Thanks for the props, Piet!
The Vietnam war is a subject area that is WIDE OPEN for some enterprising model manufacturer to exploit. When we accepted the commission, we really thought that there would be a lot more suitable commercial kits available, but once we got past the major signature items of equipment, there was nothing. We knew that in 1/35 scale the “pickings were slim,” but even in 1/72 scale there’s practically nothing.
For instance, figures… We really expected to find several sets of US Vietnam infantry and artillery crews that would be usable. Nope. There are just a couple of limited “army man” sets, none of which could be used in the setting we intended.
Same with all of the accessories, like MCI’s (aka C-rations), mermites, insulated drink containers, ammo boxes and crates, fire extinguishers, blivets and field refueling equipment, small arms, etc, etc, etc… No one makes the M29 81mm mortar in any scale (except a limited edition and very poor Hobby Fan resin mortar).
The MPQ-4 radar, seen on just about every US fire support base in the war, has never been kitted. The M450 dozer, another signature piece of equipment seen all over the theater has never been kitted.
The list goes on and on… That’s why the recently announced Gecko LARC-V is such a nice surprise.
Really, some major kit maker should wake up and see the opportunity that presents itself to steal the march on its competitors. It would be very easy to carve out a solid market position on Vietnam and middle-Cold War period subjects.
(BTW, there is a possibility that our friend and club mate, Jeff, who scratch-built the MPQ-4 radar might continue to develop his CAD work to include the rest of the model - i.e. those parts he scratch-built using traditional techniques - to create a full, 3D model and potential kit which could be printed in 1/35 scale.)