Fishwelding

VERY early M113, 3AD 1963

13 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

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.  

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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?  

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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. 

 

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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!  

 

YNEAFOx.jpg

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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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Posted (edited)

On 4/22/2017 at 8:16 AM, janman said:

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!

This build is usual for me; it didn't seem like it would be much more work to do an interior, especially with details only really visible through open hatches.  But it turned out to be more work than I anticipated!

 

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So this is ready to close up.  In the fall/early winter of 1963, these M113s were still fairly new.  So weather was confined to some floor panel chipping (overdone!  I got lazy and tried using a fine-tipped sharpie) and some dirt (Vallejo pigment, mixed with one of their washes.)  I got some pads and belts on the seats, using Kneaditite putty and masking tape.  The gear comes from various detail sets.  The two ration boxes--appropriate for the 1960s--comes from Duplicata Productions.  Fantastic products!  I'll be using one of their Germany maps for this build later on.  My only suggestion to them is to print carboard boxes onto brown craft paper, like Tamiya does.  This makes folding the boxes much easier, is probably cheaper to manufacture, and the finished product still looks very convincing.

 

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This guy is about ready to paint.  His gear is a mixture from World War II and Vietnam sets, placed according to photos in Walter Böhm's Tankograd series of books, and a few on the web.  I still need to add a helmet cover (probably with a coat of Mr. Surfacer.)  

 

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Edited by Fishwelding

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Looks like you are off to a great start

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Just stumbled upon this.  I like the subject choice.  Very unique.   If it was fall / early winter in W Germany, typically that means lots of rain.  That floor of your track looks way too clean.   

 

John

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The floorboards are too white too.  M113 floorboards are left in unpainted aluminum.

 

Later M113A2, but the floorboards were the same.

m113a2int.jpg

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Posted (edited)

On 5/10/2017 at 2:10 PM, HeavyArty said:

The floorboards are too white too.  M113 floorboards are left in unpainted aluminum.

 

 

Ah well.  I'll get it right next time around! 

 

On 5/9/2017 at 10:40 PM, 11bee said:

Just stumbled upon this.  I like the subject choice.  Very unique.   If it was fall / early winter in W Germany, typically that means lots of rain.  That floor of your track looks way too clean.   

 

John

 

I can still act on this, since I'll need to mess up the rear ramp, too.  

 

Not much to report this week.  After adding exterior details, I began painting, starting with a coat of lacquer primer.  Figuring that the division shape/color/number marking (1-36 Infantry) was a red circle, I painted for that, and added a mask on either side of the track.  That is pure speculation;  the period black-and-white photographs I have seem to suggest a different color than yellow (since it doesn't look like the same shade as the bridge mark), and has white instead of black lettering.  But I'm fairly certain somebody will produce a color photograph proving me wrong!  :rolleyes:  Next, I applied the dark base coat, a homebrew OD mixed from Tamiya Acrylics.  I'll let this set up, add wheels and tracks, and then apply some lighter shades for highlights.  Since I'm going to mud up the undercarriage, I'm not going to spend a lot of time meticulously painting the tracks or wheels.  

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Also, I applied a dark base for the soldier.  This is Vallejo's much-maligned polyurethane primer.  Since I won't be masking this guy, it shouldn't be a problem.  I'll build up lighter shades using Vallejo acrylics after this stuff has had time to cure.  Oh, and probably take a knife or needle file to clear the flash off his fingers, too!  That stuff is tough to see until the primer's on. 

 

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Edited by Fishwelding

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Looking good.  One issue with the Tamiya kit (among many) is the top troop hatch being molded 180 degrees around.  The curved strap to the lock mechanism is molded on the lower part of the hatch, but should be on the upper part.  This is how the hatch is pulled closed and how it locks/unlocks.  If you cut the hinges off and turn it around 180 degrees, it will be correct.  You can see it in the below pic in the proper position.

 

m113_tow_antitank_missile_system_united_

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Build started in April.....any more progress? Got a couple of these in my stash bought way back when...as when it was a state of the art kit. Built their mortar M-113 version & the one with the Saladin turret.  

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On 5/14/2017 at 8:04 AM, HeavyArty said:

 One issue with the Tamiya kit (among many) is the top troop hatch being molded 180 degrees around.  The curved strap to the lock mechanism is molded on the lower part of the hatch, but should be on the upper part.  This is how the hatch is pulled closed and how it locks/unlocks.  If you cut the hinges off and turn it around 180 degrees, it will be correct.

 

The hatch is attached at multiple welds because, being a ham-handed sort, I'm big on sturdiness.  So rather than rip it back off I simply shaved away the old strap.  I could labor over trying to provide a detailed replacement...

 

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...or I can be a dirty cheater and simply add a vague strap, and then put scale maps on top!  Of course, having introduced all this paper, I should probably add an officer to the scene, too.  

 

I've been pulled away from the M113 project for the past few months because of overtime work at my job, and this project, Miniart's "French Cafe."   With vacuum-formed walls, this build was a real challenge for me.  I made matters worse by modifying it for the 1980s, and to be a backdrop item that takes up fairly little room in a scene.  Despite the rigor, my amateurish work, and my suspicion that it's a little over-scale, I think it's awesome since it makes diorama buildings a more realistic prospect.  I've already procured more Miniart building components, and have all sorts of ideas for Cold War scenes.  In this case, I might park some U.S. soldiers eating a fine German breakfast out front, with their M151 at the curb. ("It could be worse.  They might have sent you to Fort Lost-in-the-Woods, Missouri.")  Or add another building alongside, and maybe put a Bundeswehr 8-wheeled Spähpanzer in front.  But that's a story for a different thread...

 

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With the decals on, it's time to seal them with varnish and begin weathering.  I'll add some mud and dust, but I might in future do some parade-ready clean vehicles in this dark olive drab, high visibility marking scheme.  It looks good to me!

 

The big vehicle number in the bright red circle looks like this machine is ready for 24 hours at Le Mans!  

 

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Edited by Fishwelding

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