June blog…

I’ve been meaning to write for the last couple of months, but I’ve been out of town – company business.  So maybe I can get caught up this time.

I thought that once retired time slows down…still waiting! LoL

Still making models – that latest is a 1/48th scale B-26 Marauder of the 441st Bomb Squadron, 320th Bomb Group, 9th Air Force at Dijon, France in April 1944.  Maybe someone remember the 441st BS, 320th BW?  No I’m not taking about the WWII unit but the B-52 unit – Mather – some thought it was the dream base (for me it was Ellsworth! another story).  For others it was the start of our Nav Training.  Anyway, if the model looks a little weathered – it is.  When I was putting on the final finish, it frosted the model.  Heather thought it looked cool, but not for me.  So I finished it off looking a bit more for wear & tear.

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I’ve decide to take a break from aircraft and work on some military armor dioramas.  First up is a USMC M48 Patton tank set in the Battle for Hue during the 1968 Tet Offensive.   This will be built in three phases; the tank, the men, and the place.  I have an idea of how I want the scene to look like, but trying to find an image that support your idea is proving tough!

Phase 1 – The Tank – it will be a USMC but what will it look like?  True that is a lot of material out there, but I’m trying to find a picture that represents how my M48 would look like – unit wise.  For example; I was looking at adding a Confederate battle flag to the radio antenna – so far only US Army M48s had that flag, adding the Playboy bunny on the turret – yepper some USMC’s had it but which one and what was the tanks unit number, or what about the searchlight cover – some had the skull & crossbones (only US Army so far) or Ace of Spades (found one that had the Spade but a ‘2’) or the Maltese Cross, etc.  Was that unit in Hue during the battle?  I have several books but not many images, so I had to order more books.

Phase 2 – the Men – I have model figures from DML (Dragoon) that represents the USMC, Viet Cong & the NVA during that time period.  However, I’ll have to modify some of the figures to make the different poises I envision; i.e., making a USMC sniper team hiding in a building, re-modeling the tanks commander to be firing the .50 cal MG, or re-poising the enemy into firing positions.

Phase 3 – The Place – it will be a street fighting scene with the tank moving down it, men hiding behind walls, palm trees, damaged houses & building, debris, etc.

So…the tank is in various stages of assembly, acquiring more reference books and the material to build the diorama; more figure models, add-ons for the tank, and material for the scene.  Stay tune for more updates…

Next month I’ll have some notes on Heather’s acting career & Clayton’s (son #1) singing/musical career…

Andy

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