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In-Box Review
135
VietCong Fighters
VietCong Fighters (4-5) Local Forces
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by: Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]


Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

introduction

BRAVO-6 released three VietCong Fighters single figure kits - Local Forces 1-2-3 in 2009 and now the company added another kit to this series.
The new kit B6-35016 VietCong Fighters (4-5) Local Forces includes two figures; one standing and other kneeling with typical weapons of the period.
about the figures

The People's Liberation Armed Forces - PLAF, more popularly known as the Viet Cong - VC, was the military arm of the National Liberation Front (NLF). During the Vietnam War; the term Viet Cong was the short use Vietnamese Communist. American soldiers called them as VC or Victor Charlie referring the latters in NATO phonetic alphabet. Established at the end of 1960, the VC was created by the North Vietnamese communists to escalate the armed struggle in South Vietnam. In the early 60's they grew rapidly and by 1964, totaled over 30,000 soldiers.
The Viet Cong were organized into three levels: regular forces operating under the command of the southern communist leadership, full time guerrillas organized into companies serving under provincial leadership and finally, a part time self-defense militia, composed of units organized into squads and platoons used primarily for village defense.
Primarily, the VC were guerrillas, and it has been said that no one has ever developed an adequate defense against guerrilla warfare. The VC would periodically launch hit-and-run attacks on government installations, military outposts and even district towns in the South. Its most celebrated victory was at the village of Ap Bac in early 1963, when VC soldiers inflicted heavy casualties on the Southern Vietnamese units. The VC also played a primary role in the Tet offensive in early 1968, where they attacked villages, towns and cities in the South. Eventually, the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) superseded the VC's combat role and by the end of the war in 1975, the Viet Cong's participations were only minor. After the war, the remaining VC were integrated into the PAVN.
box

The kit comes in standard light brown cardboard box of BRAVO-6. Body parts of the figures are inserted in small plastic zip-lock bags to avoid unexpected damages during transfer or storage. Smaller parts like arms, personal gear and rifles are secured in a different plastic bag. The front part of the box shows a photo of the assembled and painted figures which can be helpful during painting. On the backside, a photo of Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh and a drawing how to make the buttstock of Submachine gun from wire are shown .
parts

The figures are sculpted by Vladimir Demchenko and comes in medium grey resin parts. The resin quality is very good and details are crisp. There were no air bubbles, excess resin or any casting mistakes on the review samples. The junctions between figure parts and casting blocks were well placed and the parts can be easily removed from the blocks without any damage. Seamlines on both sides of the arms need a short cleanwork.

FIGURE #1
Posed standing and aiming to fire his submachine gun, the figure is made up of 3 parts; body and two seperate arms. Head and legs are cast on the body part. Asian facial details like snub nosed ,stuffed lips,slanting eyes, high cheek bones and straight hair are well defined. As for the uniform; he wears pajama type cotton shirt and trousers with no pockets. VietCong wore no uniforms, dressed in the same type of clothing as the local peasants or farmers, and blended into the landscape when their mission was complete. The color of the clothing may differ usually in black,sometimes grey, khaki, OD green,brown or tan. Over his shirt, he has captured U.S. webgear consisting of M1956 Utility belt and M1956 Suspenders. He also carries a Chicom chest rig with straps tied on his back. Folds of clothing and details of the webgears are well represented. He wears Ho Chi Minh sandals; an improvised footwear worn by VC made out of cut up truck tyres for soles and cut up inner tubes for straps. Straps of sandal and details of toes are well defined.
  • Arms : Left and right arms come as seperate parts and a short cleanup for the seamlines will be needed. Both are posed to aim his machine gun and show nice cloth folds. Extra care and dryfit a few times will be needed when assemblying the arms to shoulders because hands come on the machine gun and arms should be posed right for the correct fit of the hands.
  • Weapon : Figure carries a 7.62 caliber K-50M submachine gun. It is Vietnamese conversion of a Chinese-made Type 50 submachine gun (a license-built version of the Soviet Shpagin PPSh-41). During the sixties, China supplied many small arms to North Vietnam, including Type 50 submachine guns, many of which were later converted into more compact and maneuverable K-50M versions by local Vietnamese workshops.Conversion included shortening of the barrel jacket, installation of the new front sight, removal of the wooden stock and installation of the pistol grip and telescoped buttstock made of steel wire. All internal components remained the same as in Type 50 / PPSh-41.
    K-50M submachine gun is a blowback-operated weapon that fires from open bolt, in single shots and full automatic. Fire mode selector is located in front of the trigger, safety is built into the bolt handle. Receiver of the weapon is stamped from steel. Gun uses PPSh-41-type 35-round curved box magazines, use of 71-round PPSh-41 drums is possible only if the telescoping butt is retracted. Open sights feature flip-up L-shaped rear blade,set up for 100 and 200 meters range.
  • Personal gear : Attached to his U.S. webgear, he carries a M1956 one quart canteen and a VC knife in leather scabbard on the backside. A MK2 Fragmentation Hand Grenade is also supplied in the kit to attach on the left harness ofthe webgear.

    FIGURE #2
    Posed standing and loading his rifle, the figure is made up of 5 parts – body with head and legs, 2 arms, rifle and water bottle. Asian facial details and hair are well represented. He wears pajama style cotton shirt with a chest pocket on the left and trousers with upfolded trotters. He has no shoes and feet details are well defined. He carries a a typical Viet Cong personal hammock roll crossed on his chest and tied on the left shoulder, a canvas or cloth waist rig for rifle ammo and a rolled small blanket on the left side. Cloth folds and personal gear are well defined.
  • Arms : Right and left arms are given as seperate parts and show nice cloth folds.
  • Weapon : He carries a short, carbine-style rifle with a two-piece stock and slab-sided receiver, MAS-36. Left hand is cast on the rifle.
  • Canteen : A Chicom style water bottle is given to assembly on the left back and shows nice details.

  • Stencil : As described on the box, this part is given to make the buttstock of K-50M. 0.3 mm wire will be needed to make it.
    references

    Osprey Publishing - Warrior 116 - Viet Cong Fighter by Gordon L.Rottman & Howard Gerrard
    Osprey Publishing - Elite 38 - The NVA and Viet Cong by Kenneth Conboy & Simon McCouaig
    Osprey Publishing - Elite 38 - Armies of the Vietnam War - 2 by Lee E.Russell & Mike Chappell
    conclusion

    Another nice kit for the Local Forces of Vietnam War. Nice poses, sculpted in good details and cast in high quality. This kit will add more realism to Vietnam dioramas and vignettes.It can be combined to the other VietCong figures of the company.

    Highly Recommended
  • SUMMARY
    Highs: Nice poses, nice sculpt and good cast in crisp details with no mistakes.
    Lows: No serious lows for me on that one but IMHO some modelers would prefer a ready cast SMG buttstock instead of making it from wire.
    Verdict: Very good addition to VietCong series.
    Percentage Rating
    95%
      Scale: 1:35
      Mfg. ID: B6-35016
      Related Link: 
      PUBLISHED: Nov 27, 2012
      NATIONALITY: Vietnam
    NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
      THIS REVIEWER: 92.20%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 95.07%

    Our Thanks to BRAVO-6!
    This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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    About Engin Kayral (Graywolf)
    FROM: IZMIR, TURKEY / TüRKçE

    Born in 1962,married and having 2 sons. I started modelling about 8 years old building USS Fletcher with mom. It was a model dad brought from USA., I think in those days only a few people in Turkey had info on scale model kits. Grown as an AF officer son , I built many aircraft models in years. Som...

    Copyright ©2019 text by Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]. All rights reserved.



    Comments

    I like the addition of the jig for the buttstock... using wire sounds better than getting a super-fragile resin piece which would probably break during clean-up. Good thinking Vladi! Thanks for the review Abi, Mario.
    NOV 27, 2012 - 01:45 AM
       

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