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Model Kit Review

1/72 ModellTrans Modellbau

M1133 Stryker Medical Evacuation Vehicle Conversion

By Joel Gewirtz - Northbrook, Illinois USA 

Basic Item Information

Stock Number MT 72147


ModellTrans Modellbau





Kit Contents

15 parts

Base Kit Needed

Academy M1126 Stryker IFV Model Kit (13411)

Retail Price

16.90 Euro (Approximately $24 USD)


Joel Gewirtz

Review Date

July 19, 2011


Detailed Review

The Model Kit 


The ModellTrans Modellbau 1/72 M1133 Stryker Medical Evacuation Vehicle (MEV) conversion is made to use with the Academy M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) model kit (13411) and comes in their usual tan resin. There are 15 parts that make up the conversion and come on 5 frames. Two of those are backpacks, which are optional.  The instructions consist of a sheet with 3 photos of the unpainted model kit. Therefore, you’ll need more references to help build the kit, but I found them readily available online.  There are no decals that come with the set, although I found a sheet of International medical symbols on eBay.  Sorry to say, they don't have a company name attributed to them, so I can't report on that info.

Although I am only reviewing the MEV conversion I feel a word about the Academy model kit is necessary. The majority of the kit is beautiful and fits well.  However, be careful when building the suspension as the parts are delicate and must be lined up exactly for all 8 wheels.  The tires come in two parts (front and back halves) which mean you have to get rid of the seam in the middle, although the tread pattern used is unfamiliar to me.

Kit Construction


Anyway, on to the conversion build…  The lower hull is assembled as per the Academy kit instructions, except that part B-22 is replaced with the resin rear entry hatch. Warning! Warning! Danger Will Robinson!

Then, on to the upper hull, which comes in one piece and directly replaces the kit upper hull. The detail level and crispness of the ModellTrans part is equal to or better than the Academy piece it replaces.  The part has a long pour plug in the center that needs removing in order to fit the upper and lower parts together.  Use a small razor saw, but take your time and go easy! I should know, I used a larger saw and the pressure I applied snapped it off leaving a hole on the thin part of the upper surface.  I did fill the hole and it looks fine, but why have the headache if you can prevent that problem in the first place?

The main hull on my example seemed a bit warped and did not fit together with lower hull. I had two options to make this work, using heat to soften the part up or using super glue and pressure.  I decided to use the super glue/pressure method and while that took care of the fit on top and in front I soon noticed I had problems with the rear side stowage bins on both sides. Rather than sit flush they stuck out a bit and required sanding to make them even with the hull.  In retrospect, I could have avoided this issue if I had used the application of heat instead of super glue and brute strength. Oh well…

After mating the hull parts, I moved on to the detailing.  The upper resin side storage shelves fit well as does the small PSP access ladder, which comes in 3 parts.  According to my references, I have seen these ladders equipped with either heavy wire on the sides or a full metal frame as well.  These parts help troops hold on while climbing.   These were missing from the conversion, so if you want to replicate them, you’ll need to scratch build them or come  from the scrap box.

Back to the adding the details… Only 2 of the Academy kit’s 4 hatches are used due to the configuration of the MEV, vs. ICV. The MEV has a higher rear hull than the ICV, which allows the medics more room to move around and stand while attending to their patients.  Also, in place of the Academy Remote Weapons System (RWS) machine gun mount, ModellTrans offers a resin replacement mount that only houses the smoke dischargers, and you use the kit’s smoke discharger parts.  Remember, MEV’s carry no offensive armament.  One final note on this part of the build; While the conversion instructions shows 4 sets of dischargers mounted, my references show 5 should be used.  No matter; The Academy kit supplies enough parts to build 5 dischargers, but you’ll need your references to help placement if you choose to mount all 5.      

Lastly, I would like to mention one further point about the conversion, that it does not offer the orange Emergency/Warning (“disco”) light that goes on the back of this vehicle. However, I fashioned my own by using a clear lens with thin orange paint and some evergreen rods. That was easy enough but including the parts would have been a nice addition.


In conclusion, this MEV conversion is a little gem, and with good reference photos I could even recommend it to someone as a first conversion (but not a first kit).  It is certainly unique, which is difficult enough to find in 1/72. The only thing I would do differently when constructing the model is to use heat vs. super glue on the hull construction, but that was my choice.

Thanks to ModellTrans Modellbau for the review sample.

Copyright: Joel Gewirtz - July 2011