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Armor/AFV: Vietnam
All things Vietnam
Hosted by Darren Baker
Vietnam M54 w/Paracel "Tourists" figure set
sherb
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 04:09 AM UTC
Here is another M54 project I've got going on.




My other M54 Project, The Lifer Guntruck
sherb
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 04:11 AM UTC
Don't get too excited, I may be able to get some paint on the truck before the end of the summer but it's doubtful all these figures will get painted anytime soon.



sherb
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 04:21 AM UTC


Two of the figures weren't included in Paracel's set.
1) the guy sitting on the rail is from the Hobby Fan Duster Crew set.
2) the guy with the headband sitting with the smoke in his hand is from Evolution.
The standing figure and flak vest were included with the set, they were just molded in a different color resin.

You'll also see one of the two equipment "blobs" that were included, the other is in the bed. It also came with two ammo crates and a backpack. Weapons are also included.

I had incorrectly assumed the sandbags on the front windshield (shown on the boxart) were also included. I may email them to confirm they are not part of the set.

They were expensive but well worth it.
Most of them could also be used off the vehicle, on the side of a jungle trail or dismounted from an M113.
sherb
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 04:25 AM UTC


I'm not a huge fan of the driver with the bandana so his head might get swapped out.

I was considering switching him out altogether and replacing him with the Hobby Fan Driver from their M54 figure set but he seems a little undersized compared to the others.
rfbaer
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 06:06 AM UTC
Incredible animation in all the figures. I can almost hear the conversations going on.... or maybe the complete lack of conversation.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 08:41 AM UTC
This one is going to be very nice as well. I agree on the driver. I don't like him w/the cravat. I would at least change his head out.
trickymissfit
Member Since: October 03, 2007
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 09:29 AM UTC
looks like a bunch of newbies!

* don't forget to sandbag the floor in the cab. And leave the windshield up. That was on orders right from Westmoreland's office.
The guy riding shotgun is to be armed and dangerous, and that also came from Westy's office. We usually carried the M60 at shotgun. Yet I also remember just carrying a rifle.

* Most five tons out on the road were without the canvas top. Have seen a couple, but wouldn't have been caught in one. Safety issue.

* you really don't need the sagged wheels hauling a thousand pounds of cargo. To be exact, an overloaded five ton will have very little sag in the tires unless they are going flat (always the inside duals)

* most trucks hauling cargo on paved roads didn't use the winch (although many had the option). Once you used the winch, the cable (wire rope) never seemed to go back on the drum right. We would wrap the left over fifteen or twenty feet around the bumper.

* Most five tons I was around didn't have the bench seats in the rear. What happened to them; I haven't the faintest idea. The tarps were usually removed, and used ontop bunkers to keep out the rain. The bows disappeared at the same time. To be exact, I never saw a bow during my fifteen months.

* it was common to see drivers and the shotgun rider with tankers goggles. Once you hit the upper half of highway one, it was dirt and gravel. More than one rock went thru the windshields. Paved roads, you might not see that. (we didn't know what blacktop was!) Also, throw the spare tire in the back of the bed, and chain it down! They'd steal anything loose. We always carried a couple jerry cans of water in the back as well when traveling outside the wire.

* Per Westy again, flak jackets and helmets were required out on highway one and all the other main roads. You would get an Article 15 if you got caught. I know this as a fact, cause I got the Article 15 for that! (nothing really happened other than a good butt whooping from Top) We always took two extra flak jackets to set on (you can guess why)

have fun
gary
sherb
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 10:57 AM UTC
I appreciate the insights Gary. Now that you mention it, there is no M60 gunner with the set, now I know where he is going to be sitting.

I wanted to add the bows for some visual interest but it didn't make sense to add them as you alluded to. Were the cargo beds ever covered with sandbags?

What about the .50 cals rings being mounted? The kit comes with the posts for one but it would require the ring from the AFV Club M35. I did a half @ $$ search for period photos but only found them mounted on an M543 wrecker (which is another project of mine).
sherb
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 11:01 AM UTC
Thanks for stopping in Gino and Russel. The more I look at the driver, the more his head has to go. One of my favorite figures is the guy on the drivers side, second from the back. He's holding his helmet (not attached yet) as if he's going to puke in it. Actually, all the figures on that side are great.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 - 06:17 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I appreciate the insights Gary. Now that you mention it, there is no M60 gunner with the set, now I know where he is going to be sitting.

I wanted to add the bows for some visual interest but it didn't make sense to add them as you alluded to. Were the cargo beds ever covered with sandbags?

What about the .50 cals rings being mounted? The kit comes with the posts for one but it would require the ring from the AFV Club M35. I did a half @ $$ search for period photos but only found them mounted on an M543 wrecker (which is another project of mine).



Don't get mad or anything like that, and I'm not being hyper critical.

The fellows in the truck look like newbies being taken to their new unit. A five ton is usually reserved for hauling heavy loads, and trust me was known as a bad ride when empty. They didn't begin to ride half way decent till you have eight thousand pounds in the back end. Five tons were used by arty, armor (to a certain extent), and heavy haulers of supplies. Most infantry units used 2 1/2 ton trucks as a primary hauler. The machine gun rings as was spoken of were usually reserved for the duce & a half used in a CAV or infantry unit. Tamiya sells one as after market. Still never saw one on any five ton.
Back in the day (67/68/69), the first thing you did with a new five ton was to remove the engine governor. Then the truck would literally out run most anything you'd encounter. Think 110mph! The five ton had power steering and brakes will the M35 didn't. If you had a five ton there was no way your gonna drive an M35! The M35 was an even worse ride than an M54. You took the M35 for a ride on the rough high one, and you came back with aching arms and wrists.
We never put sand bags in the bed. Really wasn't needed, and made unloading or loading a real pain. The real asset was speed, as mines were usually set for delay. So you wanted it to go off under the bed (preferably near the rear wheels). A mine going off at the front wheels was often fatal. The extra flak jackets was to give us a warm feeling. Tobe exact, as soon as we got past the last MP patrols (they never went much more than five miles past the main bases), it was wide open throttle with our feet up on top the dash. Usually rolling about 65 or 75mph. (quite a ride)
Reason for the spare tire in the back was that it was a pain to get at the regular place it was stored should you have to change a front tire (we'd drive on a flat in back). never happened to us, but it could have. We were always being sniped at in certain areas, and once again speed was your friend. A break down might leave you out there alone for hours as the REMFS didn't like to leave their warm and dry surroundings. Still the only time we made those runs was when out unit was split, and I was good on the road.
When we went out west, we didn't venture out past the wire a lot in a truck. Yet I went on several convoys out there. If I didn't like what I saw, I got out and walked. Never ever took a Jeep or 3/4 ton on those trips, as I was smarter than that. They were just good enough to get you a fast trip home. Even Top got out when I smelled a rat.
gary
HeavyArty
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Posted: Saturday, August 15, 2020 - 12:08 AM UTC
As usual Gary, just because you didn't see it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

W/canvas top over the cab on and a gun ring.


5 Ton 6x6 M54 on a return trip from Vandergrift Combat Base to Dong Ha, Vietnam, 1969.



W/gun ring, canvas top, and full of troops.



Quoted Text

Machine gun ring...Tamiya sells one as after market.


That is a WWII MG ring. The M54 used the later M66 ring mount, which was also used on the M35 series truck. You can get the rest of it from the AFV Club M35 kits. If you have the Nancy guntruck kit, it is included, but not used.


Quoted Text

The five ton had power steering and brakes will the M35 didn't.



The M35 had the same air over hydraulic brake system as the M54 had.


Quoted Text

Reason for the spare tire in the back was that it was a pain to get at the regular place it was stored...



There was no storage mount for the spare tire on an M54. It always went in the bed, usually against the front wall and usually loose.


Later models had a simple mounting kit added to the same place on the front wall of the bed.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Saturday, August 15, 2020 - 02:15 PM UTC
just how many miles do you have behind the wheel in a five ton or an M35? Specially on a rough road. I got a few miles under me, and I know the difference. Maybe both had power brakes, but one was noticeably different! The machine gun ring is foreign to me, but also saw a few, and were always on an M35. Arty units and REMFS had no use for one. While the CAV and I guess armor as well kept their truck back in the rear 80% of the time. They didn't even bring fuel trucks out very often (think I saw two).
Those trucks are Marine units from about 65 to early 67 from my eyes. The dead give away is the bumper codes. Line outfits also had a winch most of the time.
I don't gotta look a pictures as I did it!
gary
HeavyArty
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Posted: Saturday, August 15, 2020 - 11:43 PM UTC
I have 24 years active duty and plenty of time in M35s and later M900 series and FMTV trucks. I am not saying you haven't been there; done that. Just that what you saw isn't the only way it was done.
mariointer
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Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 05:54 AM UTC
Hi Sherb, thank a lot for your images, becouse i am thinking to nuy these figures but haven same doubt for the price and for the dimension of these figures......and you resolve my doubt, at least about their dimensions...i have too the kit of Hobby Fan truck drivers, becouse me too dont like the driver of PARACEL KIT, but if it is little i ll use, eventually an Hornet head on the original driver.
I like so much this kit to use as figures at rest in a jungle contest may be!!!

Congratulations.

Mario from Italy.
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olds98
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Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2020 - 12:19 AM UTC
Been busy with mine.... looking forward how yours is coming along

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