M871 30' Flatbed Trailer Conversion

I have a 20’ container and it just seems boring and the easy way out to me. I really like the side panels and am still thinking about a load for it. Maybe a couple pallets of MREs, a couple with parts on them, a couple engine crates, etc. until it is filled up.

The pallets themselves are not the issue.

Too bad these are not US ammo pallets.

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Yeah. Pallets is not the big issue. You can get those done fairly easy with some balsa wood…

You could have Michael (@MikeyBugs); do some of those 120mm ammo pallets he 3D printed as well…



Another great build Gino, Thanks for sharing. Whats the tonnage/capacity of the M871? May a rolled M1A1 track? (I believe they weight about 5 tons.) Maybe a roadwheel or sprocket too.

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The capacity of the M871 is 22.5 tons. That is what I was thinking as part of the load.

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You could also fit a pair of Tamiya M1025 Humvees, or Italeri M998s if you cans find them.

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I thought about that too, but only one fits on the M871 30’ trailer, so I would still need something else. I have a spare 15Kw Generator that would fit too. Maybe. :thinking:


I got some more work done on it this weekend (mostly Sat as today was a beach day!).

I added the side panels. I made them out of 0.020 sheet styrene with C channel styrene for the poles. I also used the C channel at the tops w/hand holes cut into them. I forgot to take pre-paint pics. I painted them in a sand, green, and NATO camo for some variety.


I also started working on the cargo. I built an engine storage and shipping container from pics and dims on a surplus site.

Here is my version, made out of sheet styrene, C channel styrene, L angle styrene, and some bolt heads.

Painted. Just need to make decals for it.

I also started on some MRE pallets. I took a file I had of the old-style MRE and rearranged them into a stack 6 high, with four sides connected. I then printed then onto a brown paper bag. Once printed, I cut it into a strip and made a 28mmx28mm cube out of sheet styrene. I then wrapped the MRE strip around the cube and added the top cover.

Actual ones.

My versions so far. I am waiting on MiniArt pallets to come in to strap them to.


Since this will be a USMC truck/trailer from ODS ('90-'91), I am also thinking about putting some rolled up T142 track, M60 road wheels, and maybe an M60 cupola on pallets. Also some wooden crates, maybe some rolled tarps, a generator, etc. in back. I plan on filling it up.


Oh yea, no big deal, just threw it together in about 30 minutes or so, eh?
Seriously, that looks great!

PS, if I need something scratch built, I’m calling you.


That engine container is superb… MRE pallet came out great as well …

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Thanks gents. The container actually wasn’t that bad, just a box with a curved top and adding bits and pieces to it. I’m sure you could do it as well.

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Superb work Gino! Your info on where to cut, what to trim off the rear and all the load variations is really inspiring.

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Thanks Denimo. Just got the pallets in the mail today. I should get to them soon.


I had a few days off due to Hurricane Idalia and was stuck in the house. Prayers for those affected. We were spared here in Tampa; just some wind and rain.

I worked on the M871 while cooped up and finished it up. I got the MiniArt pallet set in and discovered that they are not right for modern pallets. They are Euro pallets which are too narrow. The MREs are the size of a modern pallet.


They are easy to fix though. I cut the two outer boards off of one pallet, and added them to another pallet.

Once glued together, it is the correct size. All you have to do is adjust the underside supports and you are set. It took 3 Euro pallets to get two larger ones. I was able to get nine pallets out of the set, which originally came w/12 Euro pallets. I was able to cobble together an extra one from left over cutoff pieces.

Here is how they look with cargo on them. Each piece also has shipping labels and is properly tied down. I also made a couple water bottle case pallets in the same manner as the MRE pallets. Since it is a USMC tractor/trailer combo from ODS (Op Desert Storm, '90-'91), the cargo includes: T142 tracks, M60 road wheels (both steel and aluminum), and an M60 cupola.


Additional cargo. The wooden crates are from Miniart as well.

Here is all the cargo.

Here is the trailer weathered with a couple sand and brown washes, some green chipping, and some sandy drybrushing.

And with the cargo loaded.

I mated it with an M931A2 Tractor I had built a few years ago.


I gave it an overall update while I was at it. I added instrument and placard decals in the cab and added the air lines and power cord back to the trailer, along with James Lee’s 3D printed gladhands. I also added a few other details and decals here and there to spice it up a bit.

This “quick weekend build” turned into a couple weeks, but was really fun and I am satisfied with how it turned out. Building all the cargo and other added items really added to it, but were well worth it.


Well worth it in my opinon. Outstanding job on the cargo.

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The extra effort certainly paid off Gino. A lot to look at and all of it outstanding.

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Damn, that looks good Gino!

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Thanks gents. I really like how it came out.

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Amazing work. Really excellent

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Thanks Richard. It was a fun and rewarding build.

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Really great work Gino!

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