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M531 Gama Goat

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The vehicle here is the ambulance version of the M531 Gama Goat by Tamiya built without the heater. Markings for 1st Battalion, 67th Air Defense Artillery, 9th Infantry Divison, May 1982, Yakima Firing Center, WA. Bumper number A-24 means it is the prime mover from A Battery, 2nd Platoon for an M167 towed Vulcan.

The camouflage scheme is the Mobility Equipment Research and Design Command (MERDC) Winter Verdant used by the U.S. Army from the mid-70s until it was replaced by NATO standard colors in the 1980s. I used Model Master Forest Green, Field Drab, Sand and Black. Canvas was painted with Xtracolor Faded Olive Drab.

The kit itself was a dream to assemble. Everything fitted together with such precision and I count myself lucky Tamiya released this offbeat subject.

Gama Goats were a maintenance nightmare and were replaced by HMMWVs. I was assigned to Charlie Battery in the fall of ‘79 to 1/67 ADA and saw plenty of Goats in action. One day I will build the AFV Club Chaparral of my old platoon.
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About the Author

About Robert Leonard (Gannet)


Nice job. I like the weathering. The grease stains at the wheel hubs are a nice, subtle touch: not overdone (and all the more effective.) I really like the photography, especially your camera angles and the lighting. By coincidence, I had *just* before this watched the latest Nicholas Moran (aka The Chieftain) YouTube video and it's about none other than the Gama Goat. Then I go to Armorama and what's up there? A very nice Gama Goat. Grtz, Marc
AUG 27, 2018 - 07:39 AM
Thanks Marc, you are very kind. It is only my third AFV model so I am still learning about how to weather.
AUG 27, 2018 - 10:59 AM
Looks great— just like the real thing!! And I was there at Yakima in 1982!! Not in the ADA, but I commanded a Smoke Generator Company, and before that I was in the 9th DIVARTY. Saw many a broken down Gamma Goat though. The ‘Goats were “on the way out” by that time. The only thing I’d say about the model is it could use a lot more dust if it’s supposed to be at Yakima. Still a very nice job. VR, Russ
AUG 27, 2018 - 12:16 PM
Yeah, you are right. More dust needed! Thanks for your favorable comments. It is a great kit.
AUG 28, 2018 - 02:54 AM
Nice job. Did you mask the smaller black and tan parts or use a brush? 1979 I had just returned CONUS from 2nd ID in Korea. I was at Camp Stanley and saw many of the DIVARTY Goats at the time. The noise those freaking things made was very memorable.... sort of a Waaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh! when accelerating.
AUG 30, 2018 - 10:22 AM
Thanks. The black was exclusively brush painted with Vallejo, the tan was a mixture of masked with brush touch up. When I first arrived at 1/67 ADA in 1979, Battery A and B were equipped with SP Vulcans, but then switched to Goats as part of the effort to make the Division “lighter” and more easy to airlift via MAC.
SEP 01, 2018 - 01:56 AM
You know, it might have been one of the ADA's Goats I saw airdropped at Fort Lewis in 1982. There was a mass drop of B Co. 2/75 Rangers, some ancillary equipment, FAVs, Goats and 105mm Howitzers going on during a field exercise in the Nisqually training area. Two C141s flew by and out came two Goats on pallets. the Goat used two "crushable" pallets as I recall, because it was an articulated vehicle. The first goat rolled off the ramp with no problem, parachutes opened and it floated gently to earth. But the second came off, bent in the middle, and proceeded to drop behind the aircraft. Only one of the three parachutes deployed and it quickly became a "streamer" as the Goat and pallets twisted, bent and flexed, until it dropped tail first into the ground and exploded into a shower of dust, dirt clods and shredded parts. I particularly remember a set of wheels flying high into the air in two directions out of the cloud of debris. we were supporting the air drop, and were the first on the scene, only to find a large crater in the soft ground and not much in the way of identifiable debris. An FAV with two Rangers in it drove by as the dust settled and the Rangers were laughing thier heads off. VR, Russ
SEP 01, 2018 - 03:13 AM
nice work. the weathering is perfect !
SEP 07, 2018 - 08:52 PM