Tiger Werke US Vietnam Ammo Bunker Type 2
Tiger Werke produces a variety of resin items for AFV modelers; they recently released three different ammo bunkers used by US forces in Vietnam. These bunkers, while typical for the Vietnam war era, are not necessarily suitable for other settings. The construction material for the real bunkers consisted of US-type sandbags plus US ammo crates, presumably filled with sand. So, this kit is not a 'generic' item but one specific to times and places in which these ammo boxes were used. Bunkers of this design would typically be found at artillery emplacements to shelter ammunition, charges or other explosive items. The bunker works both ways: it minimizes the chance that the stored ammo will be hit by incoming fire, and it also contains the blast somewhat should the ammo explode.
Here is a photo of a US 155mm howitzer position on a firebase with similar bunkers surrounding the gun position.
The ammo boxes would be colored like this (105mm) example.
The kit is very nicely molded in grey resin, and consists of only two parts; the body and roof of the bunker. As is obvious from the photos, the floors and walls were made from ammo crates, with a plank roof covered in sandbags. There were no particular molding flaws and the kit fits nicely. There are no large resin pour plugs to remove, which is very nice since resin dust is dangerous.
The bunker looks good, but, I think the crate stacking is so perfectly uniform that it looks a little artificial. I would say it could be improved enormously simply by varying the stack just slightly. That said, the item still looks really good.
Paint options are limited here. US artillery ammo crates were unpainted, natural pine, usually with black markings. US sandbags were dark green, but the sandbags used on this bunker seem very large to me so I painted them burlap color instead. A problem I encountered is that the molding has very faint lines between boxes. The gap between boxes is so faint it is hard to get a wash to flow into it. To make the boxes look like each is a separate item, I made a small paper mask and painted each one a slightly different color. Related to this, there is no wood-grain texture on the boxes. It could be argued, probably correctly, that such grain should not be visible in 1/35th scale, especially in the cheap wood used in ammo creates. That said, these boxes are glassy-smooth and it was much harder to get a good paint job than if the boxes had a bit of texture. I ended up brush-painting an undercoat to give some slight surface relief and then spraying the wood colors. It was a lot of work. Most of the 'separation effect' you see here was achieved with the wood color, not the wash between boxes.
This is a cool item to use as a bit of location-setting to add realism to a Vietnam bunker. I think it could be improved with deeper gaps between boxes, some wood grain, and perhaps some variation on the rope handles. It requires careful painting to look good.
Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to Tiger Werke for this review kit.
Reviewed by Dan Egan
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