Academy 1/35 M151A2 'Mutt'

KIT #: 1324
PRICE: $5.00 in a bag
DECALS: Several options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Truck, Utility, l/4-Ton, 4x4, M151 (M151 ) was the successor to the Korean War M38 and M38A1 jeep Light Utility Vehicles. Commonly referred to as a "jeep" or "quarter-ton", it was produced from 1959 through 1982 and served in the Vietnam War. The M151 had a monocoque design making it roomier than previous jeep designs, and incorporated an independent suspension with coil springs. It has since been replaced by the larger AM General HMMWV in most utility roles in frontline use. With some M151A2-units still in U.S. military service in 1999, the M151-series achieved a longer run of service than that of the WW2 MB/GPW, M38 and M38A1 series combined.

First put into service in Vietnam, the M151 played an active part in American military operations well into the 1980s, when it was phased out in favor of the Humvee. Despite its official replacement, the M151 had some distinct advantages over its much larger and heavier successor, like being small enough to fit inside a CH-53 heavy transport helicopter. This flexibility was one of the reasons the U.S. Marine Corps deployed M151 FAV (Fast Attack Vehicle) variants through 1999, in places like Kosovo. It currently serves in U.S. special forces units as a FAV.

Various models of the M-151 have seen successful military service in 15 different NATO countries and M151s were sold to many countries. Currently, the M151 is used by over 100 countries worldwide.

The M151A2 (1970) fielded a significantly revised rear suspension that greatly improved safety in fast cornering. The M151 now had Semi-trailing arm suspension instead of the more dangerous swing arm suspension of the earlier version. Many smaller upgrades including improved turn signals. The A2 can be identified by the large combination turn signal/blackout lights on the front fenders, which also had been modified to mount the larger lights, as opposed to earlier A1's that had flat front fenders.


Academy's kit is really rather basic as these things go. There are three tan sprues, one of which is for the mortar, three standing figures and a few bits and pieces. The body is a single piece and like the real vehicle, all of the suspension pieces attach to the body itself. There are some ejector pin marks on the underside to deal with, but many will be hidden from all but the most invasive lights. There is no engine, this kit being a curbside.

The interior is equally basid with just a pair of seats in the front . One can build the kit with the windscreen down, but it will require some cutting. There are no clear bits but a piece of pre cut acetate is provided for the windscreen. Wheels have separate inner sections that hold a piece that should allow the wheels to roll if that is what is desired.

A driver is provided and there is a post mounted machine gun (M-60?) that fits behind the driver. If you don't want this feature, you'll need to fill in the hole for it. There is also a fording kit with a tall exhaust if that is desired. Other bits that can fit in the back is a radio set on one of the fenders and a rear seat. A cable breaker can be installed on the front bumper as well.

The instructions are fairly well done but no color information is supplied at all during the build. There are generic colors called out for the box art vehicle. Decals cover several boxings and the instructions have you use the box art for placement. Frankly, this is a case of hunting up images on the 'net and using those for your vehicle. It seems that the majority of serials are for USMC versions.


Not exactly a kit that one sees built very often, but it is an important vehicle in the service of dozens of nations and this one should make into a very nice model without a lot of hassles.


August 2014

Thanks to me for the preview kit.

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