M113A1 ACAV VN War - First Look
The M113 family of vehicles is certainly one of the most widely used and easily recognized armored vehicles. It was developed in the early 1960s and fielded extensively in Vietnam. It is still in service today with many countries including the United States.
During the Vietnam war, a variant of the basic APC was developed called the Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle or ACAV for short. This variant was a kit that provided additional protection in the form of a protected commander’s position as well as shielded M60s mounted so that troops could use them while standing up in the rear section of the vehicle through the hatch.
Obviously this is a super short history of a very long lived vehicle and much more information can be found in a multitude of books on online references.
Now on to the kit.
One of the most important thing to know about this kit is that it is:
ALL NEW TOOLING
In the past AFV Club has had several M113 based releases that used the sprues from the Academy kit. But this kit is all new and looks it.
For the most part, the kit is in plastic. There is a small photoetch sheet with the straps for the tools and small items and the tracks are made from a soft vinyl that can be glued together. A separate kit is also offered by AFV Club that consists of workable plastic tracks. The set, AF35306 is reviewed separately here:
M113 APC T130-E1 Workable Track Link
The sprues are mostly in green but there is a nice clear sprue for the periscopes and lights.
The kit comes with a full interior for the driver’s compartment and the troop section but no engine. There are not many options in the kit but the big one is the choice between a commander’s M2 .50 cal MG or a XM134 Minigun. Most of the markings options are for vehicles with the .50 cal but one is for a vehicle with the minigun.
In addition, AFV Club includes two of their personal weapons sprues. The sprue contains some Jerry cans, an ammo can, the M60 machine guns are well as a M16A1 Assault Rifle, a M14E2 Light Machine Gun, an M14 Rifle, a M21 Sniper Rifle, and a XM177 (CAR-15)Submachine Gun. So you can use these for some stowage on the vehicle if you choose.
The instructions are typical of AFV Club kits. They are nicely printed line drawings that are clear and the part numbers well marked. Here are some examples
The kit comes with a nice decal sheet that provides markings for 6 different vehicles. The first 5 are Army vehicles in Vietnam and the last is a Republic of China (Taiwan) vehicle. The marking section of the instructions is in color and does show some vehicles with side skits and others without so you’ll need to decide in advance which marking you wish to choose.
Also included on the decal sheet are interior placards and markings. This is quite helpful as some of these are quite large and visible.
As for the parts themselves, they are very nicely molded with no visible flash and some very fine details as well as some very small parts.
Here’s a look at the sprues:
Overall the detail on the parts is really good. In a lot of cases, AFV Club has used a number of parts to make an assembly to really bring out the intricacy of the item. The M60 machine gun is a good example as is the assembly for the driver’s seat.
In other cases, the parts themselves show excellent detail such as the nice weld lines on the roof hatch and the dials on the radio gear.
Overall this kit is a real wow type of model. The M113 isn’t the most complex vehicle but AFV Club has done a great job of capturing the small items very well to give a very realistic look.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders. Pending a full build.
Thanks goes out to Hobby Fan for this review kit.
Reviewed by James Wechsler
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