October 2021

GDLS M1296 Stryker Dragoon

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General Dynamics Land Systems M1296 Stryker Dragoon

2 Cavalry Regiment, US Army Europe & Africa

Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany,  2021

Dragon 1/72

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Building the Dragon M1296

Dragon’s kit is one of a number of Stryer models and variants available from Academy, Trumpeter and Dragon.  Having already built the Academy kit, they seem comparable in detail, although Dragons has fewer parts, mainly due to the use of their slide-mould techniques to form some complex 3D hull and turret shapes. The same basic kit is also available as an anti-tank Stryker (with TOW missile) and as a Stryker Mobile Gun System.

Assembly is very straightforward due to the excellent mould engineering and breakdown of parts. Tyres are vinyl, and mine were a little loose, requiring some varnish to hold them in place.  Instructions are fair, although some of the smaller parts on the vehicle nose are not well represented in the drawings, allowing some potential confusion to creep in.

As usual, I have added some upper deck clutter to liven the model up, including Kingfisher resin rucsacs,  ammunition boxes, a wire towing cable and a silver foil-based stowed camouflage net. I also added wire radio antennae.

In 2018, the US Army began to rearm some of its Stryker Infantry Combat Vehicles with a 30mm gun mounted in a Kongsberg turret, to provide organic close fire support.   

European Stryker brigades received the first converted vehicles, some of which also embodied the double V-hull modification that improves the Stryker’s resilience to mines and road-side IEDs.   The turret adds two tons of weight, requiring uprated suspension and wider tyres, but does not reduce interior space or troop capacity.

The 30mm Mk.4 Bushmaster II canon can engage lightly armoured vehicles up to 3km away with a range of modern ammunition, including airburst rounds capable of engaging drones, as well as over trenches and behind walls.  156 ready use rounds are carried inside the fully unmanned turret.