Trumpeter: M1083 FMTV (Armor Cab)
FMTV stands for Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles.In 1983 the US Army requested a Medium Tactical Truck to replace the M35/ M44, M54, M809, and M939. The first vehicles were sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in January of 1996.
The M1083 is a 5 ton medium cargo truck that is used to either transport troops or cargo up to 10,000 pounds. Bench seats on both sides can be lifted and locked so that the entire floor space can be used for cargo. A canvas top can be used to keep rain or sun from beating down on the bed cargo.
In the Box
Instruction Sheet Cover
Sprue WE x2
Sprue WC x2
Sprue H x2
Clear Sprues WG and WF
This kit has over 500 parts, molded in Trumpeter gray plastic. The sprues are well packed. Small delicate parts are extra protected with a wrap of foam sheet. This does a great job protecting your kit during shipping and I wish an industry standard. There is zero flash on the plastic parts and almost every ejection mark is hidden after assembly. The small photo-etch sheet adds detail without increasing the difficulty of the kit. Multicolor decals, including safety placards and nice dashboard details.
Step 1, part one: Build frame, shocks, cross members, engine/ transmission parts (kit does not contain an engine but does have detail molded into the plastic giving some detail).
Step 1, part two: Please note steps three and four as the shock absorbers will need to glue to the axles. Also, I left off all clear plastic to be assembled after painting.
Step 2, part one: Add rear mud flaps, exhaust, and muffler to frame.
Step 2, part two: See the detail of the exhaust clamp photo-etch detail. This clearifies the location for assembly since the instructions call for exhaust to assemble in the half-circle hole to the right of the tweezers. Tweezers shows actual location point.
Step 2, part three: Take care while assembling the front axle assembly.
Step 2, part four: If care is taken the front wheels can be turned right or left.
Step 3: Add axles to the frame (The instructions call for two front leaf spring assemblies to be made identical. Switch parts B39 with B38 on one of the leaf spring assembly or they will not glue to the frame. Also, leave off part B50 until step 19 to ensure proper placement.).
Step 3 note: Notice where the shocks are to glue to the axle assemblies. Either hold off gluing the shocks until you glue the axle assemblies or line up the shocks to the axles while glued plastic is soft.
Step 4, part one: Add front axle, drive shaft, front bumper, and rear suspension components.
Step 4 note: Sand away some plastic from both corners pointed at with toothpick. This will allow front armor section to fit flush.
Step 4 note: Front armor will now sit flush with front bumper. Note all clear plastic is left off until painting.
Step 4, part two: Assembly of hydraulic reservoir shown with photo-etched parts assembled for proper placement.
Step 5, part one: Add hydraulic reservoir, air tanks, and battery box to the frame assembly.
Step 5, part one: Close-up of the hydraulic reservoir (left) and the air tanks/ battery box (right).
Step 5, part two: Assemble the fuel cell.
Step 6, part one: Assemble four rear wheels (note the Central Tire Inflation System, CTIS, allowing the driver to adjust the tire pressure while in the cab.).
Step 6, part two: Assemble two front wheels. (Notes: I left off the "rubber" tires until I painted the wheels. Also if care is taken the tires can rotate).
Step 6, part three: Assemble the fuel cell to the frame assembly.
Step 6, part four: Assemble the tool kit box.
Step 7: Assemble the tool kit to the frame assembly along with the braces and parts for the rear passenger/ cargo bed. Also the forward rear mud flaps need to be added and ejection pin marks fixed (see note below).
Step 7 note: The mud flaps for the front rear wheels needs to be bent forward. I did this later in the build after I painted and added the wheels. A little careful heat is needed to bend the mud flat forward enough to allow the wheels movement. This could also be done by drilling holes in front of the attachment point on the large, rectangle stowage section.
Step 8: Build the passenger/ cargo bed.
Step 8: Topside of the bed.
Step 8: Take care to remove and add the canvas top hooks. These are small and easy to lose. there are a few extra included in the kit.
Step 9: Add both ribs and troop ladder to the underside of the bed (Note: Use care to make sure all frame ribs are added straight to the underside of the bed or it will be difficult to glue the bed to the frame).
Step 10 and 11: Assemble the side seat/ rail sections. These can be modeled either up or with the seats down.
Step 10 and 11: The opposite side of the above assembly.
Step 12: Add the seat sections to the rear bed.
Step 13: Assemble the bottom of the cab.
Step 14 and 15: Assemble the interior of the cab (I painted and weathered the interior since the cab body goes on next step).
Step 14 and 15: The decals helped the dash and gages to have color and detail. The interior, in almost every picture, was a very dirty place to be.
Step 16: Add the windshield and antenna assembly points to the cab.
Step 17, part one: Add the doors and glass to the cab (Note: I used this time to mask the clear glass. I left the windshield wipers off until after painting.).
Step 17, step one: The underside of the cab.
Step 17, part two: Assemble the side mirrors (Note: I left these off until the end to prevent my fat fingers from destroying them).
Step 17, part three: Assemble the air cleaner/ snorkel system.
Step 18: Add the gun to the top of the cab and attach the cab to the interior assembly.
Step 19 and 20, part one: Add the rear bed to the frame assembly (Note: I added part B50 from step 3 here and pre-shaded the frame.), the air cleaner/ snorkel assembly, and the frame section between cab and bed.
Step 20, part two: Add the rear cab shield (I am not sure what to actually call it) to the frame assembly (Note: I added the wheels to the vehicle at this point but not the tires).
Step 21: Add the cab to the frame assembly.
Painting and Weathering
The painting guide is for a desert painted vehicle, and that is what I modeled. I chose to model a heavily weathered vehicle covered in dust and sand. The internet is full of pictures of similar vehicles from both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I used Model Master 2136, US Army/Marines Gulf Armor Sand as the base color and used dot filtering, washes, dry brushing, and soft pastels for the weathering.
Decal and Painting Sheet
Base coat of US Army/Marines Gulf Armor Sand. and some hand painting of details.
Dust, dust, and more dust! Ahhchhhuu!
Trumpeter kits always seem to go together with very few issues and this kit is no exception. I believe I came across one set of ejection pin marks (on the mid vehicle mud flaps) that needed to be fixed. The instructions had a few errors, as noted above, but nothing major.
This kit allows any modeller numerous applications for this vehicle and for those that super detail, this kit is a great base. There were few differences between the kit and used resources. I can not say anything negative about this kit!
Thanks to Squadron Products for the build sample!
Review by Greg Rapson, AMPS Chicagoland
Wings and Wheels Publications
and various internet pictures