by: Darren Baker [ ]
FC Model Trend is a Spanish company producing a healthy mix of products across a wide range of materials. I have seen products produced in the usual card and resin through to the present cutting edge of 3D printed parts, and I have to mention the books they have released and which I enjoy flicking through on a fairly regular basis. In this review I am taking a look at M113 ACAV weapons set in 1/35th scale.
This product FC Model Trend is part of their 3D printed catalogue. The M113 ACAV weapons set has I suspect been prompted by the AFV Club M113 release, but it needs to be pointed out that it is equally as good for the venerable Tamiya/Academy/Italeri products in 1/35th scale. The product is packed in a plastic bag that is placed inside a rigid plastic container with a flip top lid. If this is ordered direct from FC Model Trend then I presume that it will arrive in a cardboard box as mine did. Inside with this is a folded sheet of paper that provides details on the model.
The product arrives on a single frame with minimal connection between the frame and the parts. Two of the pieces had broken free of the frame but from what I can see this has not damaged them or the other parts on the frame. I have painted most of the parts in order that I can clearly discern the detail present as due to the resin being an opaque white it is hard to discern. I will point out that no instructions are included with this product but I do not feel that they are needed.
Let’s look at the contents provided and assess the detail provided. The 50 cal for the central defence point has some very nice detail present in the form of the cocking handle and the hand grips; even the barrel has a hollow in the muzzle, but the handle for changing the barrels is missing and so would require a thin wire to be correctly bent and added. This element is finished with the ammunition box and holding frame that look good; some decals for the ammunition box will need to be located from elsewhere.
The other two weapons are a pair of M60 7.62 machine guns; yep the one ‘Rambo’ is famous for. Detail wise these are very nice having the classic blocky look that made it so appealing to me as a child. The triangular front sight and rear peg sight are present as is the bipod arms. A particularly nice touch is the carrying handle that really looks the part. The muzzle does not have a hollow present that I can see, but that is easily corrected by the modeller that wishes to tackle the issue. The only thing I would have liked to see included that is not present are the ammunition belts for the weapons.
The shields for the weapons have been moulded as single pieces with excellent detail replicated on the inner faces either for the weapon mounts or the ammunition boxes. The shields for the M60 machine guns have exceptionally well detailed handles on them that could be easily broken so take care when handling these parts. The 50 cal has the frontal shield and the two side defensive shields which again have been very well done; I feel the biggest plus to these parts the thinness of the parts which feel and look good to the eye.
All told this is a lovely 3D printed replacement of parts for the M113 ACAV regardless of whose model or models you have got indoors. I am surprised that the prominent handle that hangs below the barrel of the 50 cal for barrel changes has been omitted but that is not the end of the world. The finesse of the other details present make up for omission that can be corrected by the modeller.