Historical Skins – T249 Gunslinger


Today, we’d like to tell you more about an upcoming skin for the T249 Vigilante American Tier 9 progression Armored Fighting Vehicle that is called Gunslinger.


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Like the previous Ridgway and Rough Rider skins, this one too tells a story of things that could have been. If you are already familiar with the history of the T249 Vigilante, you already know the fate of the project. It was developed in the 1950s as a short-range anti-air defense platform only to be cancelled in 1962 based on the idea that guided missiles would sweep the skies far better than any gun could have. This was of course a false assumption and for the Vietnam War that broke out a couple of years later, the Americans were forced to bring back obsolete M42 Dusters out of retirement.


M42 Duster, Vietnam War

But what if the T249 made it to active service? What if the U.S. Army entered the Vietnam War with its formations covered by this awesome piece of machinery? And precisely that is what this alternative history skin is all about.

Let’s start with the basics as usual. The color is historical – during the war, American armored vehicles were painted this shade of dark green that would peel off rather quickly, creating a nondescript mix of color and rust.


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The biggest 3D change to the model is the lack of mudguards and side skirts. In the war, mud, branches and all sorts of other nasty stuff would get stuck behind them, which would then require the crew to clean the mess out. The skirts would sometimes get replaced by an improvised set of baskets to carry the crew’s belongings as well as additional provisions required on extended patrols. And that’s exactly what we can see on the model.


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The surface of the vehicle had a number of various fittings welded to it to carry extra ammunition, fuel or grenades.


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As for the imagery painted on the tank – it was inspired by a real M42 Duster that served during the Vietnam War, which in turn was inspired by one of the most popular American western TV series from the late 1950s and the early 1960s – “Have Gun, Will Travel”. In the series, a lone gunman only named Paladin (played by Richard Boone) traveled the Old West, righting wrongs and helping people in distress. That kind of imagery would naturally sit well with an American vehicle crew – and it did.


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We can see the influence of the series on the following elements:

  • White knight chess piece imagery on the radar and the hull (in the show, the knight was displayed on Paladin’s business card)
  • The name HAVE GUN and WILL TRAVEL on the frontal hull
  • The name PALADIN next to the driver’s hatch

All these are painted with some improvised white paint as the crews would use anything they could get their hands on. Here it’s worth noting that naming the skin “Paladin” might have been a logical choice but we specifically decided not to do that in order to not confuse it with the M109A6 Paladin SPG that’s already in the game.


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There’s a Texas flag installed on the vehicle as well. During the Vietnam War, all sorts of flags were used on American armor, usually signifying the crew’s home state.


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And last but not least, the vehicle bears a full set of unit insignia taken from the real-life Duster that inspired this skin in the first place.

The skin will be obtainable in the near future. We hope that you will like it and, as always:

See you on the battlefield!

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