by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Originally published on:
Introduction:M113 Armored Personnel Carrier is one of the most famous armored vehicles in the world. Massively produced and used by over 50 countries worldwide, the M113 and its wide number of variants have always been very popular modeling subjects in 1/35 scale.
Although there are quite a few M113 kits on the market, most of them still have numerous accuracy issues that need to be addressed in order to build a more realistic model. One of the most visible interior issues with Tamiya and Academy M113A1/M113A2 kits is the fuel tank. The Tamiya part represents the early petrol fuel cell and is completely wrong for diesel vehicles, while the Academy part is noticeably too long.
Elefant Model, an aftermarket company from Czech Republic that produces a variety of resin accessory and update sets, addresses the M113 fuel tank issue for the M113 kits from different manufacturers. This review covers their Fuel tank for M113 family (35085), an upgrade set designed for Academy & Tamiya kits.
Review:The Fuel tank for M113 family (35085) is offered in a transparent blister box clipped to a cardboard backing. Opening the box reveals two pieces: a large fuel tank delivered in resin and a restraint plate with bracket supplied as a 3D printed piece. The details look really good and clean, with no noticeable imperfections. Thin printing lines are barely visible under high magnification and I donít think these would present a problem using a light coat of primer. After carefully removing carrier plugs the pieces are ready for installation.
The fuel tank from Elefant Model was developed as a 3D model based on a real M113 fuel tank. I checked the details using M113 Technical Manual as a reference (TM-9-2350-261-20-1, Chapter 6) and found a perfect match. Pipe plugs and fuel supply valves at the rear of the tank are delivered as sharp details, as well as thin fuel line guard. Fuel hoses should be added using lead wires or some similar tubing material. Round fuel quantity transmitter on the front end of the fuel tank is another perfectly rendered detail. Die-hard modelers would want to connect the transmitter using brass wire, as well as add electrical wiring to the top of the tank, going behind the wiring harness cover. The wiring details are clearly recognizable in the Technical Manual and very easy to install to the model. The shield on the inboard side of fuel tank, the fuel tank retainer bands and anchor straps with locknuts and springs are impressive details as well.
Installing the replacement fuel tank to the model is easy and the pieces fit well.
Conclusion:The Fuel tank for M113 family (35085) from Elefant Model provides a cheap and simple replacement to the inaccurate fuel cells provided in Tamiya and Academy M113A1/M113A2 kits. Fuel hoses and electrical wiring could be added for a next level of realism.
Thank you to Vladimir from Elefant Model for this review sample.