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Inspector 12
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In bashes and in games, I have seen M79 "Thumpers" painted in a tiger stripe type of design. I don't think it is intended to be camouflage, but I am not sure.

I have searched Google images and cannot find any 1:1 picture of an M79 painted in this fashion.

I would like to replicate this, but not if it is inaccurate or if I can't find an example to use as a reference.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.

JT
 

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From all my discussions with Nam vets, serving with them, every book I've ever seen/read (and I taught military history for awhile), I've never seen a camo painted M79. Actually I haven't seen any camo PAINT applied to a weapon in the Vietnam conflict (not talking burlap strips tied to a weapon here).

Applying camo to a weapon is more of a post 911 fad (there are exceptions). One always wants to cut shine down on a weapon and I remember as an arms room officer occasionally sending a weapon to direct maintenance to be reblued. Camo on weapons was often unacceptable because some arms room purist would quote regulations and you could be liable for clean up costs or at a minimum clean it up yourself. Even today, unless you are in a special operations unit most units won't let you camo your weapon (talking PAINT here). There are exceptions but even the local fellas in the Ranger BN don't routinely camo weapons.

Holywood and gamers think they are really cool though just like magazines that have a zillion rounds.
 

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Furious Genius
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Suffice it to say that you would not be inaccurate in painting your M79, depending on who was using it, when, and how it was painted. Most of the painted M79's were used by ARVN troops, LRRP's, USSF, or others working closely with the ARVN or other indigenous forces. Many weapons were daubed with paint as camouflage. Tiger stripes worked well as camouflage in the foliage of 'Nam, remember the tiger striped camo fatigues were decended from the French lizard pattern used in 'Nam in their day. Also the tiger has great mojo in Asia, so you will sometimes see images of the animal on helmets, weapons, and vehicles. Artwork done by young American troops from about '67 on got more creative as the war progressed and was usually psychedelic in nature, peace symbols, phrases, etc. Similar to what was seen on helmets and hooches.

You will be hard pressed to find color photos of these painted weapons, there are a lot of color photos but most of the combat photography being done was still in black and white. I recommend Tim Page's book "Nam", which contains some of the best photography about the war bar none but also a lot of color helpful for 1:6 work. There are a few shots with the M79 but none of the camo'd variety. Amazon has copies for a steal: http://www.amazon.com/Tim-Pages-Nam-Page/dp/0394713451.
Also Time Life's series on the 'Nam is very good and contains tons of photos, many in color. You can find some of these at used book stores for a few dollars.

If you can't find a color photo of the painted M79 find a good illustration of one. Squadron Publications has several books on 'Nam that contain a mix of photos, info, and well researched illustrations by well known military illustrators. Ron Volstad comes to mind, who now does the illustrations for Concord and DML also did a lot of work for Osprey. These artists often study actual military relics and work from photographs, some in color some b/w but with the added advantage of being able to interpret the b/w images to determine the correct colors. It quite a science and I'm always amazed at what can be gleaned with the right knowledge of photography. So you would be well served to trust the artwork of these acredited military artists than the flights of fancy that some of the games creators go on. To be fair some of them may do their homework too, but I'd trust the professional military illustrator for accuracy.
 

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Rod, the SASR used to regularly paint weapons in SVN (and still do) and they discovered the reason that you do not paint wooden stocks etc firsthand with Cracked butts etc. That is the reason a lot of regulations are in placew as to painting weapons (at least in the Australian Army). Whilst I was serving we had problems with some paint types on the polymer stocks of the F88 and F 89 (Steyr & Minimi) resulting in weapons damage and in one case I know of damage to the operator. An engineering instruction was issued outlining what could be used and why.
Like you I have never seen pics of a cammed thump gun during Vietnam.
 

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Inspector 12
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info, guys. I think I will pass on painting the M79. I had found numerous period photos of special ops, LRRPs, etc. who had painted their weapons and many who simply used OD tape cut into strips to accomplish same.

Here is a collage of the best of the period photo examples I had on hand showing camo schemes on CAR15s or M16s.
 

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Camo

From your pictures It appears to me that they used camo cloth fitted to the buttstocks and handguards. That is pretty cool and it hasn't ben done yet in 1/6th.
 

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New Clone (OSW Staff)
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Yep, some of those pics, it appears to be fabric. Cool idea also.
 

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What kind of day did you have?
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From 'Apocalypse'...

He's close man....He's real close...







M
 

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Likes little people
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I believe in Michael Herr's "Dispatches" book, he mentions an incident similar to this very scene (IIRC) so the movie may be based in fact
 

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What kind of day did you have?
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Anyone know off hand of a head sculpt close to Roach?

Montage!



Matt
 

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1:6 Nam Nut
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Michael Herr (writer of Dispacthes which mentions a painted bloop gun) actually was a screen writer for Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse now, and all the famous lines and scenes descend from his real life expereinces in the nam as a reporter, including the infamous "i love the smell of napalm in the morning"
 

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Ain't it Cool?
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Until recently, painting a weapon in any cammo scheme was a big no, no especially in the conventional military. Sure you may see a few pictures here and there of soldier having done this. However, this was not a standard practice.
 
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