The U.S. Armed Forces, in particular the Army, rely heavily on the HMMWV as its utility transport vehicle. HMMWVs were fully involved in the liberation of Iraq, as well as subsequent stabilization efforts in the war-torn country. Humvees are also widely used by Marines and Army personnel in Afghanistan. However, as of May 2004, most Humvees were unprotected by any form of armor, meaning they were extremely vulnerable to small-arms fire, mines, RPGs and the insurgents’ favorite tactic of planting IEDs. In response to a rising casualty toll, a crash program was launched to up-armor Humvees as rapidly as possible. Of course, for soldiers facing this threat daily this couldn’t come fast enough, so in the interim many vehicles were fitted with makeshift armor in the field.
Dragon’s newest 1/72 plastic kit set includes two multi-purpose vehicles showing up-armored solutions. Both vehicles are M1114s, which incorporate an enhanced level of intrinsic armor. One includes a protection kit for the roof gunner, while the second has an air-conditioning unit that is so essential in an environment as hot as Iraq. These 1/72 scale Humvees follow in the tire marks of previous Dragon HMMWV kit releases, and possess the same high level of detail both inside and outside. However, this latest set offers modelers the chance to build something more unique and recreate a sight that is so common in Iraq – modified and up-armored Humvees. These fresh and customized plastic vehicles are just ideal for a realistic diorama in Iraq or Afghanistan, as well as being a pleasure to put together.