Integrated medical evacuation support in the Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), as an integrated part of the internetted combat forward formation, helps the organic medic who accompanies the infantry soldier during dismounted operations. The Medical Evacuation Vehicle and its crew can move forward, covered by integrated overwatching fires which provide protection for the patient and medical team.
This capability keeps the other platforms of the formation free to sustain the integrated support of the assault. The evacuation will include emergency care en route enhanced by the medic and by a protected environment with adequate lighting and accessible medical equipment.
The Medical Evacuation Vehicle is the primary ambulance platform in units equipped with the Stryker family of vehicles. It is based on the infantry carrier variant. The commonality of the platforms reduces the maintenance footprint and variety of logistics support.
The Medical Evacuation Vehicle has an accessible attendant’s seat that allows the attendant to monitor patients.
The ambulance is marked with Geneva Convention insignia that can be removed or masked without altering the camouflage pattern. It has a hydraulically operated rear ramp. This reduces risk of exposure to hostile activity or inclement weather. (Source Wikipedia)
The kit comes in a 41x26x8 cm sturdy box with nice box art, containing 430 light grey plastic parts on 8 sprues (1 transparent one), two PE sheets are also included as well as 8 vinyl tires. Bonus parts are in the form of MRE, soda and water boxes.
The instruction set is typical Trumpeter style, B&W exploded view drawings comprising 29 steps to complete the Stryker itself. A separate painting and decal guide is printed in color.
This kit is based on the newly tooled M1126 kit from Trumpeter
(kit number # 00375). The lower hull, sprue A, sprue B and Q are from the M1126 kit. The remaining sprues are new, as well as the upper hull.
Regarding PE-B, it seems that Trumpeter did listen to the customer and introduced this new PE part in order to supply proper RWS accordingly to Geneva Convention (please see below for more details).
This is a large tub with indentations for the suspension components and includes details on the hull sides which are cleanly rendered by the use of multi-part moulds. The lower front hull plate comes as a separate part, as does the rear hull plate.
All the suspension components are independent with the four gearbox differentials and the short drive shafts. The gear boxes are made of 4 pieces and you need to carefully follow the building order since part A8 cannot be glued later.
The wheel mounts, axles and steering arms are nicely depicted, but you cannot angle the front four wheels since they are fixed in place and it would take a bit of work to alter the angles of the wheels if you wanted to depict the steering. Enough reference builds can be found on the internet to address this issue if you so wish to undertake this task.
On the 4 rear wheels are the large shock absorber assemblies with outer covers, and you have a choice between using the solid plastic ones or the perforated PE parts.
The large rear side boxes are also separate, made up of four parts each to render better definition.
Detail on the rear panel is quite well done with most of the features included, as well as separate door latches with inside details on the ramp and door. There are some pin marks which will be difficult to clean off since they are in the middle of raised details, but since there is no interior you will most likely keep the rear door closed. Attachment for the red cross panel (Part WB5) is present, but not the panel itself, while a spare red cross decal is provided. Moreover, locks for this panel are not provided so you have to copy parts WB12.
On each side are the large can racks, which are provided in plastic or etched parts. Etched straps are also included for the fuel and water cans although there are no attachment points on the rear panel to attach them. One of the most striking omissions is the fact that the fuel cans have only two handles.
Separate taillights and towing shackles are present although the taillight detail is a little basic since the lower part should be rectangular; it is round in the kit part.
The tires are vinyl with the tread pattern pretty well done without a prominent seam line. The sidewall details consist of raised section ribs with the Michelin X logo and dimension charts embossed onto it. The wheel hubs are two plastic parts with separate hub rings, and as mentioned in the instructions, you can decide to attach these rings or not.
Unfortunately, details on the hubs are the same as the first batch, no improvement have been made by Trumpeter here. The errors can be listed as follows;
The outer ring of bolts are too big and positioned too far inboard while the central hub is too small and is not raised, finally the outer “star” ribs is too big. The separate ring is far too thick and the inner oval cut outs too small for what are very basic representations of the Stryker wheels. Moreover no drum brakes are present on the inner part of the hub.
Assembly is straightforward with the wheel rims fitting perfectly into the vinyl tires.
This is a newly tooled part with good, clean, crisp surface details included. Most additional items, such as all hatches and equipment, are provided as separate parts for better definition. No anti-slip coating is represented. The rear compartment top is good and Trumpeter did not mess up with the angles.
There are many sub-assemblies built separately and then added to the hull, such as the hatches and the RWS. All of the hatches show inside details like closing handles but they all have huge ejector pin marks, some filling and sanding will be required if you want to pose them in the open position. The hinges are not attached to the bottom of the hatches and need to be glued afterwards making the work tedious. Moreover, why has Trumpeter decided to use non transparent plastic parts for the periscopes of both driver and TC hatches?
A great addition is the winch, completely detailed with capstan and drum for cable, but all these nice details are covered at the end of build which is a pity.
The head light clusters have all the parts, although the base plate is a complicated molding. You may also wish to add the wiring to the back of the light clusters for a better appearance. The large tube brush guard will need care removing the mould seam. L – shaped wire connectors are provided as parts WG6.
The two large wire cutters for in front of the Driver’s hatch and on the hull top are provided in plastic or PE parts with the thicker photo-etch making these look very good.
Along either side are the large storage racks for different items such as rations, ruck sacks etc. Only one rack for the bags can be displayed open, but you can easily replicate part WG26 in order to have them opened or replicate the parts to have them all closed.
On the left rear is the pioneer tool rack underneath the winch, with the tools nicely done and include the clips and brackets molded with the tools, but should look okay once in place.
There are numerous other items attached to the hull which shouldn’t cause any problems, such as the square tube fitting on the upper rear hull that will need care cleaning the mould seams and the rear view mirrors on the front hull sides that again will need care in fitting. You can add these extended or stowed flush on the hull sides as you see fit.
The tow bar is provided as well as the support that can be attached to the front of the hull, in my reference photos I did not find any example with such devices mounted.
As shown on the box art, the vehicle is depicted in training environment with MILES, and Trumpeter provides the ‘whoopy’ light that is mounted on the RHS part of the rear hull. So if you want to depict the vehicle in operation in Iraq or in Afghanistan, you should not attach this device.
The fit of the two large hull top panels to the upper hull was very good and did not require any trimming, as was the upper and lower hulls which fit together with the aid of locating lugs along the inner hull sides. This makes the final assembly very straightforward and trouble free.
The final item in the kit is the top weapon station and, surprisingly, Trumpeter provides a brand new PE sheet with nearly all the components for the Medevac version of the Stryker. According to Geneva Convention, ambulances carry weapons for self-defense purposes and the M1133 is only armed with the Grenade Launcher, or M240. So you will have the choice to install the normal RWS (that is provided), but this would be incorrect
The new RWS is only provided as PE parts to attach the grenade launcher tubes from the RWS, the detail is great and you will just need to wire all the tubes together. It is a pity that the empty tubes are not provided in PE or brass.
Again, Trumpeter did not provide any interior details beside the fact that the box art show a vehicle with the rear hatch open and some details of the interior can be seen. Angles of the upper hull are good. The lack of freedom regarding the configuration of the side racks is striking.
The kit is rather simple in term of general shape and look; in my opinion this type of vehicle would be more interesting with an interior.
A Build Log
has been started on the forums to evaluate the kit construction.