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Meng Hummer H1

During the mid-1990s, nothing said excess more than the fuel- thirsty Hummer H1. Based on the military HMMVW, it boasted second-to-none off-road capabilities, high ground clearance, and aggressive approach and departure angles. There wasn’t much that could stop a Hummer. Arnold Schwarzenegger took notice and bought a fleet of them.

Meng’s H1 is the first in 1/24 scale. The rather large box is filled with eight sprues; parts are crisp and clean with little flash. I noticed many ejector-pin marks, but most will be hidden. The body parts are molded in red plastic, which is kind of a bummer; they will need to be primed for any other color.

The well-laid-out instructions are easy to follow, but there are a few errors. A brief history of the Hummer as well as a color guide is included.

The build begins with the chassis and engine, and the detail really shines. The first 10 steps are a little busy, so be sure to follow them closely.

The tires are outstanding, with no mold seams and proper B.F. Goodrich branding on the sidewalls.

The interior looks good, too. The truck bed has ribs molded on, typical of soft-top Hummers. Most hardtops, as represented by the kit, had a carpeted bed, so I sanded it smooth. The instrument panel and seats look good, but the center bench is a rare option not seen on many Hummers.

There were top-notch clear parts, but aligning the windshield assembly was challenging. Save the wipers until the end of the build to avoid losing them.

Final assembly of the body and frame was tricky. I could not get the rear portion of the hardtop to sit properly. It’s possible that I misaligned the windshield and that threw everything off. I clamped the top as well as the equally challenging hood to ensure a proper fit.

I painted my Hummer with Tamiya spray cans. The kit’s few decals went on without issues.

I spent 36 hours on my Hummer, about twice the time I usually spend on a car. But the complex kit has twice as many parts as most automobile kits.

I am impressed with the kit and would build another with Meng‘s separate upgrade set (No. SPS-033). This is not an easy build, but anyone with a little modeling experience shouldn’t have any problems turning out a Hummer that the Governator would be proud of.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the March 2017 issue.


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