Australian Military Vehicles
Modelling the Australian M113A1
Light Reconnaissance Vehicle in 1/35 scale
by Jan White
The Australian Army uses about 700 M113A1 vehicles of which about 400 are configured as LRVs. This is the combination of the diesel powered M113A1 and the Cadillac Gage T50 machine gun turret. The turret was first introduced into Australian service in Vietnam and was initially armed with two .30 calibre machine guns. Shortly after some vehicles had one .30 machine replaced by a .50 calibre machine gun. This 50/30 armament configuration is used today (2002).
Whether this combination is called an LRV or an APC depends on the type of unit that uses it. If 2 Cavalry Regiment uses the vehicle it is an LRV, however if 5/7 RAR mechanised uses it it is an APC and it carrier infantry not scouts.
To make an accurate M113A1 LRV currently in service you will need to make the following modifications to the M113A1 kit. As far as I can tell the hull top of an M113 and M113A1 are the same.
Select the T50 turret of your choice. The turret is mounted slightly forward of the normal commanders cupola so that the crew roof hatch can still open. The turret ring is not mounted centrally on the T50 turret but is mounted forward slightly (11mm). In model form this movement forward is so small that it does not matter.
The diameter of the turret ring is 863.6mm (24.6mm in 1/35 scale)
depression stop rail was attached to the lower portion of the static portion of the turret ring. this was later supported by two flat steel pieces for added strength. The stop rail was aimed at stopping the guns firing into the rear troop compartment.
The drivers hatch mounting points are mounted 25mm to the right and the inboard portion of the drivers hatch is trimmed to provide clearance with the turret. The hatch lock and bump pad were relocated to suit.
LRVs have sponson armour mounted on both sides between the rear of the drive sprocket and the beginning of the second roadwheel.
the round rear ventilator was replaced on day one with a rectangular filtration system. There are two rubber bump stops to take account of the extra depth of the rear hatch due to the flirtation system.
the interior is lined with 20mm thick plastic foam insulation, including the interior of the rear hatch.
|Plan view of a T50 turret. This shows that the side panels are basically mounted on a round disc.|
|Note the asymmetrical hinge arrangement and depression stop rail with supporting flat steel supports. Another view of the modified drivers hatch.|
|The front of a T50 turret.
Notice that the side panels fit onto what looks like a flat disc. Attached to this
disc is a shallow vertical side wall. This side wall fits over a turret ring that is
attached to the hull. The armament has been removed in this photo and blanking discs
are in place.
The camouflage colours are black, green and brown taken on an overcast day.
|This shows the cut down edge
of the drivers hatch, relocated aerial mount, external fire extinguisher handle and non
standard aerial guard.
A standard fitting to Australian M113A1s is a fine mesh over the intake / outflow engine grills.
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