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NASA 'Astronaut Rescue' M113 APC --FINISHED-- (Trumpeter 1-72)

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  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
NASA 'Astronaut Rescue' M113 APC --FINISHED-- (Trumpeter 1-72)
Posted by gregbale on Monday, October 14, 2019 5:06 PM

I don't do AFVs all that often...and when I do, it's almost always in 'gentleman's scale' 1/72. So when I had the inspiration for an M113 project recently, I picked up one of Trumpeter's cheap and readily-available basic kits in the scale. While one hesitates to call any military object 'cute'...this kit is pretty close, being petite, compact and nicely-done for all its simplicity.

There's an acceptable-for-the-scale interior, even a decent engine/transmission up front...but, oddly, no driver's compartment detail, not even a seat! I'm not going to do mine 'wide open,' but I'll at least add enough scratchbuilt driver's area detail to show something through an open hatch. Only other interior additions were some home-made decals for some of the variety of placards and warning labels prominent in photos of the full-size critters.

Externally, my project calls for a pretty 'stripped down' version, so I'll get to leave off much of the combat-type external stowage. I've shaved off some of the wedge-shaped braces to replace the few I'll need with ones made from strip stock.

More as things develop.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
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Posted by GMorrison on Monday, October 14, 2019 5:11 PM

That's "cute". Nice work too, looks like 1/35 to me. I built one of their other 1/72 APC's the BTR. I did enjoy it.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Monday, October 14, 2019 9:07 PM

Weird aspect of this kit is that although they have provided the engine bay detail, there is no way to view it unless you carve out the engine bay hatch from the front plate.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, October 14, 2019 10:13 PM

Phil_H

Weird aspect of this kit is that although they have provided the engine bay detail, there is no way to view it unless you carve out the engine bay hatch from the front plate.

That seemed bizarre to me as well. They make the grill above it a separate piece...which one almost never sees open or exposed in photos...but the actual access hatch is solid, as you say.

Seems a real odd choice. Like the non-existant driver's position.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
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  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Monday, October 14, 2019 10:27 PM

It also seems to be missing the commander's seat/platform. A strange omission considering how prominent it is in the troop compartment.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, October 14, 2019 10:34 PM

Phil_H

It also seems to be missing the commander's seat/platform. A strange omission considering how prominent it is in the troop compartment.

Good call. Yes

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
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Posted by sprueman on Monday, October 14, 2019 11:10 PM

WOW! looks better than my 1/35th scale 

Couldn't login use to be captfue.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:23 AM

GMorrison

That's "cute". Nice work too, looks like 1/35 to me. I built one of their other 1/72 APC's the BTR. I did enjoy it.

Appreciate the kind words.

Also the 'jiggle' to the memory; your post reminded me I picked up one of their BTR-80 kits and never got around to building it. I think it just moved near the top of the pile! Big Smile

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
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  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:27 AM

sprueman

WOW! looks better than my 1/35th scale 

Thanks, Sprueman.

Back in the days when I still built 1/35, I don't think I ever got around to doing an M113; too many Shermans and Afrika Korps goodies.

In 1/72, I think I've got one of the old Esci/Ertl/AMT 'Hammerhead' kits stashed away somewhere, I'll have to dig that out and give it a go.

Cheers

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
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  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:30 AM

It looks really nice, esp. for a 1/72 kit.  One note though, all the interior parts should be the seafoam green color.  The parts you have white should not be.  Does it include the post and seat for the Track Commander for the central roof hatch as well?

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
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  • From: new Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:42 AM

Hey ! Kinda reminds me of the Bandai 1/48 stuff. T.B.

  • Member since
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  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:46 AM

I appreciate the feedback, Gino!

I'm doing one of the NASA 'rescue' M113s, and the best/only picture I've found as a color interior close-up appears to show light gray seat benches with leather-like cushions; it could be lighting, but the seat color definitely looks a tick lighter and less green than the 'baby sick' interior color.

The Trumpy kit has no provision at all for the commander's position or attendant hardware. Fortunately the few interior photos I've seen of the NASA APCs show a pretty 'stripped' interior, no doubt to be able to fit space-suited astronauts in, should the occasion have arisen.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
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  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:27 AM

Pretty cool and different-looking M113.

A NASA M113 does make a difference.  No TC seat and pedestal here.  The interior could be different colors using pieces from different-aged M113s I guess too, or civilian repair parts.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:33 AM

HeavyArty

Pretty cool and different-looking M113.

A NASA M113 does make a difference.  No TC seat and pedestal here.  The interior could be different colors using pieces from different-aged M113s I guess too, or civilian repair parts.

That's the pic!

I remember reading an account that at least one of the three M113s they 'inherited' came to them as a gutted chassis. I'm sure they scrounged bits and pieces from whatever was available to make them serviceable.

(Now where am I going to find 1/72 cool aviator sunglasses???....)

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
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  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:27 AM

HeavyArty

Pretty cool and different-looking M113.

A NASA M113 does make a difference.  No TC seat and pedestal here.  The interior could be different colors using pieces from different-aged M113s I guess too, or civilian repair parts.

 

Oh wow how cool!!! 

Really looking forward to seeing how this goes Greg!!! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:11 PM

Gamera
Oh wow how cool!!! Really looking forward to seeing how this goes Greg!!!

Thanks!

As an added benefit, I get to use up the leftover 'emergency yellow' I mixed up for my Disney fire truck in the 'Silly' GB! Yes

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
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  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:13 PM

A few shots of the rudimentary driver's compartment detail I added:

And the final shots, with the 'lid' on:

(The out-of-focus 'things' hanging down are hand-straps visible in the NASA interior photos.)

(BTW, the brown paint streak on the bulkhead by the right bench end...which ironically I hadn't noticed until looking at the photos...has now been removed.)

And the tiny bit of instrument panel which will be visible through the open hatch:

 

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
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  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:43 PM

Very nice.  Great job on the driver's area details.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
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  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:26 AM

Yeah, that looks good!!! 

And glad to see you able to use the left-over emergency yellow paint! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, October 18, 2019 11:22 PM

Basic construction done, and she's ready for paint.

Since the NASA APCs had basically a single rescue function, they were stripped of much of their external stowage and accessories. Separate parts like the kit's swim vane could simply be left off; but other bits like spare tracks, tow cable and pioneer tools were molded to the hull surfaces and needed to be removed. I also cut the machine gun mounting bracket from the commander's cupola, and removed some additional molded-in brackets and blobs.

The kit's headlights pieces were 'flat' and pretty poorly-represented, so I used pie-plate aluminum (one of my favorite detailing materials) to make the guard frames for the headlights and the scratch-built smoke-generator mounts that the machine I'm modeling for some reason retains. (Headlights from clear sprue will be added after painting.) A few extra details like hatch handles, tow cleat loops and lifting rings were added from wire and styrene scrap.

The kit's tracks were of the single-piece vinyl variety, which I assembled with my usual technique of 'looped' (nearly-invisible) fly-tying thread reinforced with CA. Fortunately the length was spot-on, and the rubber side skirts allowed easy hiding of the joints.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
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  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, October 21, 2019 7:38 AM

Very cool! Annoying to have to sand detail off but at least it's a flat plane instead of curved surfaces. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, October 21, 2019 8:30 AM

Gamera

Very cool! Annoying to have to sand detail off but at least it's a flat plane instead of curved surfaces. 

I confess it might have been simpler to do before assembly...but my enthusiasm for the project sort of got the better of me! Propeller

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
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  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, October 27, 2019 3:50 PM

Calling my little yellow beast finished.

For those who don't know the background, during the Apollo Program, NASA acquired a number of Army M113 Personnel carriers to use as launch-adjacent emergency rescue and firefighting vehicles. As 'pillboxes on tracks,' it was intended that, in the event of some just-short-of-catastrophic emergency during launch, an escaping crew could enter the empty-and-waiting 'standby' vehicle to evacuate the launch area with some degree of speed and protection. Other vehicles, crewed and ready at a distance from the launch site, could similarly convey fire and rescue crews to the pad area if needed to assist with the crew's recovery.

These vehicles continued to be used throughout the Shuttle program. In fact, each member of each scheduled shuttle crew -- as a required part of their emergency procedures training -- was taught to drive the M113s. This was reportedly one of the favorite parts of the astronauts' training syllabus. The vehicles could regularly be seen careening around the remote tracks and access roads around the Cape, kicking up clouds of sand and debris as each astronaut 'trainee' tried to master the unfamiliar lever controls of the tracked APC.

In this NASA photo, a scheduled crew seems to be enjoying themselves immensely as Chief of Fire Training George Hoggard (with reversed cap, making the 'give her the gas' gesture) supervises the training session.

And here's my own little 'yellow peril.' The 'speckles' scattered around the stripe area on every surface are the mission patches proudly attached by each crew that trained on these vehicles. #3 seems to have been the one 'ceremonially' chosen to receive this decoration, since most photos of vehicles #1 and #2 show them 'clean.'

To display my little box on tracks I made up a little vignette base based on real photos. Though a shuttle-related locale might have been more appropriate, Cape Canaveral's storied Launch Complex 14 had a cool sign! And no small history to go with it: 14 was used for most of the early Space Program launches, including the Atlas Mercury shots. The 'parking spaces' with the Mercury astronauts' names are part of the restored area refurbished in the last decade. Though Complex 14's actual launch structures have been torn down, the gate and gatehouse remain as a tourist-accessible site on the much-visited base.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Sunday, October 27, 2019 5:52 PM

It came out looking great.  Good job on it.  The base looks good too.  It frames it well.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: http://smg.photobuck...v231/HeavyArty/?

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    June 2008
Posted by lewbud on Sunday, October 27, 2019 8:58 PM

Very cool. Well done.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, October 28, 2019 7:18 AM

Great job there on the APV! Love the loud-speaker and the mission badges. And great job there on the base too!!! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

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