This latest release of Verlinden Productions takes us back to the Vietnam war era, presenting the modeller with an American participant of the battle for Hill 937, also known as Hamburger Hill, that was fought against the NVA in May 1969. The hill was heavily fortified and had little strategic value, still the order was given to the US and South Vietnamese forces for a frontal assault. Rough terrain and bad weather hindered the operations, but eventually Hamburger Hill was taken – only to be abandoned some time after.
Verlinden’s release number 2795 comes in a small carton box with a picture of the pained figure on the top. Inside we find the parts in a ziplock bag, which is a little oversized but this is a plus for me as it offers a bit more protection – although some additional form of padding would have been nice in order to protect the contents. Before writing about what is in the box, a few words on what is not. Although I am no too much into figures, I think the inclusion of painting instructions should be a must – as in this case we do not have any. Of course we could say that the US Army colours are kind of a basic knowledge – but not for everyone. Also it would have been a great plus to include two tiny decals in the set, one for the rank and another for the M72 LAW.
In the plastic bag we have only three parts, a really big and two small ones. To my surprise, the soldier’s body, his weapons and a pouch are cast into one piece of resin, together with the ground – the other two parts being the head with the helmet and the left arm. That’s all. I must admit that I am amazed by the quality, as this complex block is one cleanly and sharply molded part. There are no bubbles, no flash or any imperfections present at all.
The anatomy, the facial expression and the details of the figure are superb – all we need is to add the head and the left arm after a fairly simple cleanup. The soldier is lightly equipped, with two flasks, ammo pouches, a knife and something that appears to be a smoke canister.
The weapons lying next to him are an M16 carbine and an M72 LAW. These are also nicely detailed and the straps are beautiful, but I think it would have been better leaving them off and give some thin photoetch instead. As these are casted, painting them will be a real pain, and at one point – where three of them are crossing – they hide the detail that should be visible under them (the magazine of the M16 – unless it has none according to the story we are depicting). Unfortunately the barrel is slightly bent and this is quite visible.
The terrain is well detailed as well, presenting us a slightly rugged and rocky hillside with some roots sticking out from the ground.
All in all, this is a very nicely detailed and cleanly molded set, but not everyone will like the concept of having the figure (plus his weapons) molded together with the ground. This makes painting complicated – especially for the straps and the weapons – and limits our diorama choices. Of course, cutting out the figure or including this small piece into a bigger diorama is an option, but involves a lot of effort. Personally, I would have preferred separate molds. Still, I would highly recommend this set, not as a diorama accessory but as a separate work of art for figure painters.
Highs: Well-detailed, crisp molding. Minimal cleanup needed.Lows: Lack of painting instructions, bent barrel for the M16. Not everyone might like the one-mold design especially for the straps.Verdict: Recommended, not as a diorama accessory but as a separate work of art for figure painters.
Our Thanks to Verlinden Productions! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.