M577 HQ11 of 2d Battalion 47th Infantry (Mechanized) 9th Infantry Division

Several months ago I started building two M577s. One from the Tamiya kit and the other a kit bash of the AFV Club M113A1 with parts from the Tamiya M577. After working on each of them a bit, they got put on the back burner when both my wife and my mom were having health issues and things just got too busy for me to proceed. Then I got sidetracked away from the tracks when I started converting a bunch of figures eventually resulting in my “FNGs” diorama. Well, now that the diorama was completed, I decided to go back to the Tamiya M577. I had already completed the drivers compartment and had most of the vehicle built and ready for priming, so I primed it with black spray paint and brush painted it with Reaper Black Green as that is what I have done with my M113s. This past Friday night I used dry transfers from Verlinden that I modified to represent the track I am depicting as well as dry transfers from Woodland Scenics for the bumper codes and the 12s in the yellow circles.

Like I mentioned, I am using the Tamiya kit. I drilled out some places that needed to be opened up, drilled out the holes in the compartment where the generator is stored for transport, and installed the drivers compartment since the driver’s hatch is going to be open. I also hollowed out the fire extingusher and added an activation lever with a piece of wire. Other than the stowage that will be strapped down to the top, the only aftermarket stuff I will be using are DEF roadwheels and tracks.

Here are some photos of the track I am depicting. I will be hand painting the panther on the trim vane when the time comes.


And this is my version of this track…so far.




Thanks for looking.
Cheers,
James

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Looking great so far. Good job on the paint and markings.

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OD was dark then! I’ll be following along.

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Very nice indeed! Interesting how the bumper number is configured. The presence of the “(M)” for mechanized, causes the “9” for the division to be positioned above the other numbers.

I’m guessing that the fact that 2-47 was a mechanized Infantry unit was enough of a “difference” at this period that someone figured it needed to be identified in the bumper number.

In USAREUR later on the the mid 70’s the bumper numbers simply used the letter “I” with no parenthesis to show an “M” because that was the default.

Looking forward to this one.

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Thanks, Gino, Dan, and Tom.

In regards to the way the unit designation is represented, there were a few different methods that I have seen that were used within the 9th Infantry Division at that time. This is how 2-47 IN (Mech) marked their tracks. The other Mechanized Infantry battalion in the division, 5th Battalion (Mechanized) 60th Infantry {until their tracks were transferred over to 1-16 IN of the 1st ID in 1968 because GEN Ewell disliked Mechanized Infantry} had theirs marked as 9-5 (M) 60 and 9-5 M 60 and then one of their M548 was marked 9 5 60 M showing that at least in that battalion there probably wasn’t much standardization in their marking system although I am sure the Army had guidelines or regs about marking vehicles. With 2-47 IN (Mech), there were times when their tracks had no bumper markings, but when they did they were in the format seen on this M577.

Here are a few 5th of the 60th examples:




I know from marking some of my unit’s vehicles that if you have several people marking them, you will have one dude that didn’t listen to instructions and can wind up with some weird combinations.

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Ohh, sometime around 1989, 1990, HHC 3/1 ADA, we started using the sand colored backing with bumper numbers, it called for “sand” paint, half the unit mixed sand with the tan paint, no lie, and this was supervised by NCO’s. At least we had non-slip bumper numbers

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Was this on the NATO 3 color paint?
Ken

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Yes, I was in a HAWK missile battalion, for a short time before I could escape

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I wonder how that 113 in the top pic has its extra roadwheels mounted? Isn’t aluminum hard to weld to?

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The track is either a M125 or M106 mortar track, so they probably mounted those roadwheel parts to whatever holds the mortar equipment on the side.

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Gotcha

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Hello James!
It’s good to see you working again! That M577 looks very good too. Do you want to show the generator in its basket or somewhere off the track? Good luck with your build and have a nice day
Paweł

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Hello, Pawel!

Thank you. I am glad you like it. The generator will be in it’s place for transport as this will eventually be in a diorama of the crew preparing to move out.
Take care and have a great week.
James

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I started weathering the M577 yesterday and today. Something I noticed about most photos of M577s in Vietnam is that most of them are relatively clean compared to tracks from the line companies which I imagine had something to do with them needing to look presentable when high ranking officers and generals would come out for situational briefings. However, on their way to their next location, some would get pretty dirty depending on the weather and location. I weathered this model based on some Veterans’ recollections and a few photos from one of the battalion’s websites. The dirt and dust is the color of that found in portions of III and IV Corps where 2-47 IN (Mech) operated. I probably should have put all of the items topside and got them strapped down before weathering, but I guess I was too eager to start weathering.




I might place this track in a diorama depicting the time period when the battalion moved from Camp Bearcat to Binh Phuoc. All of the tracks were muddy and/or dirty there.

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Hello James!
Looking good! No problem about the stowage - after you place it you might put on a second layer of weathering, that might give you even more depth.

I’m sure your dio will look great. I myself have been looking up the TM for the M577 and as I did I thought: dang, that PM has a lot of diorama ideas! So if did mine I would probably show the M577 deployed with the generator up and running and maybe the tent up, or maybe with the davit erected and soldiers hoisting the generator in or out… Some day!
Good luck with your build and have a nice day
Paweł

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Hello, Pawel.
I am sure I will have to touch up the weathering once I have everything in place.

My plan for the other M577 that I started kitbashing with the AFV Club M113A1 kit is for it to have an interior, the tent set up, and a briefing being conducted. However, it may be another year or so before I get to put in that much time and effort.
Cheers,
James

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That M577 is looking great James. Nice job on the weathering.

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It is coming along great. I also like the idea of one w/a full interior.

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/3/t/103022.aspx

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In addition to being “the flag pole” and having to look good for senior officer visits, there’s another, more practical reason for the difference. As a CP track, the M577 would most likely move to the new Bn area and then set up the tent as a TOC, often with one or two other tracks and connecting the tents.

The line company tracks on the other hand would probably be moving a LOT more in the AO until the point where it was required for the squad to UA the track. So with more movement and in less hospitable terrain, they’d more likely get a lot dirtier.

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That is another reason why the M577s would appear cleaner than the line company tracks. As you mentioned, they would go from NDP to NDP or FSBs and set up alongside other M577s, so they just weren’t exposed to as much movement through the terrain like the tracks from the line companies.

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