by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
The 75th Ranger Regiment is an elite airborne light infantry combat formation within the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). The six battalions of the modern Rangers have been deployed in wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and saw action in several conflicts, such as those in Panama and Grenada.
The Ranger Regiment traces its lineage to three of six battalions raised in World War II, and to the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional)—known as "Merrill's Marauders", and then reflagged as the 475th Infantry, then later as the 75th Infantry. Today, the 75th Ranger Regiment is a lethal, agile and flexible force, capable of executing a myriad of complex, joint special operations missions in support of US policy and objectives.
Adapted from: http://www.soc.mil/rangers/75thrr.html
Along with the 1/35 scale model kit, Assault Models offers a 1/16 scale version of Ranger, 75th Ranger Regiment, US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), Afghanistan 2011. The figure is produced using 3D scanning technology. The process is additionally perfected by the company, refining the details of the scanned object thus providing a level of realism which cannot be matched even by the most talented figure sculptors today.
The kit comes in a big plastic top-opening box featuring an image of assembled and unpainted figure. Inside the box is a large zip-lock bag securing the parts. Some of the pieces broke off of their carrier blocks, but were found in the zip-lock bag and closer inspection revealed no damage to the parts.
The kit consists of 17 pieces:
- right arm,
- left arm,
- both hands holding the weapon,
- equipment pieces (8x),
- weapon accessories (3x).
Cast in grey resin, the pieces look very impressive. I noticed a thin seam line on the torso, but other than that the cast is absolutely perfect. The level of details is astonishing: from the realistically delivered texture of Velcro patches, nicely rendered unit/personal insignia and various logotypes on the equipment to amazing details on the weapon and the accessories. Wow! I have seen many large scale figures and I’m not easily impressed with the quality of resin cast, but I must admit this is one of the best examples of how a figure kit should look. The attention to detail is just amazing… Well done Assault Models.
Although large, carrier blocks are easy to remove. I used sharp side cutters, Olfa precision cutting tools and some fine-grit sanding paper. The resin feels a bit softer than I’m used to, but I experienced no issues during the cleanup process.
The assembly of the figure is not complex and I feel most modelers experienced in working with resin would have no serious problems during construction. The kit pieces are intelligently engineered, featuring protrusions and indentations in corresponding parts which enable optimal alignment of the pieces. I did a test fit of all the parts before gluing them and found everything fits really well thus minimizing the necessary putty work. It is easy to deduce which piece goes where, but to help with the assembly process I annotated all the pieces on their carrier blocks and am displaying images of major subassemblies, noting the position of each part.
I started by adding the equipment pieces to the body armor. I fixed the strobe to the helmet and all the weapon accessories to the weapon next. The fit was absolutely perfect. Joining the torso and the legs left a small gap, easily fixed with some putty. After positioning the head, I started testing and finding the ideal placement for the figure’s arms and weapon… this is a process in which you’d appreciate growing a third arm as both figure arms should be adjusted to the torso and both hands should connect to the arms so that the weapon is aligned optimally with the head. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Patience is a key and some extra effort is well worth it in the end.
The figure represents US Army Ranger in action pose. The pose looks very realistic: the head looking down the barrel of the gun, both hands gripping the weapon firmly and the buttstock pressing to the right shoulder. The figure wears Crye Precision AC Combat Shirt and Pants with Asolo Fugitive boots. Number of equipment pouches are attached to his Modular Body Armor Vest (MBAV): triple magazine pouch, canteen GP pouch, double M4 magazine pouch, modular assault pack, MBITR pouch with AN/PRC-148 and Silynx Communications C4OPS. The belt holds large IFAK pouch, multitool magazine pouch, retention sling, Under Armour hand warmer and USGI rappelling cattlehide gloves. On his head, the figure sports ACH with cover, MS2000 Strobe and Petzl Tactikka headlamp. On his hands the figure wears Oakley assault gloves and Foretrex 401 GPS.
The figure is armed with M4A1 upgraded with DD Rail Interface System II and KAC QD Silencer. Weapon accessories include AN/PEQ-15 Advanced Target Pointer Illuminator Aiming Laser, Insight M3x Tactical Illuminator, as well as Eotech 553 holographic sight and Eotech G23 magnifier.
Reviewing 1/16 scale figures takes a lot of time and energy. Cleaning the pieces, assembling the figure, taking photos of the build process… it all requires much more effort than the usual 1/35 scale figure review and I sometimes wonder if it is worth it. And then a figure like this comes along.
I had a great time building the Ranger, 75th Ranger Regiment, US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), Afghanistan 2011 (AM16007). The figure took my breath away… produced using a 3D scanning technology, with the digital model additionally refined, scaled and delivered in resin, impressively cast, intelligently engineered and with perfect fit of pieces, the figure kit builds into a superbly realistic, action posed 1/16 scale rendition of a modern US Special Forces operative.
A big thanks to Pavel from Assault Models for this review sample.
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