Thursday, June 18, 2015

The latest FOW: M42A1 Duster

Mrs History PhD has finished her second Flames of War Vietnam vehicle, an M42A1 Duster:

The first Dusters arrived in Vietnam in the autumn of 1966, primarily to soothe the Army's anxiety about the North Vietnamese Air Force's possible ground strike capability. When the North showed it was totally focused on aerial combat over Hanoi and Haiphong, other uses were found for the Duster's twin 40mm guns. It was soon discovered that the wet jungle terrain was too much for the Continental 500hp gasoline engine, serious overheating being a widespread problem, and several vehicles were disabled due to engine fires. The Duster was quickly restricted to lighter duty, but it turned out to be a first-rate base perimeter defense and convoy fire support vehicle. 240 40mm rounds per minute can be pretty daunting. 
Three battalions of Air Defense Artillery (Self-Propelled) were sent to Vietnam and served there until 1973, when some of the Dusters were returned to the US and some were given to the ARVN. 

Mrs History PhD asked for Vietnam photos of the Duster and here are the ones I provided:
And one I couldn't resist:
A captured Duster and an M107 in the background. It must have been during the Tet Offensive, as after that the Viet Cong had pretty well ceased to exist (note the VC flag), so it's unlikely to be 1974-75. 

And here's what the wife has turned out:
She even magnetized the turret!
It seems that the majority of Dusters in Vietnam didn't use the flash suppressors, though some did. I mentioned to Mrs. History PhD that she could easily remove them from the model (we have an X-acto razor saw), but she quite rightly concluded that leaving them on would provide stability and rigidity for the otherwise very easily bent/broken barrels. She also thought about adding an awning, but decided against it. Awnings were common for static base defense vehicles, but would be highly unlikely on a convoy escort vehicle. This is also the first time she's used MIG Productions black smoke pigment on the exhausts:
which I think turned out quite well. I think part of why she wanted to do a Duster is because two dozen of them are still in service with the Thai Army. 

She says she's not entirely happy, as the ready ammunition boxes are empty (they're awaiting the arrival of some brass wire from which to make 40mm shells). Also, she wanted to add an M60 mount on the right side of the turret, but no one seems to make loose accessory M60s in 15mm. I told her to bide her time and we would pirate an M60 from a future helicopter or infantry set that she paints. It'll be easily retrofitted. 

So, needless to say, when I asked if she had gotten 15mm out of her system now, I got "the look":
I guess I'll buy another FOW vehicle, huh? Stand by for the next one. 


  1. I think the captured M42 is at Camp Carroll during the 1972 Easter Offensive. I think I have seen the picture captioned that way.

    If you buy the M113 plastic box set from FoW there are M60.

    Arrigo (a History PhD too... subject Vietnam War :D )

    1. Odd to see a VC flag in 72. Of course, it could be a cavalry guidon

    2. It could be (the white seems white instead of light blue) or a propaganda picture. According to Colonel Willbanks the 9th "VC" division had NLF flags in the area around An Loc. But by Tet only the USA had M107 and M42, and no main base was captured. Those people are standing inside a quite well fortified base, so it could be Camp Carroll (that was surrendered, had Dusters and M107 also!).

      Also tell your boss that the M42 is very nice.

      By the way if you have to buy your wife some FoW vehicles... their M41 are nice and the M113 plastic kit is really neat (and not expensive). My M48s instead are half PP half Command Decision.

    3. She's got her eye on something new already. More on that soon

  2. Great looking Duster.

  3. Replies
    1. You should put out a 1/600 Duster, Marcin

    2. Oh well... Maybe I did it? ;)

    3. Good for Americans and West Germans