M108 crane truck

The start of my Hobby Link M108. I really goofed by not following the kit instructions, should have left the left side frame rail off to allow for fitting the suspension parts. Oh well.

The cab roof isnt fitted or painted yet and I’ll leave the mirrors and side/indicator lights off until I’ve built and attached the crane.

Not a build log, but I’ll post pics as the build progresses.

Seems unlikely given their role but does anyone know if these rigs were ever fitted with the Gun Ring and M2?


With all the interest in trucks lately, I figured I would throw this out for inspection, I spotted it today on eBay:

A vintage classic!

1 Like

A little more work. The parking brake is in the “off” position in the kit. Presumably, with the truck’s crane in use it would be in the “on” position? So thats where it is now, (because the driver’s door will be open). Jerrycan’s mounted and a bit more detail to the dash (a center-dash decal would’ve been nice AFV Club).

My Iphone 12 doesn’t take good closeups. Be nice to get clearer focus on these pics.

Life is getting in the way of further progress today, but tomorrow should see me getting into the crane assembly.


A little progress today. I spent an hour on the HL crane and in that time built the basic crane assembly. Amazingly easy to work with, brilliant fit and a low parts count too. Twelve or so components make up the deck and crane so far.


Looking good so far. I hope you don’t have the bed glued down yet though. You have it on backwards.


Thanks Gino. No, the deck is just sitting there as a WIP. I’ll make sure it’s the right way around as I go forward.


Another step forward. Released the crane controls (tricky but there was a spare set). Painted the crane operator’s station and seat cushions. Need to find out if the controls were color-coded and any labelling etc.

Enjoying this part of the build!


More of my build. The operator’s station is furnished, couldn’t find anything on information signs and went with matt black for the lever handles, the 2nd on the left is pulled back for effect. The crane boom and sleeve took paint well, but they’re a tight fit, so I’ll leave the Tamiya acrylic a day to set up. I masked the deck treadplates before ‘brushing the deck as these need to be matt black.

Weathering the truck frame, winch and tires tomorrow.


Progress looking good

Thanks, the HobbyLink set is going together nicely. It’s almost like a high-precision snap together kit!

1 Like

wow, really. Good to know. I may pick this up. It’s certainly within my scale model interest genre.

Yep, its really well designed. I know AFV Club kits are quality, but the only styrene piece that fits in place as exactly as the HL kit is the cabs rear window.


Moving on, operator’s station and spare wheel into position. Deck mounted on the frame. Needed to drill the spare’s stud holes out to fit the crane. The hydraulic ram powering the crane neede slimming to fit the cylinder. Everything else fits beautifully.

Will move on tomorrow.


Wound the crane winch cable on today. Just an hour here and there this week, but I’m pleased with progress so far.


Looking great so far.


Another step forward. Got the working lights in place, along with mirrors, indicators and muffler.

  • Due to an…….”interface problem” with the deck the outriggers are too short, so a 8.1 mm piece of 2.5 mm rod will replace the HL part’s piston/ inner section of the 4 outriggers.

Planning to have something on the hook in due course.

  • Just heard from Kang at HL. A step re trimming the top of the frame was missed out on the instructions.

Opinions on weathering please? I see this truck doing occasional work around a base. Not much offroad and Id imagine** the truck would be kept pretty clean,?

Any input appreciated.

1 Like

Just a light dusting, nothing heavy; more like "sitting on a parking spot’ kind of dusting. Some fuel stains around the filler cap on the gas tank. Some minor chipping around the fenders, wheel rims, step boards and bumpers. The crane will have the most amount of wear, especially around all moving components, like the cable spool for the crane, the handles on the control box and bare metal on the crane arm.


Thank you for that. I’ll get started tomorrow.

I would weather it like any other military vehicle. It is just a truck w/a crane, nothing special.

M108 in the field doing wrecker things. It looks just a sdirty as any other truck in the field.

Of note, neither of the above two trucks are M108s and at least the M816 5ton wrecker (top) is military surplus being used by a civilian company. Bottom one (M246 Medium Wrecker Tractor) was used in the '60-'70s and was not in NATO camo when in use.

1 Like