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I sense that we're about to get a new crop of M113 kits from Asian manufacturers, which is fantastic news. Meantime, I figured I'd go one last round with Tamiya's ancient kit. I built a lot of these, including a few as a kid. When I didn't have a lot of money, it was good value, as it includes a basic interior and has potential for improvement by a determined modeler. The included '60s-'70s era U.S. infantry aren't bad, and could be used to easily depict other nation's troops as well. This time around, I'm building toward a 36th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Division M113 "slick" in late summer/early autumn 1963, just before the Big Lift Exercise in Germany. At that point these machines were new, having been issued to Spearhead along with M60 tanks. In Exercise Big Lift, 3AD played the bulk of the bad guys, combining new hardware, fictitious tactical nuclear weapons, and an aggressive spirit to give BLUE forces an appropriately dangerous adversary. I might put the maneuver markings on if I can get a color photograph confirming what color(s) they were. I don't have a lot of references for very-early M113s, so I'm flying blind and will probably commit some anachronisms. But I want to take advantage of the kit's interior, so I'll risk a few inaccuracies that only modelers would care about. From Dragon's "Remagen" set I've taken a 1st Army infantryman, and am updating his battle-rattle for the 1960s. He's been transferred to the Kennedy era, so his childhood was in postwar prosperity, rather than the Great Depression. The older generation carped that comic books and Elvis Presley's dance moves made him a "juvenile delinquent," but he seems to be well-adjusted enough. More controversially, he trades his M1 Garand for an M14 rifle - a good swap?