The original M113 was developed by the US as a “battlefield taxi” to carry the standard 11 man infantry squad plus the driver and vehicle commander (a.k.a. track commander or TC). The M113 entered service in 1960 and the M113A2 still equipped some Regular Army mechanized infantry battalions into the 1990s. Even in current mechanized and armored units, the M113A3 soldiers on as engineer, medical and maintenance vehicles maneuvering along side Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles.
The author provides outstanding build articles for five different M113 variants. The first one is the YPR-765 PRAT (Pantser Rups Anti-Tank), a tank destroyer variant. It is built using the AFV Club YPR-765 and Academy M981 FIST-V. The second build is the K263 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun. The author uses the Academy KIFV and Academy M163A1/A2 Vulcan self-propelled anti-aircraft gun this time. The third kit is the M92 PMNK (PaNsret MaskinKanon) built using the Academy M981 FIST-V and the Accurate Armor PMNK conversion. Next is the 4 x 25mm SIDAM (Sistema Integrato di Difesa Antiaerea Mobile), another air defense artillery weapon system. Another Academy M163A1/A2 ADA vehicle is used for this build. Lastly is the Lynx Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle built using the Hobby Fan conversion.
Each build is for an experienced modeler and could be considered “graduate level” modeling. The book is a great guide for an intermediate modeler who wants to try his or her skills at a scratch built conversion.
“Dude, where’s my car[rier]?”
Having spent the last 22 years riding in and around M113 FOV (family of vehicles), the “Papa Chuck” is a common sight and a familiar vehicle. The variants this book covers are non-US and rather esoteric to the common US modern armor modeler. This leads one to ask, where are the standard variants?
American armor modelers expecting comparisons between the various M113 model manufacturers will be disappointed that the book does not include items such as how to create the best Vietnam era M113A1 ACAV, a Cold War era M113A2, add an interior to the M577 or update the OIF M113A3.
Regardless, the author’s knowledge of the M113 series and modeling skills are unquestionable. The book is highly recommended for the modern armor modeler, especially M113 fans. With any luck, we can look forward to a follow up volume covering more familiar variants.
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Thank you to Osprey Publishing for kindly supplying the review sample.