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Model Kit Review

1/72 ModellTrans Modellbau

 IDF Humvee Memugan

Conversion Full Build Review

By Patrick Keenan -Editor 

Basic Item Information


IDF Humvee Memugan Conversion

Stock Number



ModellTrans Modellbau

Donor Model Kit

Revell of Germany HMMWV M1025/M998 Model Set (3137)





Kit Contents

Approximately 25 parts

Retail Price

13.50 Euro (Approximately $18 USD)

Review Date

October 28, 2011

Review Summary*

Review Type

Full Build

Basic Positive Features

Top quality detail of parts and crisp casting of parts.  Fit of parts with donor kit superb.

Basic Negative Features

No Decals, Markings/Painting Information included and better instructions would have been appreciated.


Highly Recommended

* For information regarding the review terms, grading scale, etc. please go to the WarWheels Review FAQ/Key___________________________________________________________________________________________________

 Detailed Review


This review is of the 1/72 ModellTrans Modellbau (MT) Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Humvee Memugan Conversion (MT72212).  The IDF uses a myriad of different “Hamer” variants, including many uparmored vehicles, which are referred to as “Memugan”.  This conversion represents one of the versions of the Hamer Memugan built upon the chassis of the US M1113 Expanded Capacity Vehicle (ECV) HMMWV.  This Hamer differs from many others due to its being equipped with external air-conditioning units and Electronic Counter-Measure (ECM) equipment.

The conversion is designed to be used with the 1/72 Revell of Germany (RoG) HMMWV M1025/M998 Model Set (3137)  but it also appears that you can utilize it with the RoG M966 Hummer with TOW/M997 Ambulance Model Kit Set (3147) as well.  I also did a very basic check to try to determine if this conversion could be used with the 1/72 Dragon Models Series of HMMWV model kits.  In my opinion, you could probably use the Dragon HMMWV kits, but you would have to do some extra work to make the conversion fit correctly.  With that being said, I would suggest you either use one of the RoG Humvees as your base kit like I did as the conversion worked VERY well with the RoG kit.  See the “Fit of Parts” section below for more information on this aspect.

Product Accuracy

Comparing the conversion set to the information/references I have in my personal collection regarding the HMMWV in general, and the IDF armored Humvees in particular, I find it to be very accurate. 

The sources I used to assess the accuracy include the books "30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon: 1975-2005" by Samer Kassis (Elite Group) and "Landing Zone Lebanon: UNIFIL 2006" by Moustafa El-Assad (Blue Steel).  In addition I consulted a very large number of photos I have in my personal reference collection covering the IDF Memugan.  Finally, besides using the data available here at WarWheels.Net, I also visited the following websites and gathered information as well.  The websites are:

Quality/Detail of Parts

The quality of the casting of the resin pieces is top notch and very well done.  There is no mold shift, only very little flash present on the parts and even small pieces are also well cast when compared to kits produced by other resin companies.  For a resin kit, very little clean up and putty work was needed.  In fact, the most putty I used during the entire project was when I filled two relatively large spaces that resulted when mating the resin upper hull/window frame and the RoG plastic hood/bonnet.  Just a note, but the resultant spaces were “caused” more by the shape of the RoG hood rather than the resin MT hull, so I cannot fault the conversion on that account.

The detail level of each individual part is also outstanding.  The larger pieces such as the armored car body, wheels, front grill, etc are excellent.  And, although the smallest parts are a bit less detailed than the larger parts, the detail level is very good too.

With that being said, in my opinion, the overall detail level of the kit is sometimes a bit lacking due to MT either not including needed parts for IDF Humvees (i.e. rear mud flaps) or relying on the less-detailed RoG plastic kit parts (i.e. tow hooks, headlights and tow hitch).  MT is not alone as many other companies also must weigh what they can include and/or must delete from a model kit.  With this case everything worked out fine, but I did choose to raid a Dragon HMMWV kit, as well as scratch-build parts a few times to replicate parts not included or little detailed.

Decals/ Markings- Painting Information

Like many resin manufacturers, MT did NOT provide decals for this conversion set.  And, unfortunately you can’t utilize the RoG decals either as they are designed for US crewed vehicles and thusly not useable for IDF Hamers.  The decals I did use were custom made for a friend of mine, of which he graciously provided me a set. 

Although it is normal practice for some companies to NOT provide decals in their kits/conversions of military equipment that have markings on them, it really disappoints me to see this practice.  In fact, at times it discourages me from buying some of these products as I may not have the time or ability to properly finish the project to my satisfaction.  Honestly, sometimes I am lazy and if I am buying a product, I’d like to get the applicable markings with it.  This is only my opinion of course, but I am probably not alone.

Also, no painting or markings information is provided with this conversion by MT as well.  Please see my comments above about the lack of decals as those are also applicable to the lack of painting and markings info too.  Thankfully, I had enough reference material to finish the project to an acceptable (in my opinion of course) level of accuracy/completeness.  See the “Product Accuracy” section above for more information about the references I used during this project.


Again, like many resin kit manufacturers, MT provides fairly basic construction instructions.  Only four photos are included to aid us in construction/use of this conversion.  The good news is that this conversion is well engineered and fairly uncomplicated so that it can be built with the instructions included.  However, I did find myself consulting my references from time to time in order to clarify the location of parts.  Quite honestly though, I would have preferred the conversion to “stand alone” by having more complete instructions included.

The packaging of this product consisted of the parts being placed in a sturdy plastic bag with a backing/header card attached.  Although the packaging is adequate enough to prevent damage or parts loss in many cases, I would have preferred sturdier packaging being used as there were a small number of parts damaged/broken.  In this case I was able to fix the damaged parts without too much trouble.  However, in my opinion there is a risk to substantial damage occurring to critical parts which could be prevented by the use of sturdier packaging.

Fit of Parts

The fit of the parts was outstanding when compared to any type of model kit in any scale (including injection molded kits), and exceptional when compared to other resin kits.  The design and engineering of the resin conversion parts was superb and matched up almost perfectly with the RoG plastic parts.  In fact, the resin parts almost seemed like they were designed by RoG themselves.  Like I said before, I used VERY little putty on the project and would consider the amount to be negligible even by injection molded kit standards.  With that being said, I did have one “problem” with the fit, and once again that occurred during the mating of that darned RoG hood/bonnet with the MT conversion’s upper hull/front window frame.  Regardless, since that was the “worst” part of this wonderful conversion, I am very happy with this aspect of the kit.

Conversion Construction

Since the MT instructions consisted of photos alone, I decided to follow the RoG HMMWV model kit instructions, adding, subtracting and replacing parts where appropriate.  In fact, before I started the construction of the project, I went through the RoG instructions and made notations where changes would be needed, including where the applicable MT resin parts would be added.  That way, I wouldn’t forget and omit critical resin parts nor add un-needed plastic RoG parts.  Therefore, when I reference a step number below in the actual construction process, I am actually referring to the RoG instructions, with any modifications due to the use of the MT conversion.

Also, although I’ll cover much of my experience of painting and finishing of the model in the aptly named “Painting and Weathering the Model” Section which follows, I do need to mention that I decided to paint many of the sub-assemblies during the construction phase of the project.  I decided upon this approach in order to simplify the construction and painting of the model later, especially since I planned on not using an airbrush for this project.  Therefore, when there are build steps that included sub-assemblies I've painted, I’ll mention it of course.

Finally, as this project consists of mating RoG plastic parts with MT resin bits ( or resin to resin), I just wanted you to know that I used a lot of CA (“super”) glue with those steps involving resin pieces.  Many people reading this article might have made that assumption on their own, but I just wanted to make sure it was clear as to what adhesive I used for any construction steps which consisted of resin parts.  With that, I now move on to the actual construction of the conversion. 

Steps 1 through 7 of the RoG HMMWV instructions cover the construction of the vehicle chassis, frame and lower body.  I followed the directions as shown with no changes and no MT conversion parts were used yet.  Although, no major problems were encountered in this build sequence I would have added part 14 (in Step 7) earlier in the process had I known it was such a tough fit once the exhaust/transmission systems were added (Maybe in Step 5?). Also, later I found I needed to remove plastic part 13 (added in Step 6) as it complicated the fitting of MT parts added later.  So, I would just leave that part off from the start if I were doing this project again.

At this time I did paint some parts of the vehicle’s underbody, chassis, suspension and exhaust system.  I used White Ensign Models (WEM) Israeli Sand Grey (ARI 01) for the underbody, Gloss Black for the chassis/suspension and Gloss Black and Tamiya Red Brown (XF-64) for the exhaust system.


Steps 8-11 of the ROG instructions cover the construction of the HMMWV interior. Again, I pretty much followed the instructions verbatim, but now I started using the MT conversion parts.  In Step 10, I did a straight swap of the plastic seat parts for the MT resin versions.  However, I wasn’t sure which resin seats to use in front or in back, so I put the seats with “side supports” in front as they fit better and looked correct to me.  Also, in Step 11, I added part 29 (steering wheel) into the MT Resin Body Shell, not into the plastic window frame per the RoG instructions.  No problems were encountered in this build sequence.


Step 12 of the kit instructions covers the front bumper.  However, the plastic part (30) was NOT used on this project, but replaced by the resin part that MT has provided (fitted in Step 16).  I did plan on using the RoG plastic front tow loops (parts 31), but quite frankly they did not look right to me.  So, I raided a spare 1/72 Dragon HMMWV kit in my stash for some tow loops, as in my opinion the parts were much better in shape, size and detail.  After fitting the Dragon tow loops to the resin MT front grill/bumper, I set it aside to dry.  Again, no problems cropped up in this mini-sequence.

Step 13 of the kit directions instruct you to mount the front acetate window “glass” into the plastic window frame.  However, I did neither, as the plastic window frame was to be replaced by the MT resin body shell and because I don’t like using acetate to replicate glass.  So, after writing this long explanation… I ended up skipping this construction step and worked on my alternate glass replacement method in Step 20.

Step 14 of the kit instructions further covers the construction of the vehicle interior.  However, I did nothing as shown and this is where I mated the resin body shell to the plastic lower body/suspension/frame sub-assembly from Steps 1-11.  The fit was almost perfect (only a little Mr. Surfacer was used to seal some seams) and construction was extremely easy considering the mixing of plastic kit and resin parts.  The success of this portion of the build is due to the resin body shell being VERY well engineered for use with the RoG kit.

Again I did choose to paint some parts of the vehicle during the construction process, specifically the entire interior using WEM Israeli Sand Grey.


Steps 15-16 cover the construction of the HMMWV’s hood and front bumper/grill sub assemblies.  I followed Step 15 per the RoG instructions, but I did have to change Step 16 due to the use of more of the MT resin parts.  First, I went back to the resin grill assembly from Step 12 and mounted that to the front of the plastic hood (part 32).   Please note that uparmored HMMWV’s (including vehicles based on the M1113/1114 & M1151 chassis) have a front grill that extends out in front of the hood’s frame.  So, make sure to allow the resin part to “jut out” from that plastic part, rather than making it even/flush as it shows in the RoG instructions.

Also note that I could have chosen to initially mate the resin grill to the plastic frame instead of the hood like I did.  However I figured it would be easier to do it “my” way, especially if there were any fit or position issues with this sub-assembly, and changes needed to be made later.  With that being said, I mated the hood sub-assembly to the body/frame/chassis sub-assembly, and thankfully I did make the correct choice regarding the grill placement because I ended up needing to trim the frame a little bit to obtain the correct fit and position. 

In my opinion, this part of the construction sequence was the most difficult part of the entire project.  Besides the trimming of the frame as mentioned above, there was a relatively large amount of fitting, sanding and refitting of the parts to get them in an acceptable position.  And, this is where I used the most putty and Mr. Surfacer during the entire project as well.  On each of the edges of the hood where they meet the window frame, there were large crescent shaped spaces to fill; which also took awhile to fix. 

And then when I finally thought I was done with this sub-assembly, I noticed too late that the lack of an RoG plastic engine being provided (which didn't appear to be a problem before) was a critical omission.  The entire engine area was completely barren and very noticeable due to the higher profile of the uparmored IDF HMMWV suspension.  The good news is that I was able to fabricate an acceptable facsimile engine shape out of scrap parts, but the bad news is that it would have been MUCH easier to place the fake engine in that area before I added the hood permanently. So, please learn from my mistake and add a basic engine shape in the frame/suspension before mounting the hood… Finally, after all that work, I was able to quickly add the remaining detail parts as shown in the RoG instructions.


Step 17 of the RoG instructions covers the HMMWV’s body sides, but I skipped this portion of the construction as the MT conversion provides different parts and a different build process.

Steps 18-19 of the plastic kit directions cover the construction of the Humvee Wheels.  Again, I ignored this build step due to the inclusion of MT resin tires; which I later added in Step 21.

Step 20 of the kit instructions covers the mating of the plastic hood and plastic body sides (ignored in Step 17) with the plastic lower body.  Since, I already mated the hood to the body shell and didn’t use the plastic body sides, I promptly ignored RoG's instructions.

However, this is where I chose to add the four resin doors provided by MT.  This part of the build process went easily and quickly, except that you need to make sure you’re using the correct doors and that they are aligned and even.  Based upon my references, the doors with the machine guns molded on the interior should be used for the front and the doors without the MG's should be used for the rear. FYI, the MG's aren't what dictates this choice, but the shape of the rear edges of the doors.

At this point I decided to again paint more vehicle parts to simplify construction and painting later.  In this case, I painted the door interiors and inside/outside window apertures WEM Israeli Sand Grey.


Once the paint was dry, I decided to tackle the front windows originally mentioned Step 13, as well as the side door windows.  As I stated before, I did NOT use the clear acetate supplied in the RoG kit.  Instead, I used Elmer’s Blue School Gel, which worked very well and produced a great result.  It dries almost 100% clear, is cheap, easy to use, easy to clean up (as it is water-based) and can be easily removed and redone if it does not come out how you like it. 

 I applied the glue in the window openings with a flat toothpick “dragging” the glue from one side to the other.  Using this method produces a “film” that covers the aperture like a glaze.  It only took a little bit of practice for me to learn to use this new method with a new material (this was the first time I tried it), but is very easy to execute once you do learn it.

HOWEVER, with all that being said about the ease of use of Elmer’s Blue Gel Glue, you must know that after a few weeks the window glass effect starts deteriorating due to glue shrinkage.  I found that out much later in my project and ended up having to remove the “old” glass and then re-apply the glue for all the surfaces replicated.  To date, I have not found a solution to this negative effect, but I hope to try out some possible solutions. 

Step 21 of the RoG HMMWV instructions show the addition of the completed plastic tires to the vehicle.  Although I did not use the plastic tires, this is where I mounted the MT resin wheels/tires.  MT provides two types of wheels with different hub/rims (2 wheels of each type) that mirrors the differences seen between the front and back wheels on the real vehicle.  Based upon my references, the wheels with less pronounced hub detail should be used for the front and the wheels with the more pronounced hub detail should be used for the rear assemblies.


Before mounting the tires though, I decided to paint them first to minimize the headaches with the build later.  I painted the rubber tire portions of all four wheels Tamiya NATO Black (XF-69).  I then painted the wheel the hub/rim portions of the two front wheels WEM Israeli Sand Grey and the two rear rims/hubs Tamiya Olive Drab (XF-62).

Once the painted tires/wheels were dry, I fitted them and I had no problems with this portion of the build.

Step 22 of the plastic model instructions covers the construction of the plastic roof and weapons turret.  Again, I used no RoG plastic parts but instead fitted the MT resin turret ring/gun mount and turret hatch to the resin Memugan body.  Before fitting, I painted the underside of the parts WEM Israeli Sand Grey, like I did with the rest of the interior before.

Step 23 of the kit instructions was skipped as it was not applicable to this project due to the addition of the MT conversion parts.

Final Build Steps 24-26 of the RoG model kit instructions covered the completion of the model with the addition of many smaller or more delicate detail parts such as weapons, mirrors, rear tow hooks and antenna mounts.  I also followed the same “spirit” of the build by adding many detail parts as well, both plastic and resin.  I did leave off some parts until after I painted the vehicle for ease of construction and to protect some of the more delicate parts.  I’ll list those parts later in the “Painting and Weathering of the Model” Section.

The below list shows the items I added in this stage of the project.  They are in alphabetical order with a designation of the source of the parts in parenthesis as they did come from multiple sources. Also, I’ve also added any relevant comments regarding their addition to the HMMWV body.  The parts are:

  • Anti-IED Box on the front-left part of the roof (MT)

  • External Air-Conditioning Unit on rear-top (MT)

  • Rear Antenna Base (RoG); moved to rear-right of vehicle per my references.

  • Rear Bumper/Spare Tire Mount (MT)

  • Tow Hitch (Dragon)

  • Tow Loops on rear bumper (Dragon)

Painting and Weathering the Model 

Before getting to the actual process of explaining my painting of the model, I do want to touch upon why I chose these specific colors for this Memugan project.  First, when deciding upon what base color to choose for this Humvee, of course I consulted my references at length.  I also discussed this matter with a couple of friends very knowledgeable of IDF HMMWV's, one of which sent me an actual paint chip from an operational vehicle.  The consensus was that the base color of the actual vehicle was darker and browner than the WEM Israel Sand Grey I ended up using. 

However, when looking through my photo references, the color of the operational vehicles ran the gamut from a light tan to the darker brown color mentioned above.   Since I had planned to depict this vehicle as one that had seen a fair amount of use, I decided to use the WEM color as it was what I personally preferred.  So, with that all being said… any error with the color was due to MY choice alone.

The final point I'd like to address about my decision to use specific colors for this project relates to my choices for the detail parts.  For example, I used gloss or flat red for many of the fittings, gloss black for the suspension and bumpers and even Olive Drab for two of the wheels/rims and front grill.  Again, when consulting my references, I noticed a myriad of differences in how these parts on the real vehicle were painted.  Some vehicles had all its parts colored in the base color and some had colors galore. Well, I since I like variety in life I chose to paint this model using as many colors as possible.  Although, my model does not replicate a specific IDF Memugan, all the choices I made regarding the detail painting were based upon a real vehicle photographed in service.

Now, finally after all my blabbering, on to the actual painting of the model.  As you know, I’ve painted some parts and sub-assemblies all through the build process and much of it is done by this point.  However, the biggest task left is the painting of the completed vehicle. Not surprisingly, I used WEM Israeli Sand Grey (ARI 01) for the overall vehicle color and that tied everything together.

Once the overall vehicle paint-job was finished, I next turned my attention on adding the very last parts to the project. Some of these parts were pre-painted and others were painted after addition (more later on the colors used for the detailing).  The below list shows the items I added, which are again in alphabetical order with a designation of the source of the parts in parenthesis as they did come from multiple sources.  The parts are:

  • Ammo Box (RoG)

  • Anti-IED Antenna Frame (MT)

  • Anti-IED Antenna (Scratch Built)

  • Front Head Lights (MV Lenses)

  • Machine Gun and Pintle (MT)

  • Rear Antenna (Scratch Built)

  • Rear Mud Flaps (Scratch Built)

  • Side Mirror Brackets (Scratch Built)

  • Side Mirrors (Dragon)

  • Spare Tire (MT)

  • Spot Lights (MT)

  • Spot Light Lenses (EK Success "Sticko" Shimmering Silver Dots)

  • Windshield Wiper Blades (RoG)

The final step of the vehicle painting process was finishing up the unpainted small or delicate details I added during the construction phase as well as the ones shown above.  The following list shows the colors I used on the assorted detail parts (which were not previously addressed) on this Memugan.  Please note that I have not listed the parts which were painted the vehicle’s base coat as it superfluous to do so.

  • Aluminum = Mirror Surfaces

  • Black, Flat = Machine Gun, Rear Mud Flaps, Top Spot Lights

  • Black, Gloss = Front Lower Bumper, Rear Bumper/Spare Tire Mount, Windshield Wiper Blades

  • Buff = Covered Spare Wheel

  • International Orange, Gloss = Front Turn Signals

  • Olive Drab = Front Grill, Mirror Frames

  • Red, Flat = Hood Lifting Hooks, Tow Hook, Tow Loops,

  • Red, Gloss = Rear Lights, Side Mirror Brackets

  • White, Gloss = Antenna and Base

Finally, we’ve reached the end of the project and I’ll explain the Weathering process I used on this HMMWV.  I first did a small amount of dry-brushing on some of the details (most notably the machine gun) to bring out the depth of the parts.  I next applied Tamiya NATO Black (XF-69) in small doses and patches to any surface I had previously painted Gloss Black.  The addition of the flat based NATO black helped simulate the wear of those originally glossy parts, just like in “real life”. 

I then used MIG Productions Brown: (For Dark Yellow) Filter (P241) on the entire model to tone down any paint glossiness left, as well as to tie in all the different colors.  Finally, I applied WarPigs Pigments to replicate dust, dirt and paint fading; the colors Burnt Sienna (004) and Red Ochre (005) were used, primarily the Sienna.

It might seem odd that I chose these dark/deep red colors to replicate mud and dirt in the Mideast.  However, while thumbing through my references, I came upon a fair number of photos that showed IDF Memugans operating in a theatre that DID contain deep-red dirt and mud.  Honestly, I'm not sure where that location actually is, but I jumped at the chance to "liven up" my build with a very different color.




ModellTrans has released a well executed conversion to create the incredibly interesting IDF Hamer Memugan.  The fit of the resin parts with the Revell of Germany plastic kit is outstanding and the resin parts are well detailed and well cast.

The main negative issue with this conversion kit is the lack of decals, and markings/painting instructions.  With that being said, ModellTrans is not alone in this practice as most other small resin model kit manufacturers do not provide them either.

Highly Recommended

Thanks to ModellTrans Modellbau for the review sample.

Copyright: Patrick Keenan - October 28, 2011