Sunday, February 10, 2013


The M113A and variants as used by the Australian Army can be modelled in HO scale by using the HERPA / MINITANKS M113A3 ( 741446 ) as the base model.
The model comes partially assembled with additional detail parts , some that will be required and some that will not .
These units in real life when transported by rail usually had everything that could be removed such as jerry cans ,slings ,axes, shovels, tools act safely locked away.Because of the diffeculties involved with doing this in model form I have chosen to leave these details and castings on.
This post should be read in conjunction with the post

To model the standard M113A1

Step 1
The rear ventilation cover at the rear of the hull top needs to be removed carefully with a craft knife.This is replaced by the larger ventilation hatch as used .Which is represented by 2 pieces of styrene 11 x 7 mm x .5 mm thick  ( top section ) and 10 x 6 mm  x 1 mm thick ( base section ) .This will allow the top section to overhang the base on all sides.
These are glued together then glued to the top of the rear hatch cover .The hinges on the hatch cover go towards the rear of the hull.
Glue chassis to top hull section and rear ramp door to hull.

Unit out of box

Unit with rear ventilator removed and larger ventilation unit fitted to hatch (this has a t-50 turret fitted )

Step 2
The commanders hatch ( the centre hole ) cover and locating ring is glued on with hinges towards rear . If fitting a gun shield use the flat style hatch cover ( 4.1 ) and glue the gun shield and bracket ( 0.04 ) directly to the top front of hatch .

Step 3
The front trim vane is fitted ( 8.1 ) as can a spare road wheel.

Step 4
The side skirts can be modelled removed or fitted.

If modelling fitted side skirts glue the track sections in place making sure they are fitting square so the unit when sitting on a flat surface has the tracks sitting flat down and not cocked up on one side . And then glue side skirt section to hull.

If modelling removed side skirts.leave tracks off to be attached latter as this will make painting easier.Glue side skirt section to hull and allow to dry.Once dry using a sharp modelling knife trim off end caps and side skirt section leaving the top of this section in place . This piece hides the join between the chassis and hull section.

Model with full width side skirts as supplied

Model with side skirt section glued on and trimmed to
represent no side skirts fitted.

Model without side skirt section fitted

Note :
Although to late for me , to model the tracks in an as loaded perspective the front track locating lug should be removed allowing the track to be glued on in a higher position than normal .But still use the rear locating lug.
When loaded and chained down for transport the units where chained at the front and then reversed applying tension to the chains and pulling the units down on there suspension at the front before being chained at the rear.This will help represent the loaded attitude of the hull.

Model with tracks fitted to pins provided.

Model with front pin removed and track lifted at front to represent loaded unit.

Step 5
Attach aerial guards ( 12.1 )
Ariel mounts  ( 12.2 )
Front light cluster ( 13 R ) ( 13 L )
Spare track section ( 10.1 )
lift rings ( 11.1 ) 2 at rear top of hull and 2 above front lights.
Rear tow hook
Shovel ( 14.1 ) At front above trim vain ,handle towards drivers hatch.
Jerry cans  ( 15.1 ) One either side at rear above angled track guard..

The unit is now ready to paint

Complete Unit                                                        Tamiya XF -62 Olive drab
Shovel and axe handles                                            Brown
Rubber section of road wheels                                 Black
Tracks and spare section Wire sling at rear              Rust
Lights at front either side on outside                         Silver
Front light in middle drivers side                               Red
Rear lights at bottom on track guards and
above Jerry cans                                                     Red     



To model the T-50 fitted version follow all previous steps but replace the commanders hatch with the T-50 turret casting .

This will fit straight into the 8 mm hole in the hull top with the barrels facing forward.
This can either have 2 barrels 1 barrel or no barrels depending what you are modelling .
A depression stop rail is fitted at the rear of the turret.This is fitted to stop the guns from shooting off the rear of the hull .
Made from .4mm brass wire or similar, this is 10mm wide at the top sloping down at a 45 angle for 6mm to locate in 2 holes drilled in the hull roof just to the rear of the turret.It is earier to drill and trial fit the rail before gluing the turret in position.


To model this variant the rear hatch cover is left of and all molded detail at the rear of the hull is removed ( hinges ,axes ) to allow the fitting of the Mortar hatch casting .

The raised ventilation box goes to the drivers side.With the casting equally placed between the rear ramp top and the commanders hatch.And centered from either side.A gun shield is also fitted .



Barrel drooped down and tied off



Barrel at normal elevation

This model requires the rear hatch hinges,axes ,ventilation cover and detail to the side of the commanders hatch removed so a section of styrene .5mm thick x  20mm wide x 25 mm long with 1 corner bevelled at a 45 deg angle 6 mm long can be fitted .

This plate is glued down equal distance from each side and 5 mm from the rear of the hull where the ramp door comes up to meet it. Then the casting of the Saladin Turret is attached .Either the normal or drooped .
A hole needs to be drilled in the end of the casting to accept a 1.5 mm dia styrene rod or brass tube 9 mm long for the barrel.

With the barrel in the centre from either side and the bottom rear section of the turret 8 mm from the rear of the hull where the ramp door comes up to meet it.No aerial guard is fitted near the drivers hatch.


   The Fitters variant is transported in a different configuration as to its normal working arrangement.
To fit the loading gauge the HIAB cranes hydraulic motor which bolts to the flat section at the top of the main arm is removed and stowed . And the end boom arm is extended fully over the rear of the hull top and secured to the rear track guard .

The modelling of this requires the removal of the detail from the hull roof including the shovel to the side of the commanders hatch,the hinge for the rear hatch and the axes at the rear of the hatch. This allows the replacement roof hatch and commanders hatch casting to be positioned 4.5 mm from the rear of the hull where the ramp door comes up to and centralized from either side.The raised ventilation hatch is also fitted as with the M113. 


A gun shield is also fitted .Drill a hole to suit the bottom shaft of the crane section 22 mm in from the back corner of the hull and centralized from the side of the hull to the hatch casting .Using the castings assemble the 3 crane sections to copy the  layout of the picture and glue in 3 places .The main crane shaft , the support bracket and the rear of the hull.

A wire is now run from the top pulley of the end arm to the rear track gaurd to represent the tie down of the arm.


Additional spare track sections are usually attached in there location at the front and additional spare road wheels can be carried 1 either side on the gun shield as well as the trim vane .


Using the  M577 Herpa Roco (349)  as the base model assemble as shown with canvas tent and supports glued to top of rear hull,trim vain and spare road wheel .Side skirts can be modelled fitted or removed.



Using the Roco Minitanks HO376 Mine launcher as the basis .

These units when transported by rail could either have the back canopy tarp fitted , the hoops and tarp removed , the front cab roof and windscreen removed or any combination of these .The gun mount support and ring where always removed to fit in the loading gauge on all transports.
On the model the back mine layer section is removed and discarder .As is the gun mount
I have produced 2 sets of castings for the model .1as a tarped version and 1 as the untarped version.

The tarped version casting replaces the mine layer section removed .Glue this in place and fill the join of the 2 pieces with filler putty and sand to suit .Then fit the detail parts for the engine exhaust and air intakes behind the cab.Front lights ,front D, or tie down points and rear tow attachment point.If modelling the side skirts removed do this as for the M113.The cab roof and winscreen are cleaned up and painted with the main body of the model using Tamiya XF-62.
Once dry using clear styrene or the clear  part of the box the model came in , cut and fit glass sections for the front and rear of the cab and fix in place with small drops of Aquadere glue.Once dry the cab can be assembled and fitted to the main hull.
The canvas sections of the cab ,cab seats and rear section are painted with a suitable paint to represent the canvas.
Tracks get the same treatment as the M113,s

For the untarped version use the castings which are 1 rear, 1 left side 1 right side .These may need to be cleaned up and filed to fit .Once this is done glue in place on the main hull.Some filler may be needed to hide the joins to the main hull.
If no cab is to be fitted leave the exhaust and air intakes off but add all other detail.

Thus you have the elements of an armoured brigade.
 Next Blog post will give details of the loading and operation of these units on the Rail system.



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