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In-Box Review
120mm
MARSOC Marine, Afghanistan
MARSOC Marine, Afghanistan
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]


Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

Introduction:

In October 2005, the secretary of defense directed the formation of a Marine component of US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) - US Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC). MARSOC was officially inaugurated at Camp Lejeune in February 2006; in the following months the structure and personnel of both 1st and 2nd USMC Force Reconnaissance Company transferred to MARSOC to form Marine Special Operations Regiment (MSOR). MSOR consists of a Headquarters Company and three Marine Special Operations Battalions (1st, 2nd and 3rd). The MSOBs are tasked with direct action, special reconnaissance, counter-terrorism and information operations. They are also trained to carry out peacetime foreign internal defense and unconventional warfare. MARSOC also formed the Marine Special Operations Support Group (MSOSG) and the Marine Special Operations School (MSOS). The MSOSG provides combat support and combat service support to MARSOC Units, to include: Logistics, Communication, Intelligence, and K-9 support. The MSOS recruits, screens, assesses, selects, trains, and certifies Marine Special Operations Forces (MARSOF) and has responsibility for doctrine development. MARSOC comprises roughly 2,500 Marines and it deployed its first units in August 2006, only six months after initial activation.


Review:

MARSOC Marine, Afghanistan (067) is the latest 120mm scale figure release, sculpted by Maciek Rebkowski for Airborne Miniatures label. The kit arrived packed in a very firm cardboard box featuring nicely painted boxart picture. All the resin parts are contained in a single zip-lock bag additionally protected by bubble wrap. The plaster base included in this kit is also securely cushioned inside bubble wrap. After opening the bag I found 23 kit pieces cast in light grayish resin… The parts include:

- lower body with both legs,
- torso,
- head,
- left arm,
- right arm,
- helmet,
- left and right boot,
- various equipment pieces (7x),
- M4 weapon parts (8x).

I have to add that figure's right hand is cast with the main M4 part, thus ensuring a firm grip on the weapon. All pieces in the kit are nicely cast, completely free of air bubbles or mold lines. I did find some flash to remove on the bottom part of chest harness, but nothing serious. Casting plugs are quite big and could be difficult to remove; take your time and be patient with the cleanup, especially on the small delicate pieces of the weapon. The weapon buildup is a bit complex as it consists of 8 parts, but once you fit the pieces correctly, the M4 could turn into a real gem.

This figure represents MARSOC Marine in Afghanistan. The figure wears Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU), a current battledress uniform of the US Marine Corps. MCCUU replaced the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) in 2004. Although BDU was the standard uniform of all US Military branches, MCCUU and its camouflage pattern (MARPAT) are exclusive to the Marine Corps. MCCUU blouse is designed to be used with body armor and features two slanting chest pockets and two shoulder sleeve pockets. The elbows are reinforced and have internal pockets for elbow pads. One thing to note here is the fact that Marines have a specific way of rolling the sleeves of their blouses, exposing the lighter inside layer. This peculiar tradition originates from the times when Marines wore BDUs, as it served to distinguish them from the Army and Air Force, who rolled their sleeves so that the camouflage outside of the cuff folded down over the completed roll. MCCUU trousers feature two front slash pockets, two rear pockets and two thigh bellows cargo pockets. The seat is reinforced as well as the knees, which also have internal pockets for kneepads. USMC certified Belleville 550ST Hot Weather Safety Toe Boots compliment the uniform well. This military boot is an olive drab/tan color, standard 8-inch high, has Vanguard running shoe sole construction, a steel toe and the USMC "Eagle, Globe and Anchor" emblem imprinted on the outer ankle. The figure wears Wiley X Tactical Gloves, made with high durability and flame resistant goatskin leather and feature injection molded knuckle plating. The sculptor did a great job on the uniform; not only on the various MCCUU details, but also on very realistic folds. The boots look great as well, with nicely defined 550ST features, however painting the Marine emblem on the ankle could be a bit tricky in this scale. One more thing that could present problems for painters is keffiyeh (shemagh), a very practical and popular piece of clothing in arid environment, wrapped around the figure's neck.

The figure wears USMC Scalable Plate Carrier (SPC). The SPC was fielded to units operating in Afghanistan since 2008 as a lighter and more flexible alternative to USMC Modular Tactical Vest, where it has proved very popular. Over his SPC, the figure sports Blackhawk Commando Chest Harness. This type of chest harness has four front pouches which hold up to 3 M4 magazines each and two side utility pouches for additional ordnance, radios, rations, etc, while the inside back portion also contains a large map pouch. The bottom of the harness features loops for securing the rig to the belt, while adjustable criss-cross shoulder straps are padded and feature side release buckle. Sculptor added MBITR radio to one of the front pouches and radio anntenna is included as a separate piece in the kit. The additional equipment in this set includes large Dump Pouch for accommodating spent magazines, and large Belt Pouch fastened to the Blackhawk Padded Patrol Belt. The belt is padded and features PALS webbing so it can accommodate all sorts of MOLLE pouches. The secondary firearm is secured in the BlackHawk Serpa Drop Leg Holster. This type of holster has a special retention mechanism which makes it completely different from the others; with the push of the index finger, the weapon is released and drawn in a quick and smooth motion with the index finger automatically set just above the trigger. Two pistol magazine cases are included in the kit and can be added to the Drop Leg Holster.

The figure wears TC-2000 Modular Integrated Communication Helmet (MICH). It provides ballistic, fragmentation, aural and impact protection, while at the same time being night vision, communications and NBC equipment compatible. The helmets suspension system provides maximum balance, stability and comfort. Special Forces operatives usually spray camouflage paint on their helmets and add various patches to them as well… something to consider when painting this figure. As for the communication devices, the figure is sporting SF ComTac II Headset, specifically designed to fit MICH. A modeler needs to use thin wire to add microphone boom, attach the microphone supplied in this kit and add headset wiring in order to get the perfect visual results with this figure.

Maciek knows a great deal about modern US equipment and his sculpts definitely show it... every single piece of equipment is wonderfully sculpted and I found an excellent match to the references I gathered. The Plate Carrier looks good with PALS webbing loops well defined, Blackhawk Chest Harness is wonderfully executed with nicely rendered MBITR radio inserted in one of the front pouches, the details on the shemagh and Wiley X gloves are amazing, Drop Leg Holster looks great as well. The face sculpt looks very good with moustache as a signature line from most Maciek’s latests SF sculpts.

As for the weapon, the figure carries SOPMOD M4A1 carbine. The SOPMOD kit includes Knight's Armament Company (KAC) Rail Interface System (RIS) forearm instead of the standard handguards and a wide variety od add-on goodies, such as various optical sights, laser pointers, sound suppressor, M203 grenade launcher, detachable front grip, tactical lights etc.... SOPMOD kit allows SF Operatives to configure their weapons to individual preferences and mission requirements. The M4A1 supplied in the kit is broken into 8 parts: weapon body cast with right hand, RIS forearm with two side Rail handguard covers, Tippmann X7 buttstock, magazine, the front sight and barrel, Advanced Target Pointer / Illuminator / Aiming Light (ATPIAL), Tactical Foregrip and Trijicon ACOG 4x32mm Scope. All the parts are extremely delicate, but if you are patient when building the weapon you are going to end up with a really nice M4A1 SOPMOD rendition.

The plaster base supplied in the kit is fairly simple, but provides a good option for all those not wanting to build their own groundwork for the figure.


conclusion:

This is a very nice figure kit representing US MARSOC Operative in action. Sculpted by very talented Maciek Rebkowski, the anatomy of the figure looks good and well balanced. The cast is great with minimal imperfections. The overall level of details on this figure could be described with superlatives only: uniform, chest harness, gloves, shemagh and all the other equipment is extremely well rendered with an excellent match to the real gear worn by MARSOC Operatives. M4 carbine looks amazing, although a bit delicate and complex to build. With the plaster base supplied, this kit gives you all you need for making a really cool MARSOC vignette in 120mm scale.


references:

Special Forces: War Against Terrorism in Afghanistan, Historie&Collectionsi
Special Forces: War Against Saddam Hussein, Historie&Collections
http://www.socom.mil/SOCOMHome/Pages/MARSOC.aspx
http://www.globalsecurity.org
http://www.special-warfare.net/data_base/index.html
http://world.guns.ru/assault/as17-e.htm
SUMMARY
Highs: This is another Airborne Miniatures figure which deserves very best marks in all categories: sculpting, casting and level of details... If you are interested in building and painting modern US Special Forces figure, this is a perfect choice for you.
Lows: No lows for this figure.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 120mm
  Mfg. ID: AIRM-067
  Related Link: Airborne Miniatures website
  PUBLISHED: May 06, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 93.37%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.10%

Our Thanks to Airborne Miniatures!
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.

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About Mario Matijasic (Maki)
FROM: CROATIA HRVATSKA

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright ©2019 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Great review on a great kit again.thanks Mario.
MAY 06, 2011 - 09:16 AM
   

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