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ikar

M-706 Commando

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This is the Hobby Box kit that started out as a Army V-100 Police vehicle.

We would call them a "pig" or "duck" most of the time. I don't know where "pig" came from in this case but I'm pretty sure that "duck" came from a popular song of the time "Rubber Duckie" and the fact they were designed to float.

I thought this would be a fairly straight up piece of work until I got into it.

The first thing I did was mark off where the parapet armor and blast doors would be. Once I started to get a good look at the rest of the kit I realized that I was in for a major project

This vehicle was powered by a big Chrysler engine and the kit gives you a long rectangular ...something.

Since I wasn't going to have the engine exposed I didn't worry about this too much. I did however have to build a engine compartment on three sides, adding detail like the auxilliary outlet on the right side and a couple panels on the front.

I started to detail the driver's area and noticed that there was no shaft for the aquatic drive system and only one foot pedal where we had two because we had a manual transmission. It was here that I discovered that the hull was marked for the V-150 series and had no interior to speak of. I also had to use thin plastic to c over the interior floor area to get rid of these words and the sink marks in my kit.

I taped the top and bottom of the hull together and started fitting pieces together to form the coverings over the wheel wells, the interior lining pads for the passengers and driver. I cut the driver's seat loose and made the parts that would allow the seat to raise or drop into the combat position.

I found the passenger seats were wrong and made new ones with their braces including the bench seats on the hull sides.

I had to make the housing for the shock absorber as well as the platform for the radio equipment that we didn't have but did make a good table for drinks and cards when the patrol was sitting for a period.

I added the gun port covers to the outside and found out that there were no parts for the inside port covers. I built these from scrap plastic as well as the tightening knobs to keep the doors sealed against the hull added the ribbing on the inside of the hatches as well as the locking levers and handles on both sides of the doors. I made the opening for the winch out of half round plastic strip and angled the ends. The kit gives you a chain but it should be a cable. A chain would never work and I don't know why they added this except for lack of research. I added a bolt near the fuel caps for the small retaining chain that needed to be added.

I though about weather I should have the blast doors open and after mentioning it on another forum and getting a reply, I realized that I really wanted to have to doors open to show off the interior. I did decide to have most of the hatches closed to show it in a partly readied state like it was doing a post check, being readied at the armory, or having lunch somewhere. I did leave the rear gun port partly opened which was a common practice.

I cut open the top of the hull and started taking measurements for the armor plates, figuring height and angles and where to place the fixed weapons mounts, two in front and one in back. I decided to have the side mounts locked down. They were not used that much and if down would be almost invisible with the blast doors open. I built he blast doors with their rails , reinforced plates that had the handles for lifting the heavy doors into their vertical position.

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It was about this time I discovered that there is a M-706 conversion kit on the market. When I checked it out I found out that even though it looked like a good kit I had to refuse to get it on the grounds that the conversion costs way too much, on the order of about 90.00.

I was not happy with the rubber wheels provided in the kit and ordered the resin set from Squadron. These were much firmer and would not melt in the future and also had the "Commando" lettering on the sides. When adding them to the vehicle you have to make sure the treads are facing in the right direction. On the real vehicle getting this wrong would ruin its swimming capability as well as ground traction. The tires were primed and then painted with a flat black with grey mixed in. This would help show some of the effects of the sun that started to turn them lighter.

I fitted in the viewports and painted them clear green. I will have to flatten them out a bit to cut down the high shine of the gloss paint.

Speaking of paint, the interior is painted sky type but the hatches, inside and out are the same green as the vehicle's original green color. I decided to paint the vehicle green instead of the cammoflage I put on the Verlinden kit. There's a comment or two I could make about that kit. it also worked to my advantage when going through some of my reference photos for vehicle numbers that I came across a pictures of a green duck but couldn't see any numbers. I looked through a magnifying glass and discovered that this one was completely unmarked. For the first time I can actually do a model with no decals and be correct, and have proof.

The pig now sits on the workbench painted and waiting for the mirrors, weapons, and supplies to be added. This one will carry two M-60s, one with a cover over it, and a M-174 automatic grenade launcher with it's clip loaded.

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