The towel is a nice touch, but also the wrong color. Virtually every one used was O.D. green. M16 is a forward assist version. They didn't show up till Tet in 68, Also you didn't go a hundred feet past the wire without a combat load out. (21 mags and at least two belts) Still a nice piece of work.
Thanks for your feedback, Gary. It is much appreciated and you can't beat getting info from those who were there. Thanks for your service. Prior to embarking on about 95% of my projects I talk to Veterans of the unit I am portraying who were involved in the events depicted in the project. Because of the wide range and differences of one's experiences in Vietnam depending on time frame, area of the country, and unit, I feel it is important so I can try to get as many of the smaller details correct in order to honor their service. Most of my work has depicted 9th Infantry Division units since that is the unit my father served in while in Vietnam and I have the most access to many Veterans from various 9th Infantry Division units who have helped me with details such as Bill Rambow helping me with the details for my "Breakfast in the Boonies" diorama which depicted the crew of C14 of C Company, 2d Battalion, 47th Infantry (Mechanized), 9th Infantry Division as they were in July 1967 of which he was a member. This figure represents a Soldier from 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division and is equipped in a manner that was described to me for the 1967 time period.
Since I strive to be as accurate as I can be, for future projects I need to know what you meant by the towel being the wrong color.
The towel is a shade of OD Green, so how is that the wrong color? I have several towels from that period and no two are the exact same color OD Green. There are variances in color dyes from manufacturer to manufacturer so perhaps the towels Soldiers in your unit were issued may have been a slightly different shade that those issued at a different time and place to a different unit.
To prevent confusion for those who are reading this thread who may not know much about Vietnam or the development of the M16 and it's improvements over time, M16s with the forward assist did exist in-country prior to Tet. Not all units had them at that time depending on when the unit first arrived in Vietnam and their fielding priority. My dad arrived in Vietnam on 19 December 1966 as one of the advance party elements of the 9th Infantry Division and he had an M16 with a forward assist as did everyone else in the Division that was issued an M16. They had the three-prong flash hider like the one in the vignette. Since the 9th Infantry Division was formed and trained especially for service in Vietnam (Infantry Soldiers received their basic training and advanced individual training there at Fort Riley with the units they would serve in when they went to Vietnam), they were issued the latest Infantry weapons at that point in time which included the M16 with forward assist and three prong flash hider, M16s with the M148 grenade launcher attached in addition to M79s, M60s, etc. You must be thinking of the M16A1 with the birdcage flash hider and other improvements that wasn't issued until the 1968 Tet time period. Even though that version came out at that time, depending on the fielding priority of a unit, a unit may still be equipped with earlier versions until there were enough of the new ones issued to that unit.
You made a good point about the ammo load out for Infantrymen.
This Soldier is carrying at least 21 magazines for his M16 between the 8 in the ammo pouches and what he can fit in the claymore bag on his left side (as a Recon Marine in the late 1980's to mid 1990's I carried spare 30 round magazines in a claymore bag on missions in addition to what I carried on my LBE and I was able to carry 12 magazines in the bag. You can fit even more 20 round magazines in one.) The only thing he might be lacking would be belts of ammo for the M60, but those could have already been passed over to the M60 gunner (the person I talked to prior to this project told me that he rarely carried extra belts for the M60 since he was a point man most of the time. The figure is equipped like he described how he was equipped on a longer operation). Being that the places where the frags were attached to his ammo pouches are empty and the straps that secure the grenades are hanging down, he probably threw a few grenades already, so it is plausible that he would no longer have the belts if he was even carrying any. Different units have different SOPs and load outs depending on what their resupply situation might be and the size of the element. I know that short duration patrols of some elements of the 9th Infantry Division wore minimal gear especially when operating in the Delta region. Some 1st Cavalry Division units would patrol during the day without rucksacks because their unit would have them air delivered with the evening resupply. Due to these variances, it is important to know what unit one is depicting and to learn more about how that unit operated during the time period being depicted.
Thanks for bringing up those points so further clarification could be made as to why I equipped this figure as I did. Usually when I post my work on Armorama I include a background concerning what is going on in the diorama and why, info about the unit being depicted, notes about equipment, and stuff like that. I am the type of modeler who mainly models things that actually happened and include the actual Soldiers or Marines who were part of those actions when I can. I have done extensive research on units, Veteran experiences, various actions, uniforms and equipment, and weaponry as a historian and museum guy. When planning and making exhibits, one has to do quite a bit of research to make sure what is being displayed is as accurate as possible. Normally, I also run things by people who were involved in the event I am depicting prior to posting a completed work. I did do my normal inquiries and research at the beginning of the project before things were made. Things have been pretty busy for me lately and I had been trying to hurry to get this completed for an upcoming show, so this time I did not email in progress photos of the project like I normally do for feedback which is why the brightness of the color of the uncovered canteens wasn't addressed until this thread posted. My eyes aren't quite they used to be and I sometimes need those extra sets of eyes for things like that. I guess I better go on over to the other thread and update that part.