M163 Vulcan

Kit #: 7066 Preview by Kevin Liang - kevin_liang123(at)yahoo(dot)ca
Edited by Al Magnus

This Italeri release is a niche subject. The M163 Vulcan is a self propelled anti aircraft gun based on the M113 APC. As the name indicates, the primary weapon is the 20mm M61 Vulcan Gatling cannon.

Anyways, on to the kit itself. The kit is an Italeri rerelease of the old ESCI kit. Frankly, the kit is older than I am, and the age shows.

The kit comes in khaki plastic, totalling 75 parts. One piece is an extra for the spares box. The instructions are clear and concise.

The upper hull is moulded with the top rear and driver's hatch open. The details are pretty decent.

Lower hull sides has few details. Hull bottom has nothing there. However, the piece does include a very nice interior floor.

The main sprue holds the side skirts, roadwheels, and tracks. The deck is a bit soft on the minor details. Pioneer tools are moulded separately.

The tracks are link and length, but do not include guide horns! Even worse, the inner side tracks have many ejector pin holes; these will have to be filled in with putty.

The wheels look very nice...except they are moulded as a single double wide piece, instead of as two single parts. The sprockets are excellent though.

Sprue F holds the top deck and the turret. The turret is cut vertically in the middle. The M61 Gatling cannon is moulded directly on the turret half.

The decals are excellent, the paint schemes indicate three separate options.

Conclusion: This kit can be built to an acceptable representation of the M163, though the tracks and roadwheels are really a let down. Kitbashing can really work wonders here. Out-of-the-box the kit can only be recommended for parts.

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Article Last Updated: 27 September 2012