Certainly not considered junk by modelers and collectors, this third of a trio of Monogramís late 1960ís series of Vietnam War 1/48 boat models, is a unique addition to oneís collection. Monogramís other two 1/48 offerings, the RAG (River Assault Group) boat and the Swift Boat, have been reissued over the years but, not to my knowledge, the Coastal Junk Off Shore Surveillance Boat. Be prepared to pay a choice price if you find one.
"They supplemented the regular patrol craft of the RVN Navy. In order to stop the Communists from using the East Sea to sneak troops and weapons by boats to the coastline of South Vietnam, the RVNís Navy organized a Luc Luong Hai Thuyen (Coastal Junk Force) with 200 boats. These motor propelled and sail junk boats, manned by Regional Irregular Forces personnel and local fishermen recruited for the occasion, kept watch along the 1,200 mile coastline. The name Coastal Junk Force was later changed to Regular Forces and came to be known as Duyen doan (Coastal Groups).Ē *
A simple but appealing kit can be built from thirty-five ochre styrene parts, decals, and a vacuformed pair of sails. The configuration can be masts up or down, and with or without a tarp over the deck. A pair of fair Browning .30 caliber machine guns grace the bow and stern, and a well-sculpted very muscular figure is included to man the tiller.
This forty year-old model is devoid of flash, but seam lines need to be sanded or carved away, and several parts have sink holes, notably the machine guns. There are a few obvious mold marks too, like in the back of the helmsman. Detail is fair and parts are molded well. The wood grain of the hull and deck is relief, after the fashion of the daysí technology. Oddly, the cabin has wood grain detail on the roof but not on the sides. Shutters for the cabin doors are modeled open, and the hatches to the engine and bilge are featureless raised rectangles.A small block and tackle is provided, quite simplified.
The hull is one-piece, great for playing with in water and displaying on the simple stand, but inconvenient for waterline dioramas. This model is good sized, about 12Ē / 30cm. Plenty of opportunity to for addingv extra details! Decades ago I built this model and thoroughly enjoyed the whole process, and the model boat lasted longer than my RAG and Swift boats. I assume junks like this were and are ubiquitous on waterways throughout Asia, and appropriate for any era after internal combustion engines.
I look forward to building another one. Welcome back, old friend!
*Used with permission of Rivervet Site.
Highs: Unique subject in a popular and expanding scale. Various sail configurations. Full hull for display.Lows: Old-style molding: mold marks, sink holes, mold marks. Limited detail. Full hull complicates diorama potential.Verdict: Modelers of the Vietnam War and Asian maritime subjects can build an interesting model that will stand out in your collection. If you can find one at a reasonable price, buy it!
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...