Trumpeter 1/35 M1126 Stryker (ICV)

KIT #: 00375
PRICE: $39.95 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Robert Myers


The M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) is an armored personnel carrier and part of the Stryker family of vehicles (derived from the Canadian LAV III/Swiss MOWAG Piranha IIIH 8x8) used by the United States Army.  The Infantry Carrier Vehicle provides protected transport and, during dismounted assault, supporting fire for the infantry squad. The Stryker is a full time four‑wheel drive, selectively eight‑wheel drive, armored vehicle weighing approximately 19 tons which carries an infantry squad with their equipment. The vehicle can attain speeds of 62 mph on paved roads.

The basic Stryker ICV provides armored protection for the two‑man crew and a squad of nine soldiers. It has a Protector remote weapon station with a universal soft mount cradle, which can mount either a .50 caliber M2 Browning machine gun, a 40mm MK19 grenade launcher or a 7.62 M240 machine gun. It is also armed with four M6 smoke grenade launchers.

Now for some personal family history of the Stryker. My nephew is a Captain in the US Army. He was in the first deployment of the Stryker vehicles from Fort Lewis, Washington to Iraq. When he saw this model he told me a couple of stories. He remembered seeing a Stryker come back to Post, under it's own power, with only 4 wheels/tires left on it. The rest had been blown off.  This is so impressive because the vehicle came home and because the enemy tactic was to disable a vehicle and kill the passengers when they had to get out. Instead, this vehicle returned fire and came home with all aboard safe.

His other story made me appreciate the Stryker even more! He was out on the road and saw a white Toyota pickup truck gaining on them, he ducked down as low as he could and still observe the truck. The last thing he remembered was seeing the driver raise what looked like a cell phone to his face. The truck bomb detonated right at the back of the Stryker. My nephew was the only one of his squad injured. It was a closed head injury from being bounced around. He is still serving in the Army. So, the Stryker may be a lightly armored vehicle, but it saved the lives of all of the men on board. They continued the mission and drove home.


 I showed the completed model to my nephew who had used the prototypes or early Stryker vehicles at Fort Lewis and was in the first unit to deploy to Iraq with the Strykers. His opinion is that this kit was modeled on a pre-production vehicle.

The molding in this kit is sharp and nicely detailed. However, I was surprised to see flash on several of the sprues. It cleans up easily, but I am just not used to seeing it on a newer tool kit.  There were mold lines on some of the smaller parts. It was rather tedious to sand them off due to the part size. I didn't count the parts, but I would guess at a little over 300.

The tires are a soft vinyl. They have nicely detailed treads and sidewalls. There is no manufactures name on them. It doesn't detract from the overall look of the tire and I guess it saves Trumpeter from have to pay a royalty.

This kit contains nice photoetch screens, straps, cable cutters and a few other parts. It seems to be a little thicker than most photoetch. I like it because it is easy to cut, form and use with less chance of ruining the part.  The decal sheet has markings for several units, but no information on the units themselves.  There is a very good color page to show where to put the markings.  The instructions are straight forward and walk you thru building the model in a orderly process with no real surprises.


 I am building more modern military equipment and more modern kits. I still have the old Monogram and Renwal, times and tastes change.  I actually sat down and looked thru the instruction sheet and planned my build sequence for the subassemblies. Strangely enough, I started with the remote weapons station. The ammo can had a thin rim of flash around the lid. A simple quick sanding and it went together quickly. The 50 cal machine gun was very well done with good detail. It fit right into place with a little adjustment to make sure it sat level. You can install it with a little side to side angle if you are not careful.

The suspension and hull were next. I started with the 8 wheel drive. Each part fits in very well and builds up to a detailed and realistic looking drive train. The parts are big and easy to handle. There were seams on a lot of them, but they are easily sanded off or hidden. I left off the wheels and tires so that I could paint the wheels with the rest of the build.

Since my building was a little out of sequence with the instructions, decided just to start building up the hull and top as shown on the instructions.  This is the part I found impressive.  The hull is made up of multiple larger pieces. I am guessing that each version of the kit will use the basic hull and just change these plates. Each one glued in place very well. The fit was great. If there is a seam, it is either covered or in the same place as a seam on the real vehicle. The engraving is deep on the molded parts. I kind of reminds me of the old Airfix trenching, but after everything was in place it looked fine.

After the large plates were glued on I started on the small stuff. There are a few small handles and other stuff to glue on. I used tweezers and super glue. I got most of them in place with no drama, except the horn. Only the carpet monster knows where it went. What surprised me the most is that the small pieces went together so well. The drivers hatch is a good example. It has a dozen parts that I figured I would really screw up. No way I could be careful enough with the glue that it would open. I followed the instructions and took my time and applied the glue with a thin wire dipped in a puddle of glue that I had made on a piece of glass. When it was all finished, looks very delicate, but is sturdy and makes me did that. The hatch opens. It would be great if there was any interior.

The headlights, guards and assembly around them are usually where I do poor work. These are easy to assemble and get lined up. Again, I used super glue so they wouldn't move as I worked on each side. Adding rearview mirrors to a US armored military vehicle is new to me. Luckily, these didn't present too much of a problem. The mounting arms are thin and delicate. I figured they would be like a pitot tube on my aircraft and break off before I was thru. They did, but it was my fauld. More on that later in painting.

The last assembly was to add the weapons station. I glued it in place, set everything aside and started to research the paint color.


The Stryker has it's own green(FS34094) [See photo below. Ed] .  Vallejo has a paint in this shade, but me being cheap, I just added a little Model Master OD to MM Forest Green. The problem is that I really like these Strykers and want to build more but since I used my own mix, the paint won't match from vehicle to vehicle. I sprayed everything but the tires. There are no markings on my Stryker, so I can't comment on the decal quality. I wanted it to look like the test vehicles at Fort Lewis. As for the decal assortment, it looks pretty good. You can do multiple US Army units and add generic markings and numbers.


 Time for the final assembly and detailing. I mounted the tires on the wheels and slipped them on the axles. The wheels are a tight fit on the axle, probably from my painting. So, I used a little liquid glue as a lubricant. They slipped right on. I don't like my wheels to turn. Next was the 50 caliber machine gun. Since it was already glued in the remote weapons station, I brush painted it with gun metal and put a small dot of paint on the end of the barrel. There is plenty of room to paint it if you use a small brush. The tail lights and front yellow lights were painted buy dipping a fine wire in the paint, then touching the wire to the light. There is enough of a ridge around each light that the paint just flows in and fill it nicely. After they had dried I put a little drop of clear glue on each one. Last for painting were the headlights. Since they don't have any clear parts, I used the wire trick to fill the lense area with aluminum paint. After it dried I put a real light transparent coat of flat white over the aluminum.  Again some drying time and a coat of clear glue to look a little more like glass. A little stretched sprue for the antennas and the end was in sight.

Remember those rear view mirrors? Well I decided to use metal foil for the reflective side. I got it on ok, but when I tried to trim it off, I broke both of the mounting arms. After a few choice words I trimmed the foil and glued the mirrors back on. I like the foil effect. So, on the next Stryker build, I will paint and foil the mirrors before I install them. DUH!

 As an end note and excuse, you will notice I didn't paint the view ports. I have been doing the research and asking questions. These ports show up with a red tint, prism rainbow effect, black, and reflecting the hull color. So, mine are awaiting my final decision. They will be easy to paint with my wire/paint dipping technique. 


 The lack of interior is my only gripe about this kit. The detail around the hatches and of the hatches themselves is so good that all of the hatches could be opened with very little effort. I really like these kits! I would like to build the whole range of them including the ambulance. The flash aside, they are easy enough for any moderate skill builder to do and come out with a nice model. Keeping all of the small parts in mind, I would not give this one to a beginner. The photoetch need not be intimidating, since all of the photoetch parts, except screens are also included as plastic.



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Robert Myers

October 2013

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