added a new Marine to Tet Offensive series with another unique weapon of the Vietnam War. The kit B6-35031 U.S.M.C.(5) Sharpshooter, Tet ‘68
depicts an aiming/firing posed Marine figure with a M-14 rifle and carrying a M72 LAW on his back.
about the figure
Sharpshooter, derived from the German word Scharfschütze
, is a person who is skilled in precision shooting using projectile weapons, such as with a rifle but most commonly with a sniper rifle, to shoot at small long-range targets. Sharpshooters are sometimes attached to an infantry squad where they take accurate long-range shots at valuable targets as needed, thus extending the reach of the squad. The main difference to a sniper is that a sharpshooter is usually considered an organic part of a team of soldiers, whereas snipers tend to work solitarily or with other snipers.
M14 rifle served adequately during its brief tour of duty in Vietnam. Though it was unwieldy in the thick brush due to its length and weight, the power of the 7.62 mm cartridge allowed it to penetrate cover quite well and reach out to extended range, developing more than 2,400 ft.lb. of muzzle energy. The weapon also proved to be very reliable and continued to function even under adverse conditions. The M14 remained the primary infantry weapon in Vietnam until it was replaced by the M16 in 1966–1968. The M16 was ordered as a replacement for the M14 by direction of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, over the objection of Army officers who had backed the M14. Though production of the M14 was officially discontinued, some disgruntled troops still managed to hang on to them.
The figure comes well packed in standard BRAVO-6 light brown 50x80x25 mm cardboard box . The front part of the box shows a photo of the assembled and painted figure which can serve as a painting guide. On the other side of the box; e-mail address and website of the company is noted.
The parts are represented with the casting blocks. The main part-body and other parts of the figure like arms and accessories are seperately inserted in small plastic zip-lock bags to avoid unexpected damages during transfer.
The figure is sculpted by Vladimir Demchenko
and comes in 7 medium grey resin parts. Sculpting and casting quality are very high. There were no casting mistakes, air bubbles or excess resin on the figure. The figure will not need a serious cleanwork. The parts can be easily removed from the casting blocks.
The main part is Body with head and legs. Facial details and hair are well defined. Hair on the top is carved for the easy fit of the helmet. He wears a tropical jungle uniform , cargo pocket trousers and combat boots. Over his uniform, he has the typical garment of Marines - M1955 Flak jacket . Cloth folds of the vest and trousers ,details of the vest like zip front closure, integral cartridge belt holder for attaching equipment and rifle guard over the right shoulder are well defined. Over the vest; he wears World War II origined Y-shaped M1941 USMC Suspenders. Some of the personal gear are cast on the figure. He carries a first aid kit pouch, a M17 gasmask case on the right hip and four canvas M14 ammo pouchs –two for both sides of the first aid kit. Details of the personal gear are well represented.
Other parts are;
Right arm is cast together with the M14 rifle and right hand. It shows nice cloth folds and details of the rifle are nice. Please be careful to remove the rifle from casting block as the barrel is a fragile part.
Left arm : It shows nice cloth folds. As the right hand is cast on the rifle, I advice you to make a dryfit of both arms for the aiming position before assembly.
M7 bayonet in M8A1 scabbard
M1956 one quart canteen
M72 LAW is given as a secondary weapon to attach on the figure’s back. Though LAW was designed as a discardable one-man rocket launcher primarily for use as an anti-tank weapon,in Vietnam however, it was used almost exclusively as a bunker buster or for attacking entrenched enemies. In action, the end covers were opened by removing safety pins and the inner tube was telescoped outwards. The LAW fired a 1-kg rocket to a maximum effective range of 300m. Once fired the tube was discarded.
M1 helmet with Mitchell pattern canvas cover. An insect repellent is attached to the right side and a cigarette pack (painted as a Lucky Strike in boxart) is attached to the left side of the helmet band. I think the most interesting part of this figure as a very nice detail is a puppet doll on the back of helmet which is probably handmade by Vietnamese and captured as a souvenir .
The following books and websites can be useful when painting this figure.
Osprey Publishing – Warrior 023 – Marine Corps in Vietnam by Charles D. Melson & Ramiro Bujeiro
Osprey Publishing – Campaign 004 – Tet Offensive 1968 Turning Point in by James R. Arnold
David Brubaker’s Vietnam Uniforms and Equipment website
Another unique figure sculpted in great details and cast in high quality. A soldier with M14, LAW and with interesting helmet details will be a great part of Vietnam scenes.
Very Highly Recommended