M50A1 Ontos Tank Destroyer . I present to you a LEGO-first creation: the M50A1 Ontos tank destroyer. .
The Ontos (Greek for "the thing") project was created to be a U.S. tank-destroyer capable of being lifted by the cargo aircraft of the 1950s. The vehicle mounted a turret with two arms holding three 106 mm recoilless rifles each. Four of the rifles also had 50-caliber spotting rifles attached, firing a round that flew like the 106 mm round and gave off a puff of smoke on impact with the target. This meant that the 106 mm recoilless rifles were lined up with the target, and then they would be fired. A single .30 caliber machine gun was also carried for anti-infantry use. The prototype and testing stage was completed by 1955, at which point the Army canceled its order due to the limited design of the Ontos. Although the Army canceled their order, the Marines Corps was desperate for any anti-tank vehicles it could get, and ordered 297. The first vehicle accepted by the Marine Corps was on 31 October 1956.
Deployed as a tank destroyer in the Vietnam War, the Ontos was a highly praised vehicle. Because the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) deployed few tanks, the Ontos found an effective role as a fire support vehicle. Its six recoilless rifles, when fired simultaneously, were an effective shock-and-awe weapon; often, just the appearance of an Ontos would cause NVA troops and Viet Cong irregulars to run. The Ontos also had a light ground pressure, which enabled it to travel across the swampy Vietnamese countryside with ease. The Ontos suffered from several disadvantages, however: it had a very high target profile, light armor, carried only 18 rounds for the main guns, and each gun had to be reloaded from the outside, exposing the re-loader. Despite these shortcomings, the Ontos served with distinction in the Vietnam War. The Ontos was retired from service in 1969.
The turret has a traverse of 360 degrees, although the real version only had an arc of about 40 degrees.
The interior. Iím very pleased with how I managed to make the model minifigure compatible; it was extremely challenging!
With the guns removed, the Ontos actually makes a nifty little APC.
A ďmoneyĒ shot of the Ontos bearing down on a target. Run for your life!
Below is a picture of an actual Ontos. Ugly, destructive-looking thing, isnít it?
I built this creation because I surfed around the internet a bit and could find no LEGO version of an Ontos anywhere. So, I set out to grab, scrounge, and hoard any information I could on this freaky little vehicle. Using my own reference material and the internet as a guide, I worked pretty much non-stop, and the result is before you! Iím extremely happy with the way it turned out:)
Please feel free to rate and/or comment!