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In-Box Review
U.S. Soldier (Modern)

by: Peter Ong [ TRISAW ]

Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

Infinity Shape, a new Korean figure company to enter the market, revives and continues the trend of nicely-sculpted and quality figures coming from that nation. Infinity Shape figures are sculpted by Ho Seo, and step-by-step progress photos can be seen on various figure discussion boards. This review is about one of their modern figures, namely the 1/35 U.S. Soldier (Modern) (kit #ISWU-005).

What's in the box?
Infinity Shape’s 1/35 U.S. Soldier (Modern) (kit #ISWU-005), consisting of 10 white metal parts, is shipped in a single clear plastic bag vacuumed-sealed into three separate air chambers, one for the body, one for the gun, and another for the loose parts. The plastic bag is wrapped in bubblewrap and placed inside a nice soft cardboard box.

Quality and Detail
The white metal makes this figure unusually heavy and solid. I can’t say for sure if the metal is lead-free since the box gives no indication except that the figure isn’t recommended for those 14 years or younger.

The stooping figure measures about two-and-an-eighth-inches tall with the head attached. I saw no runs, warping, sinkholes, scrapes, gouges or defects in the white metal figure. There is some minor flash and burrs that make the figure sharp, so take care when handling the figure with your bare hands until you can sand off the sharp areas at the ends of the boots and elbows and at the end of the rifle’s magazine. There are a few minor seam lines that need to be sanded off because priming will make them appear prominent.

The detail of the figure compares well, and even beats some of today’s metal figures. Being unprimed white metal, I find it hard to see the details because the light reflects off the shiny silver surface (priming should reveal the true elegance of the details), but I can see the LBV straps at the rear, the nice raised kneepad rivets (a center hole and a delicate ring around the hole), the straps and buckles, mini Camelbak logo, boot threads, uniform wrinkles, and raised straps. As in real life, straps support all hanging objects; I can see the Camelbak, kneepad, and LBV straps, meaning nothing is hanging on the figure as if glued to its clothes. I cannot see any indication of body armor as the figure just wears a blouse (with wrinkles) under the LBV. A nice touch is how the kneepads constrict the pants to balloon over and under them, just as in real life.

I testfitted the head and arms to the torso and the fit is perfect. The left hand aligns wonderfully into the left arm’s wrist and the arms fit well to create the pose depicted in the box-art. Note that because of the perfect fit, I discovered it would not be possible to raise or lower the rifle in any way. Raising the rifle will make the night scope bump into the face. Lowering the rifle will create a gap where the right arm and the torso join. Enterprising modelers may wish to experiment and cut the rifle night scope off and see if raising the rifle will make the iron sights eyeball-level; nonetheless, keep in mind that the sculptor didn’t intend for the rifle to be aimed so such experimentation could result in failure.

The holster has a little flat thigh surface to glue onto. The ALICE ammo pouches and canteen can be glued almost anywhere on the web belt with little to no gaps.

Armament, Ammunition and Gear
The ALICE grenade pouches appear full, meaning that the figure carries four fragmentation grenades in addition to the estimated 300-360 rounds of 5.56mm in both the ALICE and vest magazine pouches (360 rounds obtained if you envision the top vest pouches contain two M-16 magazines each, not one).

The cloth holster and M9 bayonet are well detailed. I do not see any pistol reloads; however, the holster appears large enough to house some since there is a small pouch below the barrel. One may wish to swap the M9 for a K-Bar knife to represent a U.S. Marine.

Only one canteen is included, which makes sense because of the Camelbak hydration system on the soldier’s back. In fact, the modeler may even wish to not use the canteen since some soldiers consider a canteen obsolete and dangerous on stealth missions due to the sloshing of the water inside.

The gas mask bag strikes me as strange due to its cover flap. At first I thought it was a storage bag, but the way it’s glued looks like a gas mask bag. Some web research shows that it is the U.S. military’s current M40 gas mask.

The rifle looks very similar to DML’s 1/35 “Special Boat Service (SBS) with Kayak’s” M-16A2 with night scope. In fact, some modelers suggest that this truly isn’t a M-16A2, but Canadian Diemaco’s C7A1 Combat Rifle. I looked into my gun reference book and found other matching photo possibilities: “Bushmaster’s XM-15 E2S Target Rifle” (“S” denoting semi-automatic), or “Colt’s Match Target HBAR (Heavy Barrel)”. Both are mainly for the civilian market although the blurb did state that the XM-15 is sold as fully-automatic only to government bodies. In any case, both Colt and Bushmaster are U.S. companies so U.S. figure modelers can rest assured that the gun is not Canadian-made. The gun cannot be substituted due to the right arm and left hand being molded on them. I overlaid the rifle’s magazine over the ALICE and vest ammo pouches to find that the magazine barely fits inside them. The width is fine; the length is a tad too long so I suggest a little sanding at the end of the rifle’s magazine to obtain a more believable visual appearance. I also found the gun’s metal very soft. The gun in fact bends a bit, the barrel bending one way and the receiver another and some finger-pressing is needed to make everything align. As such, be careful not to break off the barrel or break the gun in half. I recommend placing the gun in a parts container so that it can lie flat untouched until glued onto the figure.

I could not identify the rifle night scope. The night scope is not the AN/PVS-4 used by the U.S. military.

Final Analysis
The kit is titled “U.S. Soldier (Modern)” and the kit represents just that, not a soldier in Operations Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom. Without body armor, the figure can be used for a host of other operations such as Kosovo, Haiti, drug wars, sentry, bodyguard, National Guard State Response, training, or special operations. I even testfitted a Think-180 and Verlinden Special Forces head to the Infinity Shape torso and found that with a little neck trimming, both heads can fit on the body.

This kit has worth and fills the need for a 1/35 modern U.S. soldier representing non-War-on-Terror roles. The figure is not 100% accurate to a U.S. soldier (namely the rifle), but the craftsmanship rivals many other non-plastic 1/35 modern U.S. figure kits.

My thanks go to Infinity Shape for the review sample. Photos provided by Infinity Shape.

Reference: A.E. Hartink, The Complete Encyclopedia of Automatic Army Rifles. Rebo Publishers, Netherlands, 1999.
Infinity Shape's 1/35 U.S. Soldier (Modern) fills a void outside of the War-on-Terror. While not 100% accurate, modelers may overlook those issues due to the fine craftsmanship of the kit.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: ISWU-005
  Suggested Retail: $15.75
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 31, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Peter Ong (Trisaw)

I model modern topics, mainly post 1991 Gulf War onwards. My modeling interests include: * Science-fiction/ fantasy * 1/100 Gundam * 1/35 armor * Kitbashed projects * Special Forces * Resin or plastic modern figures * 1/24 Police, fire, medical, and Government vehicles * Rare, unique, ori...

Copyright ©2021 text by Peter Ong [ TRISAW ]. All rights reserved.


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