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In-Box Review
135
U.S.M.C. Rock'n'Roll
U.S.M.C.(1) Rock'n'Roll Tet '68
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by: Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]


Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

introduction

BRAVO-6 has a wide range of 1/35 scale resin figures representing U.S. soldiers of the Vietnam War . After a series of U.S infantry figures as the characters of the movie – Platoon, lately Vladimir Demchenko started to sculpt another nice series of U.S.M.C. figures from Tet Offensive.

The kit B6-35026 Rock’n’Roll, Tet ‘68 includes one U.S.M.C. figure posed to fire his M-16 without aiming behind a wall.
about Tet Offensive

The Tet Offensive was a military campaign during the Vietnam War that began on January 31, 1968. Forces of the National Liberation Front for South Vietnam (NLF, or Viet Cong), and the People's Army of Vietnam (the North Vietnamese army), fought against the forces of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), the United States, and their allies. The purpose of the offensive was to strike military and civilian command and control centers throughout South Vietnam and to spark a general uprising among the population that would then topple the Saigon government, thus ending the war in a single blow.

In late January 1968, Vietnam prepared for the annual Tet (Lunar New Year) celebration. As in prior years, a cease fire was arranged with Communist forces (the North Vietnam Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong. Most South Vietnamese Army units (ARVN) were under strength as soldiers were granted leave to attend family events arranged for Tet, while American and allied units were at low alert, expecting a period of quiet.

Early in the morning of 31 January 1968, more than 80,000 NVA and VC erupted from carefully infiltrated positions to attack six major cities, thirty six provincial capitals and twenty three airfields and military bases, almost every important location and target in South Vietnam. Major assaults were conducted on Saigon, Da Nang, Qui Nhon, Quang Tri, Kontum, Ban Me Thout, My Tho, Can Tho, Ban Tre and other places. At ten of these locations, the Communists temporarily wrested control from the ARVN and Americans holding them. In Saigon, where 4,000 Viet Cong guerrillas had infiltrated during Tet festivities, these forces attacked almost simultaneously throughout the city. The previously invulnerable U.S. Embassy in Saigon was overrun and held by Viet Cong for eight hours before U.S. Marines and Military Police could retake the complex. It took another three weeks for U.S. troops to kill or evict most VC from Saigon.

The largest battle of Tet, and the whole war, was in Hue, where the city was in enemy hands and under fire from 31 January until an assault regained control on 25 February. Four NVA battalions and six VC battalions took the city and it required the massing of four US Army battalions, three USMC battalions and eleven ARVN battalions, plus supporting air, naval and artillery assets, to retake Hue, with heavy casualties on both sides. While in control of Hue, the Communists executed about 5,800 civilians in reprisal for cooperation with the South Vietnamese government and the Americans. Returning ARVN then executed many more as VC collaborators. The house to house fighting and destruction of the ancient city by bombardment left over 100,000 homeless.

During the acute period of the Tet Offensive, 31 January to 31 March 1968, other large battles took place at the Bien Hoa air base and at the American stronghold of Tan Son Nhut. The Tet Counter-Offensive period continued through 1968 with clearing operations as U.S. units were committed in the populated areas to oppose the enemy units that had penetrated and in the uninhabited areas to block the enemy's withdrawal and to prevent reinforcement of crumbling Communist forces.

By the end of 1968 the pre-Tet level of security had been restored.

Brief information above about Tet Offensive is taken from Olive drab website.
box

The figure 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 figure 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. The main part-body and other parts of the figure like arms and accessories are seperately inserted in small plastic zip-lock bags to avoid unexpected damages during transfer.
parts

The figure is sculpted by Vladimir Demchenko and comes in 11 medium grey resin parts. The resin quality is very good and details are very crisp. No air bubbles, excess resin or any casting mistakes on the figure. The parts can be easily removed from the blocks with no damage as The junctions between figure parts and casting blocks are well placed. There will be no need for a cleanwork other than cleaning the slightly visible seamlines inside the legs.

  • The main part is Body with head and legs. The figure shows nice facial details and a very good facial expression. The top of the head is sculpted with no hair for the good fit of the helmet. He wears a M1955 Fragmentation vest also known as Flak diaper over his uniform. During the Vietnam War, Marines replaced their M1952 body armor worn in Korean War to this flak jacket with a zip front closure, an integral cartridge belt holder for attaching equipment and a rifle guard over the right shoulder. Details of the vest are well defined. Over the vest; he carries a canvas M16 bandolier crossed on his right shoulder. He wears typical trousers with cargo pockets on both sides and canvas/leather combined boots. Most of the personal gear are cast on the figure. He carries two M16 ammo pouches, a canvas first aid kit pouch on his back, a M17 gasmask case on the left side, a single pouch for M26 grenades on his front and a 3-pocket grenade pouch on his right hip. Details of the personal gear are all well represented.

    Other parts are;

  • Right arm and Left arm : Both of the arms show nice cloth folds.

  • Rifle : He carries a 5.56 mm M16A1 rifle with the forward assist, bird cage style flash hider and the 20 rounds magazine. The forward assist was a device to counter the bolt jamming. The device was a plunger that engaged with corresponding notches on the bolt, driving it forward if it stuck. The birdcage flash suppressor was a simple fix to the problem of the open tri-pronged suppressor snagging on foliage. Hands are sculpted on the rifle and I think when assemblying the arms to the body and hands to sleeves ; an extra care and dry-fit will be needed for a correct posing.

  • M-1956 one quart canteen

  • M7 bayonet in M8A1 scabbard

  • M61 Fragmentation hand grenade also known as M26A1 – 4 pieces.

  • M1 helmet with Mitchell pattern canvas cover and band. Different accessories like cigarette and match boxes and insect repellant are sculpted on the helmet.
    reference

    The following books and websites can be useful when painting this figure.

  • Osprey Publishing – Warrior 023 – Marine Corps in Vietnam by Charles D. Melson & Ramiro Bujeiro
  • Osprey Publishing – Campaign 004 – Tet Offensive 1968 Turning Point in by James R. Arnold
  • David Brubaker’s Vietnam Uniforms and Equipment website
    conclusion

    A nice posing figure with a very good facial expression sculpted in great details and cast in high quality. The figure can be displayed alone or together with the other fantastic figures of Tet 68’ series of the company. I have to admit that; day by day, not only the sculpting quality but also the casting quality of BRAVO-6 figures are noticably increasing.

    Very Highly Recommended

  • SUMMARY
    Highs: Nice posing, nice sculpt in great details, high quality casting
    Lows: No lows for this product.
    Verdict: Excellent figure for Nam Modellers. A must to buy for a Tet scene.
    Percentage Rating
    97%
      Scale: 1:35
      Mfg. ID: B6-35026
      Related Link: 
      PUBLISHED: Apr 22, 2010
      NATIONALITY: United States
    NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
      THIS REVIEWER: 92.20%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 95.07%

    Our Thanks to BRAVO-6!
    This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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    About Engin Kayral (Graywolf)
    FROM: IZMIR, TURKEY / TüRKçE

    Born in 1962,married and having 2 sons. I started modelling about 8 years old building USS Fletcher with mom. It was a model dad brought from USA., I think in those days only a few people in Turkey had info on scale model kits. Grown as an AF officer son , I built many aircraft models in years. Som...

    Copyright ©2019 text by Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



    Comments

    Thanks for the review, bro... I like your links on reference photos with real equipment. I also loved reading the short intro on the historical context about Tet '68. Mario
    APR 22, 2010 - 08:38 PM
    Very professional and helpful review. Thanks Engin!
    APR 22, 2010 - 09:28 PM
       

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