Reference, Osprey New Vanguard 128, Vietnam Riverine Craft 1962-75
January 16 2007 at 6:05 PM
(Login zappa93) Missing-Lynx members from IP address 220.127.116.11
New Vanguard 128, Vietnam Riverine Craft 1962-75. By Gordon Rottman with illustrations by Hugh Johnson. Soft cover, 7.25 x 9.75-inches, 48 pages. Contains 42 B&W photos, eight pages of color art, 17 charts, tables and diagrams, glossary, index and bibliography. ISBN 1-84176-931-2. Price: $15.95 USD.
In our particular branch of the scale modeling family, there is some “cross-over”, especially when it comes to helicopters, landing craft and small boats. In 1/35th-scale several manufacturers of AFV kits have also gone ahead and produced 1/35th-scale helicopters, landing craft and small patrol boats; Italeri has just released an ELCO PT Boat in this (armor) scale, so one would assume that interest is relatively high.
So, it would not be remiss for there to be references devoted to small watercraft, such as this book, which is tailor-made for owners of the Tamiya PBR kit, or for those who may wish to lengthen and convert any of the available LCM kits.
Within the text, the author provides a brief overview of the situation that brought about the need for a concerted effort against the Communists in South Vietnam’s famed Mekong Delta, but he only deals with the US Navy and supporting ground units. The next topic discussed is the nature of the battlefield (tides, canals, weather patterns, local flora and fauna, socio-economic uses of the Delta’s waterways, etc.); Mr. Rottman has long paid careful attention to such matters in most of his work, and in this case it is time well spent.
The main segments in the book are devoted to “nuts & bolts” technical descriptions of the various craft, as well as their weapons and special equipment. Information is provided for the following vessels: PBR Mk.1s, PBR Mk.2s (the Tamiya kit), PCF Mk.1s, ASPB Mk.1s, ATCs, Monitors and CCBs. Brief bits are devoted to the use of helicopters, while quite a bit of detail is provided regarding the various weapons employed. Several small charts detail the organization of the main units involved, while he also describes enemy countermeasures and allied tactics. This book does not get into any real details regarding the RVN’s contribution to the war in the Delta, or the general effort to interdict supplies along Vietnam’s coast. Truthfully, the format of this series and the amount of material that needs coverage (within the parameters of the book’s title) would preclude such mention. So anyone considering this book should be warned that it ONLY covers US Riverine forces and their supporting elements.
The photographic content if this book is fine and well-chosen to provide a nearly encyclopedic treatment of the subject. Most show the craft and vessels as overall views, but some do show details such as weapons fits, etc. The captions are informative, and photo reproduction is generally good. The color plates by Mr. Johnson detail several types, some with variants included. The series trademark, the two-page cut-away color plate spread details a PCF Mk.1, also known as a “Swift Boat”. While this may prove useful for those that have the old Monogram/Revell 1/48th-scale kit stashed away somewhere, this reviewer feels that it would have been far more useful for modelers, had the PBR Mk.2 been given this treatment instead.
But, overall, there’s loads of useful information between these covers, and that’s fine with me!
Frank V. “Curley Stooge” De Sisto
Osprey books are available from mail order and retail outlets. They can also be acquired direct through their web site at: www.ospreypublishing.com.