This will be my first build post, I’m partial to the ‘Ta Da!’ reveal but I’ve been watching the forum over the last few weeks and notice that we like WIP’s and progress pics. So with that in mind . . .
. . after I got the cabin color adjusted I started on the interior fixtures. Spent a few hours getting the Commander’s seat and elevator post assembled and painted and went back to my reference pictures and realized the Cavalry crews removed this as well as the bench seats, okay
It’s just as well in this case because the diamond plate floor panels were painted steel and the wash I am useing turns pink when overlaid silver metallic or white. This AFV Club M113 is a dandy little model but I have a few gripes with it, one being the absence of locator pins or some type of indent to register a part in, for example the seat backs along the fender well, I wound up placing card stock againt the vertical side dipping the backrest’s support into a drop of glue and setting the part for moment until the adhesion started setting.
Next was the radios, I’d been studying the instructions trying to decide which one to use and finally figured out what bases go with each radio, no mention of the optional choices in the intructions . . .
My intention with this model was to build a fairly quick oob, not gonna happen buddy, the interior is too visible to pull that off. Well after fighting with the wrong type of wire to run the comms cables I gave in to reality and went on with the build. I’m trying to re-invent my modeling practices and having to reach out to others and explore their knowledge base, some details won’t be included in this build but my inventory of information and resources is growing.
Next is one of the parts I don’t reiish, personal kit and effects. Thanks to the Cav units that toured in-country and have posted their trooper’s photos on thier different veterans associations.
That’s about where I’m at right now, got some knit picky things to do like squirt dull coat inside to get the glint off the whole interior, tonite I finally carved out a canteen to make a sippy cup to hang from one of the fixtures, the white critter next to the radio is one of the rags I conjured up when I was playing around with the Apoxie making sand bags, gotta work on that some more . . .
. . . of an ACAV with two large “C’s” spraypainted on the sides and a caption stateing it was the Combat Commander’s vehicle, can’t find that picture now to save my life but I’m pretty sure it was 11ACR and most likely Cambodia 1970.
Wow Terry looks excellent so far. Nicely filled in that interior. Looks realistic and lived in. I lived in an ITV for months at a time so I know how packed with crap those things can get! Great job.
Where are you going to put that diorama? Do you have a spare room for it?
It is looking really nice. Good job on the interior. It may be too late, but AFV Club left out quite a few key components on the interior that can be easily seen through the hatches. Check out the below review to see what all is missing.
it’s taking up 1/4 of one of the back bedrooms now, it is a monstrous size and I wouldn’t recommend anyone take one on this big unless they have a public display area, my intention was to donate it to the area VFW but not so sure if they would have room for it.
Wow that’s definitely huge! If the interior is any thing to go on, I think it will look amazing! Hahaha I’m not so sure I will have room to display my Cobia so I’m thinking of possibly donating it to T or C’s local veteran home/ museum!
I ran a Mech Infantry platoon near the end. And I don’t recall ever seeing plastic water cans, like those. Later they came into being, but I remember them as black.
Of course my memories of those minor details are suspect.
I’m glad you brought this out, it didn’t occur to me until after I had posted the pics that these were probably plastic cans, fortunately nothing’s nailed down yet and I can make the correction. I am definitely interested in hearing more about your tour, who were you with and when and where you were stationed. As I’ve said before stores and stowage are a particular challenge for me, I want to be as accurate as possible but want to avoid all the cliche’ items available from the AM makers. There’s a boatload of questions I could ask, it was surprising how difficult it is to find information on radio equipment for the period, small arms weapons is a little vague also, how likely is it for a crew member to have a handgun, could a track’s crew have a sniper rifle? Finding photos of AFV interiors is not as easy as one might suspect. Lawn chairs were evidently a prized item on any ACAV and I’m tempted to scratch one but dread the task. Thanks for your comments and keep checking in.
Hey Terry, I’m not Vietnam era, joined in '82, but was Mech and some things never change. The one handled cans are indeed black plastic water cans. Only officers and TOW gunners had .45’s. Everybody else got an M16. 1 guy per squad (2 tracks) had an M203. No sniper rifles and I never saw a privately owned weapon. Lawn chairs and coolers were essential items. We would leave out BII to make room for them. At night if we weren’t “up” we would lower the ramp onto a jerry can (strictly forbidden) and make the “back porch”, it turns out perfectly level. We’d set up our lawn chairs on the porch with the cooler and light up cigars and pretend we were home for a few hours, if we could stay awake that long…
I took over a Mech Infantry Platoon in 1973, soon after they returned from Viet Nam, so my actual wartime experience of M113A1s is second-hand. I did spend a lot of time in those aluminum boxes, though. (Keep that in mind when you’re weathering your model. The body of the thing wouldn’t rust!)
The radios were AN/VRC-46 & AN/VRC-47 (the 47 was a receiver only, in the platoon leader’s track) You should be able to find photos on Google, of those two. I always tried to have a PRC-77 (or God help us) an older PRC-25 laying on the roof next to me, for additional comms to some other unit I might have been working with. (So I didn’t have to fumble with changing frequs on my main radio.)
As for the load out. A ton of ammo was always included, as you’ve depicted with those ammo cans. We carried everything and anything that would make our lives easier. An Igloo metal water can, and a cooler (Ice chest) were always in demand. And you’d also find folded-up cots (if they could be scrounged.) C-ration cases in large quantities would be packed away. You’d also find miscellaneous wooden crates of ammo, grenades, or for storage of loose stuff. Flare cannisters and colorful smoke grenades were always laying around too.
We always had the cargo hatch open and the grunts would always be standing or sitting in that opening, for protection, fresh air, and because the inside was always so crammed with gear (see above) that there was little room for them, inside.
One other comment on your model. I didn’t see the TC’s seat pedestal. Don’t forget to leave room for it, closer to the front of the cargo area. But let me add, I don’t see anyth9ing else that would be out of place. Good work. The Jungle boots are a nice touch! (I still have mine, stashed away somewhere. You gotta love boots with built-in drains to let the water out!)
I still have this (I ran the 3rdPlatoon and was also the 'Motor Officer for the Company):
Great collection of pics, these are basically the same pics I’ve been studying from different Cavalry associations. This is a good bookmark for any Tread Head modelers without a doubt. 3/4 Cav Troopers pics are the best layout, 11 ACR VVAC are not bad and there are links to support units such as 919 Eng’s and so on.
The TC’s post was glued into place and later removed after realizing the Cav tracks crew would take them out, the large wooden chest in my ACAV is for the TC to stand on, I’ve seen pics of all kinds of set ups in the Cav tracks from platforms across the bench seats to the crew cabin being stacked almost full with different sized ammo cans, you name they tried it.
Also something I’ve noticed is there are a lot of external fittings that are bolted on carbon steel such as light guards and the like. I don’t have to worry too much about rust on my AFVs because they all get coated in Vietnam Red Clay prevalent in the region I’m depicting. Thanks for sharing, your experiences are a treasure to hang on to.