If the ‘Armored Car’ in the title of this review rustles your jimmies: I’m sorry. In what seems to be real Chinglish, Trumpeter probably mistook Armored Personel Carrier for ‘Car’. But at least they are consistent with it: it’s on every M113 kit in 1/72 scale made by Trumpeter. And there are quite a few..
The venerable M113 has served and continues to serve in a lot of different countries. Most NATO members have used or are using at least some variants of the M113. And there are a lot of different variants, ranging from armored ambulance to nuclear missile carrier. Unsurprisingly, it had a lot of nicknames as well with ‘Gavin’ being the most controversial. Some claim this name was never used at all, while others vehemently claim it was used. It often sparks discussions like the discussions about the F-35.
But you’re not here for some internet drama: you’re here for the kit (or so I hope). Inside the usual Trumpeter box with a picture of the completed kit on the front we find 55 parts spread out over 5 sprues plus a separate lower hull and a set of vinyl tracks. The tracks look pretty good, and because the tracks are partially hidden by sideskirts you don’t have to worry about track sag. But trumpeter has made some weird design choices. Included in the kit is an engine that looks great but is hidden inside the engine bay with no option of opening the enginebay hatch. The passenger compartment however is rather sparse
and features a few large pin marks. The hatch however looks pretty neat. if Trumpeter decided to skip on the engine parts and focus on the troop compartment I wouldn’t mind. You rarely see engines in 1/72 scale kits anyway.
Another thing that bugs me is the cupola/turret. It’s a two-part affair that will take some puttying and sanding to make it look like one piece. But the gunshields for the .50 and M60 machine guns look decent enough. The MGs themselves look a bit oversized or even bloated. I think Trumpy missed the mark here a little.
One thing about this kit I really like are the tracks, they require a little clean-up, but look terrific with even a ‘worn’ look on the rubber trackpads. It’s almost a shame to hide half of these behind the sideskirts.
Color scheme and decals
The kit comes with decals for 5 different vehicles, although only one is depicted in the manual. The decals themselves are well-printed and in register, but the carrier film is a bit on the thick side. But your favorite decal solution will take care of that. As for the color scheme, it’s a bit like the Ford Model T: as long as it is Olive Drab you can have any color you want.
This is a fairly easy kit, no funny angles or intricate details. Apart from some weird design choices this will be an easy kit for everyone, and it leaves enough room to scratchbuild details. And there are enough aftermarket kits available to build almost any variant imaginable.
Vehicle: M113 ACAV ‘Armored Car’
Number of parts: 55
Number of sprues: 6
Length: 65 mm
Width: 36 mm
Height: 32 mm