This is the M561 Gamma Goat. It’s the Tamiya kit, pretty much out of the box. The only things added were from the Legends stowage set and comprised of the jerry can on the fender and the “convertible” top. Both were resin parts and fit pretty well. What was lacking from the top was the rear window, which was made from some plastic packaging material. I also used the same material for the front windshield. The kit parts were used as a pattern. The model went together pretty well; however, you need to pay attention to the knock-out pin marks on the inside of the cargo bed. They should all be filled prior to assembly, to avoid the dreaded, “D’Oh!” moment(s). The camouflage scheme is known as the Dual Texture Gradient Pattern (DUALTEX) and was used by the U.S. 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment from 1978 – 1985. The colors used were the same as the MERDC (Mobility Equipment Research and Development Center) paint scheme concurrently in use, but instead of flowing amorphous patterns, DUALTEX used squares of different colors in its patterns. This found in trials at least equal to, and in many cases, superior in camouflaging equipment at medium and long ranges. A complete explanation to this camouflage pattern can be found in MASSTER MERDC-DUALTEX, Multi-Tone Camouflage Schemes on Vehicles of the USAEUR in the Cold War by Hans-Bernd Glanz & Markus Bach from Tankograd Publishing. Painting the vehicle was a challenge. First, the model was primed in flat black automotive primer. From there, 1/8 inch squares were cut form masking tape and positioned over various parts of the model. This was followed by some random airbrushed spots of Tamiya XF-57 Buff. Once this dried, the procedure was repeated with the tape. Each successive color was masked off once it had dried. The field drab was from Tamiya and the forest green (medium olive, if I remember correctly) from Vallejo. Once everything was dry, the masks were removed and small touch ups corrected any errors or bleed-through. Next was a coat of clear gloss for decals. As the vehicle I used as my model was pretty plainly marked, I whipped up a set of bumper codes on my laser printer. The bumper codes are from the 2nd ACR, at that time a part of the VII corps. A coat of gloss and then clear flat followed. As this was an active U.S. Army vehicle, weathering was going to be pretty mild and restricted basically to dirt and rain streaks. I made up a filter of thinned AK Interactive “brown for yellow vehicles,” which toned down the green to manageable levels (boy was it bright when I started!). From there, a pin wash was made up from sap green and brown to highlight the details and show dirt. Finally, I used the “Dot technique” to show dirt and discoloration that would happen in the field. With this completed, I moved onto the headlights and turn signals. Both were painted on the inside before being white glued in place. I crazed the back window of the top with some model cement and a couple of washes (anyone out there remember old convertible tops?). The top itself was painted with Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green and then washed and dry-brushed with various colors in order to get the proper “lived in” look. The wheels and tires started out as primer black and then were washed with various browns and black-ish colors. They were then dry-brushed with Vallejo “black gray” to pick out the tread pattern. Finally, I used some AK Interactive “Light Mud” from there wheel and tire set to tie everything together, especially in the wheel wells and on the windshield. This was a great little model. I remember passing convoys of these bone-jarringly noisy vehicles on their way up to Ft. Drum in upstate New York on New York State Thruway while heading on family vacations as a kid. We could hear them long before they came into sight! This one will sit next to my MASSTER-schemed M60. Now, on to my next project! Enoy!
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