by: Rob Harvey [ ]
Originally published on:
the kitIn true Hobby Fan style the figures come tightly packed in a tough cardboard box, with plenty of foam and bubble wrap protecting the resin. There is a nice photograph of the finished model on the box top. The set includes 2 figures, and a base too. There are no instructions, however the modeller only really needs to fit arms and a head and then is left to choose what they do with the additional pouches and smaller gear. These figures, like most resin figures, come with the torso and legs moulded together with separate arms and additional parts.
The base A little additional resin base is typical in most Hobby Fan sets. Here we have a rather nice square base of an urban setting complete with an industrial block wall typical of most modern urban landscapes. The wall is partly demolished and there are some blocks strewn on the ground. The resin is very crisp and nicely detailed. The base would make a simple but vignette for the figures to be displayed on. The wall section is separate and will need some sanding to allow it to fit level with the rest of the base.
the figuresThe 2 figures in this set are described as being Marines, with digital camo uniforms, because of this they feature pockets on the upper sleeves as seen on USMC uniforms. These pockets could easily be sanded of leaving the modeller to create army figures should they wish to.
Figure 1 is a kneeling soldier firing and M16A2 rifle over the wall. He is equipped with a MOLLE II backpack, MOLLE vest and ammo pouches as well as 2 water bottles in cases. The gear is incredibly well detailed and very crisp, the backpack even has visible pull cords and looks just like the real thing. Under the MOLLE gear he is wearing an IBA vest. He wears a nicely sculpted set of knee pads and the Kevlar helmet even has an attachment for night vision equipment. The arms and head have little pins on them which simple slip into the locating points of the torso-very easy to assemble.
Figure 2 is lying firing an M240 machine gun. Once again he is wearing a MOLLE Vest and IBA, but this chap has a Camel back and butt pack instead of backpack, the MOLLE ammo pouches are separate and have to be glued on along with 2 water bottle cases which I believe in this case are used to carry ammo. The helmet once again features the NVG attachment. There is also an ammo belt provided for the M240, but looks very difficult to remove from the moulding block and would be best replaced with a PE item. This figure is a little awkwardly posed and doesnít actually lay flat very realistically. If you are going to use these figure on the base provided you may want to sand his underside to flatten it out a bit, or if you are going to put him in a bigger diorama make sure you push him down into the ground.
QualityThe detail is perfect and very crisp; they are definitely up to the standards of Blast models and Warriors. The clothing features all appropriate creases and folds and will paint up well. The gear is very fine and is packed with details such as buckles and clips, however is a little stiff looking once glues to the body, this is always a downside of separately moulded gear. With some light sanding in places it should end up looking quite natural. The faces are very good and unlike some of Hobby Fan's older sets donít have those unrealistic cartoon faces.
There is a little bit of clean up required once some of the moulding plugs have been removed and the ones on the helmets require a great deal of care as they are moulded against the rim, and as I said the ammo belt looks impossible to remove without breaking.
in conclusionOverall these are a very nice set of figures from a company well known for its Vietnam era figures. They are very well detailed and accurate with all the appropriate gear and clothing, Iíve found plenty of pictures on the net of the real gear and Hobby Fans rendition is very good indeed. Its nice to see some more OIF figures in combat poses and these should go down well with diorama modellers and AFV modellers alike. Iíve compared them against Blast models, Alpine miniatures and Warriors figures and they look to be just right in terms of scale.
The only downside with these is the slightly stiff pose of the M240 gunner and the separate gear that doesnít blend as well once fitted as moulded on gear would. There is some minor flash and tiny air bubbles in places that will need to be removed as well. But these are only small short comings and overall itís nice to see another company focus on the more modern subjects. There is quite a growing collection of OIF figures on the market and plenty of Marines.
My review set was purchased from LSA models.