M1126 "Stryker" Upgrade Set
Trumpeter Set No. 06603
1:35th Scale

Review by Terry Ashley

Following on from their kit of the M1126 Stryker ICV (kit #00375) Trumpeter have now released this extensive etched brass update set for the kit for those who want to detail it up a little.

The set consists of five frets of etched brass parts, a fret of stainless steel parts and a small photo film sheet as well as 15 lengths of wire and plastic rod to use with the various sub-assemblies.

Additional bits

The quality of the etching is as good as any you will see today with clean well defined parts with nice embossing and the usual engraved banding lines where needed but you will need to take care with some of the smaller parts when removing from the frets and during assembly.

There is also a four page instruction sheet set out basically the same as the kit instructions and makes assembly quite straightforward but there are some areas where you could easily get confused if not watchful. This is mainly with the suspension parts where the left and right hand parts have the same number even though they are a mirror image of each other and you need to watch this carefully.

Some of the etched parts replace the plastic kit parts completely while others enhance the existing part and there is some minor surgery needed on a few of the kit parts but nothing too difficult.

Starting from the ground up the front suspension steering arm linkages are replaced with etched parts allowing the front wheels to be made steerable but this does require some careful cutting of the kit steering arms (parts A44). You will also have to modify some of the other link joins to make them movable if you want to go the whole hog with movable wheels and not just reposition them once.

The two rear wheel stations have the damper bracket replaced with etched parts and this is the first where they are numbered the same both sides even though they are different (mirror image of each other) and you must be careful to use the right one on the right side (or left as the case may be). The kit parts A15, A16 have to be modified with just the end damper used with the etched parts and you will also need to fill the locating hole in the hull side for the plastic kit parts.

Modified damper brackets

There are two sets of suspension covers provided, the original type the same as the kit parts and the later larger perforated covers which have finely etched holes but again they are numbered the same each side so make sure you use them the correct way around.

After bending you will need to add yourself the small spaces on the top hull mountings and the retaining bolt to finish off the covers fully, don’t add a spacer to the lower mounting or this will push the cover out too far and foul the wheel when fitted. You will also need to remove a lug from the hull side to fit the lower mounting bracket but this is hidden behind the wheel in any case so no big deal.

Close up of the spacers and bolts added to the top of the covers

The new perforated covers look good when in place and will bring the kit more up to date as all current serving Strykers have these covers.

Assembled perforated cover and damper
Note locating hole to be filled


For the wheels there are replacement brass step circles which need to be bent to shape and this is not as easy as it seems due to the different width of the strip where the semi-circular holes are located. When bending the thicker sections don’t bend as evenly as the thinner section with the hole curves and it is very important you anneal these rings before trying to get the curve. The join is almost invisible after assembly if all goes well and the rings look better than the thicker kit items and as most current Strykers only have these fitted to the front wheels you only have to deal with two of these for most applications.

Comparison of new etched step ring and the original plastic step
Complete rear wheel station

The small triangular storage box between the second and third wheels is completely replaced with an etched box that has working lid hinges if you want to include these.

All the engine intake screens are included on the new frets even though they are also provided as etched parts in the original kit but these new ones have much finer mesh and better definition than the originals to give a better appearance.

The new etched cable cutters are also more detailed than those in the kit and the large tool rack on the left side has the base plate replaced with an etched part as well as etched tool brackets that require you to cut off the moulded on tool brackets.

There are many smaller details added around the hull such as the head light mountings that do require you to cut the head light mounting from the plastic kit bracket to re-use as well as the inner latches and handles on most of the crew hatches.

Along the sides are stowage securing strips that have separate grab handles you make from the wire supplied and two large storage racks on each side are completely replaced with metal parts. The wire frame is fashioned from the thicker wire provided and you should use the kit parts as a guide for this and then the outer plates with the large holes are added and finally the many rows of tie down cleats are provided as preformed etched parts.

On the Commander’s station the large support bracket in front of the hatch is replaced with etched parts as are the periscope cover ring and other smaller details while the RWS gets the missing sun covers and other smaller details but unfortunately this doesn’t do anything for the undersized RWS in the first place but it does add some extra detail. Finally the M2 .50 cal machine gun gets an etched cooling jacket, upper sights and rear firing handles as etched parts.


Overall this is a nicely detailed etched set that adds many additional details to the kit as well as providing the later perforated suspension covers which will be welcomed and the large side storage racks will look impressive when assembled.

While there are numerous additions you are still left with the original RWS as mentioned which is still the weakest part of the kit. But this set will certainly dress up the remainder of the kit nicely.

Highly recommended. 7.5/10

The Sprues:

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Instruction Sheets
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See the Stryker subject listing for additional update sets available.


On the Net:
Prime Portal

Stryker in detail Part 1
Present Vehicle Line No.17
Wings & Wheels Publications.
ISBN: 80-86416-61-5
AMPS Boresight
Stryker ICV/RV Special
May/June 2007
STRYKER Interim Armored Vehicle
Concord Mini Color Series #7515
by Carl Schulze & Ralph Zwilling
ISBN 962-361-141-2
Militar Fahrzeug 2/2007
Pages 45-53
2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiments
"Second Dragoons" Germany 2006
Stryker Combat Vehicles
Osprey New Vanguard 121
Gordon L Rottman
ISBN: 9781841769301

Trumpeter Thanks to Trumpeter for the review kit.
Trumpeter is distributed in Australia by J.B.Wholesalers

Page created June 21, 2007