M61A1 Vulcan 20mm Rotary Cannon

Published: December 11th, 2012     
Detail Parts
Detail Parts
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson - IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/72
Company: Master Model
Price: $6.99
Product / Stock #: AM-72-039
Product provided by: Master Model

The word Vulcan conjures different images for different people. If you are into Roman mythology, you think of the God of Fire. If you like the show Star Trek, Vulcan is that red planet Spock calls home. But if you are in the US military or build models of those vehicles, Vulcan is the 20mm Gatling gun that is so deadly on the battlefield.

First used in 1959, the M61 has adorned most of the US aircraft from the F-104 to today's F-22. Its 6,000 rounds per minute can chew up enemy targets, and it has also been used by the Navy in the Phalanx CIWS system and the Army as the M163 Anti Aircraft weapon.

So if you want to model an F-16 showing off the gun, or you have one of the many gunship kits to build, Master Model now has an aftermarket set for the ultimate detail. The kit comes with 7 turned brass barrels and a center axle for the forward part of the gun. It also includes 13 extremely tiny photo-etched brass parts that make up the round pieces that hold the barrels together and the cooling fins for the front of the weapon (2 spares included).

The instructions show to add the cooling fins to the front assembly first, then build the barrels and slide them in. I have no skill with PE and had to take my glasses off so I could focus on the small bits. The parts cut out easily but trying to line everything up was a bit of a pain. I finally managed to get the barrels together with the help of the hole of a clothespin but the front parts didn't want to cooperate. I did finally manage to get everything together and a little superglue seems to work for holding it there but spent almost an hour to get to this point.

For the detailer, this definitely gets you the best look for this gun and, if you have skill with PE and small bits, it can be worth the effort. The barrel tips are indented so you get the look without having to drill the brass out. But I will have to think hard about trying to make another so I can arm up an AC-130.

Many thanks to Master Model for the review set and IPMS-USA for the review opportunity.

  • Instructions
  • Brass barrels
    Brass barrels
  • PE
  • Assembled 1
    Assembled 1
  • Assembled 2
    Assembled 2
  • Stabilized by high-tech assembly tool
    Stabilized by high-tech assembly tool
  • Size comparison
    Size comparison

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