by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Winter in mountainous Afghanistan, with extremely cold temperatures and deep snow, generally makes military operations difficult and a reduced level of fighting during the winter is customary. In past years, Taliban fighters often relocated their bases to western areas of Pakistan to wait for spring thaws before returning to fight in Afghanistan. As such, US and Afghan government forces have begun to shift their strategy to focus on taking ground at the very end and very beginning of the year.
Assault Models recently released another US SF figure depicting a soldier in harsh winter conditions: Marine, US Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Afghanistan, 2014 (AM35018).
The figure is packed in a plastic box featuring a box art image of fully assembled figure. Inside the box is a single zip-lock bag, additionally protected using a layer of bubble wrap. The bag holds 10 resin pieces:
- left arm,
- right arm,
- both hands holding a weapon,
- equipment pieces and weapon accessories (4x).
Cast in grey resin, the pieces look very good. I found no imperfections in the pieces whatsoever, with the details perfectly delivered in resin. The thin radio antenna is very delicate and a proof of extremely impressive casting process. Some of the pieces broke off from their carrier blocks but were not damaged in the transport.
The part cleanup was a breeze. Although large, casting blocks are easy to remove using a sharp pair of side cutters and Olfa precision cutting tools. As with all Assault Models kits I reviewed so far, the resin feels a bit soft under the blade, but I experienced no problems during the cleanup process.
The figure is easy to assemble. All parts in this kit include protrusions and indentations, so there is almost no possibility of misaligning the pieces. The fit is absolutely great and only minor putty work is required to make things perfect.
The figure represents US Special Forces operative with his weapon ready for any sign of hostile activity. The walking pose looks good and balanced, the head sculpt and facial features are very convincing. The figure wears Cry Precision Combat Pants and Level 6 GORE-TEX Parka. Crye Precision Jumpable Plate Carrier (JPC) provides attachment point for various equipment pieces: triple ammo magazine pouch, radio pouch, IFAK pouch and a large backpack with integrated hydration system. As for the headgear, the figure sports MICH-2000 with NVG bracket mount and Velcro patches, strobe and Surefire helmet light. Asolo tracking boots are partially covered with Outdoor Research gaiters. Oakley glasses, Petzl gloves and Garmin GPS secured to the figure’s wrist add to the Special Ops feel of the miniature.
Armed with MK18 Mod 1 featuring Elcan Specter DR scope with Docter red dot sight, forward grip, AN/PEQ-15 target pointer/illuminator/aiming laser and KAC silencer, this figure means business.
Marine, US Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Afghanistan, 2014 (AM35018) is another winner from Assault Models. Developed using 3D scanning process and perfectly delivered in resin, the figure offers impressive level of details all around. The kit is intelligently engineered, the fit of the pieces is great and the figure is very easy to assemble. The thing I like the most about this figure is the subject it represents… it is the first figure representing US SF in winter gear in 1/35 scale.
Well done Assault Models!