Bill Horton builds Trumpeter's huge and complex Marines armored truck in 1/35th.

This is a build review of Trumpeter’s Mk23 truck with armor protection kit.  This is a truck used currently by the Marines and the Navy, and is a 7 ton truck, made by Oshkosh (b’gosh).  I saw a photo of this bad boy online and had to build it.  While the kit is somewhat hard to find, I found one in a LHS and grabbed it immediately.  Upon opening the box I was impressed by the volume of pieces, packing and detail.

I have built trucks produced by Trumpeter and/or Hobbyboss several times before.  They have a good team that works on the trucks and I’ve found them to be detailed and enjoyable builds.  This one was not only not an exception to that, it was IMHO the finest one I’ve built to date.

This kit is lacking an engine, and while it has full cab and passenger compartment interiors, those are fairly simplified (and I should say nothing obvious is missing).  Despite those factors, the parts count for this kit edges up on 700!  What this translates to is an incredibly detailed chassis and suspension, not to mention exterior and CROWs nest.

I started my build with the suspension/differential units; the three are similar but in the end are different.  The detail and fit are outstanding.  The ladder chassis with separate rails and crossmembers is next, and again with outstanding fit.  Then it’s on to attachments like the fuel tank (with PE steps) and other tanks and goodies.  The build will keep you going for hours, and the fit of the parts including PE is exceptional.

Next up is the layered cab and interior, and the rear bed and armored troop compartment.  The interior is nice and the dash decal looks great once melted on.  My only beef was the inexact and weak fit of the hood, which I reinforced under the fenders so it wouldn’t continue to falloff.  On the other hand, the rear deck and troop compartment was exceptional, with the top bows well represented.

The cloth top wasn’t great, and I spent some time with washes and drybrushing to try to improve it. If someone comes out with a resin top for this kit I will buy it and replace the thick kit top.  The top is removable and the rear ladder hinges work as well, providing some display flexibility.

The last piece of the build is the CROWs unit, which fits well and has detail above and below including rotational controls and motor.  The glass is two layers thick and fits well.

The truck shown obviously left Oshkosh in the sand color, and the APK was green, leading to a cool looking ‘Frankentruck’.  That contrast was what made me buy the kit, and with some planning it was fairly easy to replicate on the model.  I used AK Realcolors paint for the sand and green, and Hataka lacquer for the seafoam green cab interior.  The box showed a filthy truck so I felt obliged to give it a bath, mostly in oil paint washes but also using some AK products.  I used pigments on the kit tires, giving them a heavy coating and removing excess with cotton swabs.  In the end I threw in a few pieces of ValueGear modern stowage to give the back a lived-in look.

I should mention this kit is a monster!  It’s almost as long as an Abrams and considerably taller.  It will take up a lot of room in your display case.  But it was a great build, and moved quickly given the parts count and detail.  I’d highly recommend this kit to lovers of modern military trucks.



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