M-113A1 with Cupola (WIP - NEW PICS)

Apache26

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Feb 3, 2013
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Here is the moment I've been waiting for!

Necessity is definitely the mother of invention. When I joined SSHQ last fall in the midst of my wild "I want to customize 1:18" hair, I saw Pickel's ACAV cupola's from back in 2005. Since he wasn't available, I decided to look into doing my own.

I wasn't thrilled to do this. I was concerned about getting the right conical shape and fitting the gun shield. Fortunately, history rescued me. The conical cupola made by FMC for the ACAV's was primarily put in use with 'CAV squadrons. The M-113's from mech infantry units that entered the war earlier than 11th ACR didn't have American manufactured cupolas. So they adopted the Vietnamese design. These cupolas lasted in American mech units through much of the war.







You'll notice that these cupolas lacked a gun shield for the .50 cal. I figured these would be easier to sculpt, they were historically correct and kept me from having to do a gun shield.
 
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Apache26

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Feb 3, 2013
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The only molding compound I know well from my 1:35 experience is Miliput, so I set to work forming a cupola. It was a pain in the ass. I basically pushed a u-shaped blob into the commander's hatch and formed it around the vision blocks. Once dry, I formed it with a dremel. The first time, I cut too much and had to partially re-form it with more miliput before I had a decent mold.

I then decided to get an Alumilite casting kit. This is my first shot at casting molds. It didn't turn out as disastrous as I thought it might. The cupolas need to have some casting imperfections filled in and some more sanding. But I should have them done and painted by the end of the week.







 

K-Tiger

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Mar 14, 2011
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Kind of reminds me of one I saw elsewhere. That fella wired in an MP3 player loaded with period correct music.
 

K-Tiger

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I want to say it had both of those features. Was that posted at the original forum, or SSHQ?
 

Apache26

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Kind of reminds me of one I saw elsewhere. That fella wired in an MP3 player loaded with period correct music.
That sounds like a great deal of expense, but if he got it back when they were $30 at Wal-Mart, then I suppose it's a cool project. He must have used one of the R/C ones if it blew smoke and played music.

Cool idea. I'll be happy once I have these things weathered. Then I can start competing in banner contests. :thumbsup:
 

K-Tiger

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Mar 14, 2011
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The Japanese both renew and destroy my faith in humanity.


As for expense, MP3 players can be had for a song and a dance these days.