M915A3 Freightliner

Hey guys,

I was searching for commercial Big Rigs used by the US Military and came across a couple of photographs of the M915A3 Freightliner. Searching the net further I found a couple of interesting pics…


My question to y’all is what kind of setup in this? Looks like part of a trailer, since it’s sitting on the 5 wheel coupling. What has me confused is the section of this trailer is not sticking out far enough to be part of a lowboy or step deck trailer. So, what happen here and what would be the purpose/benefit of this setup?

Also, does anyone know if these are just off the assembly line standard Freightliner day cabs with CPK? TIA.

Mike

PS: photo credits Military-Today.com

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The first pic looks like they cut off the front section of an M872 trailer and bolted/welded it to the rear frame.

The second picture has an S250 Shelter mounted above the 5th wheel, but I can’t tell how.

As to the M915A3 truck, it is a standard Freightliner day cab that has a few military features added. Unfortunately, there is no 1/35 kit of it. The closest is the older model M915A1 by Trumpeter. It also includes an M872 trailer and 40" connex.

There were still some older M915A1 guntrucks running around Iraq in the early days as well.

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Ok, I see the resemblance of a M872 trailer but I wonder why cut it and place it on back of the truck? Were they board out of their minds and decided to make a flatbed pickup out of their big rig?

I know there isn’t 1/35 kit but there is a 1/24 :grinning:

The one fitted with a shelter appears to be a field built shop/maintenance truck :
https://www.vwvortex.com/threads/unusual-military-vehicles-cool.4651961/page-10#post-62092695

H.P.

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Maybe. Maybe they had a damaged trailer and found a use for it. Necessity is the mother of invention…boredom can help too.

@Frenchy, wow HP talk about just go to the source. I don’t know how you found this but I am glad. I will see if I can get in tough with guerilla_zoe and a get more information on these truck.

@HeavyArty, Gino might be you are correct about damaged trailer. It’s better solution then to let it left for scrap.

Thank you both for your inputs.

@HeavyArty, @Frenchy, any of you guys might know of a walk around photo link to that M915 gun truck? It’s another truck that I like to build some day. TiA.

Google will provide a few pics. Miniman Factory has released a kit of this truck some time ago. You’ll find some pics here :

http://suthhobby.blogspot.com/2013/09/us-m915-gun-truck.html?view=timeslide

PMMS review

MMK makes a conversion set :

You could even build a paper one :wink:

https://myhobbycraft.blogspot.com/2011/01/m915-gun-truck-135.html

H.P.

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Basically yes. After a little more digging, they are militarized '90s era Freightliner FLD 120 day cabs.

I also found some FLD 120 cab conversions in 1/32 at Shapeways (3D printed w/sleeper and extended roof and a flat top w/sleeper), on eBay (resin w/sleeper and extended roof), and on a Spanish-language eBay-type site (resin hood and fenders w/PE grill). I may have to get one and see what I can do to convert the Trumpeter kit to an M915A3.

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@Frenchy H.P., thanks for the links. I forgot the mini factory kit. I remember they produced that while back. But looking at the € to $ exchange rate I think I might be better option to get Trumpter 1/32 kit and MMK convention. Almost the same price and get a free trailer/container out of it.

@HeavyArty Gino, I saw photos of those resin cab you are talking and the resin hood/fender w/PE grill. They look promising but will require work to make them into daycabs. It can be done though and as you said the M915 has everything thing needed as a donor. I might have think this route as well. In the mean time I have the Italeri 1/24 kit and I am going try and convert it.

I contacted the designed at Shapeways of the 1/32 FLD 120 cab w/sleeper. He changed it to 1/35 and made it a day cab for me. It looks great. Now to order it.

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Nice Gino. I look forward to you blogging a build.

@HeavyArty Gino, now that is a game changer. I think it is enough to twist my arm to order the Trumpeter M915 kit and this 3D print cab. I hope you will start a thread once you have everything to build your M915A3.

Another cool truck with this cab came be build is M916. It a Freightliner on steroids.

Photo credit Midwest Military Equipments





The M916 6x6 is pretty nice. It is a bruiser.

I already did its older, bigger brother, the M920 MET (Medium Equipment Transporter) 6x6 from the Trumpeter M915 kit, Meng’s M911 front axle and load wheel parts, and lots of scratch work.
M920 MET

After the excavator was tied down .
IMG_1559

You can follow the build here:
http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/3/t/184234.aspx

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After a little more discussion with the designer of the 1/35 FLD 120 cab, he separated the doors (inside the cab for printing) and the front bumper to better represent an M915A3.

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@HeavyArty Gino, wow buddy…that M920 is looking nice. I might have acquire those Meng parts to copy this myself. :wink:

It is nice that he or the creator is making changes on the shapeway design as you requested. We have two options to choose from now…doors/bumper or no doors/bumper. If a modeler wants to represent the truck pre OIF one can simply keep the doors and remove the bumper.

Photo credit Gomotors.net

image

Actually, you no longer have to convert it. Trumpeter has released it since I built mine. You are welcome.

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Thank you my friend I sure do appreciate it help on M920 :grinning:

Well, searching M915A3 I found some other commercial trucks used in military service that will make a cool looking models…

Freightliner COE and from what I see they were used by USAF. I am not fully sure on how accurate this information is but they look nice.

Photo credit unknown.

And if you really want cool one of a kind big rig…Minuteman Missile Transporter Peterbuilt from Vandenberg AFB, CA.

Photo credit DPDproductions.com

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I received my printed Freightliner FLD 120 / M915A3 cab from Shapeways today. It looks really nice. It sizes perfectly correct to the M915 cab as well. It will require a bit of sanding to smooth it out, but not too bad. Now I just need to get another Trumpeter M915 kit to convert.

The printed cab.
IMG_1782
IMG_1780
IMG_1781

I don’t think these are USAF vehicles. One, USAF doesn’t transport armored vehicles on flatbeds. Two, they have EU license plates, which US vehicles do not have. I think these are either a private collector’s vehicles, or used by some other European nation.

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AFAIK this one is owned by a Dutch collector (NL licence plates). Another view :

b7a5ae7c37924b8d3ef5ee1022b54b2b

The APC in the first picture is an ex-Dutch Army YPR-765 variant.

H.P.

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