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In-Box Review
135
M733 Personnel Carrier
M733 Amphibious Personnel Carrier (Vietnam War)
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by: Brian O'Donoghue [ BRIAN638 ]

Introduction

The M733 was developed from the M116 Husky, also available from Hobby Fan The M733 Assault Vehicle, Full Tracked, Amphibious (to give its full official designation) was produced by Pacific Car and Foundry for the Marine Corps in 1966. The M733 was an up-armoured version of the M116 with an open top, typically armed with a .50 cal. and M60 machine guns, it was used as an amphibious gun-truck escort for M116 cargo carriers, especially useful in the wet terrain and rice paddies of Vietnam.

Review

Hobby Fan do have a tendency to release the rare and unusual vehicles, the M733 appears not have seen widespread service in Vietnam. This model arrives in a typical red, grey and black box with a photograph of the completed model on the top. Once opened the modeller will find that the contents are wrapped in bubble wrap and carefully packaged to prevent any damage during transit. All of the resin components are moulded in a typical cream resin. The moulding plugs are small and will be easy to clean up.

Inside the box the modeller will find:
  • 5x Bags of resin parts
  • 1x Resin hull tub
  • 3x styrene sprues for the MGs
  • 1x Decal sheet
  • 1x Instruction Sheet

The instructions comprise of sheet of A3 paper printed on both sides. There is an illustration of all the parts and the modeller will be required to identify each part as non of the resin components feature part numbers.

Assembly will be quite rapid although care will be required owing to the fragile nature of the suspension arms and to ensure that they remain level. Assembly then continues with the basic and finely detailed interior before adding the wheels and tracks,. The tracks are link and length although part of the top run of tracks could be omitted as it is not visible under the side skirts.

The side armour panels are added along with the front trim vane. The trim vane appears to be missing a support arm of some description but can be depicted erected or stowed. Note although not marked as such there are separate covers for the headlights and the winch take when choosing your option. The rear panel has a rear hatch and although not specifically indicated could be shown open.

The 'final' stage has two definite options for the weapons. The USMC version has a .50cal. in a ring mount with a support rail for the gunner and a rail to prevent the gunner from hitting the front of the vehicle. The M60 fits in a front mounted pintle. The ROMC version omits these rails and ring mount and has a simpler pintle mount for .50 cal. and has the M60's mounted on the cargo sides. The instructions are a little vague about when and where some of the parts are attached and in what order so consult the images an plan accordingly.

Markings and finishing

There are no painting instructions except for the MGs, the colour illustration shows the USMC to be in a typical USMC green and the ROCMC vehicle finished in a greener shade.
  • USMC United States Marine Corps - 2 Options
  • ROCMC Republic of China Marine Corps (Taiwan) - 4 Options
  • US Army - 2 options - one is possibly a trials vehicle - but is not mentioned


Conclusion

This is not designed for the inexperienced modeller, the instructions are a little vague and lot of the components are going to be a trial fit. The tracks may prove to be the most difficult part of the assembly, it may be advisable to bond the track edges together and bond them to the wheels.

Hobby Fan have produced a very finely detailed model Overall this is an exceptionally finely moulded model, the detail really has to seen to be believed. This model comes highly recommended to all those modellers who have an interest in things Marine Corps, Vietnam and amphibious vehicles.
SUMMARY
Highs: Exceptionally fine moulding
Lows: Resin link and length track may out off some modellers, instructions a little vague
Verdict: The only available model of this AFV, exceptional detail and a relatively straightforward build. Highly recommended for all Vietnam/USMC fans.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: HF075
  PUBLISHED: Jul 05, 2015
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 80.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.86%

Our Thanks to AFV Club!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Brian O'Donoghue (brian638)
FROM: ENGLAND - WEST MIDLANDS, UNITED KINGDOM

I began modelling way back when Matchbox appeared on the scene with their new range. It began an interest in a hobby that has spanned 40 years.... and has seen the greatest resurgence in recent years. The only breaks in the hobby have been for the usual reasons that most modellers experience; caree...

Copyright 2017 text by Brian O'Donoghue [ BRIAN638 ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Great review, thank you Brian! Cheers, Christophe
JUL 05, 2015 - 10:51 AM
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