M88A2 ARV Conversion

I started on an M88A2. I bought a built AFV Club M88A1 at a swap meet a few years ago with the intention of using it and the Legend M88A2 Conversion set.

Here is the conversion set and a review of it at the old Armorama site.

So far I have added all the major plates that go onto the sides, front, and rear of the hull. I don’t know if I placed the side panels wrong (too far forward), but I had to add a 1/4 inch piece on both side between the front and rear side plates. They look to be right at the front and rear though.


More to come later.


Having done the research for Lee on that, I can tell you that as nice as the set is, it’s lacking quite a few changes that couldn’t be done by simply adding the conversion parts.

Do the doors on the side pieces match up to the doors on the side of the kit? If so you should be good.

I tried this a number of years ago , and found as you can see none of the parts fit.
The resin that they were cast in shrinks . I trashed it

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so whats missing that cant be done in resin?

So how does this set compare to real models conversion set where they give you a complete upper hull in resin

Gino i think you got some shrinkages issues if you look at the box images there appears to be no gaps in the resin

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Now that Gino is tackling the conversion, some company just HAS to kit it in 1/35 styrene! Woohoo!


Yes, I lined up the doors, so I should be good. I may have to stretch the track side armor, we shall see. The rest of the parts look to fit fine.

There are differences on the roof and rear engine deck that can’t be fixed with add ons, but require actual surgery. Casting numbers are nice to add to the deck as well but I’m not even talking about those. There were a few other issues I can’t think of off the top of my head.

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It was cold outside.

Here is the next question. Should I do a USMC M88A2 w/ M1A1 CWS and extended exhaust stacks?

The USMC started adding M1A1 Commander’s Weapon Station (CWS) cupolas to their M88A2s as they changed their Hogs to the Stabilized Commander’s Weapon Station (SCWS) as in the new Rye Field USMC M1A1 FEP Abrams kit. Also, they added extended exhaust stacks to the rear on some M88A2s.

I am not sure if the US Army now has these ex-USMC M88A2s or not.

You can see both features below.


Gino, I’d build that exact 88, NATO green with tan cupola, tow bar and extended exhausts

I’m partial to the Army m88 but that’s my baby. But i will say the stacks make it have a mean idle sound to it.

Nice start. Are you going all out on the detailing.


Yup, adding lots of details. I should have an update soon. I have almost added all the conversion parts.

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Gino, of the 2 photos above, the 1st one (the sand colored M88, to it/s right, is (to my eye anyway) what appears to be a HEMTT in dk green- but the front of the cab has an odd contour, no lights. Am I seeing something, other than a HEMTT? TIA. LAC

It looks to be a USMC LSVR (Logistics System Vehicle Replacement). Basically it is a USMC-specific PLS version.


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Thank you, Gino, you’re always a great source of info.
IMHO, it’s an odd design change; putting the headlights down under, but I’d assume their experience proves its functional w/o problems. The truck looks like the USMC Bulldog, w/its lower lip pulled up over the front end. (No offense anyone!)

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" The add-on armor kit for LVSR was developed and supplied by Plasan of Israel. Plasan was awarded a contract in mid-2006 for 12 LVSR armor kits for testing. The November 2011-stated AAO for LVSR add-on armor B-kits quotes 651.[5]

The armor system for LVSR follows the A-kit/B-kit principle, with vehicles designed ‘fitted for, but not with’, protection. In the case of LVSR, ‘fitted for’ includes an armored cab floor as standard.[4] Cargo and wrecker variants require an upgrade of the front springs. Protection kits can be installed and uninstalled from vehicles in the field using only basic tools. The A-kit is fitted on the production line and is the combination of a limited amount of armoring (in difficult-to-access areas of the vehicle), together with a significant amount of armour installation attachments and required support structures. The bulk of the armor, the B-kit, is installed in the field on an ‘as required’ basis.[5]

The benefits of the A-kit/B-kit principle are that armor is only fitted when required, this reducing vehicle wear and tear, and by default whole life cycle costs. Improvements and/or upgrades to armor are also far easier to integrate into an appliqué solution. The A-kit/B-kit principle is currently applied to all current production US tactical ‘softskin’ vehicles."

My guess:
Having the headlights higher up would cause openings in the frontal armour
or they would have to go all the way up on top of the cab