Another Academy M163 VADS

I have seen this kit come up a few times, so I’ll just add mine to the pile.
As said an Academy M163 VADS, but I want to do a REFORGER-version of it, simply because of the odd camouflage pattern, being MERDC minus the sand…

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Some progress has been made and everything fits just fine… except for the tracks. These are too short! Which is a shame since they look good.
The gun assembly and turret are rather complicated.

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Are those the kit tracks?
Ken

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The newer boxing like you have should come with pretty nice indi-link plastic ones too.

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I don’t know if this helps, but when I was in the Army in the early 90s I was a Vulcan crew member. One thing I don’t see that we had was mesh on the intakes on the top deck to keep brass from falling in and blocking the heat vents. Also don’t know if all the guns had them but we had a rack on the back just above the ramp for a stinger missile coffin.

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@tankerken Yes, they are.
@HeavyArty I know, but I had hoped to be able to use those for the Revell M901 (yes, that one) I have. Those tracks are useless.
@Steven mesh will be added later, but I am interested in that stinger coffin rack? Any pics?

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Awesome! I bought one of these something like 6 weeks ago. No time to build it. Really interested to see how yours turns out.

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Here:



Note that the rack is angled slightly to the rear.
Ken

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Thanks. Those would be neat to add.
Any idea if those were used during the late 80’s as well. REFORGER to be precise?

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Probably, but I’m not sure. During the Gulf War we hade one assigned to us, it had the Stinger rack on it. So I assume that they were there in the late 80s.
Ken

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Are you building with or without rubber side skirts?

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Not sure yet, but I am leaning towards using them.

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Hi, if you are using the rubber side skirts you can hide that ugly seam from the tracks behind it.
I have done this several times.

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That was my thought as well, but many M163’s appear to not use those. Hence the doubts so far.
I have difficulties finding more online images, especially of those during the late 80’s with this MERDC 3 tone.
Those that do have the sideskirts have NATO 3-tone and halfcut skirts.

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That was exactly my reason for asking. Just staple them together and hide the joint on top.

But if you can’t find photos supporting the use of the side skirts, all is not lost.
Cut off the axles for the idler wheels. move them forward by half the length of the gap in your tracks. It won’t be much. The axles will be fragile. You can overcome this by drilling into the axles and their mounts and adding some steel or brass rod to strengthen the joint, or you can drill completely through the hull and add a rod of the appropriate diameter for an axle. Obviously this won’t work if you want to show the interior.

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The old Verlinden Warmachines Nº9: M113 /Part 2 from 1991, about the M163, M901 ITV and M48A2 Chaparral has some photos of a three-colour camouflage one in the first couple of pages. Very clean, and it has the side skirts but no Stinger rack.

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I see that exact kit at the hobby shop; and since the “Abbadon” M163 is from my old division (1/5th ADA; 24th ID)

Gotta give mad respect to my roots as a soldier. :+1:

Also, Master Model out of Poland makes the brass barrel assembly for the vehicle’s M61A1 20mm Vulcan cannon.

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I found quite a few shown during Desert Storm. The one you showed is quite a celebrity.

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Man that brass cannon is a thing of beauty.

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Constructionwise the M163 is done. The only extra’s I added were mesh on the inlets and bolt & strips for the sides.
Painttime!

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