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50 Shades of Green

This, o’course, is the trusty, old model of Tamiya’s 1/35 PBR. It’s basically a simple build, but the real fun, for me, started after the boat , itself, was assembled. At that point, it became the “canvas”, and allowed me to take it in any direction I chose.

I chose to try to make it look as if it had been just lifted out of the water, in the middle of action, and placed on it’s base. We all have seen some beautiful dioramas and other work, done with this kit. I chose this route.

As you can see, I’ve added a few things, including an extra crew member. Doing the figures was as much fun as the rest of it. The “used” look came from many pictures found on line. Scratches and scrapes were different on this boat, because it’s not of metal construction. Also very little in the way of rust stains. Getting the armament to look “right” was a challenge, but I was pleased with the result.

A couple of things I found exception with, as far as the kit instructions went, was the use of the tire “bumpers”, and the bottles of “Lite” (decals) beer. I followed photos on the bumpers, and my friend, Bruce, a Viet Nam vet, pointed out to me, that “Lite” beer had not arrived on the scene as of the period this boat was in use. I quick check of dates confirmed this, so my crew will remain “dry”.

I thoroughly enjoyed building this, from start to finish. It was a great diversion from my usual modeling, and allowed my the lattitude to be a little more creative, experiment, and think outside the box.

17 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses to 50 Shades of Green

  1. Really cool Joe, like the finish, and the pics.
    Well done mate.

  2. Nice job, Joe….you did a much better job of weathering and detailing on your Pibber than I did – you can see it here:

    And I didn’t do the figures, because I suck at paintin’ ’em – 🙁

  3. Joe. good job, looks the part. Part of the “brown water navy” TF I-can’t –remember. Some of them operated out of the base I was on, Dong Tam, in the Mekong Delta. They ran up the Bassac River, or the network of canals that ran thru the Delta.
    I believe the hulls are fibreglass(!)
    The 9th Division had a Riverine Force, which staged off an attack transport, on LCVPs and LCIs, doing WW II type assault landings here and there, depending on where the NVA/VC were supposed to be that week.
    SquadronSignal had a book on it, “Riverine” which is probably out there.
    They even had monitors, armored barges with 20 MM and even a flamethrower rig. Oh, and towed barges with 105s on it. Floating artillery.
    They were also trying the PACV, which ran on a cushion of air. I wonder how that turned out…..
    They had an earthen ramp down to the river for launching, and one New Years Eve, one of my companions, who was impaired due to the festivities, almost drove into the river in our jeep.
    I was usually working, so I didn’t get a lot of chance to see everything, but it was a happening place, as we used to say, back when I had hair.

    • Bernard, the USCG ended up with the 3 hovercraft, all stationed out of San Francisco. They were well liked by the crews but were very expensive to operate and not supported (no parts) by the manufacturer. After a period of evaluation they were turned back over to the Defense Department.

      • Thanks, Mike! I always wondered what happened to the one I saw one day headed toward the river, in a cloud of dust. I was hoping to see it roaring down the river, spraying brown water around.
        Combat Hovercraft! Whatta concept! Part of it looked like an OD inner tube. I wondered what an RPG would do to that, or the odd .51 MG perforations.
        Fascinating little note in history, the Coast Guard! I’d have never guessed that!

  4. Having seen the 1:1s, you’ve done an excellent job on showing a boat that was “rid hard and hung up wet.” This is one of your best yet.

  5. Very nice, Joe. Great attention to detail.

  6. One of your best……liked the photos as well.

  7. Very “gritty”, Joe. Nice attention to detail, I like the expended shell cases on the bow deck.

  8. Awesome Joe! Great detail and weathering. Putting the crew on there really brings the model to life.
    I like the bullet cases around the MG’s, really nice touch!

  9. Thanks, guys. I’m glad you all enjoyed the “Pibber”. Craig, the shell cases were no more than stretched sprue, painted brass.

  10. Excellent Joe, love the weathered finish on the boat, and the figures.

  11. Very nice modeling there Joe. It sure looks like things are a but busy on deck.
    You are correct when saying these are a fun kit to assemble. Great stuff!!
    California Steve

  12. Joe,
    Excellent work on this. I really like the weathering and the figures bth of which are realistic.

  13. nice job joe i like it

  14. Great modelling, Joe. Looking really nice, with this great paint job.

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