M1088A1 5-ton Tractor Conversion

I started the tractor to pull my recent M1062 Bulk Fuel Trailer. I’ll finish up the trailer along with the truck, so more to come on it soon too.

It is an M1088A1 5Ton Tractor from the FMTV family of vehicles.

I am using the Trumpeter M1083 5 Ton Cargo Truck as a base.

I am also using the Legend M1078 Update set to make it a more modern A1 vehicle.

Lastly, I will be using the old Pro Art M1078 Interior Set, which has separate doors and and pieces to update and add details on the cab interior.

The beauty of the FMTV series is their modularity. They all use the same cabs, beds, and drive train, with an extra axle for the 5 ton over the 2 1/2 ton versions. For this reason, you can use the sets designed for the M1078 2 1/2 ton LMTV on the 5 ton MTV.

So far, I have started the frame by cutting the upper frame rail off that is used as a spacer to attach the bed to. I left the sections above the rear wheels as this is where the 5th wheel plate will attach. Luckily, the tractor is the same wheelbase and basically the same overall length as the cargo truck, so no shortening of the frame is needed. I have also started building up the drive train.

Here is the rear with a Legend part that is better detailed than the kit part at the end of the frame.

Lastly, I cut the plastic doors off the cab and sanded the openings to fit the Pro Art doors.


Interesting and unexpected conversion.
Very clean cut operation of the doors, not an easy step. It’s a pity Pro Art Models are out of business.

Can I ask you what is the time frame for the new front bumper and engine grille ?

Thanks gents.

Terminator - I am not sure of the actual year for the new bumper and grill, but I believe it was mid-late 2000s. When I was an Arty BTRY CDR in 3ID (2001-2003), we drew new M1078s and they still had the old-style bumper and grill. So it was some time after that at least.

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Beautiful work Gino. Nice choice of tractor there. My M52 is on hold as I’ve injured my back, but I should able to get on it soon.

Thank you. I have thought to use a picture of a M1078 in Ramadi in 2004 for a built who does not show the front of the truck, so I will keep the Trumpeter parts.


Good deal. The old style should be fine there as many units “brought what they had”, so no issues.

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Beautiful work Gino!
Only sorry I did not think of it!

Just the slightest wee bit of reference I can offer here:

The engine and gearbox are partly visible behind the cab, trumpy did not do a good job there.
With a cargo bed on it it’s not that visible but for the tractor version it sure is.


Thanks Michael.

Henk - I plan to address the rear of the engine and gearbox…more to come.

Work continues on the M1088A1.

I have pretty much completed the basic frame. The front wheels are steerable. I will add the steering gear box and linkages and be gluing them in a turned position. I added the lift rings in the middle part of the rear frame from sheet styrene and some sliced hex rod for the bolts. I still need to add air brake cylinders front and rear as well.

This is the Legend update set front bumper, with the kit lights and turn signals added.

Here is the front of the cab with the Legend grill piece added. It has a really nice Stewart & Stevenson logo in PE.

On the cab interior, I added the support across the rear of the cab roof from a piece of PE from the Legend set.

I also added the support structure for the gun ring on the inner roof from styrene sheet and strips. The PE sun visors are from the kit.

I built up the cab interior using the Pro Art dash and detail pieces. They look pretty nice. The dash is much better than the kit part. The storage boxes and gunner’s floor plate, along with the padding on the sides of the engine tunnel are nice too. There are very nice seats in this set that will be added later as well.

These are the Pro Art doors with handle details added inside (left) and outside (right). The new outside door pull is from the Legend update set.

Lastly is the air cleaner with a couple added pieces from Legend.

Next up is to get started on the 5th wheel, work platform and other tractor-specific parts.


Nicely done there Gino.

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Thanks. It’s been fun so far.

Now that you are making one Trumpeter will make an M1088…

Probably. That is what happened after I built my M920 MET.

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Eastern surplus is parting out a M1088, very useful pictures of the rear deck.
M1088 fifth wheel 5 ton parts truck - parting out


Great transformation job. I want more progress
All the best

Thanks guys. I did find the Eastern Surplus parts sale and downloaded a bunch of pics. I should have some more progress this weekend.

I pretty much have completed initial construction and the conversion.

Here is the overall frame with scratched work platform made out of 45 degree angle and sheet styrene for the frame and PE from the M983 HEMTT tractor kit. I also used some of the fittings and lights from that kit as well.

I made the step ladder and hand holds from styrene rod.

I repurposed a truck transmission from something as an engine blank since you can see the emptiness from the rear. I also added the air intake tube from the air cleaner into the engine compartment. I will add some more hoses and wires later to fill it up more as well.

I added the steering gearbox and linkages on the driver’s side, along with air brakes front and rear. The front were on a sprue ordered from Trumpeter out of the M983 kit. The rear are ones that were 3D printed from Shapeways.

The 5th wheel is from the M915 kit, with a scratch base. It was left over from my M920 build where I used the larger M983 5th wheel. The ramps are from the M983 kit.

I found a better picture showing the rear lights and mud flap setup. I modified them using lights from an Italeri M923 load bed and the boxes from the kit lights. The mud flaps are from a Trumpeter M1120 sprue that will be used in a future M987 HEMTT Fueler build.

On the cab I added the grab handles inside and out from copper wire supplied in the Legend update set.

I hope to get some paint on it and the M1062 trailer this weekend. More then.


Gino this is a tour de force in research, scratchbuilding, and kitbashing. Your resourcefulness is brilliant and your work is amazing. Outstanding effort and beautiful results.
You must also have a bits box the size of a foot locker!


Thanks. Still plodding along. I have already made a couple changes/corrections since the last set of pics. I hope to get some paint on it this weekend and have another update.

And yes, I do have quite a few large spare parts boxes.