by: Darren Baker [ ]
With the number of M1114ís available now from a mix of companies and the RG-31 starting to make its presence felt an affordable crew has been limited. Master Box may have answered that prayer when it comes to a crew in action, they have released a four figure set featuring a wounded soldier being recovered to a place of safety.
This figure set is supplied in one of Master Boxís end opening cartons. On the front of the carton is a nice artwork providing an artistís impression of the four figures that make up this figure set. On the back of the carton is the assembly and painting guide along with the parts layout. This offering from Master Box consists of a single sprue that is packaged in a re-sealable plastic bag in the carton.
This four figure set by Master Box looks to be quite good as regards moulding quality. An examination of the contents revealed a very small amount of flash on the shoulder of one of the arms, but that is it as regards the negatives. The sprue connection points are of a reasonable size and not excessive in number, I will admit that my pet hate is present in the form of elbow connection points. I should add that some of the figures look very odd on the back of the carton, but once placed as indicated by the pictures on the box the stances look more natural.
The uniform is quite difficult for me to accurately identify due to all of the changes that have taken place over the last few years within the US Army, but this replicated uniform looks to be Army Combat Uniform (ACU) that is supplied in the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), if I have my information correct then these figures will be suitable for the period 2008 to the present day. The body armour is the Improved Outer Tactical Vest minus the groin protector. The helmets I donít know well enough to spot the fine points and so say if they are accurate; I am sure Gino or someone will shout out the case. Hand and facial detail is good for injection moulded figure offerings, with the hands being especially good.
The weapons provided in this offering an M249 saw with optional deployed bipod and I believe it is the later type looking at the stock. There are two M4 rifles one of which has a grenade launcher attached, another option is a SCAR rifle with a grenade launcher attached; I donít even know if this is in service yet and if it is how common it is. there are three pistols supplied in this set two of which are in two designs of holster and one drawn. Ammunition pouches are suitably supplied for the weapons, but I am unsure about the pouches for the SCAR. Lastly there are a couple of camel packs in the offing.
It is nice to have an affordable set of Modern US Army figures available for interaction with some of the vehicles we have had of late. The stances look very odd/awkward until placed in context when they make much more sense. All told this appears to be a very promising figure set to me with one problem; the figures are designed to be used with a vehicle, but where is the driver? Would the driver be the guy to get out and rescue the wounded? I am sure a number of options could be presented, but it does seem a little odd.