Mortar Carrier

Kit #: 7069 Preview by Will Alcott - Will_Alcott(at)yahoo(dot)com
Edited by Marc MERCIER

The attractive boxart shows an M106 in MERDC camouflage, with all hatches opened. While the kit does provide the option of opening all the hatches, the detail shown inside the driver’s area and the crew compartment is not provided. The artwork also shows some other details missing from the kit, such as the lifting lugs on the bow plate, and the fire extinguisher pull handle and guard just behind the driver’s hatch.
The main sprue containing the upper hull, interior bulkheads, trim vane, rear hatch, wheels, tracks, and other details is shared with all the other ESCI/Italeri M113 variants. As such it shares the same strengths and weaknesses (notable each pair of roadwheels being molded as a single, double-wide wheel).
Sub-sprues A (seats and the rectangular roof hatch) and B (with the 50-calibre machine gun and commanders cupola) are also identical to those in the base M113 kit. However the bench seats and rectangular roof hatch are indicated as not for use on this variant.

Unique to this version are sub-sprues C (circular roof hatch, M30 107 mm mortar and baseplates) and Z (roof with circular cutout). The mortar and vehicle turntable mount are made up of 3 pieces, and show decent but slightly soft detail. A 3-part, the mount for deploying the mortar outside the vehicle, is provided. When these parts are not in use, they are stowed on the side of the vehicle and on the rear mudguard. Italeri’s instructions correctly show their locations, but no mounting points are provided.

The 3-part roof hatch can be built open or closed. Only a basic interior is provided – engine bulkheads and the commander’s seat. The prominent ammunition racks for the 107 mm mortar will have to be scratchbuilt.


The well-printed decals offer basic markings for 4 options:
A. US Army, Texas, 1986 in 4-color MERDC camouflage, with black stars and US ARMY stencils
B. US Army, Germany 1985 in the same scheme as A, without the black stars, and with a slightly different style of US ARMY stencils
C. Hellenic (Greek) Army, 1994, also in the MERDC scheme. This is the only option for which serial numbers are provided.
D. US Army, Vietnam 1967 in overall olive drab.

For all the US Army options, vehicle serial numbers and unit bumper codes are missing. According to the information at, the colors listed for the MERDC scheme are incorrect. Assuming Italeri is trying to depict the ‘winter verdant’ scheme, Euro 1 Dark Green (FS34092) should be Forest Green (FS34079), Medium Brown (FS30111) should be Field Drab (FS30118), and white should be Sand (FS30277) – the black is fine.


Out-of-the-box, the kit is a decent representation of a basic M106 (gasoline engine) or diesel M106A1. The interior needs a lot of work to displayed open, and the markings are incomplete. For the adventurous, the basic hull and roof configuration could be used as the basic of an M125A1 81 mm self-propelled mortar, though the M252 mortar and mount would have to be scratchbuilt.

Preview sample purchased by the author.

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Article Last Updated: 05 September 2014