Build Review of Legend Productionís kit numbers LF3D006, TOW Missile Rack set and LF3D007, Humvee TOW Turret set
When combined together, these two kits contain almost everything required to convert Academyís M1151, kit 13415, into an M1167. They depict the TOW missile rack and turret used on the M1167. Based on the real M1151, the M1167 is an Expanded Capacity TOW Missile Carrier HMMWV. The turret on the M1167 allows the gunner to fire the TOW missile system from frontal arc cover and use a secondary weapon for self-defense. The secondary weapon in this case is an M240. The kits were mastered by Peter Samofalov who is known for his past work with Live Resin and from his storefront on Shapeways. They are the results of a collaboration between Peter and Legend. The TOW ITAS components are an evolution of those that he sells on Shapeways.
The Review: This will be a full build review of both resin kits. These are two multi-media kits with parts in resin, photo etched brass, brass wire and black insulated wire. The kits come packaged in Legendís typical end opening card stock box with the parts in small zipper bags. The black boxes have photos of renderings of the two built kits. The kit contents come packaged in zipper bags.
LF3D006 TOW Missile Rack set
2 Photo Etch
LF3D007 Humvee TOW Turret set
1 Brass Wire
1 Insulated Wire
The instructions are typical of Legend, which consist of photos of the kits being assembled with arrows to the parts being added. They are not what you would call step-by-step instructions. Some of the photos are of renderings and not actual kit parts. This method leaves a lot to be desired. Parts placement is in some cases vague. I would recommend having a good set of photos of the real thing ready as you build. There are a few good walkarounds available if you do a search of the web. Legend also has a series of photos and renderings of the kits available on their site that show different views of an assembled kit. The missile rack instructions show a single exploded view and three renderings of the assembled set. The turret breakdown is shown in an exploded view of the three main assemblies that make up the turret. Those assemblies are the turret, the TOW missile launcher, the M240 and its mount. One nice thing that Legend did is to include wire that can be used to add wiring to the model. This is a nice touch.
The kits are cast in a light gray colored resin. The resin cuts and sands well. There are part numbers on the instructions but there are no numbers on the parts or on the pour blocks. All parts identification must be done by comparing the parts to the photos. There was no breakage and no parts were detached from their pour blocks. The pour blocks on most of the large parts are attached with numerous, large contact points that require very careful cleanup. The main sight, part #26, has very delicate rib detail. The pour block on this part is attached along a face that has these ribs. I have no idea how this can be cleaned up preserving the detail. Part #26 should have been broken down into more than one part. Another thing to note is that many of the flat parts have ribs that extend from the pour block along a flat face. These ribs are difficult to remove in most cases because they run close to required detail. The ribs are added by Legend to lessen any chance of warpage that may occur after the parts are removed from their molds. There are also numerous triangular ribs added to strengthen detail. Careful study of the real thing is the only way to guarantee you remove the correct material. There is no visible curvature to any of the parts. The smaller parts have small attachment points which should be easy to remove. There are large areas that need to be removed from the large openings. The main turret ring has a disc of resin over the opening that has no clear demarcation between the part and the disc. The disc attaches where the turret ring has fine toothed detail. It was impossible to tell how much material to remove and once removed the tooth detail is completely wiped out. There had to be a better way to add a disc to this part. This resin to be removed is not actually shown in the instructions. Again, you will need to carefully study photos of the real thing and built up models. There is a little flash on the openings of all of the small parts. In some cases this flash is thin and is easy to remove with a toothbrush.
Overall Detail: The detail on the kits are fantastic. It places the kits on par with the best on the market. The parts are smooth and blemish free. All detail is very sharp. Most details have a scale appearance. I say most, because I think the turret walls are far too thick. There are a few small details that are simplified. Most of these details are handled much like it would be on a plastic kit. I think that Legend could have added undercuts to some of this detail to improve its appearance.
The Parts for LF3D006:
The Cleaned Parts:
The Missile Rack: The missile rack kit comes with the rack, six missile tubes in two varieties, a Lithium Ion battery box, a battery charger, and a storage mount for the cabin floor for the main traversing unit. The rendering on the box shows a storage configuration that is not used in an M1167. I am not sure what vehicle uses it but I imagine it might be used in an MRAP. Looking at photos of a rack installed in an M1167 shows that a frame is part of the bottom of the rack. This frame is then bolted to the floor of the cargo area. Legend doesnít model this frame on the bottom of the rack so if youíre a stickler for detail it can be easily added. There are racks mounted to the cargo area floor forward of the missile rack. These racks are not included in the kit. Markings on the floor in this area in photos of a real M1167 say ďBattery Box.Ē I assume that the included battery stores here. The battery charger mounts to the top of the fender near here and cabling runs from the charger to this area. On their website Legend incorrectly shows the battery stored on the opposite fender, but photos of the real truck indicate that there are ammo can storage racks located here instead. None of the straps that hold the top missiles in place are modeled, nor does Legend show how they are secured. The missiles on the top should be secured with straps. Legend doesnít give you strap material either. Another omission from the kit is the mount for the sight which sets on top of the A/C unit on the cabin floor between the rear seats. Itís funny that Legend gives you the mount for the traversing unit but not the sight.
Assembly of LF3D006 TOW Missile Rack set:
Assembly of the missile rack can be accomplished by studying a single exploded view drawing. It is straightforward and poses no challenges. Using styrene I added the frame to the bottom of the rack that allows the real thing to be bolted down. When I get ready to use this in a model I will build the battery rack for the cargo area. Iíve included photos that show the rack temporarily mounted in the bed of an Academy M1151 body.
Parts for LF3D007:
The Cleaned Parts of the Turret:
Thatís it for Installment 1. In the next installment Iíll finish the turret and post photos of the cleaned parts for the TOW missile launcher.