Bad Ass and The Turd

My latest project - What do you think?

Bad Ass and The Turd

A not uncommon sight. The M114 was notoriously underpowered. Its Chevy V8 didn’t have the horsepower needed to move the thing through the miserable terrain of VietNam. M114s were often stuck in the mud, or suffered engine failures from overwork.

The M114s looked cool, like a sports car version of the bulkier M113, but they didn’t last long in the war zone.

Here, a disgusted grunt APC, named ‘Bad Ass’, has been tasked to haul a dead M114 back to the motor pool. Someone has assigned the 114 a temporary, yet appropriate, name.

I must admit, as soon as I saw that a kit of the M114 was due out, this is the diorama I imagined.

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The M113 kit is from AFV, and the M114 is Takom’s
The tracks are aftermarket. FV’s rubber-band tracks were unusable (IMHO).
And even they don’t seem to look right to my eye…

The crews are mostly from Bravo6, although the TC in the M113’s hatch is an old metal casting from somewhere (Verlinden, perhaps.)

The two standing grunts (bless ‘em) are from MasterBox, with Hornet heads.

The gear and sandbags are from Value Gear

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The challenge on this diorama was the jungle background. I simply built a jagged back wall, painted it, and then covered it with assorted foliage. What do you think?

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The tow-bar was scratch built. We always used them for simple towing tasks.

Personal Note: After the war, stateside US Mech Infantry companies were each assigned one M114 to haul the company commander around. As a platoon leader (Bravo36), I rode an M113A1. Our Motor Sargent only succeeded in getting the M114 running, and in a green status, once (by purchasing parts out of his own pocket, from the local auto parts store). He then parked the thing in the back of the motor pool and refused to let it be driven ever again. The CO rode the HQ section’s M113A1, with extra radios installed.



Nice job.
You replaced the 114’s tracks?

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Hahaha this makes me laugh, but the figures, models, and scenery are so superbly done that I have to be “serious” about it. This is an outstanding diorama in every way!


I’ve seldom seen pictures of an M114 in Vietnam so this makes an interesting diorama and subject matter.


Great scene and it has a nice balance. Back story is a nice touch as well…:+1:


Sorry, I only replaced the 113’s tracks

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I see.

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Excellent diorama! Those figures look great even in extreme close-up - I can only wish I could paint figs so realistically. And the composition is great, really telling a story - thanks for posting it!


Looks great! Excellent work!

My favorite M114 picture:

Picture for discussion purposes only

It’s fatal flaw….


Great title and backstory! Outstanding work once again! :military_helmet::+1:


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The title got me, I was already laughing when the first pic opened up. Superb!


My reaction was exactly the same as Matt’s (SSGToms). I laughed because the entire scene is so American military–completely frustrated when one of their heavy metal monstrosities breaks down. Both vehicles are very well done, with the crud and mud splattered everywhere. The foliage work is solid. The figures really do steal the show. The poses and expressions are hilarious, the painting convincing, and the composition well done.

It kinda makes me sad for the poor little M114. I really like tankettes, light tanks, and recon vehicles. The M114 should be a good one–the profile and running gear are perfect for the job–but someone fumbled badly when designing the drive train, and now everyone remembers it as a failure.

Well done and thank you for the laugh. I hope your diorama ends up on public display where kids can see it, inspiring them to learn about the Vietnam war.


Looks great. The models, figures, ground work, and photography :beer:


Great dio idea. As far as I had read only the ARVN ever fielded the M114, but I may be wrong. Even they disliked them. Wayne


Nice work, the track(s), uniforms and ground work look spot on. The reddish mud especially looks very accurate for the area around Quan Loi (near Cambodian border). Figures are well painted and give “ life” to the scene. I never saw a M114 until I returned to the States, but I was in RVN late in the War and am not an expert on who did/didn’t use them. I do have to laugh when I read the Army considered the 114 “underpowered” and didn’t know how to remedy the issue. If their designers took a ride down to any burger joint or drive in on a Saturday night in the mid 60’s, I’m sure they would have come back with a number of ways to extract more power from a Chevy small block…not Rocket Science. Anyway, nice diorama, you should be proud of your work.


Fantastic work in re-creating this scene. You nailed it.


Nicely executed diorama. I have been working on my own version for awhile. The only problem I have is that my references say the US never used the M-114 in Vietnam. Only the ARVN from 1963-1964. They were quickly phased out by M-113’s. My build was an ARVN M-113 towing a broke down M-114, when the M-113 breaks down. BTW, a small company called 3D MicroCosmos makes US towing bars.


The diorama itself is nicely done and the story is obvious so it is an effective story line. The modeling and painting is well done. The only problem with this being set in Vietnam is that the US Army did not deploy M114s to Vietnam. Only the ARVN had them in Vietnam and they had problems with them so the US Army took that as a cue and did not send them to Vietnam for service with US units. The US Army kept the M114s in the US, Europe, and Korea instead of sending them to Vietnam. That was pretty similar to the M60 MBT and the Gama Goat being in service during the time of the Vietnam War but not actually being used there.

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Awesome build!

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Seeing the title again this morning, I got a vision of a very misguided crime fighting duo - “Bad Ass and The Turd”.