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Well the time has arrived. 

 

The last of the extended family has loaded up on their planes and departed for their homes one and all, and I have been bequeathed the end of the dining table closest to the window as a building area again.  As I have already mentioned before, I was looking for a subject that hopefully would not take as long as many of the projects I have on my "To Do List" at this point. After the grinding of considerable gears in my feeble old brain and digging through my stash over a period of months, it occurred to me that the years of 2019-2020 were the 50th anniversary of my excursion halfway around the world for me to a little known place in SE Asia. While not a particularly long relocation in the scheme of my life, it was a life altering one.

 

So I settled on building the UH-1 Huey as symbol of the primary vehicle and work space for me in my months overseas. My job was as a door gunner, and consisted mostly of hanging out of the right side of a helicopter, yelling over the radio, and pointing a big gun at people and things. A highly desired and in demand set of skills back in the real world of flowers and pretty girls, but it was pretty much what the Army thought my intelligence level was and didn't want to waste the money training me for something more demanding and useful. 

 

At any rate this is as much a personal trip back through time, as it is an attempt to build an accurate model. I will of course try my best and insert as many details and items as my skills and memory allow but the memory may be faulty and the skills are definitely lacking but I will try. 

 

The model I chose to use was one I bought some time ago. While it is not quite as large as the 1/32nd Revell Huey I also had on my shelf, it is still a pretty well made model in my opinion and being in 1/35th I thought it would be easier to embellish with all of the assorted 1/35th stuff out there. At the time I bought it I was going to just build it out of the box and find a place for it where I could point to it to my grand kids and explain to them why it was there. But THEN I joined this forum and found out that to build anything stock out of the box was something akin to sacrilege, and offenders could possibly be burned at the stake! SOOOOOOOOO the search began for the proper embellishments that would be needed to at least try and present a credible model on this forum.

 

Even though the model comes with what I originally considered a nice set of PE detail parts, I added to this with some additional PE from Edwards Models. These sets are for the "C" model but the parts I will use are pretty much generic between models and should work, or I wasted my money, time will tell. I also replaced the crew figures with better ones and the final model will probably have a mixture of kit and aftermarket figures. I have a few other things that after months are still not here. They are coming from France and were ordered well before Christmas but are taking forever!

 

So to finish this opening, here are some looks at the kit and box.

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image.thumb.png.2797fe62e29ef6b75db10d619ff348be.png

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5 hours ago, Canute said:

Looking forward to your commemorative build, Lou.

Hopefully at least some of this will key good, funny, or memorable experiences from people that happened in their lives 50 years ago and helped form who they are today and they take the time to share it here whether it is in story, model, or picture form. I know as an example that for a fact you have a lot more to share than I do Ken.

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Lou, do you know the difference between a fighter pilot war story and a fairy tale? The fairy tale starts out "Once upon a time....". War stories start out "this is no s**t... ".  If you want war stories, I'll chime in where appropriate. ;) I'm sure there are other vets, from any number of countries, with stories. 

 

Military Aviation is hours of boredom, interspersed with minutes of stark terror, :unsure:

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You beat me too it, Lou.   I'll be making my first post tonight.

Door gunner.. much needed skill.  It could have been if the traffic copters flew over bad parts of town.  p0237.gif.71f1271eb5c02195d6a098e1a88f7049.gifmephisto3.gif.6129bf34d9de68bc6bc308f33feaa522.gif

Ken is right about boredom and terror......

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3 hours ago, Canute said:

I'm sure there are other vets, from any number of countries, with stories. 

Why limit it to Vets? What were people here doing 50 years ago this year? (For those of us who are at least 50 years old) What possibly happened yo you that may have had a major influence on your life? Got into the college of your choice, new spouse/family, there are so many possibilities with the diverse population and world wide span of this forum. I personally am looking forward to possibly hearing some of them.

3 hours ago, Canute said:

Military Aviation is hours of boredom, interspersed with minutes of stark terror

I always found it to be AFTER the fact that the "What if" and the sometimes shakes started. The Adrenalin kicked in and from that point I was always too busy while it was actually happening to think about much of anything. Like I said before, too stupid to be taught a meaningful trade.

 

1 hour ago, mtaylor said:

You beat me too it, Lou.   I'll be making my first post tonight.

Not yet Mark. I have some very important cabin parts supposedly being shipped from France that are taking FOREVER and has been saying "Shipment information received IDE NORD & QUEST- France" since the 9th. I ordered and paid for the parts in November! I can not go all that far without those parts if I want to build the "enhanced" model as unlike a CH-53, a Huey is almost all cockpit!

 

Looking forward to following your build as well.

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I understand.  I have my guns coming from France.. finally shipped after a month.  Now being patient but it's no big deal as I won't need them for quite a while.

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Well, yeah, I stayed in after Nam and had some fun flying here, there and darn near everywhere. Not much call for fighter types. I did have a hip pocket link to a few big chemical companies (Dow, duPont, Mobil) thanks to interviews I had with them when I was in college. Problem for me was the 28 year break from college to AF retirement. Flying was fun, but the guys and gals I got to work with  made up a big part of why I stayed in the AF.

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very happy to see the start of your project Lou!   as I mentioned,  I dealt with the place your getting the decals and parts from.  I pretty much had to prod the heck out of them........and them having the brass to ask me for a review afterwards......nawwwww,  they would have deleted it,  not only that,  I didn't have the order yet!   I'm sure ;)   I didn't mention it,  but they also asked me to send them pictures of the Nine o Nine.  after almost two months of waiting for the decals,  I wasn't about to fulfill that request.  give Mega Hobby a try.......I got the Wulfe Hound decals in two working days......ordered them Thursday,  the 9th........got 'em on Monday,  the 13th!  I'm sure they will have what you need.  I didn't know what B.S. I'd run into canceling the other order,  so I let it go full circle........but I'll never order from them again.

 

your knowledge of this subject will be valuable.......this will be a fantastic read....and project :) 

 

I built a few of the gunships they used in Nam Ken........they are some of the meanest pieces ever created!

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5 hours ago, Canute said:

Flying was fun, but the guys and gals I got to work with  made up a big part of why I stayed in the AF.

I thought that almost all of the VN era fixed wing pilots had their pick of jobs flying commercial aircraft back in the world?

 

I almost did the same thing believe it or not. The culture shock between one life and the other when I got out was a little less than 24 hours. One morning I was arming choppers and everything was green, brown, red, OD, and half the time smelled like mildew and feces, and the next morning I was feeling like a bug under a microscope walking down crowded streets with cement buildings and sidewalks where there were people of two sexes, all wearing all of these colors! VERY much of an emotional shock. Even after I got off of the bus and went home, the first few weeks were extremely odd. I contemplated going down to my local recruiting office more than once in the first  month and reenlisting. There can be parts of being in the military that can be very comfortable and secure emotionally.   

Edited by lmagna

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I could only wish that the order I'm waiting for included decals Denis.

 

That is the main area where I have hit a complete dead end. I will be stuck with the kit decals or whatever I can hand paint! I have not been able to find anything that relates to the 4th Inf Division! I guess we were not all that famous. I was for a very short time TDY with the 2nd Inf Division and I have found a peal and stick decal that would work for nose art for that division but I would prefer my main combat unit if possible. 

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35 minutes ago, popeye the sailor said:

terrible the way you boys were treated coming home.  

Some were and some weren't. I think my personal experience was somewhat mixed. Once my hair grew out and I learned to keep my mouth shut about where I had been for the last couple of years the strange looks and people moving to the other side of the room pretty much stopped. It was that way for the next 20 or more years. I was a little more lucky in that I chose a profession where being a combat vet was not all that different from what we were doing every day anyway, and at least half of my workmates were vets as well. It was only in certain circles of society where being a combat vet was akin to having a social disease. Stay out of those circles, or don't let them know and it was OK. Kind of like a "Don't talk don't tell" policy.

 

I suppose that for me, it was more like we were never allowed to feel proud of the job we did. It was not a war where the lifestyle of anyone here in the US was threatened, or for that matter anyone anywhere. If I had to choose today between Vietnam and North Korea to live I would pick Vietnam in a heartbeat! Who were we saving and from what? Almost to the man, we were there because that was where our Government said we had to be. Others may feel differently but that was my take on it.

 

AH..... Too much gloom and doom. 

 

I hope to start painting in the next day or two. It will be my first attempt at painting a model like this with an airbrush. All I have is a cheap probably Chinese make do airbrush, but then my skills are also probably the same, so hopefully it will be a good match. I hope to do a nice job but you guys set a pretty high standard for someone who has not built a model like this in probably over 40 years.     

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Great to see you back  with a project lou,  I have bought a sleeping bag and kettle  ready to follow this one,    not sure id this link might help, just did an internet search for decals for you.

 

Looking forward to following this mate.

 

OC.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Print-Scale-Decals-1-35-BELL-UH-1-HUEY-Helicopter/362431612663

 

And this one  - 

 

http://www.wernerswings.com/uh-1dh-vietnam_beyond.html

Edited by Old Collingwood

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Thanks OC

I have already looked at that set of decals and there would be little of use in them for me. Most of them are "B" models and one is USMC. Most of the usable decals in that set that are u\sable to me are already in the set that came with my model. The Werner's Wings set matches no Huey I have ever seen. Besides they are in 1/48th, my build will be in 1/35th. I have already come to the conclusion that at least some of my build will have to be generic rather than unique to a particular aircraft.

 

Thanks for trying.

Edited by lmagna

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20 minutes ago, lmagna said:

Thanks OC

I have already looked at that set of decals and there would be little of use in them for me. Most of them are "B" models and one is USMC. Most of the usable decals in that set that are u\sable to me are already in the set that came with my model. The Werner's Wings set matches no Huey I have ever seen. Besides they are in 1/48th, my build will be in 1/35th. I have already come to the conclusion that at least some of my build will have to be generic rather than unique to a particular aircraft.

 

Thanks for trying.

No problem my friend.

 

OC.

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Lou, check this link. Michael has a lot on these pages. https://www.cybermodeler.com/aircraft/h-1/h-1_all.shtml

 

Yeah, my return to the Big BX was not too shiny. Told to stash the uniforms before we left Travis AFB, Cal. Got spit at by the yokels in San Francisco. Luckily, my relatives picked me up pretty quick and I went low profile for a while. When I got home to Jersey, I was pretty safe, since a lot of my relatives were vets, as were many guys on the block I grew up on. I went to Germany, the folks around our base were friendly and my squadron mates were great guys. The job was good, so I stayed.

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Lou,

Are you getting your parts from 1001Hobbies?   They do seem to be slow.  Maybe it's the long lunches with wine?  :D

 

Be careful with that link to Cybermodels.   For the CH-53 they show the same colors as for the E model and older which was desert colors.

 

Yes, coming home to the States.   I home for not quite a week, afraid to drive, etc.   My buddy from 'Nam stopped by on his way home.   So we go downtown and walking around, a bus backfired.   We both looked up rather sheepishly from the gutter to see cop grinning at us.  All he said was "you boys just got back from "Nam, right?" and helped us up.   Nice guy, he was a vet too.  I had more problems at the college I went to than anywhere else.  We vets ended up sticking together and if the entitled kids spit, we spit back.  

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Thanks for the link Ken

 

I think that the return to the US for many of us was the final insult Ken and one that most of us will probably never completely get over. We are stronger people and did a better job than the stories told in the papers and movies. I won't get into it again from my view as I want my look back of 50 years to be as good a look as possible and not just the dark side. But again I think it is part of us all and will always be part of the whole and it is good that it is out here early and open for everyone reading this.

 

Yes 1001 is the company in question Mark. It appears that Denis also had poor service from them. Like you say, it must be the long lunches, short work weeks and large glasses of wine.

 

It's funny that your buddy from Nam made you his first stop  on his way home. My best buddy did the same to me! I was living in central California not all that far from the Oakland release center and he lived in LA. He stayed a week and we really lit up the town! One of the best times of my life.

 

Yes, my college years under the GI Bill were another experience. It was hard to sit back and listen to some of the garbage from the instructors having seen some of the world for ourselves and having learned to think for ourselves. In some classes it didn't matter all that much but my Poly Sci instructor and I went head to head more than once. I think she suspected where I had come from or where I had been. My Political Geography instructor was just the opposite. He enjoyed debate and discussion so I suppose it worked out most of the time. By that time I had grown my hair and learned how to avoid the military stuff so that was never much  of an issue for me. My problems came later in my last couple of years after I had entered law enforcement. I was still going to college and because of my other schedule it became known what I did for a living, so in some ways I became odd man out yet again.  

Edited by lmagna

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I went to an engineering school. In 69-70, I had a class with an antiwar activist type (he spent the first 5 minutes of every class talking about stuff he was doing in that area). I had to attend my Wednesday morning class in uniform, since it was our weekly ROTC drill session right after this class. The first few weeks with this guy were frosty. ;) At mid-term, I had a C. How much he influenced that I don't know. Anyway, we did an all-nighter, at my fraternity house, gathering assorted problems for our notebooks. Engineering school = open book finals. Should be easy? :wacko: Nope, took all 4 allotted hours to do the final, burning up my slide rule. I must have aced the final, because my final grade was an A.

 

I didn't get a welcome home from anyone outside my family until the mid 80s. A lot of misguided folks believed the propaganda being spewed in the 60-70s. Still a bit of a sore subject for me.

 

Anyway, enough hijacking Lou's build.

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3 hours ago, Canute said:

Anyway, enough hijacking Lou's build.

This is one build you cannot hijack Ken. I have tried to make it clear that this is not just a build log but a personal and hopefully communal journey into the past, and that any and all comments and stories are not only allowed by me but encouraged! If people get upset at having to weed through the stories to get to the build part then let them move on. If there is some kind of rule against running a build this way then let the powers that be either take it down or move it to where it is supposed to be.

 

I was hoping to attract others who are not vets to tell their stories as well. What were all of the other people doing when we were away? What was a major influence in their lives when they didn't have the sudden shock of having to mold themselves into something totally alien from what they had been for the prior 18 or more years and having to do it almost overnight in some cases? But so far it has only been a few of us bringing the past forward.

 

Besides, how can you hijack a build that has not really gotten off the ground yet?:huh:   

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I have considered doing that Alan but here again is something that I have never done before either! This build seems to be full of stuff like that already! :unsure:

 

To be honest, other than some hand lettering and a small amount of artwork there is not much needed to be "Good enough" I was thinking that the nose artwork could be done with a camera. All it consists of is a Ace Of Spades over The Jack Of Diamonds. Take a picture of a real pair of cards and print them out at the right size and apply them on the nose.  There are only a couple of other things that would make it "My chopper".

 

I will know better when I see how all of the other skills work out. (Never airbrushed ANYTHING, never used PE, have not built a military or aircraft anything in probably over 40 years, have only used Acrylics a couple of times and that was with either rattle cans or brush) The list is even more extensive but you should get the idea. I would like to hope but I suspect this build will not hold a candle to the plastic builds of several members of this forum, possibly all of them. 

Edited by lmagna

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5 minutes ago, lmagna said:

. All it consists of is a Ace Of Spades over The King OF Diamonds. Take a picture of a real pair of cards and print them out at the right size and apply them on the nose.  

Voila!  That would be perfect for decal paper, once you did test prints on "normal" paper.  If memory serves, I purchased a couple of sheets from my local hobby store (the sheets came in white or clear), and I was able to print them with my inkjet printer.  It seems like a follow-up protective coating just needed to be applied afterwards so the ink didn't run.  

 

Alan

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Thanks Jack

I know that Denis has the stuff and has done decals before but he is so buried in builds himself that I would hate to bother him. As for doing it myself, not only would there be a learning curve but I have neither a scanner or a color inkjet printer, (Or any color printer for that matter) so in addition to learning there would be a need to buy the software and equipment as well. Still could happen though if I can't come up with an alternative. After all it is only money, right? 

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I'll give it a shot if you'd like........send me what you want.   as for lettering,  they do sell sheets of letter/number decals like I purchased for the Nine.........in a number of scales.

 

as Alan mentioned,  decals can be made with any photo shop program,  but is not set up for the size of decal paper.  you have to figure out where to position the decal paper.   I have the Testor's 'decal it' program by sure thing.....it's formatted already.  after printing,   decal bonder must be sprayed over the image to seal the ink......else will be destroyed when placed in water.  it's not a perfect program.......it seems to have a transparency issue,  but I don't use it a lot,  so nailing down a solution is an ongoing process.  I tried to find out if there was an update for the program........and I bought what they offered,  but all it was was an extension of the decal options and choices.  it is nice,  because I can import images into it and manipulate them to my liking.  it expands the subject matter......a big plus for me.

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