Every month, Vladimir Demchenko
sculpts a new unique subject and opens up new horizons to Vietnam diorama builders. Recently, he added a new kit to U.S.Army Infantry-Rumble in Jungle series. B6-35053
depicts a K-9 Scout Team with a Dog Handler and a German Shepherd.
about the kit
Vietnam War made a big increase in the use of dogs in direct combat roles. Dogs were used in scouting, patroling, tracking, locating enemy mines, hidden base camps, underground tunnel complexes, finding caches of enemy weapons, food, and medical supplies, detecting enemy infiltrations into airfields and base camps or alerting on snipers and ambushes. Especially jungle patrols were very limited in what the soldiers could see and hear, even more so at night. Their dogs were invaluable in extending the senses by the much superior canine ability in hearing, smell and signt.
Between the years 1964 and 1973, United States had deployed an estimated 4,000 war dogs and 10,000 handlers to Vietnam. Main breeds served in jungles were German shepherd and Labrador retriever. Shepherds were specially trained for scouting as Labradors were trackers.
K-9 units were credited with saving thousands of lives in Vietnam. These dogs were very effective that the Viet Cong offered bounties for killing them and their handlers. Sadly, at the end of the conflict, as K-9 units were deactived, dogs were transfered to South Vietnam Army or euthanized. Less than 250 dogs were returned to the United States or other locations.
box & casting
The kit comes in standard BRAVO-6 cardboard box labeled with a photo of K-9 Scout team. Kit content is elaborately inserted in 3 different transparent zip-lock bags to prevent possible damages. Parts are cast in grey resin and represented with the casting blocks. Quality is good with no air bubbles, casting mistakes or excess resin and there will be no need for a serious cleanwork.
Posed slightly leaning forward to hold his dog, it comes in 13 parts.
Body : He wears standard uniform of 3rd pattern jungle jacket, trousers and black leather/canvas combined jungle boots. He carries a M16 bandolier on his waist over his M1956 pistol belt. Cloth folds, uniform details and harness of the backpack are well defined.
Head : Facial details, hair and open mouth are well defined.
Right arm : He carries a XM-177E2 with a collapsible stock,extended flash hider and twenty round magazine. Upfolded sleeves are well defined.
Left arm : Posed to hold the dog with upfolded sleeves. He has a wrist watch. Dog lead can be scratched from metal foil.
Lightweight Tropical Rucksack with metal frame : A 2 quart collapsable film bladder, a bedroll and a M17 Gasmask case are cast on the frame with crisp details.
First Aid/Compass pouch
M7 bayonet in M8A1 scabbard
1 Qt canteen in canvas cover - 4 pieces
Helmet with Mitchell pattern camo canvas cover and strap
A water-slide decal sheet with different types of insignia, ranks and nametags is given inside the kit.
German Shepherd comes in 4 pieces. Two body halves, head and tail. It shows a nice texture.
Vladimir first sculpted another dog for this kit and shared the kit boxart with modelers. After critics and comments, he decided to change it to a German shepherd. A good decision to appreciate for a model company.
Another great pair to use in Vietnam jungle dioramas.