- Manufacturer -AFV Club
- Scale – 1:35
- Vehicle – General Dynamics M1130 Stryker CV
- Markings – 1st squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment “War Eagles”
- Paint – Mr. Paint
- Aftermarket – none
I let this kit sit on my shelf for a long time. When I bought it, I had plans to put it in a scene with a few military contractors. When I found reference photos for a vehicle included on the decals, I decided to forego the scene, and just display the model as it was in the references.
Once I finally tore into it, I was a bit overwhelmed by the instructions. It seems that when they made them, they took the images directly from their CAD software and included every bit of surface detail that’s on the plastic. It made the images difficult to comprehend while trying to follow their direction. But, taking my time and marking off each piece installed as I went, I was able to get everything together.
Another small complaint are the over engineered pieces that seemed to only add to the parts count. All of the armor sheeting that is on the real vehicle are separate parts in the kit. In total, there were probably 20 extra pieces just with armor plating.
Putting that aside, the fit of the kit is great. No filler was needed anywhere and even the hull halves lined up very well once they were put together. I did add a bit of detail with the webbing for the cargo area. The tie-downs were replaced with lead wire and straps were made from strips of a dollar bill. Buckles were included on the photo-etch frets. The tool rack also received some webbing and PE tool holders. The periscope lenses were made with gold foil from a party noisemaker. I cut the foil to size, glued them to the periscopes and painted them with AMMO’s Crystal Color red. They turned out a bit more opaque than I’d hoped, but still have some nice depth and reflectivity that I couldn’t have gotten otherwise.
I had hoped to replace the vinyl wheels with resin, but I was never able to source some AM wheels. I’m not a fan of vinyl parts but I made them work here. Using Mr. Paint paints, I was able to get a better grip on the tires than what I would have been able to get otherwise. It held up very well under the weathering and the few spots that did rub off just added some character.
The absolute worst part of this kit were the decals. I had heard bad things about AFV Club’s decals prior to this build and I can verify, now, just how bad they are. To start, they didn’t want to come off the backing paper. Once they were off, though, they wouldn’t settle into any detail. Even multiple applications of Solvaset wouldn’t soften them up. Fortunately, there aren’t many markings on the vehicle so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The only bad spot was on the ‘Punisher’ skull on the rear. It ended up cracking, but I was able to squeeze it onto the surface with my finger and touch up the crack with some weathering.
If you’re looking to build a Stryker, the AFV Club option is a nice kit. It has flaws, but most of them can be managed with a little bit of care. Though for markings, look for an aftermarket solution. I really don’t recommend using the kit decals.
More photos with better resolution at SmugMug