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Ludwigs

M-113A1 ACAV APC - Vietnam - Build

Postby lmcq11 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:48 pm

Hi,

This is the start of my latest build, a 1/16 scale M-113A1 ACAV Armored Personal Carrier in Vietnam war markings.

I have always been fascinated by the Vietnam war. Between the clarity of WW2 and the professionalism of modern Nato, the Vietnam war and its conscript army of the 60s allows the modeller to dress up a vehicle like a Gypsy wagon and get away with it as being realistic. Can't do that on anything else and this difference makes this era appealing to some, appalling to others.

The M-113 is also fascinating to me. When I was younger, I have build 10 of Tamiya 1/35 scale M-113 in all variants provided by Verlinden conversion kits. It is inconceivable that main RC tank makers have not realised the sale potential of this basic little vehicle that can be derived in N versions. That explains why I have 12 Shermans but will only ever have 1 Leopard II, 1 Abrams, 1 Challenger II...

The base for the model will be the Ludwigs shell kit in plasticard, along with the few available accessories, meaning the rest needs to be scratch built. The strait armor plates of the M-113 should allow for a relatively easy project. Two of my old 1/35 kits and a bunch of references will guide me through it.

rsz_img_2325.jpg
Ludwigs M113 Acav


The base model is 65EU and consist of the following 4 plasticard sheets. I have compared the size of the main parts against the 1/35 kit and the Ludwigs kit dimensions are perfectly accurate for 1/16 scale. Angles are good and other than a few items that I noticed, it seems to be a very good base.

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Ludwigs M113 Acav


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Ludwigs M113 Acav


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Ludwigs M113 Acav


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Ludwigs M113 Acav


The kit is designed for Taigen suspension with torsion blades. Since these are difficult to find now, the options were to adapt it to latest Taigen Panzer III torsion bars (somehow) or to contact Ludwigs and see what they can offer. In the end, instead of cannibalizing a nice Taigen Pz III chassis like I was planning to, I decided to order a 3 part Taigen suspension arrangement that was offered to me by Ludwigs for 25Eu.

rsz_img_2290.jpg
Ludwigs M113 Acav


Also available from Ludwigs are the M113 sprocket (resin/metal) and Idler wheels (3d printed) for 33 and 20eu, these look very good and accurate. They fit the Heng Long Panzer III tracks. Ok, these are not exactly like the original T-130 tracks of the M113 but there is no other alternatives of that size.

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Ludwigs M113 Acav


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Ludwigs M113 Acav


Also part of my plans is the Verlinden ACAV conversion kit. Yes I know, this is in 1/15 scale and designed to fit their static resin kit. I have determined the parts are technically just a few mm to large but I think I can reduce the parts a bit to help with the fit to 1/16. It is also impossible to find 1/16 scale M60 MG on the market so this is the only alternative. After being very rare, this Acav conversion kit came back in quantity this year and can be purchased for $20 on ebay (on sale at one point for 14$). Someone must have found an inventory... I grabbed 2 because Verlinden has closed and those M60 with PE parts seem like a good deal.

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Ludwigs M113 Acav


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Ludwigs M113 Acav


More parts will be arriving soon, such as the road wheels. This should be interesting...

The fun starts here.

Regards, Louis

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Postby midlife306 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Hi Louis, looks a very interesting build, I'll be following it very closely!!!!
Cheers
Wayne


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Postby Ad Lav » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:02 pm

Excellent. Always wanted to do one of these!!

Watching with interest.
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Postby c.rainford73 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:35 pm

My friend it appears you have raised the bar once again this will be very interesting
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Postby Estnische » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:34 am

As an icon of the Vietnam war, I’ve always wondered why more of these haven’t been done in RC. Looking forward to seeing how this works out.
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Postby PainlessWolf » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:38 am

Afternoon,
Mostly because all we have had in years past ( except for the incredibly expensive and rare types ) was this 1/18 jobbie with no working suspension.
regards,
Painless
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Postby Estnische » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:50 am

A source of detailed bits perhaps?
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Postby wibblywobbly » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:03 am

I scratch built one a few years back, I built it to be watertight and it was tested in water. The tracks provide the propulsion as there are no propellers etc. I really like the look of them, so looking forward to seeing how this one comes along. :thumbup:
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Postby lmcq11 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:36 am

Hi,

After the initial step of separating all the parts from their plasticard sheets and their preparation, construction can start right away. The parts require limited preparation in comparison to resin kits, just need to cut the links to the sheet and sand them a bit. It is my first plasticard model and I must say it is quite pleasant. Parts are strait, strong and the interlocking mechanism ensures solid joints. However, this interlocking method will require a lot of putty and many sanding phases later on to ensure smooth surfaces everywhere, otherwise they will show and destroy the look of the model. Be aware that it is technically possible to put parts upside down or on the wrong side so plan and double check everything before gluing them.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


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Ludwigs M113 APC


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Ludwigs M113 APC


I am impressed by the accuracy of the armor plate shapes, realistic thickness and dimensions.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


So far so good. Before going any further, it is important to determine and plan the installation of the gearbox and other electronics. I have selected a light Heng Long Panzer IV gearbox for the M113. I want to keep the weight to a minimum on the front suspension and this could be a really cheap arrangement if I can make it fit. Plastic gears will be good enough to drive around this little model. The holes for the sprocket shafts of the M113 are quite low and the installation of the gearbox will be non standard.

The hull is just wide enough to take them.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


After pondering the options, I think the best way will be to grind the gearbox metal at the front so that the shaft is perfectly aligned with the hole, and install the gearbox at 45 degrees like this to ensure it does not touch the first suspension arm just under it. I will also have to grind the inside of the armor plate to make room for the first plastic gear at the front to turn freely.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


It is possible that the shaft will need to be cut, they seem a bit long for the M113. Not something I look forward to.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


A Sherman gun elevation unit will be used to create a mechanism to open and close the rear ramp, something I really want to have on my M113. Having no large turret and big gun, the ramp going up/down is the obvious choice to bring some action to the model. That will take some engineering as the ramp will also be the main access to the electronics and battery. Secondary access will be through the trap on the top.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


And a standard Heng Long turret rotation unit will be used to rotate the small M113 M2 .50 Cal ACAV turret. They will also be lights in the front and rear.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


Quite a pleasant experience so far.

Regards, Louis

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Postby c.rainford73 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:41 am

Very impressive LouisI see the building bug has got you bad! I've always wanted to construct one of these style kits with the plasticard. Keep up the great work. Love the mechanical door Mechanism.

What is your glue of choice for this kit?
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Postby lmcq11 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:53 am

Hi Carl,

I thought at first I would need epoxy but it is quite inconvenient to work with. I just use think superglue and the bond is very strong with the plasticard. But I will add reinforcement braces later on inside.

Nothing is standard on this model. Planning and solutioning is as fun as the building itself.

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Postby c.rainford73 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:55 am

Thanks for the information. I have had good success with thick super glue joining plasticard before and have used epoxy but it's messy and a bit difficult as you said to work with.

Thanks for sharing this build with us
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Postby Estnische » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:13 am

Gee Louis, you are starting an itch that I might scratch.

I see this every time I pass through the rural city of Wagga Wagga - an M113 'Scorpion' fitted with a 76mm main gun.

Image
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Postby Ad Lav » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:45 am

Great start. Interesting to see gearboxes need cutting.

Do you plan to add sounds?

Wheels are the expensive bit but look great.
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Postby lmcq11 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:57 am

Hi,

Someone can spend hundreds of dollars on specialized gears and equipment for this vehicle. But my plan is always to use the cheapest alternatives. Here is the selected electronics being tested. Most of it are cheap or antique Heng Long stuff from the spare box... but they work well. It cost almost nothing.

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M-113 APC


The main plastic parts to which the Taigen torsion plate suspension will be attached are installed.

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M-113 APC


As you can see, the drive shaft is quite low on this vehicle. There is no room available for the bottom of the gearbox over the suspension, this is limiting options.

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M-113 APC


The gearbox metal had to be trimmed at the front so that the drive shafts can fit into their sockets.

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M-113 APC


This is how the gearbox will be installed.

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M-113 APC


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M-113 APC


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M-113 APC


This is a rear view of the mounting plate for the gearbox, at quite an unusual angle. It is made of leftover plasticard from the kit sheets. The plate will be reinforced later.

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M-113 APC


Need to ensure there is enough room for the front armored plate

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M-113 APC


The drive shafts are too long, the sprocket is way too much on the outside. The shaft will need to be trimmed by at least 5mm. A couple of mm can likely come from the sprocket itself. I will check that next.

rsz_img_2372.jpg
M-113 APC


Regards,

Louis

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Postby lmcq11 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:01 am

Estnische wrote:Gee Louis, you are starting an itch that I might scratch.

I see this every time I pass through the rural city of Wagga Wagga - an M113 'Scorpion' fitted with a 76mm main gun.

Image


As I was saying, the possibilities of the M113 are endless. If HL had one available for 80$, I would probably have 20 of them...

Regards, Louis

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Postby c.rainford73 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:14 am

Very nice work Louisquite an adventure getting those gearboxes in but if anyone can it's you!
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Postby lmcq11 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:34 am

Hi,

The Ludwigs sprockets come with a bag of Knupfer hex bolts for a realistic mounting of the metal plates. However, I just noticed that all the dents will require filing and polishing work. As they are, the dents are too large and sharp, they cut into the plastic tracks and do not work well. So, a lot of finetuning will be required on these before they are operational.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


The Heng Long gearbox drive shafts had to be reduced by 4mm using a file, a 20 minute job on each.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


The drive shafts are properly centered. I just hope the whole thing will align with the suspension arms, and the road wheels, coming soon.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


The sprockets are a bit too big in my views, a common sight with RC tanks. However, filing the dents should provide more room for the tracks. It is ok as it is but I would like to have one more millimeter if I can.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


Dry fitting the tracks with the sprocket in order to analyse the overall situation. Looks ok. Need to leave room for the gearbox M113 drive cover than I am planning to make for each sides, similar to the Sherman.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


The panzer IV Heng Long gears are finally installed on the model. Cost of M-113 motorization; 12 $

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Ludwigs M113 APC


Dry fitting the front panel

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Ludwigs M113 APC


The joint between the bottom and front panels will require rework. I will likely have to put an overlay plasticard sheet on the bottom panel for a clean fit with the top.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


Dry fitting the roof parts of the model. Looking good. These will be installed at the very end of the build, likely with a device to take them off and on for maintenance, something I missed dearly with the M7 Priest Build. The inside is quite roomier as well.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


I am pleased with the kit so far. The shape is beautiful.

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Ludwigs M113 APC


Regards, Louis

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Postby c.rainford73 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:00 am

Fabulous work Mr Louis
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Postby Ad Lav » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:30 am

Nice :)
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