By Simon Barnes Kit #07240

Although Italeri have re-released the old Esci M113, they are relatively old versions, Trumpeter have now started to release the Newer version the A2 and now the A3 variant. Although I find the release welcome I sometimes wonder at trumpeter kits, sometimes they seem that they are designed by a commitee that never meets, add an engine but then design the hull that it can never be seen without surgery, add an interior but no commander or drivers seats, some details are nicely done and some that are downright crude.

So what do you get for your money? although slightly more expensive than the Italeri kit here in the UK it does have it's advantages and also disadvantages, but no insurmountable problems that can not be fixed.

The hull is slightly better than the Italeri, bering beter detailed and one peice

the main spru contains the engine, interior and hatches as mentioned the bench seats for the rear are present, but no Commanders or driver seats

The road wheels are two part and better detailed than the Italeri ones but there are problems with the idlers and sprockets

The external fuel tanks, later engine deck and later splash board with the added floatation along with the smoke discharges and flashing yellow beacon which is solid plastic and could do with replacing, although revell supply their beacons solid as well.

The side skirts are the standard type and not the cut down ones seen on some vehicles

the tracks are nicely detailed but vinyl which is a shame.

As per usual decals are provided for more vehicles than shown in the instruction, it is nice that trumpeter continue to give options like this, but they are not a lot of help without the reference needed to place them.

A direct comparison between the Italeri and Trumpeter hulls, as can be seen the Trumpeter is slightly the better.

The trumpeter roof is a lot better than the old Italeri with it having a lot more detail and better relief on the tools and fittings although it does have it's bad points namely the solid moulded bush guard, even Roco in 1/87 provide these as seperate peices, unfotunately removing them without removing the surrounding detail will be difficult.

The road wheels on the Trumpeter kits are the better detailed (Trumpeter being the darker grey ) where as the idlers are better from the Italeri kit which although not perfect, the hub on the Trumpeter idler sits too deep and is too small in diameter.

Although these kits bring the M113 family up to date, I personally feel that possibly mixing the two kits would produce a better vehicle, both kits have their plus and minus's' but fortunately they seem to compliment each other in that where one is bad the other is better.

The kit measures out to 1/72 according to the references I have.


[1] M113 in action Squadron/Signal

[2] Jane's Armour and Artillery 1990-91 11th Edition by Christopher F Foss

[3] Jane's Tanks and Combat Vehicles Recognition guide Second Edition by Christopher F Foss

Additional comments from Will Alcott below:
The ESCI upper hull is just over 2mm wider than the Trumpeter upper hull. The real M113 (without side skirts) measures 100 inches across. By my measurements and calculations, the ESCI hull is 5% too wide, while the Trumpeter hull is 1% too narrow. The hull lengths are very similar. Another discrepancy concerns the spacing of the roadwheels. Again my measurements indicate that the ESCI roadwheels are spaced about 4% too far apart, while Trumpeter is spot on. Note also the shock absorber on the second roadwheel arm on the Trumpeter kit (red arrow). This is a feature of the M113A2 and later variants, and should be removed for the M113 or M113A1.
One subtle detail that ESCI captured better is the groove/weld seam where the hull sides meet the front and top plates (see red arrow). Trumpeter's kit is missing the groove. However, ESCI didn't get it all right here - this groove should be absent at the outside edge of the engine deck and the top edge of the front panel immediately in front of the engine deck (these are part of an opening hatch, so there is no weld here in reality). Trumpeter also included huge grooves to mount the side skirts, which will need to be removed and cleaned up if you want to show a M113 with these removed,
as was often the case.
Trumpeter included far more molded in detail, such as tie-downs and lifting eyes on the hull roof. Note the two small outlet pipes just behind the engine deck - these are for the crew compartment heater introduced with the M113A2, and should be removed from earlier versions.


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Article Last Updated: 20 December 2012
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