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Modeling USAREUR, Cold War


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Nice looking track Mr. Fish. The figures are first rate as well.

I really like the job you did on the BDU's. They look nicely faded. The early BDU's had a quirk in the dye, the tan color after being exposed to the sun / washed for a bit, would fade to a weird purple-ish gray. You did a good job of matching that. The name tags would also fade a grey-green color after a bit but the unit shoulder patch should be darker. They didn't fade at all.

Just a couple of nit-picks on your grunt. The M-16/203 was actually multi-colored. The "furniture" (stock and hand guard) was a semi-gloss black plastic. That also applies to the -203 barrel. The steel parts should be a dark gun-metal and the magazine should be a lighter metallic grey color. The 203 quadrant sight mounted on the carrying handle was also solid black plastic. BTW, we often got rid of those. After a bit, a good -203 gunner didn't need them, you could just eye-ball the range and get very good hits with a bit of practice. I was usually able to get my second round through a window at ~ 100 meters. Just took a bit of practice.

Lastly, we never, ever wore body armor (can't speak for units in Germany), as I understood it, the vests were stockpiled in warehouses and would be issued if/when "the balloon went up". The only troops that wore the vest all the time were jarheads. Regardless, the fabric on them never seemed to fade and the vest should be painted using a tan color instead of the faded greyish one that is present on the BDU's and the black should be "blacker".

BTW, per your last comment, as far as I can remember, BDU's were introduced around 1983. For a while, I was told that you would have mix of pickle suits and BDU's in the same unit and for some reason, the BDU field jackets took longer to introduce so a good portion of the troops had OD field jackets over BDU's for about a year before finally becoming "uniform" with all BDUs.

Edited by 11bee
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Nice looking track Mr. Fish. The figures are first rate as well.

I really like the job you did on the BDU's. They look nicely faded. The early BDU's had a quirk in the dye, the tan color after being exposed to the sun / washed for a bit, would fade to a weird purple-ish gray. You did a good job of matching that. The name tags would also fade a grey-green color after a bit but the unit shoulder patch should be darker. They didn't fade at all.

Just a couple of nit-picks on your grunt. The M-16/203 was actually multi-colored. The "furniture" (stock and hand guard) was a semi-gloss black plastic. That also applies to the -203 barrel. The steel parts should be a dark gun-metal and the magazine should be a lighter metallic grey color. The 203 quadrant sight mounted on the carrying handle was also solid black plastic. BTW, we often got rid of those. After a bit, a good -203 gunner didn't need them, you could just eye-ball the range and get very good hits with a bit of practice. I was usually able to get my second round through a window at ~ 100 meters. Just took a bit of practice.

Lastly, we never, ever wore body armor (can't speak for units in Germany), as I understood it, the vests were stockpiled in warehouses and would be issued if/when "the balloon went up". The only troops that wore the vest all the time were jarheads. Regardless, the fabric on them never seemed to fade and the vest should be painted using a tan color instead of the faded greyish one that is present on the BDU's and the black should be "blacker".

BTW, per your last comment, as far as I can remember, BDU's were introduced around 1983. For a while, I was told that you would have mix of pickle suits and BDU's in the same unit and for some reason, the BDU field jackets took longer to introduce so a good portion of the troops had OD field jackets over BDU's for about a year before finally becoming "uniform" with all BDUs.

Great information! Yea, I noticed that pictures from the 1980s seemed to show guys without flak vests. For some reason, Tamiya seemed to go with that in their showcase U.S. infantry of the time, perhaps operating out of a field manual. As for the M-16, I'd had the opportunity to handle a standard A1 "Mattel Rifle," but wasn't sure if what parts of the M203 assembly were plastic. I'll add some glosscoat to those areas, which should provide some darker contrast.

Did troops in the field have shoulder slings attacked to their M-16s? What about the M203 combination?

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Did troops in the field have shoulder slings attacked to their M-16s? What about the M203 combination?

Always had slings. Mostly black, a few were OD. Only exception was going on a raid where you took them off and taped the swivels to keep noise down to minimum.

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Now I need to decide what's next. Wrestling with Skif's old T-64, Dragon's old M1A1 (to a REFORGER '88 machine, when they were new to Europe), or taking the breezy way out, and building one of my hoarded Tamiya M1A-nothings into a Cav/border troop tank.

Think it's going to be the Cav M1. Always wanted one of those on the shelf, and I'd like to mess around with a single-color scheme again. And if I pick up an old Tamiya M2, that'll make a nice pair when completed.

Edited by Fishwelding
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Nice looking track Mr. Fish. The figures are first rate as well.

I really like the job you did on the BDU's. They look nicely faded. The early BDU's had a quirk in the dye, the tan color after being exposed to the sun / washed for a bit, would fade to a weird purple-ish gray. You did a good job of matching that. The name tags would also fade a grey-green color after a bit but the unit shoulder patch should be darker. They didn't fade at all.

Just a couple of nit-picks on your grunt. The M-16/203 was actually multi-colored. The "furniture" (stock and hand guard) was a semi-gloss black plastic. That also applies to the -203 barrel. The steel parts should be a dark gun-metal and the magazine should be a lighter metallic grey color. The 203 quadrant sight mounted on the carrying handle was also solid black plastic. BTW, we often got rid of those. After a bit, a good -203 gunner didn't need them, you could just eye-ball the range and get very good hits with a bit of practice. I was usually able to get my second round through a window at ~ 100 meters. Just took a bit of practice.

Lastly, we never, ever wore body armor (can't speak for units in Germany), as I understood it, the vests were stockpiled in warehouses and would be issued if/when "the balloon went up". The only troops that wore the vest all the time were jarheads. Regardless, the fabric on them never seemed to fade and the vest should be painted using a tan color instead of the faded greyish one that is present on the BDU's and the black should be "blacker".

BTW, per your last comment, as far as I can remember, BDU's were introduced around 1983. For a while, I was told that you would have mix of pickle suits and BDU's in the same unit and for some reason, the BDU field jackets took longer to introduce so a good portion of the troops had OD field jackets over BDU's for about a year before finally becoming "uniform" with all BDUs.

All M-16/203 as well as all other weapons are "parkerized" so the barrel and receiver should be a black/dark gray finish. The barrel and receiver of the 40mm launcher were flat black. The old M-79 "Thumper" was a far better weapon than the M-203, none of that quadrant sight crap. The magazines new were a dark gray, ones with time on them were worn/faded almost to silver with a greenish color that would be bleeding through.

Flak jackets were wore in USAREUR, we wore them for ARF when we backed up missile sites, but never in the field for training. The 56th Field Artillery Brigade (Pershing Missiles) wore flak jackets also. Saw some Huey Slick crews wearing them too. Flak jackets were olive drab, they were all Korean War era.

BDU's came out in late 80 early 81, 83 was the date that everyone had to have four pairs of the BDU's. OG-107 and the 50/50 permanent press fatiques were suppose to be eliminated then. But they weren't. The M-65 field jacket was the last item to go BDU, but in OD it was authorized to wear with the BDU's. The original run BDU's had a very bad problem with shrinkage and none shrank the same. I still have several pair with "modified" cuffs that I had tailored.

BDU's were the Army's answer to bring back the jungle fatique, practically everything was the same except for the material and quad color, and the top pockets were straight instead of angled.

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Ah, the 1980s. When hair was big enough to mess with air defense radars, and the Breakfast Club was everybody's measure of teenage angst. Picked up this box at the last Pittsburgh IPMS show for $10.00.

M1.jpg

Step 1: Testors "Earth" in a can, applied to the tracks. No, the paint won't stick as well as on styrene, but it'll survive moderate handling and makes a good basecoat.

M1%202.JPG

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The below photo is not the best and is obviously taken from a distance but it shows the ARF being called out. You can take it to the bank that everyone in the formation had a flak jacket on. Note the individual standing between the formation and the 5 ton truck, he's the Battalion Duty Officer (BDO) wearing the Class B summer uniform of khaki's, another excellent uniform the Army foolishly did away with. Also note that the base color on the vehicles is sand. Photo circa 1973-74.

ARFcopy.jpg

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Hey Alpha,

As of 12 years ago, those wooden barracks at Polk were still there..... Just not as many though.

They get used by the units rotating through JRTC.

North Fort is where the prime housing is for those with dependents... South Fort housing is/was basicly a nicer Section 8 development. The barracks on South Fort were renovated back in the 90's when 2nd ACR was over in Bosnia.

It was shades of mauve :gr_barf: in the rooms, and we couldn't paint over it either.

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I was stationed at FT Polk form Oct 71-Dec 71. AIT Tigerland. I remember a Capt Benton. Funny thing is I can't remember my platoon? I think 3rd Delta? Not sure. I took my Basic at FT Dix. Cheers to all.

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BDU's came out in late 80 early 81, 83 was the date that everyone had to have four pairs of the BDU's. OG-107 and the 50/50 permanent press fatiques were suppose to be eliminated then. But they weren't. The M-65 field jacket was the last item to go BDU, but in OD it was authorized to wear with the BDU's. The original run BDU's had a very bad problem with shrinkage and none shrank the same. I still have several pair with "modified" cuffs that I had tailored.

Replying to an old post here: I got out of Uncle Sugar's service in March of 81 and never saw any BDUs in use. I was in Korea at the time.

John Hairell (tpn18@yahoo.com)

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I was at Ft Polk from March 84 until Oct 87, South Fort. 5th ID, 2nd Bde, 3rd Btn/10th Inf. In late summer 1984 we "changed colors" to 4th Btn/6th Inf. By then most of South Fort had been rebuilt with newer barracks with the exception of the reception station and the side of South Fort out near the parade field. Both of those had WWII barracks that had been upgraded with amenities like rooms and air conditioning, instead of being the old open bay style inside, which I had just departed at Ft. Benning.

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And the two uniforms that I usually wore in the field:

MOPP (out by bunker 4 for those who know that area on the east side of post)

gasgasgasbunker41985.jpg

and my favorite uniform that I wore in 24 years (1983-2007), Jungle Fatigues... (on a road march out to the field, Summer 1986... hot!)

roadmarchRTOsummer1986.jpg

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And the two uniforms that I usually wore in the field:

MOPP (out by bunker 4 for those who know that area on the east side of post)

gasgasgasbunker41985.jpg

The original CBR (Chemical, Biological, Radiological) uniform before MOPP was OG 107 cotton fatigues or OG 107 cotton coveralls that had been impregnated with paraffin and some other ingredient(s). We were issued 2 sets of these in the Infantry. The Army claimed they would protect the soldier from a chemical and/or biological attack. I tend to believe it too, because the paraffin was like pliable asphalt. When the Army changed the term CBR to NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) MOPP was developed. And had a few teething problems concerning the protection it was suppose to give the soldier.

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Hey Alpha,

As of 12 years ago, those wooden barracks at Polk were still there..... Just not as many though.

They get used by the units rotating through JRTC.

North Fort is where the prime housing is for those with dependents... South Fort housing is/was basicly a nicer Section 8 development. The barracks on South Fort were renovated back in the 90's when 2nd ACR was over in Bosnia.

It was shades of mauve :gr_barf:/>/>/> in the rooms, and we couldn't paint over it either.

42 years ago and before, South Fort was all Basic Training Brigades, and North Fort (Tiger Land) was Advanced Infantry Training (11B,11C,11D,11H). South Fort was also where Post Headquarters was. North Fort was considered the boonies and no one went there (not even to visit) unless they were in an Infantry Training Brigade. In between South and North Fort was the Stockade. All of Fort Polk in those days was WWII buildings with a few exceptions of modern (for the day) metal buildings that were used as classrooms to get the troops out of the rain. When I took my Infantry Training there, many of the barracks were "swayback" but the Army had deemed them safe to house troops in due to the fact they had settled as far as they were going to go. When I went back to Polk and again at North Fort with A Co 3/10 Inf 2nd Brigade 5th ID the barracks were in the same dismal shape as 5 years earlier, but the Post Engineers would periodically come out and jack up and level the buildings. There was no AC and the bugs were plenty. I looked at it this way, it was just part of being in the old Army and it could be worse.

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