Saturday, June 13, 2015

Time out: Tamiya M1046 HMMV

A vehicle I have been yearning to build for a long, long time.. 

The High Mobility Military Vehicle (HMMV) is an interesting kit project. There are a few choices in terms of accurately molded kits in 1:35 scale out there. Leading the pack is Tamiya and companies like Academy from South Korea and Hobby Boss (China) are producing the latest incarnation of the HMMV. These include the up-armored HMMVs or better known as Humvees.

The Tamiya M1046 HMMV
My choice: Tamiya

Hands-down, Tamiya has the best fitting kits in the world.
I can't say for other brands because nothing comes close to Tamiya's attention for detail.
So, having said that, I narrowed down my choice for a 1:35 kit.
I found the Humvee at Katon Tomodachi in Atria shopping mall. There was not a single moment of hesitation when I bought the kit.

Assembly and painting

The first thing I did, was to spray the parts on its sprue with a priming coat.
Tamiya has this on a spray can and you can either choose light or dark gray.
Never mix the bottled priming solution into your airbrush because the mixture will gunk up in your airbrush handpiece.

The parts sprayed with an acrylic water-based paint

The upper chassis fitting

Spraying the body
After adding the primer coat, I began to build the undercarriage and suspension system. There are many small parts and it had to be picked and placed onto the undercarriage with a pair of tweezers.

The completed undercarriage
It took me about two days to complete the undercarriage and some touch-ups were needed to conceal the cement stains.
With the Tamiya single-action High Grade airbrush, working concealment is a breeze.
I painted the undercarriage with the Tamiya XF-84 Dark Iron acrylic paint. This gives the part a nice coating and with weathering applied, it looks excellent.

The clear parts with its paint

Achieving that "coated glass" look
As for the upper body of the Humvee, I chose the Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow. I was told that a mixture of Matt White and a drop of black would give a really nice "washed" look on the kit.
But I prefer the bare-minimal approach and kept the kit basic. (The Tamiya M1046 HMMV came with a TOW missile launcher).
For the clear parts, I mixed the Tamiya Clear Blue and Green to give the windshield and windows that "coated glass" look.
And I achieved this by spraying the clear parts. It looked convincing enough as I continued to finish the kit by building the door and roof.

Chassis and body

Adding the small parts

Gluing the brake lights
The nearly-completed kit
In-between going to work and coming home, I spent and average of two to three hours building the Humvee.
After completing the chassis and upper body, I glued together the halves by adding a few dabs of super glue.
Once the kit is set, I worked on weathering to give the Humvee that "worn out" look.
Later, I applied a set of decals on the vehicle's rear doors and left it as it is.
To sum it up, the Humvee is a decent kit to construct and being a beginner like me, there were no major issues with putting together this awesome kit..
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