ANZAC M113s – Revisiting the APCs to get for my Vietnam Project

Having done quite a bit of research on ANZAC/Australian M113s in Vietnam, I’ve decided to change my plan for collecting them. I’ll recap my original plan from 2020 (ANZACs in Vietnam – Steven’s Wargaming Project), have a look at the kits I have today, and then outline my new, slightly more megalomaniac plans.

The plan

I thought I’d summarise my original plan before moving on to outline the new, more grandiose, plan. Partly because I have a terrible memory and partly because it highlights that that I’m insane.

The original plan = 16 tracks

When I wrote ANZACs in Vietnam – Steven’s Wargaming Project I thought my aspiration for the M113 were extravagant. After all a game might only use 3 APCs but I intended to get five sections of M113s with 3 (usually) or 4 vehicles in each. 16 vehicles total. This is because the vehicles evolved over the war and I wanted all (or most) of the variants

  • Elements of APC Transport Squadron
    • 1 x 1966-70 APC Transport Section (1): 3 x M113A1
    • 1 x 1966-70 APC Transport Section (2): 3 x M113A1 with M113A1 Gun Shield
    • 1 x 1967-72 APC Transport Section (3):
      • 2 x M113A1 LRV with .30/.30 machine guns
      • 1 x M113A1
    • 1 x 1967-72 APC Transport Section (4):
      • 2 x M113A1 LRV with .30/.30 machine guns
      • 1 x M113A1 with M113A1 Gun Shield
    • 1 x 1971-72 Support Troop: 4 x M113A1 FSV

The same thing as a table:

Variant APC Section 1 APC Section 2 APC Section 3 APC Section 4 Support Troop Total
M113A1 3 1 4
M113A1 with M113A1 Gun Shield 3 1 4
M113A1 LRV with .30/.30 aka M113A1 (T50) 2 2 4
M113A1 FSV 4 4
Total 3 3 3 3 4 16

This is a pretty good plan. it isn’t even insane as I managed to avoid including the relative unpopular and rare M113A1 variant with the M74 C turret.

The new plan = 31 tracks

But I’ve done all that research on Australian APCs in Vietnam. I know M113 variants, track names, Army Recognition Numbers (ARNs), etc. All the things that made theses vehicles unique and hence more interesting. So I want to use that information.

Of course every time I revise a wargaming plan it gets, well, bigger. This project is no exception. I want all the Aussie tracks at the Battle of Long Tan (18 August 1966) and I also want lots of cool looking Aussie tracks from when they had turrets and names (e.g. “SNOOPY”). Turrets and names means 1971. The old plan had 16 tracks. The new plan has 31. I’m doomed.

Troop for Long Tan (18 August 1966) – 13 Tracks

I think I’ll get 13 vehicles, in four sections, for 1966. Including the 10 vehicles present at the Battle of Long Tan (18 August 1966) but with three extras to round out the troop. The majority of vehicles will be from 3 Troop (HQ, 32, 33), although one of the sections (23) will be from 2 Troop. 10 tracks are the M113A1 with gun shield and three are standard M113A1s. This is the period when vehicles didn’t have names or squadron markings. The ARN was on the left rear. The Callsign appeared four times on each vehicle: (1) large on the rear ramp; (2) small on both sides of the hull; (3) small above the rear ARN. The kangaroo nation symbol appears near the Callsign on the sides.

Steven’s Australian M113A1s 1966
APC Callsign ARN Name Squadron Marking Role
HQ Section, 3 Troop
M113A1 Gun Shield 30A 134186 Troop Leader
M113A1 Gun Shield 30B 134152 Troop 2-in-C
M113A1 Gun Shield 39M 134260 Ambulance
M113A1 Gun Shield 39J1 ?? Troop Sergeant
32 Section, 3 Troop
M113A1 Gun Shield 32 134164 Section Leader
M113A1 Gun Shield 32A1 ??
M113A1 Gun Shield 32B 134145
33 Section, 3 Troop
M113A1 Gun Shield 331 ?? Section Leader
M113A1 Gun Shield 33A 134161
M113A1 Gun Shield 33B 134332
23 Section, 2 Troop
M113A1 23 134191 Section Leader
M113A1 23A 134200
M113A1 23B 134206

(1) This track fits the Troop organisation but was absent from Long Tan. The ARN is from 3rd Cavalry Regiment, in Vietnam, and logical, but not guaranteed to be the right one for this vehicle.

Troop for 1971 = 18 Tracks

As the war progressed the Australians evolved their cavalry force. By 1971 there were fairly universal vehicle names and T50 turrets. And in 1971 the Fire Support Vehicles (FSV) arrived into 4 Troop.

So I want a full troop of M113A1 (T50)s with an extra section of M113A1 FSVs. And Chris gave me a M577A1 so I may as well use it. One M577A1 Commander APC. 13 tracks with the T50 turret, seven with the 30/30 combination and six with the 50/39 combination. Four FSVs. That makes 18 vehicles.

I know some of the track names and have borrowed the rest from other parts of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. This is ‘A’ Squadron so the vehicles are marked with a blue triangle. The ARNs are authentic but, unlike the Long Tan vehicles, I don’t know which were used for these specific tracks.

Steven’s Australian M113A1s 1971 – A Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment
APC Callsign ARN Name Squadron Marking Role
Squadron HQ
M577A1 0A Squadron Leader
HQ Section, 3 Troop
M113A1 (T50) 50/30 30A SNOOPY1 Blue Triangle Troop Leader
M113A1 (T50) 50/30 30B WEE HAMISH2 Blue Triangle Troop 2-in-C
M113A1 (T50) 50/30 39J CHARLIE BROWN8 Blue Triangle Troop Sergeant
M113A1 (T50) 30/30 39M CHERRYBOY5 Blue Triangle Ambulance
31 Section, 3 Troop
M113A1 (T50) 50/30 31 BLOOD Blue Triangle Section Leader
M113A1 (T50) 30/30 31A & TEARS II Blue Triangle
M113A1 (T50) 30/30 31B SWEAT Blue Triangle
32 Section, 3 Troop
M113A1 (T50) 50/30 32 BEWITCHED3 Blue Triangle Section Leader
M113A1 (T50) 30/30 32A BEWILDERED3,4 Blue Triangle
M113A1 (T50) 30/30 32B BOTHERED35 Blue Triangle
33 Section, 3 Troop
M113A1 (T50) 50/30 33 FOUL BOY4 Blue Triangle Section Leader
M113A1 (T50) 30/30 33A THE NYMPHO6 Blue Triangle
M113A1 (T50) 30/30 33B GAYLORD Blue Triangle
42 Section, 4 Troop
M113A1 FSV 42 THE SANGROPER Blue Triangle Section Leader
M113A1 FSV 42A DENISE Blue Triangle
M113A1 FSV 42B COMALCO7 Blue Triangle
M113A1 FSV 42C TINY TEDDY Blue Triangle

(1) “SNOOPY” was actually Troop Leader (20A) in 2 Troop, B Squadron, and since I don’t know the name of 30A, I just moved it, after all “SNOOPY” is cool.
(2) “WEE HAMISH” was an alternative name for 31B (“SWEAT”) in ‘B’ Squadron, but I like the Blood, Sweat and Tears thing in 31 Section, so I moved “WEEE HAMISH” to another section (30B).
(3) “BEWITCHED”, “BEWILDERED”, and “BOTHERED” were all used on FSVs but I like the set so moved it to another section.
(4) “BEWILDERED”, “GLEN” and “FOUL BOY” could have been any track in the squadron.
(5) “CHERRYBOY” might have been 31M, but “M” is the ambulance in the Troop HQ so I put it there instead (39M).
(6) “THE NYPHO” was probably 13A, but I just moved it to 3 section in another troop (33A) to match it up with “THE NYMPHO” AND “FOUL BOY”.
(7) “COMALCO” was one of the FSVs, I just don’t know which one.
(8) “CHARLIE BROWN” might have been section leader in 21 Section, 2 Troop. The evidence is dodgy and I like having “CHARLIE BROWN” in the HQ near “SNOOPY”

Troop for 1967

Above I outline my plans for a troop from each of 1966 and 1971. I don’t have plans for a separate troop for 1967. But I don’t need one. The Australian cavalry troops of 1967 included a mix of M113A1s with gun shield and M113A1s (T50) 30/30. The Troop HQ and section leaders had the gun shield variant and the other tracks had the T50. So I can mix and match my 1966 and 1971 troops to get that combination. For example, in the 1967 version of 33 Section I’d use the section leader (33) from 1966, giving the track a gun shield, and the other two tracks (33A, 33B) would come from 1971, giving them T50 turrets with the 30/30 combination.

And that, aside from the fact the Australian tracks are just cool, is the reason I’ve expanded the scope of this project way out of the original remit. Go big or go home.

What about kits?

I’ve gone from 16 tracks to 31 tracks for this project, so I’m going to have to get more kit.

Stocktake: The kits I already have


I have a miscellaneous collection of 11 M113s, US, French, and generic. From what I can tell the sprues are all the same, combining components for the standard M113 and several variants: M113 ACAV (with .50 cal or mini-gun), M132 Zippo (Flamethrower), M125 (M29 81mm mortar), M106 (M30 4.2in/107mm mortar). If I got more I would probably get the generic sprue (TUSO03).

1 x TDBX03 – French M113 or M106 Platoon (3 vehicles)
1 x VUSBX07 – US M113 Platoon (4 vehicles)
4 x TUSO03 – Plastic M113 Sprue (1 vehicle)

FoW VUSBX07 USA M113 Platoon
FoW VUSBX07 USA M113 Platoon

M113A1 (M74C)

In a moment of excitement I got the pack with the M74C and T50 turrents. But it turns out the M74C wasn’t common – they only had 20 and they quickly wore out. And there is a separate pack with M113 with T50 turret. So I’m not sure I’ll use them.

1 x VAN243 – M113 M74C & T50 Turrets

FoW Australian M113A1 with M74C Turret
FoW Australian M113A1 with M74C Turret

M113A1 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (LRV) i.e. M113A1 (T50)

I’ve already got a pack of M113A1s with T50 turrets. So five tracks.

1 x TABX02 – Australian M113 (T50) Platoon (5 vehicles)

FoW TABX02 Australian M113 (T50) Platoon
FoW TABX02 Australian M113 (T50) Platoon
FoW Australian M113A1 with T50 Turret
FoW Australian M113A1 with T50 Turret

M113A1 Fire support vehicles (FSV)

I’ve got two packs of the FSV turrets, making four turrets in total. [See M113 FSV Turret Assembly.]

2 x VAN242 – M113 FSV (Turrets) (2 turrets per pack)

FoW Australian M113A1 FSV
FoW Australian M113A1 FSV

Closing the gap: M113s to buy so I can fulfil the new plan

To get from 16 to 31, I have to get 15 more tracks.

M577: I have a M577 (a present from Chris). No gaps here.

M113A1 (T50): I have five M113A1 (T50) and I need 13. So I think I’ll get two more packs of TABX02 – Australian M113 (T50) Platoon (5 vehicles). 15 total giving two spare.

M113A1 FSV: I have all the FSVs turrets I need, but I need the APCs kits to go with them.

M113A1: And I need 13 normal M113s for the 1966 option. Plus four for the FSVs, making 17 in total. I have 11. So I need six more TUSO03 – Plastic M113 Sprue (1 vehicle). Less two because I’ll have have a surplus of T50 kits. So four more.

My order is winging its way to Battlefront Miniatures / Flame of War.

8 thoughts on “ANZAC M113s – Revisiting the APCs to get for my Vietnam Project”

  1. Steven,

    Meglomania is good – at least when applied to wargaming! Good luck with it, and keep posting about it… 😉

    – Bill

  2. For a wargamer, the weight of lead purchased is directly proportional to the amount of historical information available. It’s a physical law. There is nothing to do.

    • Chris, Thanks for those two extra FSVs turrets. I now have the kit for six FSVs. Given only eight were fielded in Vietnam in total, I’m nearly hitting the limit.

      Unfortunately, I now have to make a couple more Decals for the extra tracks. A project for a quiet Saturday.

  3. You’ll find that between 1967 and late 1968, the M74C turret was actually the most common. Two vehicles in each troop had the M74C with the remaining bucket having the shielded .50 cal. Yes they were cramped and the rotation gearing wore out, meaning they were progressively replaced but if you want vehicles for the Tet 1968 Battles including Ba Ria, you will want some of those turrets.

  4. Steve,

    I came across this collection on Flickr recently. Some M113 obsessive has put together a heap of photos of buckets in Vietnam. They aren’t all specifically Australian but there are quite a few photos of Aussie M113s. Some are AWM of course but many seem to be private collections and there’s a few there that I haven’t seen before including the trial mounting of a Minigun. Worth trawling through.


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