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In-Box Review
135
Australian SAS Saddlin'Up
Australian SAS Saddlin'Up - Vietnam
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by: Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]


Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

introduction

The US Vietnam figures collection of BRAVO-6 keeps getting larger in all different branches. The owner and talented sculptor of the company Vladimir Demchenko lately started to sculpt US Marines and Mech. Infantry figures but he also completed the last members of the Australian SAS recon team. All five figures of this series are shown as preparing for a mission and a fantastic diorama can be built using all of them.

The kit B6-35020 Australian SAS “Saddlin’ up” – Vietnam includes two figures representing Australian SAS members in Vietnam 1968, one posed to tie the laces of his jungle boots and the other loading ammo before a new 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.
box

The figures come well packed in new enlarged BRAVO-6 light brown cardboard box which the figures are safer during transport. The front part of the box shows a photo of the assembled and painted figures which can be helpful as a painting reference. On the other side of the box; e-mail address and website of the company are noted.

Each figure comes in a seperate transparent zip-lock bag . Inside these bags, the main part-body and other small parts like arms and accessories of each figure are also seperately inserted in a small plastic bags to avoid unexpected damages during transfer. Parts are represented with the casting blocks.
Casting

Both of the figures are sculpted by Vladimir Demchenko and come in medium grey resin. The resin quality is very good and details are very crisp. No air bubbles, excess resin or any casting mistakes on the figures. The junctions between figure parts and casting blocks are well placed and the parts can be easily removed from the blocks with no damage. There will be a small need to clean a few seamlines only on the arms.
Figure #1

The figure comes in 9 parts. The main part is Body with head and legs. Facial details of an open mouth smiling face and hair are very well defined as seen on the close up photo. He has a right pulled beret on his head which is painted in tigerstripe camouflage on this figure. Beret was not a common headgear for SAS units but mostly worn by some units of armor,aviation and artillery. Posed knelling on his right knee, he wears tropical combat uniform with combat jacket with four flip-top cover pockets and trousers with two large cargo pockets on both sides. Cloth folds, neck towel and M1956 ILCE (Individual Load Carrying Equipment) consisting of utility belt and suspenders are well defined. He carries 3 low slung big size ammo pouchs different than standard US M-16 ammo pouches. These large size pouches produced by a firm in Perth unique for SASR were worn lower on the hip and they were used to carry ammo of many different rifles though they were produced for SLR magazines. As for the footgear; he wears general purpose jungle boots.

Other parts are;

  • Right arm : Posed to tie shoe laces. The cloth folds are well defined.

  • Left arm : Posed to tie shoe laces. The cloth folds are well defined.

    Note that shoe laces should be scratched. For example ; by heating and pulling technique of a piece of plastic sprue.

  • First aid case or compass pouch.

  • One quart plastic canteen in canvas cover. – 4 pieces.

  • KABAR knife in leather scabbard.

  • Canvas ARVN 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. This part is given as a seperate part to display next to the figure.
    Figure #2

    The figure comes in 8 parts. The main part is Body with head and legs. Facial details, hair, long whiskers and moustache and neck towel inserted into the uniform are well defined. As in the first figure; he wears tropical combat uniform. Cloth folds of the uniform and heavily loaded side pockets are well defined. Note that when painting camouflage uniforms of Australian SAS figures; you can paint them in many variations like ERDL, Tigerstripe and more or combined . Ammo pouches,weapons and backpacks can also be painted in camouflage as SAS members sprayed their own equipment to have low visibility in jungle. He has M1956 utility belt and suspenders. Four Australian style low slung M-16 ammo pouches are carried on front; two on the right side and two on the left. He carries a canvas Australian Bergen 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. He has canvas- leather GP jungle boots.

    The figure carries 40 mm grenade pouches featuring two vertical rows of five pockets on a sleeve that fitted over the shoulder harness. A 7.62 ammo belt of 100 rounds protected by a plastic sleeve probably a cut from an air matress is draped around the torso.
    Other parts are;

  • Left arm : Posed to load another ammo belt in cover to his shoulder. Both hands are sculpted on the ammo belt and wear fingerless gloves.

  • Right arm : It will be posed in front of the body to meet the hand on the ammo belt. It shows nice cloth folds.

  • First aid case or compass pouch.

  • One quart plastic canteen in canvas cover. – 3 pieces.

  • KABAR knife in leather scabbard.

  • Ammo link ; it should be cut and added to the lower parts of the coated ammo belts as seen in boxart.
    weapons

    Though two weapons are shown on the boxart; kit includes 3 different rifles and each of the rifles is a unique weapon used by SASR teams.
  • Modified 7.62 mm Australian made L1A1 SLR-self loading rifle ; the barrel is shortened by removing the flash supressor.

  • Modified 7.62 mm US made M14 rifle : barrel is shortened and a pistol grip is added 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.

  • Modified M16A1 ; shortened barrel and a XM-148 grenade launcher attached to the rifle. A field dresssing is taped on the stock.
    reference

  • Osprey Publishing - Vietnam ANZACs Australian & New Zealand Troops in Vietnam 1962–72 by Kevin Lyles

  • Vietnamgear.com

  • David Brubakers Vietnam Equipment and uniforms

    conclusion

    Another excellent kit from BRAVO-6. Nice subject, very nice sculpt and high quality casting. It can be built as a vignette or combined in a fantastic diorama with other SASR figures of the company.

    Very Highly Recommended

  • SUMMARY
    Highs: Very nice sculpt and high quality cast. Great details with many personal gear and 3 rifles for 2 figures.
    Lows: No lows for this product.
    Verdict: Excellent kit for Vietnam era painters.
    Percentage Rating
    97%
      Scale: 1:35
      Mfg. ID: B6-35020
      Related Link: Product Page
      PUBLISHED: Feb 16, 2010
      NATIONALITY: Australia
    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.



       

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