The HMMWV was designed primarily for personnel and light cargo transport behind front lines, not as a front line fighting vehicle. Like the previous Jeep, the basic HMMWV has no armor or protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical threats. Nevertheless, losses were relatively low in conventional operations, such as the Gulf War. Vehicles and crews suffered considerable damage and losses during the Battle of Mogadishu due to the nature of the urban engagement; however, the chassis survivability allowed the majority of those crews to return to safety, though the HMMWV was never designed to offer protection against intense small arms fire, much less machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. However, with the rise of asymmetric warfare and low intensity conflicts, the HMMWV has been pressed into service in urban combat roles for which it was not originally intended.
During 1995, production of the M1114 based on the improved ECV chassis began. The M1114 meets Army requirements for a scout, military police, and explosive ordnance disposal vehicle with improved ballistic protection levels. The M1114 provides protection against 7.62 mm armor-piercing projectiles, 155 mm artillery air bursts and 12 lb (5.4 kg). anti-tank mine blasts. The U.S. Air Force has a number of vehicles under the designation M1116, specifically designed to meet the requirements of the Air Force. The M1116 features an expanded cargo area, armored housing for the turret gunner, and increased interior heating and air conditioning system. The M1114 and M1116 receive armor at O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt Armoring Company of Fairfield, Ohio
The Kit – What’s in the Box
The kit consists of 233 parts molded in desert tan styrene, 13 in clear plastic and 74 photo-etched parts , plus five separately packaged tire centers.
I really have to say that this is one of the most complete super-detailed M1114 Humvee kits I have seen out of the box; you don’t need any resin or PE upgrades to complete this build. A nice feature that Bronco has done is making the clear styrene windows the correct scale thickness of armored glass.
As far as I can tell, this kit has more details then the Tamiya kit. The Tamiya kit provides an accurate underside and exterior, but the interior is lacking any equipment details and under the hood is going to need some aftermarket parts. The Tamiya is not bad but this Bronco kit takes it to the next level on details.
The features and options in this kit include:
- Very nicely details chassis and drive train
- The first to capture the unique braking system of the Humvee
- Complete set of instrument panel placards
- Photo-etched radio tray
- Battery box under the commander/front passenger
- Complete set of instrument panel placards
- Updated crew seats
- Details under the hood
- Positional hood
- Three-piece plastic wheels (why not rubber wheels!)
- Dual SINCGARS radio mount w/radios and dog bone handset
- FBCB2 computer system
- VIC-3 intercom (ditto)
- PLGR/DAGR GPS unit
- Rear armor plate behind rear seats
- Air conditioner
- Positionable doors
- Positionable rear hatchback
- Positionable tail gate
- Mk.19 Grenade Launcher (stowed)
- M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun (stowed)
- New extended grille
- Up-armored doors with full detail inside and out
- Very nice turret ring detail
- New armored gun turret
- Choice of Mk.19 or M2 on the pintle
- Combat ID panels
- Photo-etched grilles
- Rear deck armored shield
- Spare tire on swing-away rear mount
- Choice of standard intake or USMC snorkel
- Smoke dischargers on all four corners
- Crew weapons including AT-4, M4 carbines with and without grenade launchers
- Counter Improvised Explosive Device Jammer
- Water bottle (only one?)
- Fuel and water Jerry cans
Building the Kit
- Steps 1 - 5 start you out by building the front and rear axles, transmission, and exhaust systems. Bronco has provided a lot of detail here so make sure you study the layout of the parts; you can very easily line them up wrong.
- Step 6 assembling the tires and some engine parts.
- Steps 7 – 9 assembling seats, crew and engine compartments. These steps will require some planning on your part. You will have to paint and decal parts as you go. The instructions require that you drill holes in the body to accommodate the ammo storage racks in the trunk area.
- Step 10 has you complete some of the armor plating on the underside; here you get to bend up some PE parts to fit the contour of the frame.
- Steps 11 – 17 has lots of small parts and PE details for the interior of the crew compartment. Once again, study the layout of the parts in these sections. Assembling the radio and digital command and control system rack – here you will also have to paint and decal as you go. Getting some of the small PE parts (P39, P41 and P42) set in place can be a challenge. Make sure you look ahead to step 13 for the alignment of part P42.
- Step 18 attaching the crew compartment to the chasse and assembling the front lights and radiator grill. Make sure to test fit the parts before you start to glue them down – you may have to adjust the fit.
- Steps 19 – 20 assembling the machine gunner’s armor plate nest. Bronco has provided a nice set of clear bulletproof armor glass that is to scale. Once I glued the clear parts in place, I hand painted the glass edges, first with flat black then went back and painted over that with the body color. This adds some dept to the glass with the inside edge showing though the glass as black.
- Step 21 the grenade launcher and M2 heavy machine gun assembly. Here you should have already made the choice as to what gun you want mounted (reference step 17). Bronco provides 2 sets of mount arms (Ea6 and Ea2, E9 and E4) but only one shield bracket mount (K12).
- Step 22 adding small details on the hood and attaching the roof to the crew compartment. Make sure to test fit the parts here before gluing. The inside brackets (D3) that is attached to the front seats are inset on the inside of the roof. Alignment is essential on getting this set correctly. Also parts (P28) seem to be in the way, so I took them out to get the top to align correctly with the windscreen. I guess you could play with this to get it set right but you really can’t see them in the end, anyways.
- Steps 23 – 24 assembling the armor doors, trunk hood and spare tire rack.
- Steps 25 – 31 mounting the exterior parts, doors, trunk hood, antennas and front bumper.
Painting and Decals
Bronco provides a nice set of decals. You get a tactical display for the computer monitor, vehicle maintenance stencils, placards and even instrument faces for the instrument panel. The instructions provide a color profile for a generic vehicle in desert sand and paint instructions for Tamiya, Humbrol and GSI paints. Bronco did not provide any placement instructions for the particular vehicles portrayed on the decal sheet, but from what I can see you get markings for:
- M1114 - US Army, Military Police, OIF
- M1114 - Czech Army
- M1114 - Iraqi Army
Weathering and Detailing
For this build, most of the painting was done as I progressed though the building process. The base paint colors were applied to the parts on the tree in advance, and then they were assembled. Touch ups were done where needed. The armor glass was coated with Alcad armor glass finish. A light gloss coat was applied, then a light wash of artist oils: raw umber first, then Naples yellow hue.
I definitely recommended this kit for medium to advanced skilled modelers. This kit has a TON of details and will require some time and patience to complete. But it’s well worth it; you get one of the best detailed kits in its class for this version of the M1114.
Hats off to Bronco for providing a complete, detailed kit. It simply has everything you need for a perfect OOB build.
I would like to thank Bronco Models and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to conduct this review.