by: Rob Harvey [ ]
The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past few years have generated a great deal of interest among modern armor modelers, and have lead to the release of an abundance of modern US figures from resin producers, as well as a few plastic companies. One area however that has seemingly been neglected is figures at rest, or not involved in combat.
Thankfully Legends have come to the rescue with this useful and versatile figure, humping around a ration box, such tasks that most soldiers spend much of their army life doing.
Legends latest figure release, sees them turn their attention to a modern American subject for the first time (they have previously done a few Vietnam era GIís). The figure depicts a soldier from around 2005 onwards, when ACU (Army Combat Uniform) begun to be fielded to the US Army. The figure comes in five parts with separate hands, head and groin protection plate as well as the printed MRE ration box.
This chap is wearing ACU jacket and trousers (yes you will have to tackle painting ACU on this figure), which are accurately represented with the sleeve pockets and smaller ankle pockets characteristic of the ACU. The figure wears the ACU type Interceptor Body Armor vest, which seems to differ slightly to the earlier 3 tone IBA vest, in that the PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) grid webbing comes up to just below the collar. The shape and weight of the vest has been sculpted perfectly on this figure, and really looks very good.
Also included is the groin protector plate, attached to the bottom of the IBA. As mentioned this comes separate so itís up to the modeller whether they wish to add it or not, although this seems to be used most of the time now in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are three small arms ammo pouches fitted to the vest, as well as a large pouch on either side. The figure also wears a Camelback hydration pouch on his back, complete with finely sculpted drinking tube clipped onto the IBA.
The creases and folds in the uniform are very good, and have been sculpted well, they are neither too soft (as with some Verlinden figures) nor too harsh (often the case with CMK figures) and look spot on, the uniform sits very naturally on the figure. The figures hands are separate and are depicted wearing Kevlar reinforced tactical gloves, similar to those produced by companies such as ĎBlackhawkí. One little addition I particularly like are small ribs to reinforce the fingers, these of course must be carefully cut away, but they do prevent the fingers snapping off, which happens all too often with resin figures.
The head is depicted wearing the Army Combat Helmet (ACH) which is very accurate and captures the shape of the real thing very well. The head/helmet has the improved strap added, similar to the non-issue one produced by ĎOpscoreí. On the front of the helmet is the NVG mounting plate. Unfortunately the helmet in my set had an annoying tiny air bubble on the front of the helmet. The sculpting of the face is reasonable, if a little rough compared to say a Hornet head.
Perhaps my one major gripe with this figure is the boots. They just look a bit too small in comparison to the rest of the figure. Looking at the sculptors Ďin progressí shots of this figure on the Korean site MMZone, itís clear he used some existing injection plastic boots on this figure. Itís a shame he didnít sculpt his own because the detail is a bit weak and as I said they just look a little under sized.
Finally there is one single MRE box included, printed on brown paper. This will just need to be carefully cut out and glued together.
The actual pose of the figure is excellent, with the arch of the back very well done to represent the guy straining under the weight of the object heís holding, although Iím not sure an MRE box weighs that much?
In terms of scale, the figure matches up very well with Alpine Miniatures modern US vehicle crew figures, which to my knowledge are accurately 1/35 scale.
Overall this is a very good little figure, itís simple but effective. The quality of the sculpting is very high, and the figure has been molded very well too, with only the one air-bubble on the helmet and very little in the way of mold lines to clean up. Both the equipment and uniform are very accurate and itís good to have a figure wearing later type equipment, such as the ACU IBA. In terms of versatility this figure could be used in any number of scenarios or dioramaís, and one can easily replace the MRE box with any heavy item. Itís great to finally have a modern US figure in an interesting non-combat pose.