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In-Box Review
135
Special Forces Operator
US Special Forces Operator , Afghanistan 2001-2003
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by: Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]


Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

introduction

I always appreciated the product variety of Evolution Miniatures from World War II to Modern Era figures of different nations, extremely nice and detailed sculpting of Sergey Traviansky and the high-quality casting on figures without any mistakes. Lately the company released a series of U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan figures and in my opinion, talent of Sergey and casting quality of the company made the top.
about the kit

Special Forces units were the first military units that went into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. At the beginning, some SF operational detachments worked with Afghan Northern Alliance troops, acting as a force multiplier, especially by using new techniques for precise direction of heavy air support.
During the daytime, they met with local village elders and worked with the people to win over the hearts and minds as well as trying to identify possible Taliban spies in the villages. SF members worked closely with Civil Affairs for humanitarian assistance such as building roads, schools, and wells and to provide villages with food, water, medicine and medical treatment, and even education programs to the people. They constantly patrolled the areas to defend the villages from Taliban attacks. At night, Special Forces hunted down the Taliban and other insurgencies in the area, conducting raids on camps, training centers, drug-smuggling operations, and other Taliban safe-havens. As well as ambushing weapons, supplies, and drug convoys and clearing hidden paths in the mountains that border Pakistan and Afghanistan, including mining operations on paths that the Taliban use, conducting reconnaissance, and capturing or killing high-ranking terrorist leaders. SF often worked with Afghan forces, who they have often trained.
With the idea to show that they are not trying to force any American culture on them but rather that they respect Afghan culture and traditions, Special Forces members made some changes to their appearance, such as wearing traditional Afghan scarfs or belts, growing their hair longer, and growing beards.
box

The kit comes well packed in standard 70x100x35 mm hard cardboard box of the company. A photo of the figure painted by Andrey Skiba covers the front part of the box and serves as a basic painting reference. Inside the box, the parts are represented with the casting blocks. Body and other parts - head, arms and weapon - are seperately inserted into two small plastic zip-lock bags to avoid unexpected damages during transfer.
parts

The figure is sculpted by Sergey Traviansky and comes in 6 grey color resin parts. The parts can be easily removed from casting blocks and need no serious cleanwork before assembly.
  • Body with legs : He wears T-shirt, 3-color DCU pants with cargo pockets on sides and combat boots. A Shemagh, traditional Mid-East headgear used to provide protection from sun exposure, dust and sand, is wrapped around his neck. Over his T-shirt, he has a stiffened mesh nylon LBE vest with MOLLE attachment system. Mesh texture, front zipper and adjustable side straps ar well defined. MOLLE pouches and accessories are sculpted on the figure. Attached to front part of his vest, he carries a Triple M4 mag pouch which holds six M4 magazines on the right side and a Triple universal pistol pouch on the left. In addition to ammo pouches, on the right breast, he has an Admin pouch, used to carry maps, documents, etc., with a velcro panel for patches, flags or name tags. On the left side, there is an Ambidextrous holster for Glock 17 or Heckler & Koch Mk23, with single magazine pouch, usually carried diagonally for the easy use when driving. On the backside of the vest, he carries an AN/PRC-148 MBITR - Multi band inter/intra team radio, in MOLLE style pouch. Details of the radio, and audio lead linking from headset to radio on the left shoulder are well represented. Note that antenna should be scratched .
    The figure has two knee pads; one on the left knee, the other slipped down to right ankle and turned outwards which is commonly seen in military photos and turned to a fashion between soldiers.
  • Head : Facial details, moustache and beard are well defined. He wears a baseball cap, often used by SF elements in Afghanistan. Over his cap, he has a TASC - Tactical Assault Specops Communication headset with elastic straps and Tactical protective goggles. Details of the equipment are well represented. Note that microphone boom should be scratch-built from copper wire.
  • Arms : 2 pieces – Upfolded sleeves of T-shirt are well defined. The hands are cast on the weapon but the upper parts of assault gloves are cast on these parts.
  • Weapon : He carries a SOPMOD M4A1 carbine with RIS - Rail Interface System attached foregrip and ACOG 4xscope - Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight. The details are very well defined. As mentioned above, hands with tactical gloves are cast on the rifle.
  • AN/PEQ-2 - ITPIAL Infrared Target Pointer-Illuminator-Aiming Laser is given as a seperate part. For more information about it; I recommend you to read the great review of Mario Matijasic about Insight Technology's AN/PEQ's.
    conclusion

    The figure shows great alikeness to SF members in Afghanistan. Uniform, personal gear and weapon details are very nice. I can say it is almost a faultless sculpt and cast. It can be displayed alone with its strong posing, next to a vehicle or together with the other SF figures of Evolution Miniatures.

    Very Highly Recommended
  • SUMMARY
    Highs: Nice subject, great sculpt in very good details, easy to assembly with less parts and great cast w/o any mistakes. Absolutely a perfect figure.
    Lows: No lows for this product.
    Verdict: I am sure it will a very enjoyable painting period for any modeler who has this at hand. Very highly recommended.
    Percentage Rating
    97%
      Scale: 1:35
      Mfg. ID: EM-35046
      Related Link: 
      PUBLISHED: Oct 14, 2011
      NATIONALITY: United States
    NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
      THIS REVIEWER: 92.20%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 94.44%

    Our Thanks to Evolution 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 Engin Kayral (Graywolf)
    FROM: IZMIR, TURKEY / TüRKçE

    Born in 1962,married and having 2 sons. I started modelling about 8 years old building USS Fletcher with mom. It was a model dad brought from USA., I think in those days only a few people in Turkey had info on scale model kits. Grown as an AF officer son , I built many aircraft models in years. Som...

    Copyright ©2019 text by Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]. All rights reserved.



    Comments

    Great review, Engin. The Evolution SOF figures are very nice. I don't believe it's this one, but one of them has the issue of the M4 vest pouches being too narrow to fit the magazine of the M4. Even to this day, such a problem still persists. One just has to lay the M4 carbine magazine over the vest pouch to see if the sizes match up... And being sculpted onto the body, it'll be hard to correct unless one cuts off those pouches. There's lots of separate M4 magazines too for size comparison. DML makes them and now Live-Resin.
    OCT 14, 2011 - 05:52 AM
    I have bothe the sf figures from Evolution, and they are really good. I cant wait for the next ones to come out!
    OCT 14, 2011 - 08:28 PM
       

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