Russian company BRAVO-6
is adding very nice figures to the Vietnam Series periodically. Starting with the US Infantry figures representing the characters of Oliver Stone’s famous movie-Platoon , they continued in local opposing Viet Cong forces , now Australian SAS members and soon they will release US AFV crew figures. The talented sculptor and owner of the company Vladimir Demchenko
apparently shows his creative imagination and sculpting skills in every new figure more and more . The latest release of the company is a very good example to this ; Demchenko, inspired with the following photo taken during the Vietnam War, created a very nice scene of Australian SAS members getting prepared for a patrol mission.
The kit B6-35019 Australian SAS “Jungle Make-up” – Vietnam 68
includes two figures representing Australian SAS members in Vietnam 1968, one painting the other’s face with camouflage paint before a jungle patrol mission.
about the figure
The primary role of the Australian SAS role in Vietnam was reconnaissance; they were the eyes and ears of the Task Force. The Australian SAS squadrons developed ‘’recce-ambush patrols” for jungle patrol missions which could last an average of ten days. The main characteristic of these patrol missions in Vietnam was the five-man patrol
, which was different than the traditional SAS four-man patrol. The fifth member was added to provide additional carrying power for the increased amount of ammunition and communications gear. Ten-day patrols were considered short for SAS standards since patrols in Malaya had been measured in weeks. This reduction in patrol length was due to the lack and untrust of drinking water sources within the Australian operational area, so most supplies had to be carried. A typical five-man SAS recce-ambush patrol was inserted by helicopter, dropped to LZ (landing zone) and spent the days gathering data on enemy dispositions and movement and then extracted. Ambush was a secondary goal as it would cause to end gathering information but serious damages to enemy were always preferable to information.
Vietnam SAS patrols were the experts of the art of camouflage. The use of camouflage grease-paint on hands and face was imperative, weapons were also camo-painted to reduce shine and distinctive outline, even many times backpacks, belts, pouches and also magazines were painted.
The kit includes two figures with personal gear and comes well-packed in standard BRAVO-6 light brown 50x80x25 mm cardboard box . The front part of the box shows a photo of the assembled and painted figures which can serve as a painting guide. On the other side of the box; e-mail address and website of the company is noted.
The parts are represented with the casting blocks. Each figure is inserted into a zip-lock transparent plastic bag. The main parts-body and other parts of each figure like arms and accessories are seperately inserted in different small plastic zip-lock bags to avoid unexpected damages during transfer.
The figures are sculpted by Vladimir Demchenko
and cast in medium grey resin parts. The resin quality is really very good and details are very crisp. You will need no effort or extra time to clean the figure. Just cut the supporting part under the backpacks and remove the parts from casting blocks. That is the all process needed before painting . There were no air bubbles, excess resin or any casting mistakes on the samples. The junctions between figure parts and casting blocks are well considered and the parts can be easily removed from the blocks with no damage. But remember that some parts like rifle barrels are very fragile and need extra care.
The first figure is the one standing when his buddy paints his face. It comes in 14 parts- 5 body parts and 9 personal gear.
The main part is Body with head and legs. Some parts of personal gear are cast on the body. He wears a wide brim, colored in jungle green, olive-drab or camouflage painted boonie hat or bush hat which is called Giggle hat by Australians. The details of the hat and sweat towel on the neck and the facial details arewell represented. As for the uniform; he has an ERDL Camouflage Tropical Combat uniform , which consists of jacket with 4 flip-top cover pockets and trousers with 2 flip-top cover cargo pockets on the sides. Cloth folds, pocket details of the uniform and canvas-leather combined 3rd pattern jungle boots are well defined. He carries M1956 ILCE – individual load carrying equipment of canvas utility belt and suspenders. Different than the standard US M-16 ammo pouchs; he carries low slung ammo pouchs, unique for SASR which are made by a firm in Perth. These pouchs worn lower on the hip were made in two types ; M-16 style and bigger for SLR magazines.
He carries a canvas ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) rucksack which was a favorite for all ANZAC troops and widely used by SAS, also known as Ranger Pack, an external X-steel framed pack with two big rectangular flapped pockets. Pockets ,straps and buckles of the backpack are well defined.
Right arm : Posed to carry the rifle on the right side of the body. It shows nice cloth folds.
Left arm : Posed to carry the left on the right side of the body. It shows nice cloth folds.
Right hand : He carries a 7.62 mm Australian made L1A1 SLR-self loading rifle. This version shows some SAS modifications like flash supressor, bayonet lugs, sling swivels have been removed and a pistol grip is attached to the handguard. A field dressing is taped to the stock which become a universal ANZAC practice,ensuring that a dressing was always quickly to handle.As in the boxart; this weapon of SAS is usually used camouflage painted. Personal gear shows this weapon on the right hand is belong to the buddy painting the figure’s face.
Left hand : He carries a 9 mm L34A1, Patchett-Sterling silenced SMG. It was a special version of the 9mm L2A3 Sterling with an integrated suppressor. The suppressor reduces the speed of the propellant gasses released and ignited by the bullet cartridge, and thus reduces the the volume of the weapon's report. When combined with subsoinic ammunition, which eliminates the crack of a round breaking the sound barrier, a suppressed weapon can sound not much louder than a staple gun. Additionally, the suppressor also reduces muzzle-flash, making it harder to locate the shooter's position. The downside of a suppressed weapon is that one trades stopping power for silence. The details of the weapon are well defined and note that the magazine is given as a seperate part.
Other parts are;
M1956 First aid case or compass pouch
M-1956 One quart plastic canteen in canvas cover - 4 pieces
M18 smoke grenade - 2 pieces
Magazine of L34A1
The second figure in the kit is the one painting his friend’s face. It comes in 9 parts- 3 body parts and 6 personal gear.
The main part is Body with head and legs. Some parts of personal gear are cast on the body. He has a head band on his head and a sweat towel on his neck which is inserted into his uniform.He wears a Tiger Stripe Camouflage Tropical Combat uniform , which consists of jacket with 4 flip-top cover pockets and trousers with 2 flip-top cover cargo pockets on the sides. Tigerstripe is a group of camouflage patterns developed for close-range use in dense jungle during jungle warfare by the South Vietnamese Armed Forces/US Forces. It derives its name from its resemblance to a tiger's stripes. It features narrow stripes that look like brush-strokes of green and brown, and broader brush-strokes of black printed over a lighter shade of olive or khaki.Cloth folds, pocket details of the uniform and canvas-leather combined 3rd pattern jungle boots are well defined. The figure carries M1956 LCE load carrying equipment of canvas utility belt and suspenders. An M-16 pouch and three SLR pouches bigger than standard M-16 pouches are attached on his belt. A 100 round belt of ammo is draped around torso protected by a sleeve cut from a section of air matress in black or OD green.
He carries a canvas Australian Bergan backpack which looks like British 44 Pattern haversack ,but 2 external pocket on the sides are larger and deeper. Pockets ,straps and buckles of the backpack are well defined.
The artist added a very nice touch on the cargo pocket on the right side of the trousers. It is visible that there is a pair of SAS version fingers cut-off Nomex gloves which allow full use of the weapons when still protecting the hand from minor cuts or abrasions in jungle.
Left arm : Posed to hold the face of his friend to apply paint. It shows nice cloth folds.
Right arm : Posed to hold the camo paint stick. It shows nice cloth folds. Paint stick is given as a seperate part.
Other parts are;
M-1956 One quart plastic canteen in canvas cover - 3 pieces
M18 smoke grenade
Camouflage paint stick
Osprey Publishing - Vietnam ANZACs Australian & New Zealand Troops in Vietnam 1962–72 by Kevin Lyles
David Brubakers Vietnam Equipment and uniforms
Excellent scene, very nice sculpt and high quality casting in crisp details . Perfect figure kit to display alone or can be combined with other SAS figure of the company.
Very Highly Recommended