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United States  - U.S. M106A1 Mortar Carrier -
Carrier, Mortar, 107-MM, Self-propelled
Vietnam and Beyond

M106A1

The Kit:

This die-cast model of the M106A1 is produced by Corgi and is manufactured in 1/43rd scale. It captures the profile of the M113 Family of Vehicles (FOV), of which the M106 is a derivative, very well. It is a pre-assembled, pre-painted, pre-decaled and a pre-weathered model.
The quality of the metal castings are quite good. The plastic detail parts that are pre-assembled are also very well done. Tracks are made from a flexible vinyl that is reminiscent of the Tamiya continuous tracks found in their M113 scale model kits.
       
M106A1

The Details:

   

The only assembly required to this model was to attach the antenna to its mount. I also made some ties out of ship's rigging for the roll of barbed wire on the trim vane.

       
M106A1 M106A1 M106A1 M106A1
       
Painting, Weathering and Finishing:

The factory painting of this model was good, but the weathering of this model left a lot to be desired. For some reason, a white wash was applied, and was not very realistic. It was spotty and very watery looking in places and obviously applied after all the detail parts were assembled and decals had been applied. I attempted to tone this down some by applying a thinned artist oil black wash, and once dry, I applied a light dry brushing. I also question the inside surface color of the rear ramp. It is white but it should be the vehicle's exterior color. Perhaps it was white on this particular vehicle, but I have never seen any reference to verify this. It was certainly not standard procedure to have the ramp interior painted in white.

       
This model did require some additional exterior detail painting to bring the appearance up a notch. Due to the limited access of the interior parts, I was not able to get in there to paint any of the details. I tried to disassemble those parts, but was not able to do so. Basically, the interior is cast (and remains) in color but would surely benefit from some extra detail painting.
M106A1 M106A1 M106A1 M106A1
All the extra painting was accomplished with acrylic paints. The wash was created by mixing artist oils thinned with an odorless brush cleaner and thinner.
To finish this subject, a coat of Polly Scale acrylic flat was applied to the overall subject. I also applied Polly Scale acrylic gloss coat to the lights and vision blocks.
       
Base and Groundwork:  
The base measures 4-1/2 inches x 6-1/2 inches and is made of scrap oak. Stained with a natural colored stain, then sealed with multiple coats of polyurethane.
The groundwork is made of Sculptamold mixed with white glue and water. To this, various ground litter and tall grass, static grass, hand made palm fronds, bits of dried flowers, miniature dried plants collected from my property and finely chopped up debris also found on my property were added.
The nameplate is made from .015 thick x 1/2 inch wide K&S Engineering brass stock that was buffed to a shine with fine steel wool. The numerals and letters are 12 point (.12") dry transfer lettering from Letraset, and were applied by using a burnishing tool. Once the lettering was in place, a coat of Future floor wax straight from the bottle to protect the brass and lettering from any finger prints and/or tarnishing.

The model depicted on this page is of a vehicle belonging to A Troop, 1st Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry, 1st Division in Vietnam during 1965. On November 12, 1965, at the battle of Bau Bang (Ap Bau Bang), this vehicle was destroyed by a direct hit from a Viet Cong Mortar round, subsequently detonating the remaining internally stowed ammunition. Sgt. Bill Baty was the TC (Track Commander) of this vehicle and was seriously wounded with two of the mortar crew being killed.

General Vehicle Info:

Conceived as a lighter and less expensive alternative to the M84 Mortar Carrier that was based on the M59 Armored Personal Carrier. The M106 was first accepted into U.S. Army service in 1964 and was produced by FMC Corporation in San Jose California with 1,316 examples being delivered. The M106 continued to serve with U.S. Army units well into the 1990's when it started to be replaced with the current M1064, 120mm Mortar Carrier. (The M1064 is also a product of the M113 FOV.) The M106 has now been completely withdrawn from US Army service.

ID Sheet: M106/M106A1
The M106 is fully amphibious (with preparation) and is air transportable in C-130 (and larger) sized aircraft. The aluminum armor does provide basic ballistic protection for the occupants of the vehicle from small arms fire (up to 12.7mm) and shell fragments.

Actual Vehicle Data:

Preliminary TM XM106

      Combat Weight: 26,000 pounds.
      Sling Load: 21,000 pounds.
      Air-Drop: 19,000 pounds.
      Length: 194 inches.
      Width: 112-3/4 inches.
      Height (over MG): 98-1/4 inches.
      Ground Clearance: 16.1 inches.
      Tread: 85 inches.
      Ground Pressure: 8.2psi.
      Crew: 5 plus 1 driver.

Product Improvement Programs

 
Armament:
      M30, 107mm Mortar with 88 stowed rounds.
      M2HB, .50cal Machine Gun with 600 stowed rounds.
 
Night Vision:
      M19 Infrared Periscope (Driver's Compartment only).
 

TM 9-2300-257-10

Armor: (Rolled 5083/5086 H32 Aluminum, welded assembly).
      Upper Front: 1-1/2 inches thick (45 from vertical).
      Lower Front: 1-1/2 inches thick (30 from vertical).
      Upper Sides: 1-3/4 inches thick (0 from vertical).
      Lower Sides: 1-1/4 inches thick (0 from vertical).
      Rear: 1-1/2 inches thick (9 from vertical).
      Ramp: 1-1/2 inches thick (8 from vertical).
      Top: 1-1/2 inches thick (90 from vertical).
      Floor: 1-1/8 inches thick (90 from vertical).
 

Exterior 1

Automotive:
      Engine: General Motors 6V53, 6 Cylinder, 2 Cycle VEE Diesel.
      Horsepower, Gross: 212 @ 2,800rpm.
      Torque, Gross: 492ft-lbs @ 1,300rpm.
      Transmission: Allison TX-100, two stage converter, 6 gears forward, 1 gear reverse.
      Steering: DS200 controlled differential with steering levers.
      Brakes: Hydraulic Differential Band.
      Track: Center guide, single pin, steel with detachable rubber pad, T130E1.
            Width: 15 inches.
            Shoes Per Track: 63 left side, 64 right side.
      Ground Contact Length: 105 inches.
 

Exterior 2

Performance:
      Maximum Road Speed (level): 40mph.
      Maximum Water Speed: 3.6mph.
      Maximum Trench: 66 inches.
      Maximum Grade: 60%.
      Maximum Side Slope: 30%.
      Maximum Vertical Obstacle: 24 inches.
      Minimum Turning Diameter: 26 feet.
      Range: 295 miles.
Interior Crew position - Mounted Crew position - Mounted, Firing Crew position - Dismounted

Sources:
Mr. Mathias Fritzsch - Germany
Mr. Jerrill F. Janik - United States
Mr. Michael H. Pruett - United States
Mr. Paul Truhe - United States
The AFV Database
Squadron/Signal Publications "M113 In Action" by Stephen Tunbridge, Don Greer and Rob Stern.
Various other Internet sources

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Unless otherwise specified, all models built, painted, photographed and are owned by the author.
Mortars in Miniature, Created and Maintained by
Kevin Robert Keefe, Copyright 2014
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 All Rights Reserved.