Saturday, 28 February 2015

Weird Vietnam

On the Fields of Fire Online forum we are having a Weird Vietnam group build. I ran out of time due to having very little painting time available but want to finish what I started to build.

Display models are allowed so having no idea what to build I looked at a Revell M-35 truck. This is a weird size at 1/40th scale so of no use for anything else. I bought it second hand a few years ago thinking it might be worth something. When I finally broke open the plastic bag and found a 1989 production date on the chassis I found it was only worth the $12 I paid for it!

Well now I had the truck but what to do with it? I dug out some figures from a toy car set which matched the figures in the box size-wise I decided to paint them as a USO unit. I may use the plastic US figures but they are Pre-Vietnam era with M1's and no Helmet covers etc.

I have been watching a few custom and 4x4 videos on youtube lately so thought I'd modify the truck a bit. The body was shortened by reducing the cargo area and then I moved the spare wheel and petrol tank to behind the cab. This enabled the shortening of the chassis. I next chopped the screen height and hood and then cut out a hole in the bonnet to enable a large engine to be fitted. I had intended to fit 1/35th scale wheels but these turned out to be the same size as the kits wheels so stuck with them.
I found some exhaust pipes from the same toy car that the engine came with, so fitted them even though I thought them a bit strange and likely to be damaged in that position.

Hopefully I can start to paint the truck soon but had a problem with the undercoat leaving the rubber wheel compound sticky. Which was lucky as I tried it on the sprue first.

Collecting Vietnam five.

A few weeks ago I bought a complete set of 56 webbing.

On closer investigation I found that the water bottles are quite modern. One is dated 2000 and the other has a recycling symbol on it. I guess these were used by an Air-softer or re-enactor. The butt pack seems to be a 1961 version but can find no date on it to confirm this. The small compass or first aid pouches are of two different types. One I will use for my 1980's kit while the earlier one looks ok for Vietnam. I think it should have a plastic snap fastener rather than the metal one. The shoulder straps are the same pattern as my other one but is in much better condition. The belt is correct but is a large size.

Assembling everything and replacing the water bottles and belt with my earlier purchases I tried the kit on for size. My girlfriend insisted on photos for Facebook. I grabbed a 1972 edition Playboy and let her take a few snaps.

I'd like to get a bayonet next but feel that I am so slim that fitting more than that on the belt will be impossible. The entrenching tool may come off as its heavy and may be better displayed separately.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Essex title cuffs and hat badge.

I bought these for my brother as he was an Army Cadet back when we lived in Essex.
The cuff titles are WW1 but I am not sure if the hat badge is from the same era.

Games room interior paint.

Things are moving slowly since I have been back at work as I can only work weekends and an occasional evening. The ceiling has been painted and I have started to put some top coat on the walls.
I am happy with the shade of white on the ceiling but can still see some areas to touch up. I had some reservations about the shade of green while painting around the edges, but really loved the colour once I started with the roller.

I have heard some complaints about the mess outside through my partner. So it looks like I will have to put the painting on hold while I get a skip in and clear the section. I'd much rather finish the painting and get the electrician in to finish off and then tidy up. Looks like we will have to get a skip in twice which bleeps me off no end. Or I could just shift it out of sight which means moving it twice.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Collecting Vietnam, some corrections.

Today I dropped into Comrades Army Surplus Store in Petone Wellington. This was my first visit and I was pleasantly surprised at how much gear they had. I had a chat with the same person who had been giving me some advice about Vietnam era equipment. Since it was quiet he showed me some of his personal collection which he had stored away. I was blown away with the quality of his items as they looked in mint condition. Unfortunately they were not for sale but he has my phone number just in case.

I showed him some similar items to the ones I have bought and got confirmation that they are later than advertised. The Nylon belt is a NZ Army item, the Nylon pouches are NZ issued Steyr pouches and the water bottle cover is also NZ issued and all are from the eighties.

I also did some digging around online and found that my cooker is a British designed Hexamine tablet burner. Probably from the eighties but could be even newer.

I am waiting for a set of US M-56 pouches, water bottles etc so hopefully I can have a set of ; US supplied M-56 webbing, Aussie supplied M-56 webbing and a NZ 1980's supplied set of webbing. Not what I wanted to get but it does show the development of the US webbing sets. I wonder if I should try and get an Alice set as well?

While in the shop I bought four clips for my Steyr pouches and a US style torch which was made in China! I've seen these for sale online so may get a real one for display. I have a vague memory of handling a real one which had a much more solid feel to it than the plastic imitation I bought.

I think that my uniform is more likely to be Woodland pattern judging from the date of production and the size of the patches.

I have decided that I will give the collecting a rest for awhile as I am still thinking of the best way to display them once my room is finished. (I did buy some Essex cuff titles for my brother though)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

The Scorpion thing (King) and other nasties.

These were just a distraction as they were sitting on my desk, and it seemed easier to paint them rather than find somewhere to store them.

I don't think that I have ever had as much displeasure trying to get the scorpion thing looking decent as any other model I've ever done before. Certainly the language was a bit rife. Its looking good now that I've blended the greenstuff with the Black Tree body and GW head and arms. The paint and varnish covered the rest of the issues with the sculpting. The crocodile, scorpions and snakes also came from Black Tree Designs and are mounted on GW Orc sheilds.

Collecting Vietnam 4.

 These items are not genuine but fit the theme that I am going for.

I mentioned earlier that I had been given a Thai Army Uniform with a 90's manufacturing date. It has machined Sergeants stripes and crossed rifles on the collars which cannot be removed. The pattern seems consistent with some sixties items I have viewed on the Net but has epaulets and waist tabs. It might just past muster as a Vietnam item for paintball but I'd much rather have a genuine one.

I have also a scarf bought in Cambodia photographed with a cap bought in Thailand, which looks good but I have no idea if its even a Military type.

I also bought this book recently. I had the choice of a genuine item from the sixties or this reprint. Now the older one looked a bit grotty in the photo so I choose the reprint. Unfortunately this version has been updated with new weapons like the M4 and other new postwar information. An interesting read as I sat down and read all 32 pages as soon as I got it, but not genuine for Vietnam era.

I have been debating with myself if I should use an Easy Rider poster which I bought for my bedroom wall in about 1974? The movie was released in 1969, but would the troops have ever seen it? I have also been collecting images of Raquel Welch which I intend to print out and put on a board with my badges. A few trips around second hand shops did not uncover much other than a Ford Mutt pencil sharpener made in Hong Kong. Its a good size for 28mm but I intend converting it to an armoured version as its not very well made.

Collecting Vietnam items 3.

Well this could really be part 3, 4 and 5 as I seem to be perpetually waiting for items to arrive in the post. It has certainly turned into a new obsession for me which means that I have stopped stocking up on figures for the moment.

 First up a badge from the 1st Cavalry which I bought on Ebay for about seven bucks including postage from the States.

I then bought a bulk lot of webbing on Trademe for $80. This is a mixed lot consisting of two Nylon Kiwi ammo pouches from the 80's (I think). Two Aussie manufactured M-56 Ammo pouches. An M-56 shoulder strap. The belt is an M-56 pattern but I don't know when it was manufactured. Some of the buckles are a bit rusted which I will try some rust converter on at some stage.

I received two parcels on the same day which consisted of a Davis waist belt and a 1964 dated water bottle and cup with an undated cover. The cover has a really rusted water purification tablet bottle fitted into the pouch which I had always wondered what it was for. With the water bottle was also a cooking plate and tablet (NZ made but British pattern?). It also had two spare belt clips.

So everything assembled would look something like this.

I have some other webbing items that I have my eye on but really need a helmet cover and some fatigues, plus a couple of water bottle covers.

Warlord Games Inkobamakosi

I have just managed to finish this regiment which seemed to take months. I've lost quite a few evening painting sessions as I have been painting my games room straight after work, and don't always feel like painting figures when thats done.

I felt that these would look good as the Inkobamakosi regiment but about halfway through, I remembered that I had a Black Tree regiment which I was going to use as this unit. I will wait and see what happens later when I start painting the lead figures as to wether I should rename them. I used a plastic Induna made from the set. I must find time to go back and glue some tufts onto all the bases.