After realizing the “no tanks in the jungle” attitude was wrong, the US High Command in Vietnam began requesting armored reinforcements. The initial response to US armor on the battlefield from the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Vietcong was to increase the quantity and types of infantry anti-tank weapons. However, with the conflict changing from guerilla warfare to open engagement, it became obvious to the NVA that they needed the striking power only armor could provide. The NVA use of armor was stumbling at first but the confidence grew and the NVA was soon able to launch large-scale combined arms operations, with armor, infantry and artillery working closely together. So much so, that by the time of the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1979, the NVA was able to conduct a classic "blitzkrieg" style of invasion and achieve a success with relatively few casualties.
(adapted from http://www.ktroop.com/useofarmor.htm)
Paracel Miniatures is a small family-run modeling company from Vietnam. The company recently ventured into producing 1/35 scale resin figures and accessories covering Vietnam War. This review describes their latest release: NVA Tank Crew (VN0215)
The set is packed in a hard cardboard box featuring a small box art image. The image displays assembled and painted figures on a tank turret. Inside the box is a zip-lock bag with 8 pieces for building three figures. The pieces are molded in resin and the cast is good, although I noticed air-bubbles on tank commander’s eyebrow and arm. These will have to be filled and sanded carefully. As for assembling the figures, I’m impressed with how the pieces fit together. Paracel constructed the figures very intelligently and there are almost no gaps between the pieces once the figures are assembled, so minimal putty work is needed.
The set includes 3 figures representing NVA tank crew: tank commander (full figure), gunner/loader and driver (both half figures). The figures are sculpted really well: posed realistically and with good sense of balance, their slender posture and facial features clearly identifies them as East-Asians. The figures wear standard NVA green fatigues, a Soviet tanker helmet and a Soviet leather belt. The tank commander sports famed NVA combat shoe and a large haversack across his body. He is armed with Type 56, a direct Chinese copy of the AK-47 featuring a folding bayonet attached to the barrel just aft of the muzzle.
Vietnam War is a very interesting subject for modelers, but majority of companies offer US troops and armor, with North Vietnamese subjects poorly represented in 1/35 scale. Paracel Miniatures decided to fill this gap, and with their NVA tank crew and NVA tank stowage they are definitely on the right track… Well done, Paracel!
NVA Tank Crew (VN0215) from Paracel Miniatures is a very impressive set. Sculpted and posed really well, this 3-figure crew is suitable for any 1/35 scale model of an armored vehicle used by NVA during the Vietnam War. Although the resin features some minor cast imperfections, the fit is really good and the figures are easy to assemble.
If you are thinking of modeling a tank in North Vietnamese service, I would strongly suggest getting this set, as well as Paracels NVA tank stowage reviewed here (link