Program 4 Monitor
"Battleship of the Mekong"
The Monitor was converted from an LCM(6) Landing Craft of WW II fame. Modified with bar armor, which prematurely detonated the warhead of an enemy RPG or recoilless rifle round and reduced penetration of any secondary armor plate. Styrofoam sponsons were added along the hull to assist in flotation and alleviate some of the added weight due to all the extra armor on board. Monitor's were considered to be the battleships of the flotilla due to their heavy armament consisting of, but not limited to the following: 40-mm Bofors cannon and .30-cal. or .50-cal machine gun mounted in a forward turret. An 81-mm direct fire mortar, four .30-cal machine guns amid ship. Two .50-cal. machine guns and a Mark 16 (Mod 4) 20-mm cannon mounted in turrets on the helm. Other versions were seen to have two Army M10-8 flamethrower turrets. A winch was placed on the fantail for chain drag equipment to sweep for command detonated mines. Power was provided by twin Detroit Diesel engines connected to dual shaft drives. Top speed was grueling 8 Knots. Crew consisted of eleven sailors. Some Program 4 Monitors were also converted into Command and Communication Boats (CCB) to serve as the eyes and ears for the Flotilla Commander, and Zippo boats that were modified by adding flamethrower turrets.
Custom 1/35th scale Program 4 Monitor (Mark IV)  made for Vietnam Riverine Veteran Everett Wiedersberg who was a gunner in the forward 40-mm turret. The boat was a heavy rebuild of a 1/35th scale Monitor offered by Nimix a few years ago. The Nimix kit came with flat photo etched brass bar armor which was a nightmare to work with so I reconstructed the armor with styrene strips and round rod.

The green areas are a neat way to fill gaps with melted wax verses putty

Rear of the Monitor with the large scratch built life vest locker attached to the rear bar armor and chain drag gear.

One of my first Riverine projects was this water line Monitor experimenting with various methods to construct the hull. This Monitors hull was made by sculpting Styrofoam and covering with heavy stock paper, then adding scale brass model railroad gates for the bar armor.

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Rear of M-92-2. Water effect is brown construction paper covered with cellophane plastic wrap.

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M-92-2 converted to a Zippo. The flame effect is accomplished by rolling up aluminum foil which looks pretty realistic in a black and white photograph.

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M-92-2 converted to a CCB by adding a styrene module to the well deck.

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Custom made CCB. Notice the plethora of antennas and communications gear.

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