I have wanted to make this particular model for a number of years but every time I have had the opportunity to buy one I have always found an excuse not to! That is until now; a recent post Christmas shopping trip with my wife allowed me to pop into the nearest model shop to my home (Around 20 miles away) and right in the middle of the 1/35 shelf was a medical version of the gamma goat on sale! For those of you who follow my web site you will already know that my biggest weakness is a bargain!!! A few short minutes later and I was happily following my wife around as many clothes shops as she desired whilst carrying my goat and thinking of a setting for its diorama. I then remembered that I had a few figure sets for Christmas that I just liked the look of but had not put much thought into how I would use them. One in particular stood out in my mind as the perfect companion to the goat.
The vehicle build
Being a Tamiya there isn't really anything to be said about fit issues or poor quality as there are none! I will point out and say that there are some really big issues on the inside of both of the canopies provided though. I have had to use quite a lot of Squadron filler to remedy these. I suppose if you chose to have the rear canopy completely closed off this wouldn't be a problem but for me I wanted to show the interior off a little.
I decided to build this kit without any modifications or aftermarket parts as I intend on showing off its articulation with the diorama base and add further interest with the figures in the foreground. I did however find some great aftermarket additions for this vehicle that include a fire truck version; so there's plenty of scope to build something a little different in the future. For the colour scheme I opted for a single olive green rather that the later camouflage schemes that these vehicles had. All of the reference photos for the goat show camo post Vietnam but during the Vietnam war the medical goats were a single olive green colour. This will of course be heavily weathered and covered in mud or dust!
I wanted to keep this diorama as compact as possible but still show the articulation of the vehicle. I had a frame insert left over from a frame I had bought for another model so I filled in the base with some foam board and started to build some terrain using some more foam board and then some blue foam to get the desired angles to show off the goat properly. I then coated the entire base in model medium which also acts as a great sealant and then painted in a brown acrylic to serve as a base colour coat.
To complete the base I then added some powdered earth and sealed it all together with some PVA glue. I then placed the figures at the front of the base and assessed how it would look. I was a little unhappy with the base itself and decided to add a ridge line to show it was well traveled by vehicles and at the moment I still can't decide between dusty or muddy for a final finish. I also cant decide whether to include vegetation or not.
Masterbox in my opinion are leading the market in both the quality of their figures and the choice of themes