"Adjusting Track Tension" Operation Santa Fe, Vietnam December 1967

This diorama depicts some members of 1st Platoon, C Company, 2d Battalion, 47th Infantry (Mechanized), 9th Infantry Division adjusting track tension on their M113 while providing security for Engineers during Operation Santa Fe in December 1967. Only half of the squad went out this day as the rest were manning their bunker at FSB Puma hence the lack of a bunch of extra stowage in the track. A friend of mine, John “Tex” Bowers was the squad leader of this track, C-13.

The M113 is from the AFV Club kit and was backdated to a gas powered track by changing out the fuel tank and headlight guards, one of them being a maintenance section improvised fix on the driver’s side. I put in the wiring, pipes for the bilge pumps, and installed the battalion SOP wooded box seats as replacements for the standard seats. These wooden boxes helped standardize the load plans for ammunition, pyro, demo, etc. across the battalion so if a Soldier ended up having to fill in on a different track than his own, he knew where to go for the important items. The tracks are from Model Kasten.

The figures consist of three Bravo 6 conversions and one figure that I sculpted, the guy with the grease gun adjusting track tension, which is in production by Custom Dioramics under their Yanks figure line. They are painted with acrylics.




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And here are some photos of the real C-13 “Harassment”. It wasn’t until after I built the model that I realized that the back portion of the rear mud guards had been cut away.





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Thanks for looking.
Cheers,
James

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Wow! This is incredible work James! The vehicle and its weathering and stowage is stunning. I think you have captured perfectly what these vehicles sometimes looked like in Vietnam. The figures are beautifully painted as is the groundwork. Absolutely stunning.

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Thank you. It was something that came about in stages. Originally it was just the vehicle, then the gunner was added, and then a couple years later (last year), the final three figures were added I am happy with how it turned out and I am glad you like it, too.

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Absolutely superb model work. Incredible build and painting. Figures are amazing.

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An absolutely stunning build. You have got the weathering and the surroundings no less than perfect. Figuresfit very nicely into the diorama. 5 stars!

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Wow, love it! My favorite of yours, so far!

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Another home run! Great build, excellent detail. I love the ammo can w/“my stuff” painted on it. You may have inspired me to put away the Panzers for a while and do a build of the war I was actually in. Really nice work.

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Thank you.
It probably took me longer to make that M113 than it takes most modelers, but in the end I think it turned out well. I plan on making more.
Cheers,
James

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Thank you.
It helps when I have some of the actually squad members guiding me in regards to details along the way.

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Thank you.

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Thank you. I thought the ammo can would add some color to things, plus I had a similar one in Iraq but “Stuff” wasn’t the word I used. Lol. I had to make it family friendly in order to display it at shows.
I am glad that my work may be the inspiration to take a break from Panzers and build something from the war you served in. I have only made a few pieces depicting Iraq and Afghanistan. I prefer modeling Vietnam scenes because I can find instances where the event happening in the story line is similar to something I experienced, but there is that distance between the two experiences that makes it easier emotionally to make. Plus I mainly model Vietnam subjects to honor family and friends who served there.

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Wow, that is crazy nice!

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