by: Rob Harvey [ ]
introductionSince the release of Trumpeter and AFV Clubís Strykerís, several aftermarket companies have released stowage sets for the kits. Many of these sets unfortunately are simply a re-hash of those companies previous releases under a new label, such as what Legends described as their Stryker stowage set was simply bags and packs they had already released but in a new box under the ĎStrykerí title.
This isnít such a problem as most AM companies do this, but I found many of those sets didnít really contain correct gear for the Stryker brigades and were also very basic and not very interesting. Thankfully Blast models came to the rescue with these 2 very nice and original sets designed specifically for the Stryker kits.
ReviewInstead of reviewing both sets separately Iíve decided to review them both in one go, they come labeled as stowage set for Stryker No.1 and No. 2.
Both sets come in the typical small clear plastic box and are sealed in a small clear bag with a paper insert showing the finished painted product.
This set contains four resin pieces shown in the first 6 photos. The large piece is individual gear moulded as one to be placed on the rear roof of the Stryker-between the air guard hatches and the commanderís station. The crispness and quality of the casting is outstanding, with many tiny details moulded in, such as ammo cans, a cooler box, an open 40mm grenade ammo can with some small gear moulded inside, part of the tie down straps have also been moulded on top of some of the gear. The second piece is a stretcher to be placed behind the air guard hatches; again the level of finesse is simply staggering. Finally there are 2 small pieces, one a map board with binoís and a water bottle moulded to it and the other a piece of material with a CVC helmet moulded on it. I particularly like the CVC helmet, the detail has to be seen to be believed.
Perhaps my only gripe with this set is that there are a couple of water bottles moulded in which may prove difficult to paint as they are solid resin, but one could just assume they arenít clear bottles, or carefully cut them out and replace with Accurate Armours clear bottles. The large piece block of gear did have a few small air bubbles on the sides and some slight mould lines, but nothing that should prove to be difficult to fill and sand. Some fine blending with some filler may also be required to make the large load of gear sit naturally on the roof.
This set contains 3 resin parts consisting of 2 side racks and a spare wheel, shown in the last 4 photos. The 2 side racks totally replace the kit parts and come with gear moulded integrally. One rack contains a stretcher and some unidentifiable objects-I assume clothing or basic bedding kit. The second rack is filled with 2 plastic fuel cans, a bed roll, 40mm ammo can and some smaller pieces such as a camel back are visible. Both racks also have the retaining straps moulded onto them. Finally there is the spare wheel, to be placed atop the winch housing, again this has the retaining straps moulded on, and in the middle of the rim are moulded some small items of personal gear such as a couple of M4 clips. Once again the detail on these parts is truly sublime; the crispness of moulding is some of the finest Iíve seen. My only gripe with this set is that the spare wheel I assume was moulded off the Trumpeter wheels as it doesnít have the ribbed detail on the wheels, not a major issue but still noticeable.
ConclusionBoth these sets are a must have for any Stryker fan! In my opinion they are the best sets available on the market as a starting point for loading up your Stryker. The detail and crispness of the parts is truly outstanding and some of the finest Iíve seen. The fact all the parts are moulded as large blocks is, in my opinion, an added bonus. I always find it looks quite unrealistic to simply place individual stowage items on a vehicle because they look too stiff and unnatural and need to be blended to the vehicle.
The items of stowage molded in both these sets looks suitably natural and realistic and sit perfectly on the Stryker. These will require some rather careful painting, but nothing that would be above the ability of most modelers. I canít recommend these two sets enough!