Sunday, April 5, 2020

Tamiya, M151A1 U.S. Utility Truck “Vietnam War”, 1/35 scale, Kit No. 35334

Aside from various types of 2 1/2 ton trucks, this is a vehicle I operated almost constantly while in the Army.  The all-purpose MUTT (military utility tactical truck).  They served in many roles.  With a quarter ton trailer behind them, quite a bit could be hauled.  They acted as scout vehicles, armored cars (with field conversions), ambulances, and weapons carriers, as well as simple troop transports.  And with the Davy Crockett short range nuclear armed ballistic missile mounted, the MUTT became a nuclear weapon! I always wondered if the missile would go far enough to keep from killing the crew firing it.

By the late 1980’s, the MUTT was being phased out of service.  Some  went to allied countries, but most were cut into two or four pieces and scrapped.  Really.  They were just destroyed.  I have never heard a real explanation for this, as they could have been sold to civilians.  There were some who believed that the fully independent suspension of the vehicle made them somehow too unsafe for civilian use (but apparently not armed forces use).  I think it was more that the Ford Motor Co. (the manufacturer), Jeep and others that wanted to sell new vehicles to us and wanted the competition to go into the scrapper’s compacter.

By the way, as I recall, these vehicles were always referred to with the term “jeep” and sometimes MUTT.

According to Scalemates.com, this kit was new tool on 1982, and it shows its age.   This version lets you built a U.S. Army Military Police or U.S.M.C. vehicle with fording kit, both with markings for Vietnam units.

While not called out for use on this version, there are parts for an M60 machine gun and a radio on the sprues, so I decided to use them.  The MP’s spent a lot of time guarding convoys, etc. and seeing the M60’s mounted on their vehicles was pretty common, as was radios being mounted on a huge proportion of the MUTTs.

The kit goes together very well with no issues.  There is a figure for a seated driver, so there are no pedals to get in the way of mounting him.

Pros

Nice quick build as a change of pace project.

Very desirable subject.

Cons

Nothing worth noting.















As I write this blog entry, here in the USA we are in the depths of the corona virus pandemic.  This is a small blog with a few followers, many of whom are from France, Russia and other places around the world that have also been deeply effected by the virus.  My thoughts are with my fellow modelers and their families all over the world, and my hope and wish that we all come through this as unscathed as possible.


 And, as always, thank you for visiting my blog.  Comments are always welcome.


2 comments: