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TAMIYA'S VIETNAM RIVER TAXI

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Tamiya PBR
As military movie icons go, it’s hard to beat the PBR from Apocalypse Now’s journey into Vietnam’s heart of darkness.

The little US Navy patrol craft is as much a part of the film as the stories of its fictional crew & passengers. The vessel is dwarfed by the enormity of its mission & the vast terrain it faces.

It was in an ill-fated attempt to master the winding waterways of Vietnam that the PBR found its way to the country’s river systems & deltas between 1966 & 1971.

As part of the so-called “Brown Water Navy”, the PBR was tasked with riverine patrols, reconnaissance, stop & search & the disruption of arms shipments.

In the end, a fleet of some 250 boats joined the effort on the Mekong Delta, Saigon River & other smaller tributaries.

Powered by two Detroit Diesel engines, the boat could reach 53km/h (28 knots) & lay down heavy fire thanks to its powerful on-board armaments.

Tamiya’s homage to the PBR (Tamiya, Ref: 35150) was remarkable as the company had seldom chosen waterborne subjects in this scale. It’s also pretty old, dating from 1991, so it is still something of an oddity with few similar releases since - so more naval subjects in 1:35th scale please!

For its day, it was a premium kit and the sprues still hold up well to closer inspection, even today. The standard is excellent. There’s some well-rendered detail & plenty of accessories. It certainly is a good solid starting point.

The only let-down is the crew, which is a bit over-scale & poorly moulded by the standards of nowadays.

There’s two main sprues with the lion’s share of parts. The hull & upper deck come as separate pieces, as does the bridge. Other sprues include clear parts & accessories like bottles, a length of rope & rubber ammo belts. Finally, a small decal sheet contains marking for two vessels.

This is a kit with bags of appeal & naval fans could do a lot worse than giving it a go. Plus, if ever you need any reference material there’s always Apocolypse Now for modellers in search of inspiration. Here’s some shots of what’s inside the box.

Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
Tamiya PBR MkII 1:35th Ref: 35150
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Comments

Do you happen to know if there's available in the market a crew for this boat in the right scale (1/35)?
We remember that ADV Azimut produced one some years back in 1/35th Scale (Ref: 35258).

Basecol

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