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M113 - Tamyia - 1:35 + addons
PantherCharlie
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 01:41 AM UTC

Quoted Text


The other part is probably just a little box to hold documents or the driver's personal stuff. Ok for your track as well :-)



Although some guys might have used it as a magazine rack for the latest issue of Playboy, that open-topped box was designed (I believe) and used to contain the FM (Field Manual and TM (Technical Manual)for the vehicle, and probably maintenance records.

I kept my small items of personal gear, such as letters, photos, camera, etc., in a .50 cal. ammo can beside my seat on the sponson. It was my personal waterproof safe and did its job admirably when my track sank in the river.
18Bravo
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Colorado, United States
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 01:57 AM UTC
To add to the steering lever discussion - my one and only experience in an M113 was at the Harmony Church School for Wayward Boys in 1982. It had steering levers.
PantherCharlie
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 02:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text



BTW, the earlier welded-in integral fuel tank was subject to cracking and was replaced by this removable model from 1968 onwards.

H.P.




You would think the latest equipment off the assembly line would get to the combat zone, but this was not always the case. For instance, the M113A1 was officially introduced in 1964, yet my 9th Infantry Division deployed to Vietnam with gas-powered early M113s nearly three years later and did not get the Diesel A1 until the latter part of 1968. That delay cost a lot of lives among my brothers-in-arms.

So I wonder when, or even if, the new, non-integral tanks ever made it to Vietnam. I'll have to ask Jim about that, too, since he was with the Panther Battalion until its return to CONUS in 1970.


That's just one example of many I could name. I am certain that the same can be said for the more recent conflicts, and indeed, the past ones, as well.

I believe there is a lesson in this unfortunate truth that we as modelers should take into consideration. We can not always go by what the technical manuals and other "official" data tells us about innovations. I would suggest you are safer to err on the side of depicting older features, rather than the latest improvements, when you are building your model.

This was the almost inevitable result of a gas-fueled M113 that hit a mine or took an RPG strike in the tank.

[img]http://gallery3.kitmaker.net/showphoto.php/photo/432630][img]

OK, somebody help this old fart out, please. What am I doing wrong with the photo post?
PantherCharlie
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 02:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

To add to the steering lever discussion - my one and only experience in an M113 was at the Harmony Church School for Wayward Boys in 1982. It had steering levers.



Please explain, Robert. I would pay a lot of money to get one last stint in the driver's seat of a track. This is my dream...

https://youtu.be/VMrBihciO7I


Ah! Gotcha - Ft. Benning. Never made it there. Took Basic at Knox, Infantry AIT at Dix. Will correct this deficiency next April when I attend our Battalion's Reunion.
Frenchy
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Rhone, France
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 01:28 PM UTC
Bill

Here's your picture :



It's a bit hard to tell, but I guess the track below is fitted with the late fuel tank :



This thread should help with posting gallery pics :

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=231739&page=1

H.P.
Stojkovic1987
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Wojewodztwo Slaskie, Poland
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 03:42 PM UTC
Thanks for adding more informations about the steering levers and the side wall box.

I used the box, won't use the levers.

What was the difference betwen the track with gas tank driven into the mine, and the diesel one?

Was the explosion more devastating inside or the interior was like barbecue full of petrol flames, while the diesel was'nt such explosive?
Stojkovic1987
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Wojewodztwo Slaskie, Poland
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Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 08:23 PM UTC
Hello Brothers in modeling arms

Tim for some new pics of the work with the track.
First of all, I've decided to make some field modifications as Bill showed in one of his photos from the NAM time.

The wooden boxes looks really great and this was the way You inspired me to make the same in my interior.
Please feel free to add your opinion about the wood I've tried to recreate. Maybe they are to high?

Please let me know If I shoul leave it as it is or maybe change it for resin seats a in other tracks seen on the web

Everything is not glued permanent, so it can be changed anytime.








PantherCharlie
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Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2015 - 04:47 AM UTC
Thanks for the assist, Frenchy.



Quoted Text


It's a bit hard to tell, but I guess the track below is fitted with the late fuel tank :
H.P.



Yes, it looks like someone got the new style tanks in their tracks. Do you know what unit and year this was?
PantherCharlie
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Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2015 - 05:53 AM UTC
HiŁukasz


Quoted Text


First of all, I've decided to make some field modifications as Bill showed in one of his photos from the NAM time.

The wooden boxes looks really great and this was the way You inspired me to make the same in my interior.
Please feel free to add your opinion about the wood I've tried to recreate. Maybe they are to high?

Please let me know If I shoul leave it as it is or maybe change it for resin seats a in other tracks seen on the web

Everything is not glued permanent, so it can be changed anytime.




First of all, before we get to the boxes, get rid of that resin piece on the right side against the engine wall. That is the troop compartment heater. As you can imagine, a heater was about the ;last thing we needed in our tracks in Vietnam, so it was one of the first pieces of gear removed.

The boxes do look too tall. If you remove the top planks they would be about right. Ours were pretty much level with the sponson tops. They also need another side and bottom, if you are going to have the ammo cans inside exposed. If not, and you are going to cover them, then you can probably get away with the three sides. I think you should keep them for a Vietnam Infantry or Cavalry track.

I'm still looking for a photo of a real M113 in a U.S Army unit that had the original seats. Haven't found one yet. Anyone?

I can't speak for the Aussies, Thais, Arvns, or even the USAF or other non-infantry/cavalry units that used the M113 or its variants. But our Combat Infantrymen and Cavalry Troopers needed all that interior room for ammo, gear,because we were kept in the field for long periods of time. And to repeat what I said before, no grunt in his right mind would even think about sitting in a seat and riding in the cabin, even in a driving monsoon rain. That metal seat would have just been more shrapnel the docs would have to dig out of what was left of your ass if you hit what we called mines, but were most often actually what are now called IEDs.

Here's another picture of one of our tracks where you can see the boxes.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/11015498845/

Keep up the good work.
PantherCharlie
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Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2015 - 05:59 AM UTC
OK, before someone else calls me out, I found one...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/9775855925/in/photostream/

But this is the typical one...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/8600393133/in/photostream/


And this is how we rode...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/8371486574/in/photostream/
Frenchy
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Rhone, France
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Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2015 - 10:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Do you know what unit and year this was?



Here's the caption ( it's just one of Jerzy's fabulous pics ) :
"M113 acav "A" troop 3/4th cavalry 25th Infantry Division "Tropic Lightning" Track "A-8" , Vietnam 69'-70'"

H.P.
Stojkovic1987
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Wojewodztwo Slaskie, Poland
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Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2015 - 12:31 PM UTC
Bill, so I'll remove the heater (thought that this is some other device) and try to remake the boxes as they should be.

I got the question about chipping and scratches around the tracks. Because M113 was build of aluminium of some kind it wasn't chipped like WWII tracks. I seen a lot of pics showed by You, and the're scratches around side exterior walls showing the lighter base color, than hard chipping to the bare metal.

Another one question came during the build in my modeling room. Did you listened to the music in Your tracks and if so, what kind of music? Is it a myth that the troop's only thing connecting with the homeland was the music. As we All know, back then, it was the best music in the history (Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The doors, Roling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Clearwater Credence Revival, The Animals, Jefferson Airplane...) What was the reality?

Probably today I'll make some new boxes and post the next pics to consult.

Thanks for advise and more info about what I'm building.
PantherCharlie
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Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2015 - 07:09 PM UTC

Quoted Text



Here's the caption ( it's just one of Jerzy's fabulous pics ) :
"M113 acav "A" troop 3/4th cavalry 25th Infantry Division "Tropic Lightning" Track "A-8" , Vietnam 69'-70'"

H.P.



That's what I suspected - '69-'70 would put this track firmly in the A1 era, which would explain the new tank. So the jury is still out as to whether any gas-tracks received them.
11Charlie20
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Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2015 - 07:49 PM UTC
Hey guys, I was mortarman (11C20) in the Army from 82-90 and we used the steering assist when we laid in our guns. M106A1's are what I was on. 4.2 inch. I wish for the life of me I could remember the term for the levers. They were a beast. They were used to turn the track on a dime and you used instead of the steering laterals. You stood up in the drivers compartment and pumped them upward toward you and give it some "gas" on the accelerator. If you just "turned" the track you also move forward, this way you stayed put. See the link for a visual.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBbo3TelVnU
PantherCharlie
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Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2015 - 08:18 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Bill, so I'll remove the heater (thought that this is some other device) and try to remake the boxes as they should be.



James and I have just agreed that I will build the boxes for his current build using some scale planks and timbers I have left over from a wooden ship model I built. I'll be posting detailed WIP photos on them for anyone who is interested. As soon as James sends me the Academy floor to use to get the dimensions correct, I'll be getting started.


Quoted Text

I got the question about chipping and scratches around the tracks. Because M113 was build of aluminium of some kind it wasn't chipped like WWII tracks. I seen a lot of pics showed by You, and the're scratches around side exterior walls showing the lighter base color, than hard chipping to the bare metal.



Those paint scratches on the side are from branches scraping and scuffing the paint when we were "jungle-busting", that is, driving the tracks through virgin forests. Believe me when I tell you that metal would penetrate the paint all the way to the bare aluminum alloy hull. (I won't dignify it by calling it armor!)

Take a close look at this photo:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/132974504@N07/19692646022/

...and this one...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/132974504@N07/19698429071/in/photostream/

The headlight guard is a good example of where the paint was completely eroded by constant wear and tear. For one thing, it was used by the driver, and others, when they pulled themselves up the slope to get on top of the track.

The sharp edges and corners of the vehicle were often bright metal on older tracks, but you should be very, very subtle. Do not overdo it. At 1/35 scale such bright edges would be tiny. Try to display the light hand that Sven excelled in for his Swedish M113.



Quoted Text

Another one question came during the build in my modeling room. Did you listened to the music in Your tracks and if so, what kind of music? Is it a myth that the troop's only thing connecting with the homeland was the music. As we All know, back then, it was the best music in the history (Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The doors, Roling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Clearwater Credence Revival, The Animals, Jefferson Airplane...) What was the reality?




Absolutely true! Music was one of the most important morale factors to grunts in the field, as well as back at basecamp. There was always at least one transistor radio in each track. AFVN, the Armed Forces Network did a good job of playing the latest songs from back home, as well as sports, news, weather, etc. It kept us relatively sane! Just go to YouTube an put in AFVN for the story and sounds.

Kilo_Uniform
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Gauteng, South Africa
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Posted: Monday, July 20, 2015 - 10:56 AM UTC
Hi Bill

In the one image you posted above your track Lee Anne has a 106mm RR mounted - how many of the ACAV's in a typical troop [hope that is the correct term] had the 106mm RR's?

Also, when bashing through the bush - was the barrel of the 106 depressed or kept horizontal?

Thanks,
Kobus
Kilo_Uniform
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Gauteng, South Africa
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Posted: Monday, July 20, 2015 - 11:02 AM UTC
Hi Lukasz

Very nice build - will be watching with interest. I have a few M113's [mainly Tamiya & Academy ACAV's] I want to build for a diorama.

Keep up the good work!

Kobus
PantherCharlie
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 12:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Bill

In the one image you posted above your track Lee Anne has a 106mm RR mounted - how many of the ACAV's in a typical troop [hope that is the correct term] had the 106mm RR's?

Also, when bashing through the bush - was the barrel of the 106 depressed or kept horizontal?

Thanks,
Kobus



No more than one RR per Company or Troop, if they had any at all. Ours, and as far as I know, all M113-mounted 106M RRs, were a field modification by some Mechanized Infantry Companies and Armored Cavalry Troops in-country.

The big gun was originally mounted on the M515A1C Jeep, but since the little Mutt could not follow everywhere the tracks went, it was decided to mount it on the Weapons Squad track, C14. I had the right MOS and an Expert Badge with the Recoilless, so I was assigned as the gunner as soon as I arrived in-country.

Ours was the only 106 track in the entire 2/47th Inf Battalion, and from what I have been able to determine, it was a fairly rare beast in-country. Many, probably most, Mech and Cav outfits had none at all. The rarity of Vietnam era photos of them is one indication of this.

On ours, the top of the original travel-lock from the Jeep was attached to a hinge arrangement welded just aft of the exhaust grill. This secured the muzzle end of the barrel in a depressed attitude, a few inches above the deck. That arrangement did a pretty good job of deflecting most branches and vines when we busted jungle.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/132974504@N07/19667692526/

But the gunner (me, at first) stood in the open cargo hatch on the ammo box seat in the troop compartment, so he could move back and forth to prevent vines from snagging the .50 cal. spotting rifle, the elbow-sight housing, or the breech operating handle. That "wait-a-minute bush" was nasty!

The 106RR was a lightweight weapon - 462 lbs., less than a tenth of the weight of a towed 105 Howitzer. Consequently, its elevating mechanism was not terribly robust. Unless you were moving on a super-smooth surface (never happen, G.I.!) you would never leave the travel lock off. Slamming into a bump or ditch would shear teeth off the elevating gear. A sturdy branch could do the same thing. So the tube would never be horizontal going through the woods.

But whatever its faults, it was a very effective weapon against bunkers and structures using HE rounds, and absolutely devastating as an anti-personnel weapon using "Beehive" flechette rounds. Too bad there weren't any enemy tanks to take on - OK, not really!

If you have any other M40A1 questions, shoot. Just be sure to clear your back-blast area, first! MAJOR! ON THE WAY!

Stojkovic1987
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Wojewodztwo Slaskie, Poland
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 02:07 AM UTC
Hi Bill again,

As previous, Your additional comments really make my build alive. It's great to have so many NAm Vets here so I won't make any bad mistakes.

You mentioned M151C with 106 RR on the back.
I've made one by myself a couple years ago, as a one of first 1/35 th scale.



full galery:
http://stojkovicmodels.tnb.pl/news.php?readmore=3

/////did You travel by UH-1 while being in the NAM?
PantherCharlie
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Maryland, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 04:44 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Łukasz. I've e-mailed my buddy, the Cambodian Incursion veteran, Jim Gridley, and asked about the pivot-steer as well as the interior color of his tracks. I also invited him to jump into the discussion here, if he wishes.



I have now heard back from Jim and he recalls that his track did indeed have the light green interior, which is not really news, at this point, and that it did not have pivot-steer. His track was C45, a Diesel-powered, M125A1 81mm Mortar Carrier with the 106mm Recoilless Rifle mounted on the right side. It may have been the same gun we had on my track, but neither of us know for certain.

It seems odd to mount the RR on a mortar track, to me. That would mean that, unless the whole company was moving together on a road-march, the track with the big gun would often be back in the laager or FSB, even when the line tracks were out on mounted patrol. The mortar tracks had to fire from fixed positions with aiming stakes deployed, so they were almost always back in our field base of operations.

The 106, on the other hand, could be put into action by a well-drilled crew and put on target in seconds. Consequently, the RR was very valuable "up front" on a patrol in case of ambush or other hostile contact.

I know that claim of time for a fact because we did just that with a stop-watch in the hands of a judge in the aforementioned competition.

The competition drill involved starting in the M151 moving at 25 MPH down the Company Street. On the judge's signal the driver would have to stop the vehicle, set the brake, cast loose the 106's travel lock, and lower the windshield. The gunner had to load a magazine in the spotting rifle, cock the gun, open the elbow site cover and get the gun on target (a street-light bulb about 50 meters distant, above and to the right) while the loader pulled out the required round from its tray, loaded it in the breech of the 106, and cleared the back-blast area. When the gunner was satisfied with his sight-picture, he pulled the firing knob, simulating firing the spotting rifle, then pushing it to simulate firing the main gun. The judge then looked in the sight to confirm the sight-picture. Our winning time was 12.4 seconds.

About a year later, in Vietnam, I looked at a FNG who had just been assigned to our track and was delighted to recognize the gunner on my championship team. I happily turned the Recky Rifle over to him, as I was by that time the .50 gunner and still had the 106 as a collateral duty.

I can only guess that the move of the gun to the Mortar Platoon was because the CO thought it was more valuable for perimeter defense, than any other use.
PantherCharlie
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Maryland, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 05:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text



You mentioned M151C with 106 RR on the back.
I've made one by myself a couple years ago, as a one of first 1/35 th scale.



full galery:
http://stojkovicmodels.tnb.pl/news.php?readmore=3

/////did You travel by UH-1 while being in the NAM?



Nice model, Lukasz! That takes me back almost 50 years to my training on the 106 at Fort Dix, New Jersey. We used to put tape over the headlights and remove the windshield when we fired it at the range from the M151, otherwise they would sometimes shatter from the concussion. It was a tremendously noisy weapon, to put it mildly! Despite that, you could put a canteen cup of water on the hood of the Jeep and the water would hardly ripple. That illustrates just how truly recoilless the weapon as if it was properly tuned. The competition team of trainees that I coached won the First Army Championship.

Yes, I made several UH-1 airmobile insertions into LZs, despite being a mech-grunt. By comparison, many non-mech infantrymen made dozens and dozens of air-assaults.

My kid brother, Tim, was a door-gunner on a UH-1H with the 1st Signal Brigade in '71-'72. His Huey was shot down the day after he got home from Vietnam and he lost his entire crew. I built a diorama of his Huey to honor the four crewmen, who were MIA for decades, then finally changed to KIA status.

Kilo_Uniform
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Gauteng, South Africa
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 09:53 AM UTC
@Bill - thank you sooo much for the valuable info. Just finished reading Philip Keith's book Blackhorse Riders [http://www.amazon.com/Blackhorse-Riders-Desperate-Extraordinary-Mission/dp/1250021227] - and thinking of a large scale diorama depicting some of the action - hence the question on the 106RR track. Academy make a 1/35 M113 that allows you to build a number of variants - including the 106RR and a 'Zippo' [flamethrower] version. However, neither of these versions are mentioned in the book - they do however mention the mortar tracks, M557 and Medic tracks.

@Lukasz - nice build on the 106mmRR Jeep - I have 2 or 3 of those in my stash as well (including a Skybow M38 and a Chinese version).

Thanks again guys - much appreciated.

Regards,
Kobus
Kilo_Uniform
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 09:54 AM UTC
Sorry - M577 rather than M557.
Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 12:18 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Many, probably most, Mech and Cav outfits had none at all. The rarity of Vietnam era photos of them is one indication of this.



On a side note, ARVN had some as well :





Thanks for all the first-hand infos Bill !

H.P.

PantherCharlie
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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 07:01 PM UTC

Quoted Text



On a side note, ARVN had some as well :





Yes, and maybe before we did. Despite all their faults, the ARVNs were inventive, just like their Viet Cong/NVA adversaries. I imagine that that high travel lock arrangement caused them a lot of grief trying the break trails!

Another notable example of their genius is the ACAV armor kits that they developed and the U.S. Army copied.