Sunday, July 13, 2014

Lets build: the Empress MATV

Paul over at Empress has asked if I could provide a detailed 'how to' build for their big MRAP kit, so I thought I might run through the process for you guys.

As previously mentioned, the kit itself is made up of sixteen resin parts and sixteen metal parts, with either the M2 or the MK19 for the turret weapon. Please be aware that I am not fully informed as to the names of the various components, but I will try my best to call them by their correct names.

Also note that I do not glue the major sections together at this point, as this would make painting the beast a while lot more difficult.

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Cleanup should be minimal. My example required only around 15 minutes of cutting and sanding to get all the parts ready for assembly.

Main Hull

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This is a relatively straight forward section. The top has four flood lights that when finished should all be facing to the left when positioned behind the hull itself. A small camera can be mounted between the two front cabin windows. The left hand side of the bonnet mounts an antenna base, whilst the right takes a paddle-shaped object that I assume has something to do with IEDs?

Rear tray

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This section has three resin sections that fit together in an obvious fashion to be glued latter to the rear fenders (leave apart for painting). You will notice three holes along the top of the combined superstructure: the right accomidates an anti-IED antenna, the middle a wheel and the left an unknown bent widget. You can also mount the spare tire on here, however I have left this off for painting.


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Here we see the V-shaped protection in full effect. The rear takes the hitch settup which is consists of two parts. Please note that the base structure should have the two loops facing downwards. The bullbar is attached to the front, while either side has holes for a set of metal step bars. Note that the exhaust stepbar is attached on the right hand side with the pipe facing rearwards. As before, leave the wheels separate for later painting.

Gunner's nest

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The MK19 assembly is simple, with a left hand side feed attached under the overhang of the top cover assembly.

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Overall, the nest consists of five different parts. I would recommend leaving all of them unglued (apart from the MK19) for painting purposes.

If you followed the instructions correctly, your finished product should look something like this and be prone to falling apart from slight breezes due to a lack of gluing between the major sections! Fear not, for in our next installment we shall delve into painting this monster!

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  1. Dude!!! Just got mine in the mail yesterday and saw all the parts and freaked. I figured it out but still wanted backup on what I thought. Thanks so much for providing this.

    3 years later waking up under a tree;)

  2. Aaarrrgggghhh! Photobucket changed their ToS. No images can be seen. :(