VERY early M113, 3AD 1963

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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?  





Edited by Fishwelding

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Message board sources claim that early M113s were simply white inside, rather than the pale green seen in M113s for most of their service life.  I like using Archer dry transfers, and eagerly employed their M113 interior markings, but in retrospect these might be for later units.  Perhaps I should have stuck to Tamiya's old decals. 




Now, I need to figure out how to add and arrange some interior stuff, visible through the open hatches.  If I build the vehicle on exercise, my sources suggest that the units participating in Big Lift drew ammunition just like a war situation.  I neglected to add seat cushions, and am now tempted to do so, although I think that would have been better done before painting!  



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Off to a nice start! I've always fancied doing a tank with a complete interior. This probably comes from the old Tamiya brochures with those opened up armored vehicles. Still remember those!

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