Australian Military Vehicles Model Gallery
Australian Small Scale Models
Models by John Bell
The M113 with .50 HBMG and shield is Cromwell Models resin kit with added details and stowage. The crew figures are mostly from the SHQ Vietnam range; some are US GI figures with their helmets carved into bush hats. Other figures the actual vehicle crew where they are wearing berets] are from the ABB Figures range. Basically any figure in a beret and shirt sleeves was suitable. My main reference was Mike Cecil's Australian Miliary Equipment Profile on the M113.
The Saladin turreted FSV is again a Cromwell Models kit corrected and detailed using your book on the FSV and MRV as a reference. A picture from the AWM photo database showed the right hand side of The Sandgroper, as only the left side appears in your book. The LRV is a JB Models kit, with a turret taken from Cromwell Models' Cadillac Gage V-100 Commando [I made the Commando into the USAF's turretless XM706 version]. Mike Cecil's book was again the main reference, along with pictures from the PMMS website. To enhance the look of the JB kit, I grafted on idlers and sprockets from the ESCI kit of the M113. As the ESCI kit's idlers and sprockets are in two halves, it is easy enough to substitute a plastic disc for the inner half, releasing this part for use on a JB kit, whose idler and sprocket are poor. Again, the crew are SHQ and AB Figures.
The Fitter's Track is based on the ESCI M901 TOW under armour kit, though almost any M113 kit would do. It is 1/72 rather than 1/76, but I decided I could live with that. It has full internal detail, including the drivers compartment and main hull. I toyed with the idea of hinging the hull roof big hatch, but chickened out in the end, contenting myself with the 'normal' hatch. The HIAB crane was scratch built from plasticard and bits and pieces. The welding gear inside are from CMSC's range of accessories, most other stuff is scratch built. The crew figures are [again] AB Figures, one from the Hasegawa USAF Ground Crew set and a couple from IT Figures. IT Figures do a lovely set called '5 Nondescript Figures in Overalls'. They are casually posed and full of character - one is scratching his head, another is having a crafty fag. They are ideal for out of combat scenes. All the vehicles are painted in Tamiya acrylic XF-49 Khaki on the outside, Humbrol Matt 23 Sky on the inside. The Khaki seems a good match for the Aussie brownish shade of olive drab [though it's nothing like khaki!] and Sky approximates to the eau-de-nil interior colour. Weathering was done with the usual dry brushed steel and a good dusting of burnt sienna powder paint reproduced the characteristic red Vietnam dust.
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