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Resin Illuminati's Hall of Fame Builds in this section are at least three years old and have been recognized by RI members as being especially noteworthy.

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Old 10-21-2007, 10:30 AM
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Default '07 Contest Winner:Vietnam Gun Truck "Sopwith Camel"

I've shown a spacecraft and a Sherman Tank so far here, and now I wanted to share a miniature of a Vietnam era armored convoy escort vehicle, nicknamed "gun trucks" by the Vietnam Veterans who drove them. These are one of my specialties.

This one here was built in 2004, and is special because of some recent events - so I wanted to display it here.

"Sopwith Camel" was called a Contact Maintenance Truck. It carried spare tires and equipment for repairing trucks in the field, as well as a fighting compartment and some armor plating for the convoy escort role. When ambushed by the Viet Cong, the gun trucks were often saturated with fire on one side of the vehicle - all the tires were shot out. The Contact Maintenance Trucks allowed these trucks to be put back into action. If you are prior service, and like me, you'd get a vicarious thrill at the offensive firepower these trucks boasted. What makes them so fascinating is how fragile and weakly armored they are. The imbalance makes you scratch your head in disbelief and makes you admire the men who crewed and fought in them.

There were a little over 500 trucks modified in this fashion during the Vietnam War - and no two were alike. They wire wildly painted and carried all kinds of nicknames and epitaths. Gun Trucks were fastidiously maintained by their crews - washed and waxed after every mission. Repaired often, and combat damage repaired. You could see spit-polished ready at the start of a mission, or like I modeled "Sopwith Camel" here on RON (Remain Over Night) in the middle of a convoy escort run.

Eventhough this is a military vehicle, it is quite similar to a Sci-Fi subject - as this is as wild as you'd expect a cargo truck to get in actual service - but modeling and equipping them accurately is key. "Sopwith Camel" is dressed just like it was in 1968, down to Radio Fit, weapons, and pattern of armor plating. I scratchbuild and convert my own parts and airbrush or create my own dry-transfers for the graphics on the Fighting Compartments of my conversions.

I am particularly proud of my gun truck miniatures. I was the first on the Internet doing 2 1/2-ton, 5-ton and the Quad.50 trucks back in the early 1990's. And, though many have come after me and copied my work and conversion notes, I am still considered the best by my peers. My work has been "lifted" by Eduard and other aftermarket companys to produce conversion sets and details, and some modelers have taken my work to pass off as their own - without credit or even acknowledgement. Though I didn't like it at the time, it is humbling and has opened up new doors for me.

As 2nd Vice President - Western US for the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society (AMPS), I take preserving military history in miniature very seriously. I consult with historical organizations as much as I model. I was contacted last week by a restoration group wanting my photos and research on building "Sopwith Camel" here so that they can build the truck in full-scale.

I'm damn proud of that, proud that they wanted to use my miniature as reference to restore the real thing. Growing up, I always wanted to work for studio effects shops and create something that we all see on-screen, that pleases generations of people long after you've done it. I still haven't gotten to that ILM Shop, but I love participating in keeping military vehicle history alive through the art of scale modeling.









I have to gather some of the unpainted Fighting Compartment conversion for the Veteran's Group - I misplaced them. I will post them later.

Hope you like - these are personal favorites for me and I don't actually display them in many places...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ACESopCamel041.jpg (99.1 KB, 9 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2007, 12:08 PM
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Nice Job!

FB
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:58 PM
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Very cool Gunnie
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:43 PM
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Sierra Hotel! 8)
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:22 PM
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You do nice work with these dioramas Gunnie. I remember that tank you brought to Hobbytown. Great work sir !
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:55 PM
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Very nice work on this piece.
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:19 AM
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Great work and the color selections are fantastic. Congratulations.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:22 PM
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Absolutely beautiful! A work of art. Although I have never modeled any, I am a big fan of the quad .50 trucks. They just look cool.

Regards,

Scott
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srspicer View Post
Absolutely beautiful! A work of art. Although I have never modeled any, I am a big fan of the quad .50 trucks. They just look cool.

Regards,

Scott
Thank you all!

Scott - I'm a big fan of the Quad.50 Trucks too - tremendous firepower, puzzling lack of armor protection. I attach a photo here of my rendition of "Nancy", one of the rarer Quad.50 Deuces. This is the miniature Eduard used (unauthorized at first - but we came to a settlement) to produce their photoetch detail set for AFV Club's Quad.50 Gun Truck model kit.

Presently, I'm messing around with a miniature of one of the Artillery Battalion's Quad.50 AA Trucks that were pressed into convoy escort duty - a 5-ton truck named "Easy Rider".
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ACENancybigpic000.jpg (234.7 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg ACENancybigpic001.jpg (244.3 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg ACENancybigpic002.jpg (262.3 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg ACENancybigpic003.jpg (229.2 KB, 17 views)
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:45 PM
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What is there to say but stunning!!!!! It looks like they are going to start up and drive off the base.

Regards,
Michael
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:11 PM
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Now that is COOL! .....very nice work there Gunnie!
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:07 PM
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That is great work..Kev
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:00 AM
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Oh man, that is a very nice piece there. Very nice painting/weatherings too! I like it plenty!!!

B
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:31 PM
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Thank you all again! I am truly humbled! Just some attachments of the BNP (Bare Naked Plastic) - I love looking at miniatures in this state. A tight, clean, model miniature in the raw is great to look at.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg ACESopCamel035.jpeg (76.6 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpeg ACESopCamel036.jpeg (69.6 KB, 16 views)
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GunTruck Studios
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... Cry Havoc and let slip the Pastels of War! ...
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:56 AM
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Nice, I look forward to your future builds. Sometimes, I hate looking at military coz I try not to go back to them but I already got some armour in front of my face now. LOL!

B
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