ACADEMY 1/35 US ARMY M163 VULCAN Kit. 13507
The M163 Vulcan Air Defense System (VADS) is a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) that was used by the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps . The M168 gun is a variant of the General Dynamics 20 mm M61 Vulcan rotary cannon, the standard cannon in most U.S. combat aircraft since the 1960s, mounted on either an armored vehicle or a trailer. The weapon is mounted on a modified M113 vehicle (the M741 carrier). The system was designed to complement the M48 Chaparral missile system. The M163 uses a small, range-only radar, the AN/VPS-2, and an M61 optical lead-calculating sight. The system is suitable for night operations with the use of AN/PVS series night vision sights that can be mounted to the right side of the primary sight.
The gun fires at 3,000 rounds per minute in short bursts of 10, 30, 60, or 100 rounds, or it can fire in continuous fire mode at a rate of 1,000 rounds per minute. A linkless feed system is used.
From the beginning, the main drawback of the M163 was its small caliber and lightweight shells, which limited its effective range. Early M50 series ammunition exacerbated the situation, but the M163 was still comparable to the contemporary Soviet ZSU-23-4; although the Russian ZSU fired a larger shell (23 mm rather than 20 mm) and had a higher rate of fire, the M163 had a higher muzzle velocity providing a flatter trajectory, shorter time of flight and thus better accuracy.
Unlike the ZSU the M163 has no search radar, and has limited engagement capability against aircraft at night. The M163 gunner is exposed in the open turret, whereas in the ZSU-23-4 the gunner is in a fully enclosed armored turret; this gives the M163 gunner much better situational awareness and field of view at the cost of losing protection against rifle-caliber weapons and shell fragments.
A wide variety of ammunition has been designed for the 20×102 caliber of the M168 six-barrel Gatling gun. Main types of combat rounds are listed in the table below; for comparison purposes the table includes also the PGU-28 round used in M61 Vulcan aircraft cannon and the Mk149 naval anti-missile APDS rounds, although these are not normally used in land-based air defense guns.
This is the new Academy 1/35 M163 Vulcan. This beauty found our way to the office early this week and still warm from the tooling down in Koren from the guys at Academy Models. If you as a collector/model kit builder have a soft spot for the hardware used in ODS 1991 or OIF in 2001, then I don’t see why you wouldn’t like this one. The kit is printing fabulously with no flash or thick mold line to write home about after so many years.
The Academy M163 Vulcan model kit is sharing the main lower hull found in most of its variants previously stamped in 1993. You will find some familiar sprues but others are missing. The tracks provided with the kit are also the same provided with past iterations. Your choice of ”rubber bands” or separate tracks in stryrene.
Thi particular production sample came with lots of sink holes on the rubber pads that will require filler -my choice is Vallejo for these cases.- Since I’ll be using the side skirts, one can fill and fix just the visible links or use the rubber band tracks which IMHO, are more than fine detail wise. Especially if you’re going to go loco with weathering, there’s no need to be that critical about it. But that dear friends, is my *personal view* and I know that mileage can vary.
No engine or interior detail and other accessories ie clear water bottles and cooler is provided with this release.
Our sample is already in the studio and it is being worked on as we speak. So stay tuned to our built photos soon.