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M113 UN, a long term project

built by Werner Kampfhofer (1/35)

M113 UN
In order to fulfill their observation tasks during their UN mission at the Golan Heights the Austrian Army referred to Canadian M113 APC’s. The first time I read about this was in Truppendienst magazine 6/77. I was 14 years old then, but already excited about a realization in 1/35. But brush painting a M113 model with Humbrol 34 seemed to me already at this stage of my modelling career to end with unsatisfactory results. There was also the question how to resemble the UN markings.

Thus the whole idea was shifted towards my imaginary project list, where it remained for the next 25 years. During this period additional pictures of these APC’s showed up. The Canadians and as a result the Austrian’s too, switched to M113A2 and also the markings changed to a different design. The next milestone of this project was IPMS Panorama 28/2 from June 2002, with an elaborately written article dedicated to the "Austrian M113’s", including scale drawings and measurements for the markings.

It was 2006 when I decided to deliver an order for decals, based on the data of this article, to German company Peddinghaus. The decals were delivered promptly and if I wouldn’t have been so busy with other projects, I could have commenced immediately … but it was in 2010 when I FINALLY started.

Building & painting

I wanted to resemble a vehicle from the 1980ies, thus I decided to use the M113A1 kit I from Italeri (No. 276). I had a few of these in stock and they are also better detailed as the Tamiya buddy. Nevertheless I used Tamiya’s road wheels. It’s a pity that a lot of sink areas have to be filled and sanded along the superstructure.

It was quite cumbersome to find original photos for reference purposes. So it might be possible, that the small exhaust pipe at the rear end of the turret roof has not been mounted in praxis. But I discovered that the handrails on the turret roof have been removed. Which brings me to the next question: have they been fixed by bolting or welding? I opted for the second variation and simulated weld beam remnants with pieces of extended plastic sprue. It also seems that these vehicles did not carry tools. So the "only" work to do was to sand off the plastic tie downs parts and replace them with a PE set from Accurate Armour (D31). I also used an Eduard Zoom set (ETP-35015) and headlights from SKP-Model (SKP-138), both of them designed for the Tamiya kit, but they fitted well on the Italeri kit too.

One reason to choose the Italeri kit was the nicely detailed link- and lengths tracks. Although some filling and sanding of the track shoes was necessary, they built quicly. But shit happened! The cemented area of the final drives and drive sprockets was obviously not hard enough and due to the track tension each drive sprocket slightly bent backwards. This error was obvious when looking at the front of the kit and I was very close to kick this whole chunk of plastic through my handicraft workroom!

M113 UN, a long term project (1:35)

  Diorama built by Werner Kampfhofer, photos taken by  
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After I completed a cooling down phase I started to consider how to conceal these problem areas and planned a diorama which would help to save this project. But first of all the model had to be completed, painted and finally, the decals had to be added. These DECALS! Another challenge … Peddinghaus decals are printed on a rather thick carrier film, which likes to create bubbles. Bearing this in mind, it would have been impossible to apply the UN letters to the front and rear. So I decided to go one step further: cutting out each letter, which led to the next obstacles.

The prints are quite sensitive against scratches and too much of decal softener. So in the end I had all UN letters, which btw were exact in their measurements, on the model, but with certain small holes, where the white paint of the APC was shining through. Filling these white spots with black paint did not help. So I had to say "Good Bye" to my idea of presenting the M113 without any wear and tear. So I began to add a decent weathering with the meanwhile common methods and materials.


I built the diorama in parallel to the steps described above. I did not want to represent a winter sequence I wanted a summer scene in order to focus on the white tank. To cover it’s weak points, I created an observation post from Styrodor, which was formed more or less around the M113. Two additional barrels finished my concealing task and so, after 3 years of work, the matter was finally solved. The diorama could make it to Euromodell 2013 in Ried/Innkreis "just in time", where it was presented in a small modelling focus on the M113 at the IPMS Austria stand.
  meet the modeler      

Werner Kampfhofer

  Hi, I am Werner Kampfhofer, born 1963-03-05 in Vienna. I live there with my wife, my son and currently 3 dogs. My modelling career started at the age of nine and a plane from airfix. What began sporadically, turned into manic over the years (that's at least the opinion of my wife).

My main focus are AFV in 1/35, without a historical limit and I have no objections against kits from other branches. I always try to get out the best of me and thus modelling is not fun for me anymore, it is work, but a work I enjoy.
  Werner Kampfhofer  
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This page:  GALLERY: M113 UN, a long term project (1:35), built by Werner Kampfhofer
was last modified on: Mar 20, 2016
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