In-Box Review
M561 Gama Goat
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by: Mike Del Vecchio [ REDLEG12 ]


The M561 Gama Goat was first developed and introduced during the early 1960’s. The original concept was to develop a light 1 ˝ ton vehicle which could be air transported and also work well in jungle areas.

The M561 was built by LTV Lycoming and over 15,000 goats were built. The vehicle was considered amphibious and moved in the water via its 6 powered wheels and bilge pumps were standard. It was a unique vehicle with a number of variants including the ambulance version M792.

For those of us who served and used a Gama Goat it was a vehicle you would not forget. On the bad side the air-cooled engine overheated and high pitched noise of the engine required hearing protection while driving the vehicle. The double hull construction and complex articulated drive train made maintenance difficult at best. On the good side it went anywhere, did anything, and was a comfortable ride.

The M561 faded out of service with the advent of the HMMWV in the late 80s.


Resin Parts:
Upon opening the box you are presented with 2 large resin items, two bags of resin parts and a clear plastic box with resin parts. The two large parts are the front hull and cargo hull. One plastic bag contains the 6 tires and a spare tire. The second bag contains medium size parts to include an engine and parts for under the hood (which is behind the driver) and some larger drive train parts. The clear plastic box contains a number of small parts which make up the drive train and suspension, along with the dashboard, seats, cargo side rails, tailgate and engine compartment cover.

All of the parts appear to be molded well. There is a fair amount of flash on the smaller or thinner parts.

The main hull and cargo bed look good with no gels but the main hull had some voids including one large one in the front on my kit. The tires are crisp but have small air bubble voids in the area of the pour block. The tires and the larger pieces come with their pour blocks removed but will need some minor sanding in those areas

Added Parts and Accessories:
A photo etch sheet is included with the kit. Mainly this is the fenders for the main hull and some tie down straps and other small details. The photo etch sheet is heavier than say Eduard or Voyager and similar to the old Verlindin photo etch.

The kit also includes MV lenses headlights and the resin part they fit into is molded to fit the lenses.

The kit includes a 2 page instruction booklet sheet. There are 4 total steps shown to the assembly of the kit. The instructions are simple line drawings and will require a thorough familiarization with all the parts prior to beginning assembly. The instructions are in “picture” mode, but done as a negative or white lines on black paper. There is also a copy of the MERDOC paint pattern included as a third sheet to the instructions.

Lastly there are 3 additional pages of detailed photos of the 1 to 1 showing the suspension, drive train, engine compartment and other details. These will come in handy and make up where the line drawing directions fall short.


This kit appears to make a good addition to any 1/35 scale collection. It will require care, clean up and some putty work to build. You will have to make your own bows and canvas for the cargo area, and find a clear sheet for the windshield glass.

For background photos you can go to:


Highs: The kit is molded well and includes nice details like the engine. Kit includes a PE sheet, good tires, and MV headlights.
Lows: Some voids and flash. Will require a more experienced builder to build.
Verdict: It is a nice kit of this rare subject and will be welcomed by most US and modern armor modelers.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 1-001
  Suggested Retail: $84.95 USD
  Related Link: Product Webpage
  PUBLISHED: Apr 18, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Mike Del Vecchio (redleg12)

I modeled both plastic models and model rockets from my early years through college. I left the hobby to have multiple carrers, family and all those things. After almost 30 years I returned and found a passion with 1/35 scale artillery in 2004. Today I am a retired Major, US Army Artillery Office...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mike Del Vecchio [ REDLEG12 ]. All rights reserved.


I don't think they would have gotten to Nam, we were getting ours brand new at Fort Lewis in 1972 as Nam was winding down and units were returning to the states and either transfering their equipment to the ARVNs or shipping the stuff the ARVNs didn't want to Okinawa for cannibilization and rebuilding for issue stateside. I had an Okinawa rebuild M51 Dump that apparently had been a guntruck in Nam, there was a circular weld on the headboarsd above the cab the same diameter as the mount for a quad .50 cal maxson mount. It didn't go all the way through the headboard so it wasn't a repair. If that's what it was it must have had a great line of fire with the guns sitting about twelve feet above ground level. It would have easily been able to fire above any cargo trucks in a convoy.
APR 20, 2010 - 05:12 AM
According to Shelby Stanton's 'Vietnam order of Battle' the gama Goat was in Vietnam on pag 314 he had a photo of one in US Army markings. Don't know if this can be classed as proof positive though? Cheers David
APR 20, 2010 - 08:08 AM
Finally a Gamma Goat. I was stationed in Korea from 83 to 84 and it was my prime vehicle. I'll have to dig through my photo's to find pictures. Now I have to talk the better half in to letting me get another kit. My stash is quite large. Mybee they will come out with a reasonable priced M715 besides the Goer. Tom
APR 21, 2010 - 05:25 AM
Yeah, finally a Goat! In looking at the images on the review, it seems that a lot of hot water is needed to correct many of the warped parts. I guess it's still better than scratchbuilding tho. Ben waiting for an M561 for a long time, and now there's word of a GOER as well?? Sweet!
APR 21, 2010 - 12:54 PM
Jim - Acutually....there are not that many warpped parts. The major parts are in great shape. Some of the small thin stuff may be a bit out of kilter....but not bad. I have seen a lot worse in resin....A LOT worse....This kit in that respect is quite good. IMO....the only two drawbacks of what was supplied was the air bubbles on the tires, voids on the front major section and the directions which are poor. Otherwise it is a great kit Rounds Complete!!
APR 21, 2010 - 02:38 PM
OK then, I'll defer to the guy who actually has hands-on the kit! Seems to me that if you could get one decent tire/wheel assembly, you could pop five more out of the DIY resin box at home. Looks like a lot of pin holes.....
APR 21, 2010 - 05:06 PM
Yep....the tires have air bubble voids where the pour block should be. We are modelers.....a bit of putty will do the trick!! Rounds Complete!!
APR 21, 2010 - 11:46 PM
Nice review Mike. I agree--- IT IS NOT A KIT FOR A NEWCOMER TO RESIN KITS!
APR 22, 2010 - 12:43 AM
First, but not least, the Goat in the picture is mine. (In my garage) If you guys want more pictures of it just let me know. Second, It is not an early variant. The early engine covers, the square cut ones , were the first. They cracked at all the edges so they began stamping them out of one piece, hence, the curved edges. The bilge pump pumps 53 gpm, not really a little pencil stream unless plugged up. If you want more info on the Goat, go to LINK You'll find every thing you need and much more. The Goat never made it to Nam. Unfortunately they were not considered a battle worthy vehicle until Nam was nearly over. Many went to Europe( Germany,England, etc.) It's a wonderful vehicle and will put Hummers to shame off road.
JUN 01, 2010 - 01:20 AM

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