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Dioramas: Vietnam
For Vietnam diorama subjects or techniques.
Hosted by Darren Baker
"Battle Weary Grunt." 1968 Tet Offensive
ReconTL3-1
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Texas, United States
Joined: June 07, 2006
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Posted: Friday, May 19, 2017 - 01:48 PM GMT+7
I completed this vignette in February 2017. It depicts an Infantryman from 2d Battalion, 47th Infantry (Mechanized), 9th Infantry Division after fighting in the Bien Hoa / Long Binh area of Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive. The figure is a conversion of the "Mohawk" figure by Bravo 6. I changed out the head with one from Hornet and a helmet from Hobby Fan. I sculpted in the jungle fatigue shirt underneath the flak jacket and a claymore bag containing magazines for his M16. Mechanized Infantrymen tended to fight lighter than their regular Infantry counterparts since they could carry all of their spare gear in their vehicles which were usually close by so they could replenish their ammo and drink water when needed. To highlight the figure and give the atmosphere of being in a Mechanized Infantry unit, I decided to use a "wedgie" of a M113 to give that impression. I cut up part of an Academy M113 that I had already used part of for one of my dioramas a couple of years ago. I added accessories and the tracks are Fruilmodel tracks. Everything is painted with acrylics. The helmet cover is faded to show that this Soldier has been in Vietnam for a while. "SHORT" written across the front of the helmet cover is also an indicator.







































Cheers,
James
jrutman
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Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 01:57 AM GMT+7
Yeah dude ! Another one you hit out of the ball park.
J
ivanhoe6
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Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 02:13 AM GMT+7
EXCELLENT ! That soldier really looks dog tired. I really like the torn/worn out helmet cover, attention to detail!
Good work and thanks for sharing !
Tom
Klaus-Adler
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MODELGEEK
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Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 03:12 AM GMT+7
Fantastic job painting that vignette
obg153
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Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 04:55 AM GMT+7
Awesome! You've really gotten that in-country look down to a science. Thanks for sharing!
Trisaw
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Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 05:38 AM GMT+7
Great! At first, I thought that was a Black Dog M113 base. You did a fantastic job of chopping the Academy M113 and painting the scene.

What brand of vegetation did you use?
ReconTL3-1
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Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 08:01 AM GMT+7
Thanks, everyone, for the positive feedback.

Peter,
The vegetation consists of jute twine for the shorter grass, Scenic Factory Field Grass for the tall grass, and one of their other products (can't remember the name) for the weeds.

Cheers,
James
Trisaw
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Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 09:47 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Thanks, everyone, for the positive feedback.

Peter,
The vegetation consists of jute twine for the shorter grass, Scenic Factory Field Grass for the tall grass, and one of their other products (can't remember the name) for the weeds.

Cheers,
James



Thanks for the info, James.
trickymissfit
Joined: October 03, 2007
KitMaker: 1,084 posts
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Posted: Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 02:37 PM GMT+7
scares me to death!! You did him right, and all I can say is "Welcome Home Brother."

He does look a touch naked! Hang a couple belts on him, and the normal 21 mag load out. I like the way the kid looks, as there's no fat boys in the bush. 140lb. of muscle, with the standard ten thousand yard stare.

Lastly; hang an orange juice can on the side of that sixty!
gary
ReconTL3-1
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Posted: Sunday, May 21, 2017 - 04:45 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

scares me to death!! You did him right, and all I can say is "Welcome Home Brother."

He does look a touch naked! Hang a couple belts on him, and the normal 21 mag load out. I like the way the kid looks, as there's no fat boys in the bush. 140lb. of muscle, with the standard ten thousand yard stare.

Lastly; hang an orange juice can on the side of that sixty!
gary



Glad you like him Gary. I tried to get the haggard look and stare right as I have looked like that a few times during my career. He does look lightly equipped, but in this case, he is equipped correctly. As a former Recon Marine who was loaded down pretty heavily due to not being resupplied during missions and as a retired Army Light Infantryman who carried a lot of gear, it took me a while to get used to depicting Mechanized Infantrymen from 2/47th Inf (Mech) since they were equipped much lighter when dismounted since they were usually pretty close to their tracks. This scene takes place after the fighting around the Bien Hoa / Long Binh area where 2/47th Inf (Mech) was sent in to engage the attacking VC in those areas. I spoke to many Tet veterans from this battalion over the years and this is based on their descriptions. In film footage of the Scout Platoon and a platoon from B Company fighting at Widow's Village, you can see the dismounted Infantrymen carrying mostly claymore bags and bandoleers with very few of them wearing any web gear. As the battles raged on for the next two days, they had to replenish their ammo from their track by switching out empty claymore bags and bandoleers for full ones. Since this scene is after the fighting is over, this Soldier (who is the same guy sitting next to the bunker in my "Leave that snake alone and let's go!" diorama), all he has left are some magazines in the claymore bag over his shoulder. The canteens on the top of the track are there to show that the Soldiers were returning to the track to get a drink and take a break. I am glad you mentioned attaching a can to the feed tray of the M60. This was a common practice to help prevent the belts of ammo from kinking up prior to loading which could cause a jam. Only about half of 2/47th Inf (Mech) M60s had cans attached to them at this time, so I opted to go with one that did not (mainly because I had used all of my c-ration cans in the "Breakfast in the Boonies" diorama.

Cheers,
James
strongarden
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Posted: Sunday, May 21, 2017 - 05:58 AM GMT+7
Beautiful work. Nicely done w/ the facial expression.
Dave
trickymissfit
Joined: October 03, 2007
KitMaker: 1,084 posts
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Posted: Sunday, May 21, 2017 - 11:36 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

scares me to death!! You did him right, and all I can say is "Welcome Home Brother."

He does look a touch naked! Hang a couple belts on him, and the normal 21 mag load out. I like the way the kid looks, as there's no fat boys in the bush. 140lb. of muscle, with the standard ten thousand yard stare.

Lastly; hang an orange juice can on the side of that sixty!
gary



Glad you like him Gary. I tried to get the haggard look and stare right as I have looked like that a few times during my career. He does look lightly equipped, but in this case, he is equipped correctly. As a former Recon Marine who was loaded down pretty heavily due to not being resupplied during missions and as a retired Army Light Infantryman who carried a lot of gear, it took me a while to get used to depicting Mechanized Infantrymen from 2/47th Inf (Mech) since they were equipped much lighter when dismounted since they were usually pretty close to their tracks. This scene takes place after the fighting around the Bien Hoa / Long Binh area where 2/47th Inf (Mech) was sent in to engage the attacking VC in those areas. I spoke to many Tet veterans from this battalion over the years and this is based on their descriptions. In film footage of the Scout Platoon and a platoon from B Company fighting at Widow's Village, you can see the dismounted Infantrymen carrying mostly claymore bags and bandoleers with very few of them wearing any web gear. As the battles raged on for the next two days, they had to replenish their ammo from their track by switching out empty claymore bags and bandoleers for full ones. Since this scene is after the fighting is over, this Soldier (who is the same guy sitting next to the bunker in my "Leave that snake alone and let's go!" diorama), all he has left are some magazines in the claymore bag over his shoulder. The canteens on the top of the track are there to show that the Soldiers were returning to the track to get a drink and take a break. I am glad you mentioned attaching a can to the feed tray of the M60. This was a common practice to help prevent the belts of ammo from kinking up prior to loading which could cause a jam. Only about half of 2/47th Inf (Mech) M60s had cans attached to them at this time, so I opted to go with one that did not (mainly because I had used all of my c-ration cans in the "Breakfast in the Boonies" diorama.

Cheers,
James



reason I said to hang a juice can on that sixty was because all of them in that era had a feed issue. I was around B Troop 1st of the 1st CAV a little bit, and just as soon as the track stopped they got off. Big target! Infantry guys road on top till it didn't look good. Then the smart ones got off and walked. Ammo came in boxes that were placed inside a bandolier. It would hold seven boxes. The pockets were a perfect fit for a 20 round magazine. Hince you slung three bandoliers around your neck. Remf's got the issue magazine pouches, but guys in the bush used the bandoliers. Most everyone used standard 300 round belts of 7.62, but a lot of guys in the 101st actually carried ammo cans slung on their backs. Seems like it would be noisy, but guess it worked for them. New guys hung grenades on their harness, old guys used pouches. When I carried grenades, I used a gas mask bag with a bunch of them inside. Not sure I was ever issued a gas mask in the combat zone, but I bet the REMF's had one. Too much weight anyway. The whole idea here is it's better to be caught with, than without it.

Most people have little idea about what goes thru your mind in the boonies. First couple trips, your a na´ve little kid. Then something happens near you, and the umbilical cord is forever broken. From then on it's a survival thing. I'm getting out there at all costs. You learn to read thoughts two steps ahead, and nothing gets between you and survival. You become a member of a clan with one job. To keep your right hand man's head attached. They replace your family and that old girl friend that sent the dear john. You'll anybody and anything for one of those guys. Yet some are never allowed in the clan. Race and thoughts have nothing to do with it. It's what happens when things light up.

That's why your figure scares me to death.
gary
Mark
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Posted: Monday, May 22, 2017 - 12:44 AM GMT+7
Great Job James! In the recognizable 'O'Leary-style': like,like,like!

best regards,
Mark

ps. love your comments Gary: very helpful!
ReconTL3-1
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Posted: Monday, May 22, 2017 - 03:40 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

scares me to death!! You did him right, and all I can say is "Welcome Home Brother."

He does look a touch naked! Hang a couple belts on him, and the normal 21 mag load out. I like the way the kid looks, as there's no fat boys in the bush. 140lb. of muscle, with the standard ten thousand yard stare.

Lastly; hang an orange juice can on the side of that sixty!
gary



Glad you like him Gary. I tried to get the haggard look and stare right as I have looked like that a few times during my career. He does look lightly equipped, but in this case, he is equipped correctly. As a former Recon Marine who was loaded down pretty heavily due to not being resupplied during missions and as a retired Army Light Infantryman who carried a lot of gear, it took me a while to get used to depicting Mechanized Infantrymen from 2/47th Inf (Mech) since they were equipped much lighter when dismounted since they were usually pretty close to their tracks. This scene takes place after the fighting around the Bien Hoa / Long Binh area where 2/47th Inf (Mech) was sent in to engage the attacking VC in those areas. I spoke to many Tet veterans from this battalion over the years and this is based on their descriptions. In film footage of the Scout Platoon and a platoon from B Company fighting at Widow's Village, you can see the dismounted Infantrymen carrying mostly claymore bags and bandoleers with very few of them wearing any web gear. As the battles raged on for the next two days, they had to replenish their ammo from their track by switching out empty claymore bags and bandoleers for full ones. Since this scene is after the fighting is over, this Soldier (who is the same guy sitting next to the bunker in my "Leave that snake alone and let's go!" diorama), all he has left are some magazines in the claymore bag over his shoulder. The canteens on the top of the track are there to show that the Soldiers were returning to the track to get a drink and take a break. I am glad you mentioned attaching a can to the feed tray of the M60. This was a common practice to help prevent the belts of ammo from kinking up prior to loading which could cause a jam. Only about half of 2/47th Inf (Mech) M60s had cans attached to them at this time, so I opted to go with one that did not (mainly because I had used all of my c-ration cans in the "Breakfast in the Boonies" diorama.

Cheers,
James



reason I said to hang a juice can on that sixty was because all of them in that era had a feed issue. I was around B Troop 1st of the 1st CAV a little bit, and just as soon as the track stopped they got off. Big target! Infantry guys road on top till it didn't look good. Then the smart ones got off and walked. Ammo came in boxes that were placed inside a bandolier. It would hold seven boxes. The pockets were a perfect fit for a 20 round magazine. Hince you slung three bandoliers around your neck. Remf's got the issue magazine pouches, but guys in the bush used the bandoliers. Most everyone used standard 300 round belts of 7.62, but a lot of guys in the 101st actually carried ammo cans slung on their backs. Seems like it would be noisy, but guess it worked for them. New guys hung grenades on their harness, old guys used pouches. When I carried grenades, I used a gas mask bag with a bunch of them inside. Not sure I was ever issued a gas mask in the combat zone, but I bet the REMF's had one. Too much weight anyway. The whole idea here is it's better to be caught with, than without it.

Most people have little idea about what goes thru your mind in the boonies. First couple trips, your a na´ve little kid. Then something happens near you, and the umbilical cord is forever broken. From then on it's a survival thing. I'm getting out there at all costs. You learn to read thoughts two steps ahead, and nothing gets between you and survival. You become a member of a clan with one job. To keep your right hand man's head attached. They replace your family and that old girl friend that sent the dear john. You'll anybody and anything for one of those guys. Yet some are never allowed in the clan. Race and thoughts have nothing to do with it. It's what happens when things light up.

That's why your figure scares me to death.
gary



Thanks for sharing your insight, Gary. The deep bonds and brotherhood one develops in combat are the strongest there are. Most people to do not realize that those bonds are stronger than those between actual family members.

Instead of thinking about the bad things when you see this figure, try to remember the good times you experienced with the person this figure you reminds you of. I know it is easier said than done. I've lost several good friends over the course of the 15 deployments I went on during my 28 year career, so I think I can understand how you feel. Anytime you need to talk, you can PM me, Brother.

Cheers,
James
ReconTL3-1
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Posted: Monday, May 22, 2017 - 03:43 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Great Job James! In the recognizable 'O'Leary-style': like,like,like!

best regards,
Mark

ps. love your comments Gary: very helpful!



Thanks, Mark. Glad you like it. I need to order some stuff from you in the near future for both myself and my dad. He's getting back into modeling and wants to do a scene with a bar out in Saigon or the nearby village. I like how you have the other "Welcome to Bearcat" sign on one of your new sheets of signs.

Cheers,
James
trickymissfit
Joined: October 03, 2007
KitMaker: 1,084 posts
Armorama: 1,053 posts
Posted: Monday, May 22, 2017 - 04:12 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

scares me to death!! You did him right, and all I can say is "Welcome Home Brother."

He does look a touch naked! Hang a couple belts on him, and the normal 21 mag load out. I like the way the kid looks, as there's no fat boys in the bush. 140lb. of muscle, with the standard ten thousand yard stare.

Lastly; hang an orange juice can on the side of that sixty!
gary



Glad you like him Gary. I tried to get the haggard look and stare right as I have looked like that a few times during my career. He does look lightly equipped, but in this case, he is equipped correctly. As a former Recon Marine who was loaded down pretty heavily due to not being resupplied during missions and as a retired Army Light Infantryman who carried a lot of gear, it took me a while to get used to depicting Mechanized Infantrymen from 2/47th Inf (Mech) since they were equipped much lighter when dismounted since they were usually pretty close to their tracks. This scene takes place after the fighting around the Bien Hoa / Long Binh area where 2/47th Inf (Mech) was sent in to engage the attacking VC in those areas. I spoke to many Tet veterans from this battalion over the years and this is based on their descriptions. In film footage of the Scout Platoon and a platoon from B Company fighting at Widow's Village, you can see the dismounted Infantrymen carrying mostly claymore bags and bandoleers with very few of them wearing any web gear. As the battles raged on for the next two days, they had to replenish their ammo from their track by switching out empty claymore bags and bandoleers for full ones. Since this scene is after the fighting is over, this Soldier (who is the same guy sitting next to the bunker in my "Leave that snake alone and let's go!" diorama), all he has left are some magazines in the claymore bag over his shoulder. The canteens on the top of the track are there to show that the Soldiers were returning to the track to get a drink and take a break. I am glad you mentioned attaching a can to the feed tray of the M60. This was a common practice to help prevent the belts of ammo from kinking up prior to loading which could cause a jam. Only about half of 2/47th Inf (Mech) M60s had cans attached to them at this time, so I opted to go with one that did not (mainly because I had used all of my c-ration cans in the "Breakfast in the Boonies" diorama.

Cheers,
James



reason I said to hang a juice can on that sixty was because all of them in that era had a feed issue. I was around B Troop 1st of the 1st CAV a little bit, and just as soon as the track stopped they got off. Big target! Infantry guys road on top till it didn't look good. Then the smart ones got off and walked. Ammo came in boxes that were placed inside a bandolier. It would hold seven boxes. The pockets were a perfect fit for a 20 round magazine. Hince you slung three bandoliers around your neck. Remf's got the issue magazine pouches, but guys in the bush used the bandoliers. Most everyone used standard 300 round belts of 7.62, but a lot of guys in the 101st actually carried ammo cans slung on their backs. Seems like it would be noisy, but guess it worked for them. New guys hung grenades on their harness, old guys used pouches. When I carried grenades, I used a gas mask bag with a bunch of them inside. Not sure I was ever issued a gas mask in the combat zone, but I bet the REMF's had one. Too much weight anyway. The whole idea here is it's better to be caught with, than without it.

Most people have little idea about what goes thru your mind in the boonies. First couple trips, your a na´ve little kid. Then something happens near you, and the umbilical cord is forever broken. From then on it's a survival thing. I'm getting out there at all costs. You learn to read thoughts two steps ahead, and nothing gets between you and survival. You become a member of a clan with one job. To keep your right hand man's head attached. They replace your family and that old girl friend that sent the dear john. You'll anybody and anything for one of those guys. Yet some are never allowed in the clan. Race and thoughts have nothing to do with it. It's what happens when things light up.

That's why your figure scares me to death.
gary



Thanks for sharing your insight, Gary. The deep bonds and brotherhood one develops in combat are the strongest there are. Most people to do not realize that those bonds are stronger than those between actual family members.

Instead of thinking about the bad things when you see this figure, try to remember the good times you experienced with the person this figure you reminds you of. I know it is easier said than done. I've lost several good friends over the course of the 15 deployments I went on during my 28 year career, so I think I can understand how you feel. Anytime you need to talk, you can PM me, Brother.

Cheers,
James



actually I've never told you about the bad stuff, and probably never will. I'll tell you about getting drunk, and some crazy stunts we pulled off. Some things are not spoken about much.

One thing I will tell you with a snicker was that I threw some good parties during down time. My parties were famous, and Top just rolled his eyeballs! I left on the 26th or 27th of Feb. in 69 at seven in the morning. Hoped on a slick and was outta there. I was the last man out till June. Anyway, later in the day the slick was shot down later in the day. Of course I knew nothing about it. Everyone just assumed it was me, and they threw a party that was talked about for years afterwards. I wasn't even invited! So many many years later I goto a reunion for my Company in a certain time frame. I hit the hotel, and I walking up the stairwell to my room. Three guys are coming down as I'm on the way up. The guy in the middle stops and almost turns pale. He reaches out an touches me to see if I'm real. I thought Randy had finally gone nuts. He said they even had a prayer service for me, and I laughed.

gary
PolishBrigade12
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Posted: Monday, June 05, 2017 - 12:55 PM GMT+7
Dang James, this Grunt looks peeved! I finally got a chance to give er a look, Outstanding, as per your standard signature, Bro. Good to see you are crankin em out. I'm working 1:1 builds right now, then the usual summer work.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, HA!


Cheers, Ski.
ReconTL3-1
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Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 - 11:43 AM GMT+7
Thanks, Ski!

I have gotten three projects completed since I retired which is more than I had done the year and a half prior. However, I am about to have to take a break and do some things around the land again, so I can feel your "pain".

Cheers, Bro!
James
Klaus-Adler
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MODELGEEK
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Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 - 12:15 PM GMT+7
I can't add any thing more that hasn't already been said, fabulous work indeed. What makes of paint do you use?
ReconTL3-1
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Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 - 12:51 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

I can't add any thing more that hasn't already been said, fabulous work indeed. What makes of paint do you use?



I use acrylics made by Reaper, Andrea, and Vallejo. Uniforms are usually a mix of Reaper and Andrea. Equipment colors are from Reaper and Vallejo.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 - 01:18 PM GMT+7
Its uncanny, he looks just like a Major I knew when I was in the 9th Division in the 80s--the guy I knew was also a 9th Division vet. Did you get the face from a photo somewhere? I swear its his spitting image!
VR, Russ
ReconTL3-1
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Posted: Wednesday, June 07, 2017 - 11:16 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Its uncanny, he looks just like a Major I knew when I was in the 9th Division in the 80s--the guy I knew was also a 9th Division vet. Did you get the face from a photo somewhere? I swear its his spitting image!
VR, Russ



You know something, Russ, I've been told by several people that the guy looks like someone they know. It must be a really good coincidence that this figure looks like so many people. I just used a Hornet Head that looked like he was worn out and looked similar to one of the guys in C Company 2d Battalion 47th Infantry (Mech). I used the same head for a figure of the same guy a month and a half earlier prior to Tet in a previous diorama.

Cheers,
James