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Vietnam Gun trucks: Ace of spades and King Cobra


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First a bit of history:


When the Americans were fully into the Vietnam war, they had to distribute the good, ammo, etc from the harbors of Qui Hon and Cam Ranh Bay to the countryside. The transport was done by trucks, and convoys were pretty large (+200 trucks at once were no exception) These made a valuable target for the Vietcong. Especially the convoys from the 8th transport group coming Qui Hon were prime targets due to the terrain they had to cross. Most dangerous places were the Devils hairpin in the An Khe pass and the so called Ambush Alley in the Mang Giang pass.


First the military police was tasked to protect the convoys, but they had neither the equipment nor the manpower to do so. Bases along the route had to provide a kind of quick reaction force, but that could also take up to 25minutes to get to the scene. After a devastating attack, in which 7 drivers were killed, 17 wounded and 30 trucks destroyed or severely damaged, the 8th transport group took matters in their own hands. 2.5t light trucks were converted to guntrucks by adding sandbags, M60 machine guns or Quad .50 stations, etc and every 10th truck was an armored one. The sandbags were quickly replaced by armor plate, due to the rain soaked the sandbags and the trucks became too heavy... As armament and splintershields became heavier (due to the use of RPG's), 2.5t trucks weren't enough anymore and 5t trucks were used instead. Also the ad hoc armor and weaponry became standardised, and an armored bed was made that could be placed on the cargobed. Weaponry could differ from light M60's, to .50 to grenade launchers to even miniguns...


There was a shortage in armored plates that could be used, so even hulls of M113 ACAV's were mounted on the truckbed...





The build:


For this project I'm using the new AFV M54 truck, the AFV ACAV, LM decals for the king Cobra version and a Real Models conversion for the Ace of spades







For now, I'm firstly building the truck chassis, later on I will cope with the several "cargo's"


The parts of the AFV M54 kit:




























Further there is a bit of PE, a chain and some cable.


My progress so far: (All parts are glued together in groups, so when there are gaps etc... most is dryfit for ease of painting or there are more parts to be added)


Main chassis: pretty detailed, some ejector marks on the inside, but these are easily scraped away, the rear springs still need some cleaning



Rear suspension and drive train, each train consists of about 25 parts, but it's an amazing result:



Front axle, still fully movable:



Cabin, dryfit of three subassemblies





Truckbed, with a dented detail molded in:



Bottom is the only place so far I presume filler could be used...



The side, I cut of the wooden sides, as I won't need these:



Some holes need to be made here, or the idea of holes..



Transmission, carter, gearbox and winch, no full engine, but it can't be seen anyway...



Fuel- and toolboxes...



Airfilter, consists of 7 pieces...



and a general dryfit of the parts so far:







soon to be continued...






Edited by Silenoz
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This is  so cool! Going to follow this build and watch with a lot of interest. AFV Club did a great job here. Have fun building the beasts.


Kind regards,


Robert Jan

Edited by Robert Jan Scholte v. Mast
forgot a word
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This is what I plan to do with mine when I get round to it. Did you get two 'E'  sprues in the kit? Quite a few left the factory with only one. Luckily my supplier informed me and sourced replacements. 

I'll be watching this.

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