With their simple construction, readily viewable interior details and the fact they have served - and continue to serve - a host of nations, the M113 family of vehicles has long been a popular subject in 1/35th scale.
However, in my humble opinion, while we have a few bascially sound kits to choose from, there is a long list of niggling accuracy issues that are dowright annoying, especially when you consider how readily accessible these vehicles are in many parts of the world for research purposes.
There are basically two APC hulls available - Tamiya and Academy. I have never put a slide rule over either of them, but they both seem to capture the M113's boxy structure well.
The M113's large cargo hatch in the top plate and ramp at the rear allow for unhindered views of the interior. While Tamiya and Academy don't do a bad job of filling the void, the former only provides an integral fuel cell for an early petrol fuelled M113 "gasser", and the latter's fuel cell is way too long.
While I will forgive a multitude of detail sins, the M113's fuel cells are among the most visible of its interior components - the Tamiya item is downright wrong for any diesel engined vehicle and Academy's is obviously out of proportion.
The Academy cell can be corrected to an acceptable degree by multiple surgical cuts with a razor saw and some rejoining, however Mouse House Enterprises has produced a cost effective and simple one piece replacement with infinitely more detail.
Research for the project was based upon the fuel cells fitted in Australian vehicles, but I would imagine they are identical to standard US-made items found in other vehicles serving with a host of nations.
No instructions are provided, but none are needed - merely square up the rear surface of the cell and glue it in to place in the rear port corner of your M113 interior. Earlier versions of this product were grey-green, but later items are cast in light ivory, which is a finer resin, however both will look the same once painted.
The US-manufactured M113 family of vehicles are among the most numerous in service and a host of reference sources are freely available. This item will be the first modification I will be making to a production line of Aussie M113A1 APCs I plan to build.
Highs: Simple, well cast and cheap.Lows: None.Verdict: A quick and easy fix for the inaccurate M113A1/A2 fuel cells provided by Tamiya and Academy.
About Mick Toal (Heatseeker64) FROM: NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
Journalist and photographer - aka :"scribbler and snapper" - based in Sydney Australia. Been modelling as long as I can remember and it's my great distraction away from work. Regards my career, well every time I think it's slowing down it goes and speeds up again! Check out my blog at: http://heatse...