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Scratchbuilding a 'Nam era, Program IV, Armored Troop Carrier, "Tango" boat

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  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Monday, March 30, 2020 10:36 PM

Well, as documented in Vietnam Ironclads, by John Carrico, and in accordance with the U.S. Navy, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair, the correct color for all river assault craft was Marine Corps green #23, FS 34052. Thus, this is as close as I could get utilizing my beloved rattlecan. The paint I'm using is KRYLON Fusion All-In-One, Matte Spanish Moss, and is the closest stuff I could find.

RUST-OLEUM has started making a series of 'Chalked' colors, of which their Coastal Blue is perfect for oxidized 5N blue. I used it for restoring a WWII battle lantern, and it looks awesome. I'm hoping that they come out with a Chalked Hunter Green and Chalked Brick Red as they would be perfect for use on these riverine warfare craft. 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 2:52 PM

As we continue, I'm now back to working on the hull bar armor. This, as you might imagine, is kind of labor intensive, building all of the 32 panels and the division walls in between.

In this shot, the panels are just leaning against the upper hull. Once they are all ready, the division walls will be installed then the bar armor, then the foam that goes between the hull and the bar armor. After that, a lid goes on top. So, as you can see, I still have a ways to go.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, April 9, 2020 8:19 AM

Aha!

      Marine Corps Green. Now that's a good color. But, in that environment it faded fast. It didn't seem to like the Humidity or Temperature. One time We got a replacement M-113 and the paint in spots, got actually sticky.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Thursday, April 9, 2020 12:28 PM

Yeah, color has been an issue on this project. In photos, I've seen everything from an oxidized medium green, probably the Marine Corps green (FS 34052), to a near black dark green. As a rattlecan user, It has been quite the search to find a best 'available' color. 

 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, April 10, 2020 11:31 PM

Splash enough muddy water on it and the color will be perfect!  Big Smile

Gary

PS> You mentioned foam.  Did the actual craft have something between the bar armor and the hull?  Curious.

 

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, April 11, 2020 4:19 AM

Hello!

From what I read and seen on the photos, the crew liked to stuff C-rations boxes behind the bar armor. Theory says anything that goes between the bars and the actual armor decreases the protection, because it makes cooling the HEAT "jet" less effective. But I bet a can of cool (OK, room temperature... 35oC) lima beans doesn't make such a big difference in this case...

Have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Saturday, April 11, 2020 9:56 AM

Gary, 

The hull armor belt was, from the inside going out, hull, armor plate, foam (encased in a elastomeric covering), then the bar armor or trigger shield, as it was formally called.

Pawel,

Yeah, that is the information I saw too. So, I figured I'd get some ready, along with ammo cans and crates .  .  . to scale of course

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Saturday, April 11, 2020 8:17 PM

After assembling the port side bar armor belt, minus the lid sections, I decided to throw everything on it just to see how it looked. I've got to be honest; I'm liking it!

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Monday, April 13, 2020 9:06 PM

A shot of the side armor, in progress .  .  .

And then after the cover plates are in place.

 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, April 19, 2020 4:15 PM

HooYah Deep Sea
Yeah, color has been an issue on this project. In photos,

Which was not helped by the use of a mix of Kodachrome, EktaChrome, and Fuji films, which all react to ambient light a little bit differently.z

(Kodachrome is warmer and better in low light; Ektochrome "pops" blues, and "wants" full sun; and gets "purpleish" in low light; the fuji films were more eaven, but the photos guys were taking were not always light/color balbanced.)

This is definitely a case of "model what you feel is right."

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Monday, April 20, 2020 8:31 PM

As I recall, Fuji Film was not as available back then except for the guys who bounced off of Japan on the way in-country, or on R&R. The kodac films were most common and alot of guys still had polaroid cameras too.

It's the same case as US Navy 5N on those fairly rare color shots during WW2. A lot of art was also 'colorized' after the fact.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, April 20, 2020 8:50 PM

My F-in-Law was a photographer and went all over MTO 1942-1945 with an enlarger in a box labeled "Instruments-FRAGILE".

He took pictures of the other kids to send back to their mom's "in case".

His film- the tail end of 70 mm recon camera film that he hand stripped to 35 mm in the "darkroom". B/W of course.

Modeling is an excuse to buy books

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 9:59 AM

Here, the foam / armor covers are in place and painted. I've been getting in the RC compnents for this boat and am figuring out how to make it work (I'm new to this RC stuff). With the present Covid-19 issue, materials are a little harder to pick up, as I've never had to make an appointment to visit a hobby shop before (I wonder if they take Blue Cross / Blue Shield?). Anyway, I think the next mini-project is going to be the bow area and ramp. I'm not going to make the ramp operational, per se. It will be able to be lowered and raised as it is on hinges, it just won't be with an installed cable reel system. Maybe next time.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 11:15 PM

Aluminum tubing forms the top / front of the ramp. I had a simply wonderful time bending the stuff (I think I made my wife nervous with the profanity). But I finally got things close to what I wanted and then glued in place. Tomorrow will be bondo and then detail work.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 11:35 PM

Brian this is a really nice project.

I like big scale too, and you are putting it all in.

 

Bill

Modeling is an excuse to buy books

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Thursday, April 23, 2020 9:44 AM

You know, at this point in the build you realize how many shortcuts I could have made, that a lot of others would have made. For the side armor, I could have simply widened the hull and added the bar armor in one or two long strips along the sides. I've seen that in several other builds during my research. But I decided to build it as authentically as I could, and even then I took a short cut or two. This is a complex little boat, with unfortunately, not a lot of available reference material. It's part of the fun and part of the frustration all in one. I'd guess that this is why this hobby can be so addicting; I get to use that little squishy, creative section of my brain.

Now, back to work .  .  . 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Friday, April 24, 2020 9:10 PM

Bow Ramp Build; I put together a basic bow ramp a little while back and then recently added the tubing to start the detailing. Today I did the detail.

 

 

 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

GAF
  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Anniston, AL
Posted by GAF on Friday, April 24, 2020 11:43 PM

Now that's looking really spiffy!

Gary

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Sunday, April 26, 2020 10:26 PM

Thanks Gary, really appreciate it. In case you haven't read the entire thread, I have not worked on any model projects in literally decades. So, this whole thing is a educational process. The crazy part is like other model builders, I've already worked up myself for my next project when I'm not even near done with this one. I must be nuts!!!

Anyway, today / tonight I added the last two well deck side sections to the hull. I've decided to velcro the well deck bottoms in place so as to be able to access the wiring harness and re-ballast if needed. I suspect that this boat will float pretty high as she sits.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Monday, April 27, 2020 2:27 PM

And with the bow ramp basically complete, it's time to secure it.  Turnbuckles and pin shackles (safety wired, of course) will take care of that task, just like on the real thing.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: East Stroudsburg, PA
Posted by TigerII on Monday, April 27, 2020 4:44 PM

Wow this is an awesome project. I like the C-ration boxes and wooden ammo boxes? Your bow ramp came out perfect. Well done so far sir. BTW I have a similar ewer and bowl in my bathroom.Big Smile

Achtung Panzer! Colonel General Heinz Guderian
  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Monday, April 27, 2020 8:37 PM

Thank you; how's life in the Pocono's, I used to go up there to ski when I was a kid.

And yes, it's been one heck of a project. Started out really short on reference material but knew LCM-6 boats so that helped a lot.

And speaking of LCM 6 boats, I got the well deck sections built and primed. I'm trying to decide on either screws or velcro to hold them in place so that I can access the space below for wiring and ballast. 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Friday, May 8, 2020 8:32 PM

Today brought a successful float test (after two failed ones and repairs) with the hull weighted and afloat for an hour without any leaks found. I actually should have done this earlier in the build as it would have been easier to locate the leakage points.

  

Then I brought her back inside, dried her off, and put all of the subassemblies in place.

Yeah, lookin good.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, May 9, 2020 9:01 AM

Oho!

     A flotation test. Now here's a very important question BEFORE you get much further. Obviously we are talking R.C.Here. Have you done that test with operational weight on board?

    If you haven't, you have made a grave error that will Scuttle your plans.( Pardon the Pun) There is such a thing as a pressure leak. I have had them pop up without warning from unusual places. Make sure you do this. With the limited space below decks for wiring you don't want any water anywhere! Right? 

     Besides , based on your photos you haven't enough ballast. She's floating way to high.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, May 9, 2020 9:06 AM

Pawel;

 The only thing that didn't go there was smokes. We protected them better! Sad those days. Now I don't smoke and am better health wise for it!

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Saturday, May 9, 2020 8:12 PM

So, as I posted on the R/C site, I messed up and didn't do this test early enough in the build. I'm good up to the waterline, but have leaks in the top of the sponson / armor shelf, apparently. Should have done this test before installing the foam / bar armor assemblies. Yeah, my bad. The end result is that I can complete and operate the boat, just not load it too heavily (which I hadn't planned on anyway.) We will chalk this one off to lessons learned. 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, May 11, 2020 3:07 PM

Ya Know:

 It really doesn't matter. You seem to be having fun doing the build. That's what counts ! Right??

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 10:10 PM

Well, today's fun was soldering up connectors for the R/C electronics, and oh yeah, a good time was had by all. My wife, and the dogs and the cats all ran to the other end of the house .  .  . Yeah, it was scarey how much fun it was.

Honestly, I have not had to solder in literally years. It was not pretty.

and I used to be really good at it .  .  . DANG!!

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 11:28 AM

And there she is, that shape, those lines, the fine detail .  .  . yes sir, there it is; four pieces of scrap 2x6, eight screws, four rocks and a tarp, and VOILA! a test pond.

  

Of course its been raining and breezy here so operational testing is postponed. And I'm chomping at the bit to get this puppy running while Mother Nature is messing with me. It's been like this for the last two weeks; on and off rain. Just when you try to get something done, the rain starts again. My horses are not liking it either as the whole corral is muck. I have to feed them in the barn, then they get bored and start to chew on the barn rather than run around in the cold rain. Wimps! 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 1:42 PM

Oh!

 In that regard, Horses are like parrots when they are bored .The whole world around them is a chew toy! You'll get there .patience!

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