Friday, July 24, 2015

Empress Miniatures - .50 cal HMMWV

One of the items that I picked up at Historicon was a .50 cal Humvee for modern 28mm skirmish gaming. I already had a technical (with MMG) for the insurgents, so I thought I would add some mobile firepower for the ISAF forces.

The kit itself was fairly straightforward to assemble. There was some excess material on the inside of the tires that needed to be removed with a hobby knife, but other than that, there was very little flashing.
My biggest dilemma was where to put the .50 cal. Looking at the image provided on the box (visible in the background), I was thinking about mounting in the rear firing position. I had a couple reasons for wanting to do this - (1) most folks would probably mount it forward facing, so it would differentiate my model from others and (2) having recently watched Blackhawk Down (on the car ride home from Historicon mind you), I noticed that while making the drive to the crash site, the gunner was typically firing in the rear arc after having already passed the target. There was also a triangular shape in the driver/rear side of the cupola that seemed to be similar in shape and size to the base of the .50 cal mount, so I thought that would make for a good mounting point. After gluing it on (of course), I noticed that the hinges for the roof hatch were on the driver's side which meant that positioning the gun there would prohibit the swing of the hatch. This bothered me, so I popped of the gun mount and resorted to gluing it facing forward. Oh, the best laid plans...

How it compares

Here we can see the scale comparison between another Empress vehicle - the technical with SPG-9 - and my first technical - a Stan Johansen miniature. The Empress vehicles are listed as 1/50 scale models. The Stan Johansen model may be closer to 1/56 for 28mm. As you can see, they're pretty comparable and there shouldn't be any scale issues with them being on the table at the same time.


Overall, I'm pretty happy with the .50 cal HMMWV kit. A buddy of mine had picked up the weapon station HMMWV kit at Historicon as well and he was not happy with it. Perhaps it's the difference in kits or he was just unlucky. This kit was pretty smooth. It'll set you back a pretty penny, US$32 was what we paid at Historicon. There will certainly be cheaper options out there - perhaps even 1/43 scale die-cast if you plan ahead (settle on that scale for vehicles and be consistent). There was a die-cast model on Amazon recently for under US$15, but I don't think that would scale well at all with these figures. I've already made that mistake once before - bought a 1/48 scale plane and set it next to some 1/56 scale tanks - and plan to not repeat it

G&G Rating

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