Looking for ARVN tank crew figures...
I'm not sure this is an appropriate place to ask for help, but I couldn't find a dedicated "space" for help questions. If this article doesn't fit here, please feel free to move or delete, but I'm hoping someone will have some suggestions!
I'm looking for 1/35 tank crew figure for an M41 Walker Bulldog build of an ARVN tank in the Vietnam War. I've found just a few Asian figures in internet searches, including ROK tank crewmen and a couple ARVN guys for an M113 APC.
The Tamiya kit's commander is a big, robust guy with absolutely no Asian features, but perhaps like Herr Dr. Frankenstein, I could take the upper torso from one of the M113 crew and use the lower half of a kit figure? ? That lower half would be mainly unseen as the commander stands in the open cupola.
Any advice or suggestions from our members here? Thanks in advance for any guidance!
I think you will have to mix and match up some various parts in order to get what you are looking for. I am a former US Army tanker myself, having spent countless hours in M-60's and a little time in M-1A1's. One thing you need to think about is the tanker helmets or as we often called them "CVC's". During this time era in Vietnam, they were likely wearing the older style CVC, where the earphones were hidden behind the fiberglass shell. The ones you see in your last picture are the type that we had, in the 1980's, and I think they're still the same kind in use today by our tankers.
Tankers usually didn't carry rifles. We had M1911 .45 caliber pistols, and the good old M3 .45 caliber "grease gun" sub machine gun. It wasn't until we got the M-1's that we changed over to the newer M-16 style rifle, but it was shorter and called the M-4.
It's possible the Vietnamese tankers could have carried anything, from the .30 caliber M-1 "carbine" (not to be confused with the 30.06 M-1 Garand), to captured NVA or VC AK-47's.
As far as the web gear, we used the same style as the Infantry did, I'm sure if you found Vietnam era US Infantry, you could borrow these items as needed. Also, they could have also had the good old M1 "steel pot" helmet, because we did too until we got the fancy Kevlar modern day copy of the WW2 German Stalhelm. 😉
We didn't wear the steel pot while inside the tank. It was way too noisy inside the tank to hear one another talk, so it was not practical.
Here's a picture of the older style tanker helmet. It was in use by the US Army during the later 1950's until I'm guessing the late 60's to the mid 1970's ? It was called a T56-6 style and the earphones were inside the shell.
Our newer style helmets were not the same. They looked like this one.
Hope this helps.