHV (only 159 produced for the US Army) was followed by the M1114 Up-armoured HMMWV based on the M1113 Expanded Capacity Vehicle (ECV) chassis. The M1114 differs significantly from the A2 vehicles in having and extended nose and additional body and roof armour able to protect against overhead 155mm shell bursts and 7.62mm fire at a standoff on 100m. Additional grills are fitted on the left rear panels for the air-conditioning system as well as the four roof mounted smoke grenade launchers, these vehicles have seen service in the Kosovo as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom and will eventually replace the M1025/26 series of Armament Carriers.
The kit consists of 139 parts in light beige plastic, 12 parts in clear plastic, four rubber tires with poly caps for attaching to the axles, a decal sheet and the instructions.
The moulding is first class as we have come to expect from Tamiya with virtually no cleanup needed except for the usual fine moulding seems.
Pin ejector marks are kept to an absolute minimum and on some parts are hardly noticeable; see the images below for the doors and rear gate where even with enlarged images it’s hard to see the marks and those that are there will be easily removed.
The kit is of an initial production M998 series vehicle representing the M1025 Armament Carrier with basic armor. The M1025/1026 vehicles can be fitted with the 7.62mm M60 MG, 5.56mm M249 SAW, a .50calibre M2 MG or a 40mm Mk.19 Grenade Launcher in the roof mounted weapons ring with full 360 degree rotation.
The initial pattern wheels and bias ply tire are provided which would be appropriate for the version of the M1025 kitted, but will need replacing with the later pattern radial tires if you wish to build a later A1/A2 vehicle as well as the other mods as above. As mentioned above some early vehicles have been retro-fitted with the new truck style mirrors and both types of mirrors are in the kit to use as required.
The chassis is a one piece moulding to which is attached the front and rear
suspension units which in turn are made up of separate drive units, A arms,
drive shafts, transfer units, coil springs, front steering rod and sway bar.
There is also the separate fuel tank, exhaust pipe and the pioneer tool rack
for under the rear section with some tools moulded together and a separate
shovel, not bad for a part not often seen.
The rear towing hook has a separate base plate with dog ears with the holes included.
The tires are in the now familiar hollow rubber material and have a nice tread pattern and “Goodyear” embossed on the sidewalls. The wheel hubs are a single piece with separate centre hub which is different for front and rear; the hubs also have the indentation for the tire valve which you can easily add from thin sprue. The wheels are attached to the suspension by way of poly caps trapped between the two outer halves of the suspension units, the front wheels are fixed in place but if you wanted to reposition these it shouldn’t be too much trouble? An alternative bush bar is included for the front bumper which represents one style seen on HMMWVs.
The large body moulding is a superb piece of moulding which includes the main
floor pan, side walls, firewall and front extension with the radiator.
The side walls include the indentations on the rear quarter and under the doors while the intake grills on the right are nicely done and added to this are the rear side reflectors with good definition as well as the rear tail light clusters (with separate clear parts for the lenses) and reflectors on the rear plate with the many small bolt heads and other details also present around the body, the fuel filler cap is also a separate part for good definition. There are a few locating holes that need to be opened up in the lower floor for the ammo box storage brackets and the internal M2/Mk.19 weapons mounts for when the weapon is stored.
The main windshield (with separate clear windscreen inserts) has the frames for the truck style mirrors included as well as the lower parts of the engine firewall, remember if your are using the truck mirrors you also have to put the mountings for the body mounted mirrors onto the body which will require some minor trimming of the kit body mounted mirrors (parts D13, D14). On the inside of the windscreen is a full width dashboard with nicely detailed instrument cluster. The large engine air cleaner in attached to the front firewall with either the Army style intake cover or extended USMC intake as alternate parts, you also get the full length USMC rear exhaust extension which includes separate outer sections with embossed heat shield detail which doesn’t look to bad for a plastic part. The fact that you get the full air cleaner and radiator but no actual engine apart from the lower oil pan on the chassis moulding is quite strange, but there are already two aftermarket resin HMMWV engines from CAM resin and CMK which could fit the bill if you wanted to show the hood open?
The crew seats have nice details with the rear seats having separate cushions
with detail on the back plates. The radio for the front cabin is of the older
type and not the newer Sincgars type with the radio platform being rather simplified
and there are the gear shift levers but no foot pedals for the driver's
The separate rear tailgate has the ‘AM General’ logo embossed as well as the indentations on the insides and can be shown open or closed as well as ammo box brackets and mounts for the M2 MG or Mk.19 on the rear floor as separate parts.
The four doors are also separate and have nice details on both sides with only the minimal pin ejector marks as mentioned earlier to be cleaned up, separate clear windows are provided which can be position either up or partly open.
The separate engine hood has in turn a separate inside grill at the front which also has separate clear head light lenses and alternate top intake grills with either the initial soft top version with seven grill strips or the armoured type with the 25 grill strips, to top this off are also separate indicator lights and side securing latches, sorry I know the word separate was used a lot here, but what else can you say?
The roof has separate weapons ring which can be attached so it can rotate (take care with the glue) and this also has a separate mount for the weapon as well as a separate cover for the TOW mounting (are you thinking what I am?). The top hatch is in one piece which can be cut in half to show open if your wish? You are only provided with an M2 .50cal MG or a Mk.19 40mm grenade launcher as a weapons choice and while the .50cal is basically what we have seen in previous Tamiya kits the Mk.19 is excellent and will build into one of the best Mk.19s this side of a resin kit.
The decal sheet is well printed but has the usual Tamiya thickish carrier film and provides markings for four HMMWVs as well as a selection of stencilling such as tire pressure data, sling markings and data panels for the instrument panel.
1. KFOR 1st Mechanized Infantry Division, 1st Military Police Company, Germany 2000
2. IFOR 519th Battalion (MP), 65th Company, Bosnia Summer 1996
3. Gulf War, 16th Military Police Brigade, 210th Military Police Company, Iraq, February 1991
4. KFOR, 8th Marines Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Kosovo, June 1999
Finally there are two figures included, one seated driver and a standing weapons operator, both have reasonable uniform details for plastic figures and should come up okay with careful painting.
Interesting fine print on the box top.
Click on thumbnail for larger view
images will open in a new window
In all another excellent kit from Tamiya which will build into a very nice representation of the HMMWV, the possibilities for conversions is almost endless. Now I don’t want to go starting rumours but as there is no sprue C in the kit and you have locating holes to open up for the rear ammo brackets plus the alternate parts on the weapons ring you don’t have to be an Einstein to bet we will see an M966 TOW Missile HMMWV very soon and with the soft top engine grill provided maybe other versions as well? If Tamiya could add the new radial tires and Sincgars radio set and give us other versions such as the M1114, which would be nice we would all be very happy.
Click here to see a quick comparison between this kit, the Academy and Italeri HMMWV kits.
On the Web:
Rob's Motor Pool at Armorama.com (Excellent detail photos)
|M998 HMMWV in detail
Present Vehicle Line No4
Wings & Wheels Publications.
Published by RAK, Czech Republic.
60 pages all in colour.
|7510 HMMWV: Workhorse of the US Army
'Mini Color Series' No 7510
Concord Publications Co.
by Carl Schulze
56 pages, 1/35 scale plans
|M998 HMMWV Family
Part 1: General Data and Descriptions
Military Vehicle Workshop Series MV-11
Allied Command Productions
41 pages in black and white
|M998 HMMWV "HUMMER"
Military Photo File
Verlinden Publications No.600
36 pages in colour
|HUMMER Humvee in Action
Squadron Signal Publications No. 2032.
ISBN 0 89747 323 X
By Jim Mesko.
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Page created 28 April 2003
Page updated 29 April 2003