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Osprey Modelling 14: Modelling the M113 Series

by Graeme Davidson

Published by Osprey Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-84176-822-7, 82 pages.

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TThe M113 series of Armored Personnel Carriers and their derivatives comprise the second most widely produced post-war AFV in history. Its numbers and longevity have only been surpassed by the Soviet T-54/55 series of MBTs. It is no surprise then, that it is an extremely popular modeling subject, both with kit manufacturers and modelers. It is also no surprise that a modeling book on this series of AFVs has finally come along from this publisher.

The author, currently a Captain in the Canadian Army, is well-known to visitors of the ML web site. He presents five modeling projects all in the popular 1/35 scale. Alongside a well-done text, he also provides 199 color photos, one page of color chips, a bibliography, a kitography, a museum list and an index. Altogether, these combine to bring the reader through each project in a step-by-step fashion. Although the boxy shape of the M113 has made it a sort of icon, the author chose carefully and decided to model some of the lesser well-known variations on the base vehicle.

As per the format of the series, the modeling projects feature various levels of complexity, which the author has rated from two (least complex) to five stars (most complex). The projects include:
• Royal Netherlands Army YPR-765 PRAT (Pantser Rups Anti-Tank).
• Republic of Korea Army K263 Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun.
• Danish Army M92 PNMK (PaNsret MaskinKanon).
• Italian Army SIDAM (Sistema Integrato di Difesa Antiaerea Mobile).
• Canadian Army Lynx Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle.

Each project consists of a plastic or resin base kit (in all relevant cases the author recommends the superior Academy series of kits; the YPR is AFV Club’s base kit and the Lynx C&R is from Hobby Fan, in resin) with various scratch-built components, after-market conversion items, “kit bash” items and accessories such as metal gun tubes, etched brass, resin updates and individual-link tracks. There is a fair amount of scratch-building to include a relatively easy method for fabricating the appliqué armor panels for the Danish M92 conversion, using styrene angle strips and fine screening material. I think what impressed me the most however, was the author’s painting style. He combines pre- and post-shading, washes, filter effects and weathering to achieve a finish that is realistic as well as very pleasing to the eye.

All of the very useful information in this book is presented in the usual fashion for this series. Tools and materials, as well as a discussion of their uses are first on the agenda. Then, crisp, clear color photographs take the reader step-by-step through the complete process for each model. The photos are helpfully captioned and easily compliment the well-done text. The very comprehensive list of kits and accessories at the book’s end will help any prospective modeler of the ‘113 series to find what they seek as well as allow them to plan various kit-bashing projects. The list of vehicles on public display will be helpful to those who may reside nearby, while the bibliography includes not only books, but relevant web sites. The final bit of information provided relates to vehicle colors. The only caveat here is that the reader should be aware that the printing process used cannot produce 100% accurate colors.

In the final analysis, the techniques showcased within the covers of this book will have broad application for modelers of any type of AFV. Most especially, those who are interested in the ‘113, will find this book to be indispensable.

Highly Recommended.

Frank De Sisto

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