by: Seb Viale [ ]
Originally published on:
In 1993 the U.S. Army started fielding the M1070 Truck Tractor and the M1000 Heavy Equipment Transporter Semi-trailer. The tractor is produced by Oshkosh Truck, and the trailer is manufactured by Systems & Electronics, Inc. in St. Louis. The HETS (Heavy Equipment Transporter System) transports payloads up to 70 tons, primarily Abrams tanks, but is also used for other large military equipment such as forklifts and various tracked vehicles. It is capable of operating on highways (with permits), secondary roads, and cross-country.
This version of HETS has a number of features that significantly improve the mobility and overall performance of the system in a tactical environment. The M1070 tractor has front- and rear-axle steering, a central tire-inflation system, and cab space for six personnel to accommodate the two HETS operators and four tank crewmen. The M1000 semi-trailer has automatically steerable axles and a load-leveling hydraulic suspension. It is air-transportable by both C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
This is a massive kit from Hobby Boss with a lot of surprise in terms of kit contents since not only are there plastic and PE parts, but also tubing and metal rods are provided in order to increase the level of details.
Contents of the kit are as follows:
• 1447 plastic parts on 35 sprues
• 51 rubber tires
• 6 rubber suspension dampers
• 157 PE parts on 11 frets
• 31 metal upgrade parts
• 2 springs with different diameters
• 2 strings with different diameters
• 4 different types of PVC tubing
• Metal axes
• Tacks (pins)
• 50 page instruction set
The contents of the kit are impressive to depict not only the M1070 tractor but also the M1000 trailer in one kit. Both vehicles can be built separately. You will need to go through an intense and difficult build in numerous steps: 32 for the tractor and 23 for the trailer. My first impression is the fact that this plastic kit is definitely not for the beginner. You will also need some space on your workbench to accommodate this large kit. The instructions are pretty simple and clear, hopefully Hobby Boss did a great job on the accuracy of the instructions.
Since I received a preproduction sample, I noticed some mold misalignment and broken pieces, but the ejector pins are well placed.
In order to build the tractor, you will use the following sprues: A to K and with most of the PE frets along with two of the transparent plastic sprues.
Step 1 is the construction of the chassis and the engine block - well the bottom part of the engine. There is no engine provided in the kit although the transmission is provided and comes with nice details.
Step 2 covers the build of the rear suspension and radiator support.
Steps 3 & 4 are focused on the construction of the front and last rear axles which are all steerable. The last three axles are connected to the chassis with rubber suspension dampers. The dampers are rendered using vinyl parts.
Step 5 affixes these axles to the chassis.
Steps 6 & 7 are the construction of the remaining axles, these steps are similar to the previous ones.
I wonder how the dampers will last over time due to the material used and also what kind of glue can be used to ensure perfect adhesion.
Steps 8 & 9 are the building of all the drive shafts and shocks absorbers.
Step 10 is the construction of the final details of the suspension and surprisingly the tubing for the airline is provided in plastic, nice attention here. The construction of both fuel tanks is covered here, and they are big!
Step 11 is the construction of the radiator in PE, as well the small horns. The construction of the fifth wheel also starts here.
Step 12 connects the airline with the air tank, but no tubing is present here (?). The attachment point is finalized in this step.
Steps 13 & 14 fastens the fuel tanks to the chassis. The front mud flaps with all the small lights are built here. Extensive use of PE provides nice details.
Steps 15 & 16 protects the lights with small metal bars, nice attention to detail. The construction of the cabin starts here with the dashboard. The detail is nice and the dashboard is really great with all the dials and switches well represented.
Step 17, the cabin interior continues here with the build of the front panel as well as the seats. The detail is outstanding, for example the seat needs more than 13 pieces in plastic and one PE part, but no seatbelts are included.
Step 18 is the construction of the cabin itself, with crisp detail inside and out with the use of PE parts. The front windshield is good and the solar flaps are provided. The doors can be opened and the inner details of them are great. The respiration tubing are also here and nicely depicted. The lights on the top of the cabin can be chosen between two different shapes.
Step 19 covers the underneath of the cabin.
Step 20 depicts the details of the roof with the AC unit. The roof top is done using a large piece of PE for better scale thickness. The 'whoopie' light is provided for and completed in this step. The bonnet connectors are represented in PE.
Step 21 is the final step of the roof with the front part also done in PE. The underneath part of the cabin receives the exhaust pipe detailed with PE. The use of the provided PVC tubing achieves better details.
Step 22 is fastening the cabin onto the chassis. I have to mention that the bonnet is attached to the chassis as the real one, so you can leave it open and you just need to drop a resin engine there.
One comment, on my instruction set I can clearly see the Oshkosh logo but it is clearly missing on the plastic part possibly due to licensing issues. Maybe the only item that needs to be addressed by an after-market company.
The wheels start to be attached here with the only steerable ones on the front and rear tires as mentioned previously. The details on the tires are great with the following embossed on the tires walls: “X Michelin 16.00R20 XZL”. The tire pattern is similar to the real one, unfortunately a noticeable seems line is present in the middle of the pattern.
All done with the build? No, still missing a lot of items.
Step 23 is the construction of the exhaust pipe with PE for the metal protecting panel.
Steps 24 & 25 starts construction of the rear winches, detailed with string and the protecting cage is done entirely with PE parts.
Step 26 is the build of the working platform for the winches along with all the small button and switches.
Step 27 is the attachment of all the devices onto the console platform with the use of PE and PVC tubing for better detail. The mud flaps are also detailed with multiple PE parts.
Step 28 & 29 are the mounting of the winch/working platform onto the chassis.
Step 30 & 31 are the construction of the remaining mud flaps and the assembly of the last wheels, as well as the spare one. Most of the mud flaps are done in PE with small metal parts for better rendition.
Step 32 is the final construction details with the front and rear bumpers and the gluing of the d-shackles.
And you are done with the tractor but you still need to maintain focus because the trailer is waiting.
The main feature of this trailer is the extensive use of hydraulics. All the axles are automatically steerable and have a load-leveling hydraulic suspension. So after a quick look on the instructions, you will be amazed of the extensive use of PVC tubing.
The following sprues are needed for the build of the trailer L to R with 42 tires, a lot of PVC tubing, and the long large flat bed which is molded as a single piece.
Step 1 is the beginning of the construction of all the small details on the gooseneck.
Step 2 is the final step of the construction of the gooseneck with the plumbing of the hydraulics.
Step 3 is an extensive plumbing step with more than 4 PVC tubing added here. The small stair on the gooseneck is added here in PE.
Step 4 is the assembly of the spare tires and the small crate to unload the spare tires, detailed with a cable.
Step 5 is the construction of the central beam with the suspension attachment points. Due to dimensions, these parts were bent so you need to flatten them before you start working with these parts (L1, L2, L3). On the lateral part of the beam (L1 and L3), there are small hose connection pieces (P32), don’t break them as you will glue the PVC tubing to these later on.
Since all the wheels are steerable, step 6 is the construction of the four steering axles with their protective casing.
Step 7 is the construction of the flatbed. The dimension speaks for itself (9cm*30cm). The details are great and the ejector pins are well located underneath the flatbed. They are all covered by additional plastic parts.
Step 8 is the final construction of the underneath of the flat bed as well as the rear landing gear.
Step 9 is the construction of all the side D-loops of the flat bed and the rear towing points.
Step 10 is the assembly of all the bogies, complete with springs inside to give better weight effect when the flatbed is loaded...just as the real ones. All bogies received 4 different PVC tubings to represent the hydraulic hoses and this is done in step 11.
Step 12 is dedicated to assembling the wheels. The tires only have Michelin embossed on the wall. Forty wheels are required to fully equip the flat bed. PVC tubing from the bogie is glued onto the central beam with part P32.
Step 13 attaches the flatbed with the gooseneck and the steering rods onto the bogies.
Step 14 & 15 are the final tubing between the flat bed and gooseneck, 12 hoses are necessary here which achieves a good level of detail.
Step 16 & 17 are the assembly of the front landing gear the front and rear lights in PE, and finally the mud flap in PE again.
Step 18 is the building of the ramps. In order to give the mobility of the ramp, springs are used and you can open and close them easily.
Step 19 is dedicated to the construction of all the attachment points. In such flat beds, loads or vehicles are secure with turnbuckles attached to recessed D-rings on the flat bed and on the D-shackles. At this point, you need to have your load ready since the D-ring can be glued raised (used) or recessed (unused). This is a nice addition for detail purposes. Moreover, to ensure the loading of the vehicle a winch can be used and the pulleys are attached here. The rear lights, detailed in PE, are built here.
Step 20 constructs all the wedges (24 in total) necessary to secure the load on the flat bed.
Step 21 covers the truck wedges. These pieces (4) are done in PE for better dimensional accuracy.
Step 22 is attaching the trailer to the tractor. Nothing special here.
Step 23 is the final touch with the construction of the 2 suzie coils (red and blue) for the brake lines.
The kit is a nice piece of engineering and will definitely be a milestone for the plastic model industry. It is clearly a multimedia kit, the first of its kind with an extensive use of PE, metal bars and a lot of PVC for the tubing. The build is difficult due to the subject itself, but the difficulties have been reduced to minimal and the attention of detail is excellent.
Details on the truck chassis and frame are good and this is achieved using the large amount of pieces. The engine is missing in the truck, as is the case of many trucks released recently. The hoses are detailed using either plastic parts or PVC tubing and it is randomly detailed. I do not understand why some parts are present for excellent detail, and why others are missing ?
It's important to mention that, to my knowledge, it is the first time that a jig (printed on the instruction set) is provided for bending PE parts with the perfect angle, as well as PVC.
The cabin is nicely detailed with all the main parts present, although people may argue that the seatbelts are missing, but this can be considered such a tiny omission.
The trailer is an important piece of the kit. Most of the job is dedicated to the construction of all the bogies and the tubing. The details are great and you have a lot of options for the load as well as the position of all wedges.
The gooseneck is nicely done and attention to details is excellent.
Due to a confidentiality issue, I don’t have permission to publish images of the instructions.