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Armor/AFV: Vietnam
All things Vietnam
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Okinawa gun shield and belly armour
Austmouse
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Posted: Monday, September 28, 2015 - 11:43 AM UTC
Hi
I would like to build a US M113a1 from the Vietnam war and would like to make it a bit different. I have a few books on M113s in Vietnam but none show with any clarity the Okinawa gun shield for the commenaders cupola.

Any good photos or scale plans??

Secondly, I keep reading that US M113s had belly and sponson armour added in about 1969-70, Does anyone have any info about what form that armour took. Was it the same as the Australian version??

Cheers

Out
Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, September 28, 2015 - 01:10 PM UTC
Hi John

Maybe some of these would help..

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/14120717679/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/14120679789/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/14120720848/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/13362192994/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/12998877784/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/11714838133/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/8724313036/


Quoted Text

I keep reading that US M113s had belly and sponson armour added in about 1969-70, Does anyone have any info about what form that armour took



I believe this is the armor kit you're talking about :



It was called "Vulnerability Reduction Kit"

H.P.
Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, September 28, 2015 - 04:17 PM UTC
Two more pics :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/11715010784/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zippo132/8044168312/

H.P.

Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, September 28, 2015 - 06:04 PM UTC
Front view :

https://home.comcast.net/~ATrp3-4Cav/Photos/1966/043.jpg

Rear view :

https://home.comcast.net/~ATrp3-4Cav/Photos/1966/047.jpg

H.P.
Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 01:32 AM UTC
Another view :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lessaweaver/301702634/in/album-72157594358280371/

I've noticed some variants in the side panels front cutouts...

H.P.
Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 02:40 AM UTC
Found this one in my archives



H.P.
Austmouse
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Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 02:55 AM UTC
Great image of the Okinawa shield and quite clear. the obvious questions - does any one produce this is 1/35 scale???? and Has anyone built one from scratch??

On the Vulnerbility kit - If I am interpreting it correctly there is a belly armour plate which does not seem to go all the way to the back plus flotation panels. Last night I had a look at my Vietnam books and was able to identify some M113s with the belly armour fitted.

Over
Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 01:17 PM UTC
The only 1/35 Okinawa gun shield I've seen so far is the one scratchbuilt by James Lyle for his "King Kong" gun truck :

http://www.warwheels.net/ModelArticleM54guntruckAPCKiingKongLYLES.html


Quoted Text

Last night I had a look at my Vietnam books and was able to identify some M113s with the belly armour fitted.



You'll find a few more here if needed :

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/zippo132/tags/acav/

AFAIK, the first "belly armor" kits arrived in country in 1969.

H.P.
Austmouse
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Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 05:27 PM UTC
It is really interesting that every photo that could be of use has a drivers head in it or some other minor obstruction, I have started to draw one up on a 1/35 scale plane of and m113 and we will see how I go.

I just want to build a couple of iconic US M113s from Vietnam and then concentrate on Australian M113s.

Thanx for your help advice and research.

Out
Austmouse
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Posted: Thursday, October 01, 2015 - 01:42 PM UTC
Question
The belly armour in the image above does not seem long enough to go all the way under the vehicle. Bit strange!!

The ASustralian belly aermour in Vietnam went all the way from front to back and then sponson armour on both side of the vehicle.

I have looked at all the images of US Army M113s in Vietnam and can pick out ther belly armour but not the sponson armour..

Any advice anyone??

Over
trickymissfit
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Posted: Saturday, October 03, 2015 - 12:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The only 1/35 Okinawa gun shield I've seen so far is the one scratchbuilt by James Lyle for his "King Kong" gun truck :

http://www.warwheels.net/ModelArticleM54guntruckAPCKiingKongLYLES.html


Quoted Text

Last night I had a look at my Vietnam books and was able to identify some M113s with the belly armour fitted.



You'll find a few more here if needed :

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/zippo132/tags/acav/

AFAIK, the first "belly armor" kits arrived in country in 1969.

H.P.



I've said more than a few times in the past that I've seen two different shield systems on ACAV's in the past. The one shown here would be a third, and also much different than the other two. Almost looks like a field modification.

The shields are fairly simple, but the real gist is in the mechanical construction of the rotating group below the shields. Probably similar to the factory setup from FMC.
gary
trickymissfit
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Posted: Saturday, October 03, 2015 - 12:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Question
The belly armour in the image above does not seem long enough to go all the way under the vehicle. Bit strange!!

The ASustralian belly aermour in Vietnam went all the way from front to back and then sponson armour on both side of the vehicle.

I have looked at all the images of US Army M113s in Vietnam and can pick out ther belly armour but not the sponson armour..

Any advice anyone??

Over



just can't remember seeing anykind of belly armor plating on a M113. Probably came forth after 1970, and I was long gone by then.

The reason the armor plate doesn't cover the entire bottom is because it is there for mines. You normally hit a mine with the front road wheels. Plus the driver's safety is key here. I've seen them on Sheridans, and they only went about three or four feet under the hull bottom. Rumor had it that the shields were made of titanium (I didn't even know what titanium was in 1969!).

Most folks have no idea how durable the M113 was. Hitting a generic 4.2" mortar round converted into a mine wouldn't kill it. Maybe blow a road wheel and sprocket off, but rarely split the hull. A 155mm HE round was another story, and would probably flip the track. The added hull armor would help much there. You then move up to an 8" round and the good old 500lb. bomb and you bought the farm. In a Sheridan, it was a different story. The 4.2" would seriously tear up the track, but probably not CBL it. A generic 105mm round would! (bigger explosive package)
gary
Austmouse
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Posted: Saturday, October 03, 2015 - 04:49 AM UTC
Thanx for that info. It helps alot. When i finish the US M113 i will upload images to show what I have done.

You made no mention of sponson armour. Did the US M113s ever fit that. The Australian experience was that a big mine would split the hull where the horizontal part of the sponson met the side hull and severly damage the driver.

Check the Australian War memorial website www.awm.gov.au select collections and enter this number P06318.009. It shows the split during testing of various sponson plates. In the end a single plate with a bent end at 90 degrees was the strongest.

Over
Austmouse
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Posted: Saturday, October 03, 2015 - 04:51 AM UTC
Looking at the reference photos above (from Frenchy) there are certainly several versions and like all modelling you need to check your references.The problem is that you cannot get enough all round images of one type that it will always be a guesstimate when modelled.

I am drawing up some scale plans of - most likely a generic version - an will upload when done.

So many projects and so little free time.

Over
Frenchy
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Posted: Saturday, October 03, 2015 - 10:35 PM UTC
Talking about the Mine Vulnerability Reduction Kit devised by FMC, I've checked out the Hunnicutt book where it is mentionned (Bradley : A History of the American Fighting and Support Vehicles) and according to the description, it doesn't seem to include add-on armor for the sponsons (contrary to the Australian one)...

H.P.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Sunday, October 04, 2015 - 12:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanx for that info. It helps alot. When i finish the US M113 i will upload images to show what I have done.

You made no mention of sponson armour. Did the US M113s ever fit that. The Australian experience was that a big mine would split the hull where the horizontal part of the sponson met the side hull and severly damage the driver.

Check the Australian War memorial website www.awm.gov.au select collections and enter this number P06318.009. It shows the split during testing of various sponson plates. In the end a single plate with a bent end at 90 degrees was the strongest.

Over



you are correct. Most add on armor what added by the end users. If it were steel or really just about anything but aluminum, It had to be bolted on or literally hung on the hull. One issue that many don't know about is the idea of keeping the hull water tight. With that in mind, your not going to be drilling holes in the hull. In II-Corp, it was common to see Pierced Steel Plate (old steel PSP) on the sides of tracks, but yet spaced out a few inches. Recoilless rifles were a big thing down south, and many times more effective than an RPG.

Mines were made of just about anything they could make use of. 81mm and 82mm were the most common, and would not knock an ACAV out normally. It's the 105mm and up things that get your attention. Unless the mine is command detonated, it will be a track that sets it off. Reason why the driver's position if for the new guy. Just not a whole lot you can do, and I've seen M48's ripped open in the same spot.

just the nature of the beast
gary
trickymissfit
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Posted: Sunday, October 04, 2015 - 12:34 AM UTC
[quote]Talking about the Mine Vulnerability Reduction Kit devised by FMC, I've checked out the Hunnicutt book where it is mentionned (Bradley : A History of the American Fighting and Support Vehicles) and according to the description, it doesn't seem to include add-on armor for the sponsons (contrary to the Australian one)...

H.P.[/quote
there was an internal Kevlar deal that started showing up on new stuff. Think they also retrofitted some equipment as well.

At the Ordinance Depot in Chu Lai, the was a pile of M113's and M48's that must have been 30 tracks piled three high. They all had a similar disease. Opened up by the driver. Some were worse than others, and a couple were almost split in two pieces (500lb, bomb?)
gary
Austmouse
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Posted: Sunday, October 04, 2015 - 12:03 PM UTC
So..................I could use an Australian belly armour and cut it down to about middle of roadwheel 3 and it would be pretty close to accurate.

I have built the M163 from spare parts and the two critical M1863 sprues that I had picke up. All I have to do is make a teloscopic sight and it is ready to paint.

I have also built an Academy M113A1 with 106mm RR and ACAV commanders position and one cargo hatch M60 ACAV. this will be fitted with a cut down Australian Belly armour.

Wife was away for 5 days so a mate of mine and I modelled straight for two days. Best time ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now need to progress to finaslising stuff and painting


Over
trickymissfit
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Posted: Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 12:20 AM UTC
always keep in mind when doing an M113, is that they were often customized to the end user's needs and cares.
gary
Austmouse
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Posted: Monday, February 22, 2016 - 04:01 PM UTC
A question about interior colours of US M113s in Vietnam.
I assume (ASS-out of U and ME) that seafoam green was used as an inteior colour for all M113s except the mortar carriers that were olive drab inside. Did the OD go on all internal areas including the drivers position or was the drivers position seafoam green????
Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, February 22, 2016 - 04:53 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Did the OD go on all internal areas including the drivers position or was the drivers position seafoam green????



I believe only the mortar compartment was/is OD, the driver's position remains seafoam green, just like it's the case with the M1064A3 :
http://www.primeportal.net/apc/dieter_krause/m1064a3/index.php?Page=1

You can see a similar layout in this Lybian Army M106 :



H.P.
JohnTapsell
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Posted: Monday, February 22, 2016 - 05:31 PM UTC
The US belly armour only covered the front section of the floor and was tapered in thickness too - thicker at the front(although the difference would be so marginal on a kit it isn't worth worrying about). The larger trim vane wasn't universally fitted and the smaller side panels either side of it even less so.

The Australian belly armour was full length and a constant thickness.

That difference had other impacts on the vehicle too. The US armour increased wear on the front 2-3 torsion bars due to the change in the centre of gravity on the vehicle. Although the Aussie armour was heavier, it distributed the weight evenly across all the torsion bars and they didn't suffer anywhere near as badly.

Regards,
John
trickymissfit
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Posted: Friday, February 26, 2016 - 01:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text

A question about interior colours of US M113s in Vietnam.
I assume (ASS-out of U and ME) that seafoam green was used as an inteior colour for all M113s except the mortar carriers that were olive drab inside. Did the OD go on all internal areas including the drivers position or was the drivers position seafoam green????



Sea foam green and mud were the most common interior colors seen. Yet there were a few ACAV's that had a gloss white interior. I suspect these were older tracks that just kept on going like that Energizer Bunny!
gary
Austmouse
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Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - 10:01 AM UTC
I am building an Okinawa gun shield (finally - lost my first build somewhere in the model room) and ask your advice.

A question about the rear plate of the Okinawa gun shield. From the refences above there seems to be two types - a simply flat rear plate (sometines bolted two halves together) and a less wide flat rear plate with angled sides that connect the rear plate to the larger side panels.

Was one more common than the other??

Second question: the two front panels seem to have a three dip front edge (like on OLE) and the more common one dip front egde. I think the one dip was the more common.

Cheers

Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - 02:23 PM UTC
The pics I have that clearly show the rear plate of the shield are too scarce to draw up statistics , but it looks like that the bolted one was more common....

Same for the front cutouts, but the "one dip front edge" seems to be more frequently seen...


Here are a few more views :





rear variant :



H.P.