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Takom- M114 A1E1 CRV

Kit Number:
2149
Scale:
1:35
Published:
Friday, January 14, 2022
Manufacturer:
TAKOM
Retail Price:
$46.99
Reviewed By:
Michael Reeves

Takom- M114 A1E1 CRV

History

The M114 Command and Reconnaissance Carrier, a Vietnam-era AFV  created by Cadillac, was designed to be a fast and stealthy companion to the already successful M113. It was amphibious and deployable by parachute, but that is where the comparisons end. The M114 was deemed unsuitable for use in the Vietnam War- being mechanically unreliable, underpowered (which made it's cross country abilities lackluster), and extremely vulnerable to land mines. By the end of 1964, it was quickly replaced by the much more successful M551 Sheridan.  It remained in service with US Army units in Europe, Korea, and the USA until eventually it ended its career with the 3rd Armored Cavalry in 1979. 

The M114 was operated by a crew of 3 and powered by a 160hp Chevrolet V-8 engine with a top speed of 36 mph. The original M114 required the commander to open the hatch to fire the .50 caliber gun. but the M114A1 was armed with a new commander's weapon station allowing the gun to be deployed from inside. This kit version, the A1E1 (later designated the A2) had a hydraulically powered cupola and mounted an M139 20mm cannon and a rear-mounted M60 7.62mm pedestal mounted machine gun. The 20mm ammunition was stowed in 16 storage containers, each holding 25 rounds.

What's Inside the Box

There are six sprues of gray plastic, one clear sprue, a PE fret, copper tow cable, a vinyl ammunition belt for the 20mm, and a decal sheet featuring four schemes.

Sprue A, of which there are two, contains the link and length tracks, parts for the road wheels, rear idler, and sprocket, suspension arms, grab handles, and the like. There is slide molding for the rear idler axle and the tow cable ends. There are pin ejection marks every 4th link on the longer track lengths which will be mostly hidden, and unfortunately on the outer surfaces of the suspension arms. These may easily be hidden by the road wheels, but for those more particular about their work may find more to do in removing them.

 

Sprue B contains the larger surface pieces- inner bulkheads, rear lower hull tub side and hatch, top deck parts, and cupola parts. Ejection marks are present on all of the interior faces of the larger pieces, as well as the inside of the cupola. The interiors of the hatches are clear of these however- if you are looking to have them posed open. There are marks on the rear door hatch to attach M72 LAW missile tubes to, but none are provided in the kit.

Sprue C contains the sides and bottom of the lower hull tub, as well as the larger top deck piece, and the jigs for the tracks. Same thing on the interior faces with the marks...

Sprue G contains mostly small fiddly parts- including the pioneer tools, M60, jerry can, lights and covers, antenna mounts, hatch handles and such...some slide molded parts here include the fenders, M60 ammunition tray, and exhaust.

 

Sprue H contains mostly parts for the 20mm cannon. Despite some slide molded parts apparent on this sprue, the end of the cannon barrel is not among them.

Sprue J is the clear sprue and contains light and periscope lenses...

The PE fret includes grills, and sights and small bits for the 20mm gun. The tow cable and vinyl ammo belt are nice additions...and the decal sheet is small but varied. Instructions are typical of Takom kits...

The four included schemes for the kit are all Germany-based as none of these would have been in Vietnam. The first represents an M114 from 3rd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Amberg, Federal Republic of Germany, Winter of 1970...

Second scheme is 4th Battalion, 73rd Armored Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, REFORGER V FTX, Oettingen, Federal Republic of Germany- October 1973

Third scheme is 2nd Battlaion, 13th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Manheim, Federal Republic of Germany- March 1974

And lastly the one I am hedging towards- 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Federal Republic of Germany- Summer 1973  

 

Conclusion

This looks to be an excellent offering from Takom of a more modern piece of armored history. Other than a few tricky ejection marks, this looks to be an enjoyable build and will prove to be an interesting paint scheme to recreate. With some interior faces to detail, it might provide some excellent opportunities for those wanting to trick the interior out and leave some hatches open. 

Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders, pending full build.

Thanks goes out to Takom for this review kit.

Reviewed by Michael Reeves

 

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