Blog posts and video from Steven as he “COMBS” through the minutia to discover tech, retro-computing, physical computing, gadgets and sci-fi.
Commodore Plus/4 Series
24 April 2021
COBI M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) Build
by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.
tags: LEGO - COBI - building blocks - models - military - tanks
In a previous blog post, I share my build of the COBI M60 Patton Main Battle Tank and compare my first experience with COBI to my lifetime experience with LEGO. There’s a lot of history in that post and companion video. I’d recommend you go take a read and watch and then return to this post.
I mention a few times during the M60 video my purchase of the COBI M113 Armored Personnel Carrier. I wasn’t sure if I would share my build of the M113, but a few readers and watchers did make a request, so here ya go! Keep those requests coming.
YouTube Video: COBI M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) | All Build • No Narrative
In the video below, I share my COBI M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) build.
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Below are additional thoughts about this build that expand on the content in the companion video:
Instructions were clear and there weren’t any “gotcha” steps. Be careful, because this set includes numerous small elements.
My set includes several additional parts; three center post hooks, one chain link, and two track pieces. The track pieces did not appear to be in error since they come in packs of 45 and match the bill of materials. The chain link is included because they are easy to lose and break. I store these in the fuel barrel. The three center post hooks were not included in the bill of materials. I assume these were an error since they are rugged and not easily lost.
Another error was the inclusion of a 1 x 2 plate with a single center stud instead of a normal 1 x 2 with two studs. Once again, I checked the bill of materials and found this was an error; however, there was good news. The male mating part accommodates either 1 x 2 element. Whew!
As with the M60, there are several elements in this set that I’ve never seen in LEGO models. I like that COBI creates “non LEGO” elements to build out their sets.
Sprue cutoff blemishes expectantly found in this set, like they were on the M60. I tried to turn elements around so they wouldn’t show on the exterior of the model; however, I missed many of them as I started this practice late in the build. Note to self. Start this sooner on the next model. Live and learn!
The headlights include “glow in the dark” elements. They do glow. I’ll give them that. But not for long.
An M113 is operated by 2 crew members and can hold about 11 soldiers. While I didn’t expect COBI to include 11 infantry soldiers, one more crew member would make a nice addition.
This model pairs nicely with the M60 Patton as I demonstrate in many of my images found in the photo gallery below and at the beginning of the video.
There’s one more model I need to round out my United States Army armor experiences, the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. Based on my experience with the M60 and M113, I have no hesitation buying this model. If you’d like to see that build, leave a comment below or under the YouTube companion video.
This was another fun build from COBI’s historical collection. As I mention in my previous COBI post, I’m a retired armor officer and have experience with the armored vehicles these models recreate. Like the M60 Patton, this model is as accurate as possible given the limitations of building bricks. Details on this model are excellent and include a wood beam, chains, fuel canister, sand bag, barrel, spare track, glowing headlights, pad printed graphics, .50 caliber M2 machine gun, and an included sapper (combat engineer) action figure with M16.
At a cost of ≈ $44, this model is a great value. Be prepared for small pieces that add to the level of detail not found in many building brick models. They can be a challenge; which I like, and be careful not to lose any of them. I took me about three hours to put the model together. I wasn’t in any hurry and took several breaks. All-in-all, I recommend this model for armor and building block fans.