The M561 Gama Goat was first developed and introduced during the early 1960’s. The original concept was to develop a light 1 ˝ ton vehicle which could be air transported and also work well in jungle areas.
The M561 was built by LTV Lycoming and over 15,000 goats were built. The vehicle was considered amphibious and moved in the water via its 6 powered wheels and bilge pumps were standard. It was a unique vehicle with a number of variants including the ambulance version M792.
For those of us who served and used a Gama Goat it was a vehicle you would not forget. On the bad side the air-cooled engine overheated and high pitched noise of the engine required hearing protection while driving the vehicle. The double hull construction and complex articulated drive train made maintenance difficult at best. On the good side it went anywhere, did anything, and was a comfortable ride.
The M561 faded out of service with the advent of the HMMWV in the late 80s.
Upon opening the box you are presented with 2 large resin items, two bags of resin parts and a clear plastic box with resin parts. The two large parts are the front hull and cargo hull. One plastic bag contains the 6 tires and a spare tire. The second bag contains medium size parts to include an engine and parts for under the hood (which is behind the driver) and some larger drive train parts. The clear plastic box contains a number of small parts which make up the drive train and suspension, along with the dashboard, seats, cargo side rails, tailgate and engine compartment cover.
All of the parts appear to be molded well. There is a fair amount of flash on the smaller or thinner parts.
The main hull and cargo bed look good with no gels but the main hull had some voids including one large one in the front on my kit. The tires are crisp but have small air bubble voids in the area of the pour block. The tires and the larger pieces come with their pour blocks removed but will need some minor sanding in those areas
Added Parts and Accessories:
A photo etch sheet is included with the kit. Mainly this is the fenders for the main hull and some tie down straps and other small details. The photo etch sheet is heavier than say Eduard or Voyager and similar to the old Verlindin photo etch.
The kit also includes MV lenses headlights and the resin part they fit into is molded to fit the lenses.
The kit includes a 2 page instruction booklet sheet. There are 4 total steps shown to the assembly of the kit. The instructions are simple line drawings and will require a thorough familiarization with all the parts prior to beginning assembly. The instructions are in “picture” mode, but done as a negative or white lines on black paper. There is also a copy of the MERDOC paint pattern included as a third sheet to the instructions.
Lastly there are 3 additional pages of detailed photos of the 1 to 1 showing the suspension, drive train, engine compartment and other details. These will come in handy and make up where the line drawing directions fall short.
This kit appears to make a good addition to any 1/35 scale collection. It will require care, clean up and some putty work to build. You will have to make your own bows and canvas for the cargo area, and find a clear sheet for the windshield glass.
For background photos you can go to: