The Stryker anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) vehicles were fielded to provide a tank killing capability before the deployment of the Stryker M1128 MGS. The ATGM weapon system has a 2-tube TOW launcher on an elevated mast extendable 0.5 meters above the roof line and is capable of firing all TOW missile types. This allows the crew of three to remain under armour at all times providing maximum crew protection when operated stealthily using terrain and other structures to provide vehicle masking.
This latest Stryker kit from AFV Club represents the current Stryker ATGM variant and uses the lower hull from the recent M1128 MGS (kit #AF35128) which has some detail enhancements from the initial M1126 kit as well as using the suspension sprues and excellent vinyl wheels from the previous Stryker kits with a new upper hull as well as the TOW turret/launcher assembly.The kit has 503 parts in olive drag plastic although there are quite a few not used with this kit, 18 in clear plastic, plus eight vinyl tyres, two small etched frets along with vinyl poly caps for the suspension as well as the instruction and decal sheets.
Vinyl tyres and additional vinyl parts
Standard of plastic moulding is again very good overall with nice clean detail but there is a sprinkling of fine flash and some very shallow sink marks about the place but most notably very few pin marks of any consequence and of course the usual mould seams which will need care when cleaning from the smaller parts.
This is a large tub with indentations for the suspension components and includes details on the hull sides such as the rear suspension mounting detail which are cleanly rendered by the use of multi-part moulds with the lower front hull plate a separate part as is the rear hull plate.
All the suspension components are separate with the front two and the rear two differentials mounded together with the connecting drive shaft and the four wheel drive shafts and the diffs have separate bottom sections with excellent details.
The front wheel mounts, shock absorbers, wishbone struts and steering arms are provided with the front four wheels fixed in place and at the back are the large shock absorber assemblies with perforated plastic suspension covers. These plastic covers have extremely fine perforated holes included that you can actually see through and as they are mostly hidden behind the large wheels look very much the part as well as being far easier to fit than etched covers.
The large rear side panniers are also separate to provide better definition than if included with the lower hull.
The rear hull plate is new to this kit with the single opening door inside the ramp but you should take care as there are actually two rear plates included in the kit. The original plate from the first Stryker kits as well as the new one for this kit, so make sure you use part P16 and not the older plate on sprue E. On the inside of the doors are separate large locking mechanisms for excellent detail but there are also some pin marks that will need to be eliminated before fitting the locks.
The fit of the rear panel to the hull is very good not requiring any trimming as are the doors and you should take care while fitting the hinge posts to ensure everything lines up okay and temporarily fitting the doors on place while you attach the door hinges will aid in this process.
Included on the rear plate are two racks made up of 6 parts each along with etched securing straps for the four plastic ‘jerry cans’ provided as well as the separate tail lights and towing shackles with the tail light having separate clear plastic lenses which can be painted before fitting for a better look.
At the front is the separate lower and side bolted plates that fit nicely to the hull along with the tow shackles and lifting eyes added for good detail definition.
The main vinyl tyres are the same as in the previous kits with the tread pattern very well done as is the sidewall detail consisting of subtle contouring between the fine ribs and also includes the sidewall “Michelin X” embossing. Overall the tyres are about as good as your are going to get for the Stryker and as such have also been used as the basis for most if not all aftermarket resin wheels released to date as it would be very difficult to do a better job from scratch.
The wheel hubs are made up of 5 plastic parts with inner poly cap to help fitting with the detail on the hubs matching the actual wheel hubs very well. There are the 8 separate hub step rings still included but these are only now fitted to the front two wheels and also included are the smaller fittings applied to the other 6 wheels allowing you to build the wheels to current production standards.
Assembly is straightforward with the wheel rims fitting neatly into the vinyl tyres without any play and the rear brake drum parts neatly trap the poly cap to fit easily to the back of the wheel rim.
This is new for this kit and the rear upper roof as a separate part which will allow to roof to be easily replaced for other versions.
Detail on the hull is as crisp and well defined as on the previous kits and still has the cut-outs for the separate engine access hatch and Driver's hatch as well as the separate hull side panels as with the previous kits.
These panels are moulded extremely thin with excellent bolt boss and other details and fit snugly to the hull sides without any problems while at the back are new luggage racks applicable to the ATGM as well as the separate pioneer tools for the right side rack although there are no tie downs for the tools these could be added to finish off.
The separate roof plate includes the TOW turret ring as well as the Commander’s hatch with separate clear plastic periscopes and four part hatch rim/MG race. To add to the race is very nicely moulded 7.62mm M240B machine gun with M68 sight on a pedestal mount as well as the separate crew hatches at the back and left of the roof.
Assembly of the three part TOW launcher elevating mast needs care if you want the mast to elevate assembly. Unfortunately due to the design the launcher assembly can’t rotate and you must be careful to position the locating notches on the top ring section (part G13) correctly so they mate with the lower mast tub (part G14) located inside the hull for the correct forward facing orientation.
The mast (pedestal) itself (part G15) fits inside the lower tub and you have to be careful with the glue if you want the mast to move afterwards although you have to choose the raised or lowered position as you can’t have both, more on this below.
The engine intake and exhaust grills are finely moulded and you also get fine etched mesh screens to add to the grills but you should take care these are in extremely fine brass and can be easily damaged if not handled with care during fitting. Also included is the large exhaust deflector in etched brass which requires careful bending and this is a good inclusion as it is now fitted to all serving Strykers (other than the MGS).
The large winch assembly on the left side is nicely moulded but you should wind on the tow cable (thread) before fitting together and this should also be threaded through the side cable guide assembly which as a movable pulley with the top cover fitting neatly in place.
In the centre of the front hull (well offset slightly to the left) is the winch cable guide assembly which has excellent detail definition and assembles without any problems but remember to feed the tow cable through the winch before adding the end eye (part B2). The whole winch assembly sits on small mounting pins away for the hull and this is nicely represented on the base
There are many smaller sub-assemblies added to the hull such as the Driver’s hatch with 14 parts and 3 clear periscopes but the hinge is not workable with you positioning the hatch either open or closed but as there is no interior closed would be the best option unless including a driver figure.
The head light clusters with about 12 parts plus clear plastic light lenses have all the basic components that are finely moulded and you will have to take care during assembly. You may also want to add the myriad of wiring to the back of the light clusters for a better appearance while the large tube bush guard will need care removing the mould seam.
Other items added are the cable cutter in front of the Driver's hatch and the roof hatch which is provided as lowered or raised position for your choice along with the large ventilator domes at the front left and right rear of the hull. There is also provided the large two part tow bar now carried by most Strykers along with a mounting rack for stowing the bar on the right hull side when not in use.
Two nice detail inclusions are the long slender horn fitted to the left front of the hull and this is made up of three finely moulded parts that will need care during assembly. At the back is 6 part rotating hazard warning light which has a clear plastic light cover and this should be painted in clear orange on the inside before assembly.
The remainder of the smaller fittings shouldn’t cause any problems although you should take care with the many smaller parts while removing from the sprues and during cleanup and fitting to avoid any problems as some have very large sprue attachments in relation to the part size.The fit of the upper and lower hulls was very good with precise location not requiring any trimming or other problems.
The twin missile launcher box has two full TOW missile canisters with separate end caps added inside but none of these apart from the ends can be seen after assembly, this does allow you assemble the box without missiles and use the canisters separately as they have all the required detail included.
Assembly of the missile box as well as the main sight and launcher box is very straightforward due to the excellent fit of the parts with all the panel joins being bevelled resulting in precise joins not requiring any filler or trimming.
A poly cap is trapped inside the main launcher assembly into which is fitted the large sight box locating pin with the twin missile box glued to the side of the sight box, take care with the glue as the sight is held in place by the launcher assembly side panel and you don’t want to glue the sight box to this panel.
After assembly the two missile launcher box and sight box will elevate in unison allowing you to position these in any position and they will remain correctly orientated with each other.
Added to the side of the launcher is the chunky mounting frame for the 4 x 4 pot smoke grenade launcher tubes and care is needed when fitting the pots (parts F28) to their bases as the bottom of the pots are angled and you should ensure you fit these facing outwards on the 4 base plates (parts F32) for the correct appearance.
Of the 16 smoke pots in the kit only 4 have ends caps provided which are a little odd so you choose which group to add these to if at all?
The assembled launcher box fits neatly to the top of the mast and if you fit this in the raised position there is a circular vinyl cover to represent the canvas mast cover and this has quite heavy texturing but should look the part. Of course this cover has to be fitted before you glue the launcher to the mast and this then negates the ability to raise or lower the launcher, so you have to make the choice of raised or lowered as mentioned above. While the launcher can’t be rotated after assembly you can choose to fit in a rotated position for a particular diorama setting if you wish but fitting this in the neutral forward facing position would suit most general situations.
Also included in the kit are two actual TOW missiles, a BGM-71C with the extended nose probe and the BGM-71F with each missile in three parts and 8 etched guide fins each for good representations of the missiles. You should note these would not usually be seen outside their sealed launcher tubes in action but the inclusion is a nice little bonus.
The decal sheet is nicely printed with thin carrier film cropped close to the printed images which should make application easier and provides vehicle registration numbers and unit markings for four unidentified vehicles included in the instructions.
These are the usual exploded view drawings which are easy enough to follow but of course you should study each sequence carefully before cutting or gluing as you would with any kit.
A couple of areas are quite confusing though and will require careful study, especially the head light assembles and adding the many smaller parts to the upper hull which are a little confusing but with care you should work these out.
This is another excellent kit of the Stryker from AFV Club with cleanly and well defined details and will build into a very nice replica of the M1134 ATGM) without any real problems.
While I don’t have any reliable 1:35 plans for the M1134 the details and general layout match closely to the excellent photos of the M1134 included in the Wings & Wheels Stryker in detail Part 2 book with the only real grip being the inability to rotate the TOW launcher after assembly.
This kit adds to the growing family of excellent Stryker kits from AFV Club and will be welcomed by modern armour fans.
See the Stryker Subjects page for additional reviews of Stryker related kits/update sets.
in detail Part 1
Present Vehicle Line No.17
Wings & Wheels Publications.
in detail Part 2
Present Vehicle Line No.19
Wings & Wheels Publications.
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