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Anything from the war in South East Asia 1945-75

Start: April 1, 2017


End: March 31, 2018

TOPIC: "Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette

"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 02 Oct 2017 22:22 #1

Since I already have the Army Ribbon for this build campaign, this one is for fun and I am placing it here since the subject is Vietnam which matches the theme of this campaign. I hope someone will find some inspiration from this and will attempt to build a vignette or diorama.

With the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Tet Offensive being in 2018, I decided to go ahead and start working on one of my projects commemorating this event that my dad and several of my Vietnam Veteran friends were involved in. In this event, I will be depicting an element of 2d Battalion 47th Infantry (Mechanized) 9th Infantry Division in contact with the enemy in Ho Nai Village on the afternoon of 31 January 1968. The Scout Platoon, after fighting all day long at Widow's Village, was ordered to assist Charlie Company which was in heavy contact on the western side of Ho Nai Village. Before they made there way to aid Charlie Company, they ran into an ambush which divided the platoon into three elements. They fought fiercely for the rest of the day until they were able to link back up, evacuate their casualties, and defeat the ambushing force. This vignette shows an instance where Soldiers from the lead element made their way to some Soldiers in the center element, the first on the scene started shooting as he took a knee upon reaching three Soldiers and the Soldier behind him getting wounded in the right chest. Behind a wall, a medic just finished dressing a head wound while a grenadier is reloading near them.

This is the basic concept for the vignette.

The figures are conversions of Bravo 6 figures. Because I think the detail on the M16s produced by Trumpeter is pretty good, I cut the original rifle out of the right hand from the arms that I took from a figure by First Legion. I cut out the ejection port cover and will be making a new cover that is open. I plan on showing a shell casing in the process of being ejected and a few on the ground when I actually am building the vignette. Those of you who are familiar with the various figures from Bravo 6 will notice that the medic figure and the guy who is going to be the M79 grenadier are Marines, but I will be resculpting the flak jackets to the Army type which was worn by Soldiers of this unit. In this picture, the wall is in the location where it will be in the vignette. The figure firing his M16 will be positioned a bit closer to the wall. Because I already mounted the figure on the top of a pill bottle for painting, I could not put him in the exact location I plan on putting him, but you can still get an idea of figure placement. I still have to do putty work on all of the figures to fill gaps, add equipment, etc.



In this picture you can see how I scraped away the ejection port cover so it will replicate the bolt going rearward as it is ejecting a spent shell casing.



In the next few pictures, you can see the scene from other angles. Since the M16 is not glued on yet (I won't glue it until it and the figure are already painted), it eventually moved a bit while I was moving things around while taking these pictures. For a couple of these, I placed the wall on the cap of the pill bottle so you can see how the figure will be positioned near the wall.











Here's the grouping of the medic, wounded Soldier, and grenadier.





And lastly, a better view of the Soldier getting shot.



I will also be building a larger Tet Diorama simultaneously. I am waiting for the buildings to arrive so I can start the planning process for that one.

Cheers,
James
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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 03 Oct 2017 07:57 #2

I look forward to seeing this take shape, always a pleasure to see your work....Tom
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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 03 Oct 2017 09:37 #3

Beautiful sense of action and attention to detail.

Are those Hornet heads?
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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 03 Oct 2017 13:56 #4

Right on! I'll be looking forward to seeing this come together. I'm especially excited about the larger one too.




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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 03 Oct 2017 19:33 #5

I too am looking forward for this one.
Great idea and setting.
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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 04 Oct 2017 01:46 #6

What happened to my reply from yesterday? Lost in the ether?

This looks great sofar James. I ALWAYS followyour Vietnam Era builds because they are so detailed and interesting. I loved the idea you had for the ejection port on the M-16. I'll be following this very closely. Thanks for sharing.

Cheers
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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 04 Oct 2017 09:35 #7

Another masterpiece in the works. Love seeing your builds. :popcorn
James
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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 04 Oct 2017 09:36 #8

Tankbuilder wrote:
What happened to my reply from yesterday? Lost in the ether?

This looks great sofar James. I ALWAYS followyour Vietnam Era builds because they are so detailed and interesting. I loved the idea you had for the ejection port on the M-16. I'll be following this very closely. Thanks for sharing.

Cheers

There is another post www.modelersalliance.com/forum/just-like...t-offensive-vignette and you have a post in it. Might be where the confusion is. Not sure why 2 threads the same.
James
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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 04 Oct 2017 10:08 #9

Hey Guys!

I am glad you are liking this vignette so far. I have already made a change to the figures being used. I am replacing the medic with a figure that will be closer to the guy firing the M16 who will be peering around the wall towards the enemy fire.

I did post this in two sections. I posted it here because the subject matter is related to this build campaign and I posted it in the "Just Like the Real Thing" section for those modelers who may not be particularly interested in the Vietnam build campaign but will check the dioramas in that section.

I'll post figures of the replacement figure once I have put some more parts on him.

Cheers,
James
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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 04 Oct 2017 11:43 #10

JamesOLeary wrote:
Hey Guys!

I am glad you are liking this vignette so far. I have already made a change to the figures being used. I am replacing the medic with a figure that will be closer to the guy firing the M16 who will be peering around the wall towards the enemy fire.

I did post this in two sections. I posted it here because the subject matter is related to this build campaign and I posted it in the "Just Like the Real Thing" section for those modelers who may not be particularly interested in the Vietnam build campaign but will check the dioramas in that section.

I'll post figures of the replacement figure once I have put some more parts on him.

Cheers,
James

Got it. I didn't really look at the sections, feeling the weather. Still watching though :)
James
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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 04 Oct 2017 13:29 #11

oh this looks kick as.... uhm Rear
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"Contact!" Tet Offensive Vignette 04 Oct 2017 17:59 #12

Thanks for all of the supportive comments, guys!

Here are some photos of the changes that I made. After reading personal accounts of this particular action and after speaking with a few of those involved, I decided to take the medic out of this scene as most of the initial dressing of wounds was done by those closest to those wounded and then they were evacuated back to their casualty collection point for evacuation to field hospitals. I replaced the medic with a figure who is peering around the wall to search for targets to engage. The figure is the loader from the Bravo 6 60mm Mortar Crew kit. I changed the head with a Hornet head. I will be scraping away the Marine flak jacket and will sculpt in Army flak jacket details.













I will be using helmets from Hobby Fan for these figures since the Bravo 6 helmets do not fit the Hornet heads very well as some of the heads are larger than the ones on the original figures.





I placed a piece of thin plastic onto the M16 to serve as the open ejection port cover. Unfortunately, the pictures are not very clear.





The going on some of these figures is a bit slow. Some of the figures have some pretty significant mold seams that have obliterated some of the details, so I am working through that. That is the problem with some of the more dynamic poses or kneeling poses is that the mold seams between the legs are worse than those on standing or walking figures for some reason. The Bravo 6 figures are still top notch.

Cheers,
James
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