The Academy M-113 Fitter suffers from many over scale, or over simplified, parts and the new exterior PE set from Eduard corrects many of these as well as adding many new parts. Also included in this set are parts specific to the Australian version as well as the IDF version.
Construction starts with the addition of the grills and the mounting brackets for the lights. The addition of PE light brackets is a big improvement over the kit parts, much more to scale, but need care when assembling them. There are also some small brackets to attach as well as the shovel mounting straps.
Stage Two covers the additions to the commanderís cupola and vision ports. Again there are RAA specific parts, so be careful not to get them mixed up. The next step is to detail the driverís hatch; both the interior and exterior of the hatch are covered. The final part of stage two deals with the addition of the tie down straps and other small brackets, including the locking devices for the main troop hatch and the driverís hatch.
Stage Three continues with the addition of various brackets and locking bars to the Commander and Driverís hatches. Then we move to the rear of the vehicle, this time concentrating on the jerry can holders. These are very good parts and with careful work here, the straps can add very nice detail.
Stage Four starts with the detail for the ramp, both inside and out and again we are asked to replace handles and brackets and add detail to the tow rope. Once that is done we begin work on the various stowage boxes that the Fitter is festooned with. The hinges and locking mechanisms supplying much better detail than the moulded on detail. Next is a new holder for the external fire extinguisher as well as two mounting brackets for the two large gas bottles. After that there is a new guard for the exhaust, much more to scale than the kit part. Finally in this stage, there is a new mounting plate for the tracks as well as a new track-locking bar.
Stage Five starts with even more stowage boxes and tool chests, the Israeliís sure do love their external stowage. This time we are asked to assemble complete boxes from PE as well as detail some of the kit supplied boxes. There are some identification number plates fro the vehicle, and it is suggested they are added at this stage. If you are building a particular vehicle, you may want to add your own ID numbers to correspond with your references. The final part of this stage deals with the additions to the .50 machine gun. This is quite an involved process, and requires some detail to be removed from the kit gun. If you are at all unsure about this, take it slowly and only do as much as you are comfortable with. Of special note in this section is the detail of the ammo box and PE .50 ammo. With care it is possible to get some superb results here.
Take your time, follow the instructions, and the results will be worth it! Highly recommended!
My thanks to Eduard
for the review sample
References IDF Modelling