M1114 Up-Armoured Vehicle with XM153
This is Bronco Models’ version of the M1114 HMMWV. This version includes the XM153 CROWS mount.
Included in the top-opening box are:
- 15 tan plastic sprues
- 2 sprues with clear parts
- 1 PE fret
- 1 small decal sheet
- 20 page instruction that includes sprue map, painting guide,31 building steps, and decal guide
The kit contains over 400 plastic and PE parts, of which 41 are not used. The detail, in typical Bronco fashion, is outstanding. There was no flash and only a couple mold marks to clean up. The kit provides optional parts for an M2 .50 cal HMG, an M249 LMG, and a Mk-19 AGL, any of which be mounted in the CROWS mount. Bronco has provided the gunner’s station to mount in the left rear seat, a first when compared to add-on aftermarket CROWS kits. The tires are constructed from two plastic sidewalls and a plastic tread section. The wheels are built from an outside part and an inside part that fit easily into the sidewalls.
The instructions are in book form and are laid out logically. Carefully review the instructions, as some parts placements are not clear. Bronco has added 3D insets that show how to fold the numerous PE parts.
The build starts by constructing the drive train and the undercarriage components. This is the most detailed undercarriage for a HMMWV I have encountered. The instructions would have you paint the exhaust system in a rust color, but the exhaust system is aluminum and does not rust.
Steps 7-15 cover the construction of the crew compartment and the engine compartment. I removed mounting plates for TOW systems components that Bronco left on the plywood floor plate. They would have you add the mounting stand for the TOW-related electronics. Do not use these parts. You will have to add the three-point seat belts as they are not provided and are quite prominent on the original. Bronco has provided two SINCGARS radios, two antennae mounts/matching units, but only one radio handset. I built a facsimile to give my vehicle two complete FM nets. The interior includes the Blue Force Tracker Terminal and GPS system for the vehicle commander. The CROWS gunner station includes the computer with monitor in its frame and a joystick. Assembly of the vehicle body is described in steps 16-21 and 27-31. The intervening steps cover construction of the CROWS. When building the four doors, I recommend clamping the interior to the exterior as they don’t quite have the same curvature. The crew compartment fits solidly to the chassis with four mounting points.
The CROWS is the crowing jewel for this kit and will make it stand out in a collection of HMMWVs. Patience will be required to assemble the mount. There are several very small contact points for many of the parts, and the large number of parts make for a crowded assembly. The M2 .50 cal is a small kit in its own right and is all plastic. Take your time and you will be rewarded with an excellent representation of the CROWS.
The PE fret has 56 parts, and the choice of parts complements the plastic. Many of the PE parts require multiple folds and most have solid contact to their plastic counterparts.
Painting and Weathering
The CARC (Chemical Agent Resistant Coating) is epoxy enamel and applied at the factory. It is an extremely tough paint, so I minimized any wear and tear on the finish. The only weathering I applied was pastel on the interior to replicate dust, and pigments mixed with water to add mud on the wheels and undercarriage.
The decals include interior data plates and numerous interior and exterior stencils. They also include buttons for the Blue Force Tracker system and the GPS. There are no unit markings. The decals are stiff and do not conform well to irregular surfaces. I had to trash some of the decals on the BTF display and replace them with paint.
Overall, the kit produces an excellent replica of the M1114 with the XM153 CROWS. The only things I added were the three-point seat belts, radio antennae, one radio handset, and wiring for the radios.
The Bronco M1114 builds, with patience, into an excellent replica of the prototype. It is not a kit for a first-time builder, but anyone with experience building wheeled armored fighting vehicles or detailed civilian race car kits should have minimal issues.
I would like to thank Dragon Models USA and IPMS/USA for this review kit.