Pen & Sword- M113 American Armoured Personnel Carrier
Author: Ben Skipper
Softcover, 64 pages with 200 color and black and white photographs and color profiles.
The Landcraft and Tankcraft series of books are quickly becoming one of my favorite go-to reference guides for modeling. The books center on a specific subject and provide excellent information on the full-size vehicles and model and aftermarket accessories available for them. Often there are technical manual drawings and plans to peruse, as well as a sample of color schemes to give the reader some great ideas for ways to deck out their models. This Landcraft Volume 5 centers on the iconic M113 armored personnel carrier. The contents include:
- Design & Development
- M113 in Detail
- In Service & In Action
- M113 Variants
- Camouflage & Markings
- Model Showcase
- Modelling the M113
The first two sections give a fascinating overview of the history of armored personnel carriers dating back through to the British Mk. IX personnel carrier tank from the First World War. There is a bit on the M59 and M75 carrier and how design improvements led to the M113, with it´s aluminum hull giving it low weight and amphibious qualities. Its light armor also only gives it partial protective abilities against small arms and shrapnel damage, leading to up-armor packages. The section on design and development is extensive and jam packed with photos of great value to anyone with a kit in their stash.
The ¨In Detail¨ section is perfect for getting an idea of the interior and exterior close-up shots. This particular volume is pretty slim in detail sadly-- with only five pages dedicated to it. We do get some great interior shots which will prove helpful for the kits with interiors in your stash. One particular sidebar in this section was of particular usefulness- ¨Key Modelling Essentials¨ provides helpful pointers to help one with more authentic builds no matter what setting you choose-- this is something I hope becomes a common feature in subsequent volumes. An example- ¨Modern periscopes are given an anti-laser tinting which renders their surface any shade of the red spectrum¨. The section ends with a chart of technical specs.
The Service & Action section gives great photos of the ¨Papa Chuck¨ in various settings including Vietnam, Lebanon during the 1982 war, Panama, and more recently in Iraq during Operation Desert Shield in 1991 and Iraqi Freedom in 2003. There is a great bit of history of its use in these various theaters and great sources of inspiration for the modeler.
The following section considers the various variants of the M113 in use. It truly is a versatile vehicle and here are just some of the variants included in the section:
- Smoke generator carrier
- Mortar carriers
- Medical evacuation carrier
- TOW carrier
- Fitter repair vehicle/Recovery vehicles
- Guided missile carriers (for various missiles including Lance, Hawk, and Chaparral)
- Vietnam Gun Truck Hybrids
- NASA and Law Enforcement vehicles
Usually the color profile and model reference sections are sandwiched in the center of all the the rest of the book´s text. However, this is not the case here with it instead finishing out the book. The color profile section is extensive with eight profiles featured, including a colorful NASA version in firefighting luminous green and an IDF Nagmash.
The Model Showcase section features four different models- one from the 1967 Operation Fargo in Vietnam and the other three representing Australian Army examples from Vietnam and the 1990s. I would have liked to have seen something out of the ordinary here like an IDF scheme or that colorful NASA example, but the pieces are a mix of AFV Club, Academy, and Tamiya offerings.
The last section of the book is an overview of the various kit, conversion, detailing, and decal offerings for the M113 in various scales.
This is another great addition to the Landcraft series from Pen & Sword. It has a vast number of photos of the M113 in various environs and should provide the modeler with all they need to get started building any kit of the vehicle in their stash. Even something minor as the fact that the interior of the rear door ramp being a darker green from the pea green of the interior crew compartment walls serves the reader well. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the up close photos in the Detail section and possibly a better variety of models in the showcase, but this is just nit-picking. The fact is that there are great samples of the variety this vehicle offers-- I might just go try that NASA scheme.
Highly Recommended for anyone interested in the M113 as a modeler or history aficionado.
Thanks goes out to Casemate Publishing for this review sample.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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