Hummer TOW M1046
Ref : Tamiya #35267
Eduard #35655
Blast Models #BL35027K

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The M1046 is the antitank version of the Hummer. It mounts a TOW firing post on a turret ring. The firing post can be served either from the vehicle or ground-based thanks to a tripod. 6 missiles are on board secured in a special rack. The rear hatch can be opened from both ends to enable the firing post loading.
When the vehicle does not have the winch at its front, it is named M1045.

The kit is released by Tamiya and comes with nearly all the sprues of the M1025. For the TOW version, we get 2 sprues (C and Y) designed for the firing post and the internal equipment. It is possible to choose between the Army version (Iraq 2003) and the Marine one (Kosovo 1999 or Iraq 2003).
The quality is standard of the manufacturer with a fit without any trouble and a very good level of details. However for this project, I intended from the start to use the Eduard photoetched set as well as the new type wheels issued by Blast Models.

The build is done using simultaneously Tamiya's and Eduard's notices. It begins with the chassis. With the exception of the pioneer tools rack, detailed with the Eduard set, and the Blast wheels, this sub-assembly is built out of the box.

The detailing of the interior is more important due to the numerous PE parts. The front compartment is improved with the addition of the pedals at the driver station, the dashboard, the radio rack, the gunner platform and the stowage bins under the seats. All these parts come from the PE set. Two numbering mistakes are noticed at this stage : the part number 76 on the notice is in fact the number 16 and the part 16 is the number 77. The heating system on the passenger side is added from a bit of sprue and spare parts. The radio set comes from the SINCGARS set issued by Pro Art Models.

The rear compartment gets a lot of PE parts too. All the retaining straps are in the set. The inner walls are glued but their thickness generates some trouble when setting the missile rack and the night sight battery cases. Both assemblies need to be slightly shortened.
The inner face of the doors is fully detailed and Eduard give two options for the seatbelts.

Then the turret ring and the firing post are built still with the help of Eduard set. Inside the ring one handle and the strap seat are added. The exterior is detailed with the locking handles and the traversing one. The firing post needs some surgery to set the PE parts. The missile guidance set (MGS) is well improved thanks to the various locks. Following is the wiring of the post with the cables coming from the vehicle batteries to the MGS and the night sight as well as the one running from the MGS to the post itself. See Pete Beccara's articles (1, 2) about this topic.

Eduard give the possibility to replace the door hinges to have them moveable. The air cleaner parts are detailed too but unless using the CMK engine with the hood open they remain hidden when the hood is set in place. The hood straps are very accurately represented by Eduard.

The chosen decoration is for a vehicle of the 9th cavalry regiment in Iraq 2003. The base shade is Tamiya's TS46. The firing post is in solid green to get a contrast effect. The glossy varnish coating is not used as the TS46 is glossy enough to enable a good setting of the decals. But to eliminate any silvering, a matt varnish layer is sprayed over the vehicle then it is weathered with some pigments which are fixed with lighter fluid. The tires are painted NATO black then stained with pigments too.

References : Verlinden Warmachines #7