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In-Box Review
135
Modern U.S. Crewmen & Infantry
Modern U.S. Army Armour Crewman and Infantry
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Over the last couple of years there have been a large number of models released covering modern AFV’s. From DML you had the M1A1 and M1A2 Abram’s, from HobbyBoss the Leopard and AAV family, and from Trumpeter we have the LAV, Stryker and Centauro family plus a new Challenger 2.There are however very few injection moulded figures with which to crew these vehicles, and in order to find figures wearing reasonably current uniform we have had to turn to the resin manufacturers.

Trumpeter has now released a selection of modern figures to crew your AFV and infantry to support them. In this set you get a total of six figures consisting of three infantry figures, two full length AFV crew figures, and one three quarter length AFV crew figure.

Contents

The set comes packed in a card box measuring 255mm X 162mm X 50mm, on which is printed the construction and painting instructions.

There are 187 parts included in the set which consists of the following:
• Two sheets of decal camouflage 120mm X 200mm
• Five light grey sprues.
• Three black sprues.
• One clear sprue

Weapons and Accessories

The clear sprue consists of four pairs of goggles and what I believe to be 4 sets of thermal imaging devices. The goggles are cleanly moulded and have a slightly raised edge to mimic the rim of the goggles. The four sets of thermal gear are so small I cannot be 100% sure if that is what they actually are, the other possibility is that they are goggles with a protective cloth covering in place.

Trumpeter includes three weapons sprues with this kit.

Sprue WB2 contains a rifle labeled SR16, the Army does not use any weapons designated as the SR-16. The ‘SR’ designation is used by a company called Knights Armament for their rifle family based on the AR-15/M-16/M-4 design. The rifle that is labeled as SR-16 is basically a flat top M4 carbine, but has a full-size rifle stock on it identical to the full-size stock found on M16A2/M16A4 rifles.

The other weapon is an M4 type rifle with the M203 mounted and has what is called a SOPMOD stock on it. The SOPMOD stock was initially used by SOCOM, but has since become a popular addition to M4’s throughout the Army. SOPMOD stands for (Special OPerations MODifications) kits.
Additionally, there are 4 individual 30 round magazines on this sprue.

Sprue WB3 has two M249 SAW variants on it. One variant (sprue number 4) has the skeleton stock that hasn’t been on US weapons since the 1980’s. Other than that, it is a standard M249 SAW. The second variant is a ‘new’ version (commonly referred to as a ‘para SAW’) that has a collapsible stock and shortened barrel.
Trumpeter have also included:
• Folded bi-pod for ‘para’ version
• Collapsible stock assembly for ‘para’ version
• Folded bi-pod for ‘standard’ version
• Folded bi-pod for standard ‘version’
• Elcan M145 Light Machine Gun Optic
• Extended bi-pod
• 200rd ammo container (standard issue) X 2
All of the weapons have the ends of the barrels hollowed out.

Sprue WB6 contains various sights in use by the various armed forces of the US.
• Trijicon ACOG TA01NSN (component of SOCOM SOPMOD kit) X 3
• Aimpoint M2 Red-dot sight X 2
• AN/PEQ-2 laser/IR illuminator
• Trijicon Reflex sight
• AN/PAQ-4 laser/IR illuminator X 2
• Aimpoint Red-dot sight on an forward angled mount X 2
• AN/PAS-13 Thermal Weapon Sight X 2
• Surefire M900/M910 vertical foregrip weapon light
• Short barrel M203A1 grenade launcher
• Long barrel M203 grenade launcher

The helmets on the left of the picture appear to be the PASGT helmet which was in common use through about 2005 as the ACH helmet was phased in. The two helmets on the right are I believe the same helmet without the cloth cover in place.

Sprue X contains;
• Grenade pouches X 6
• Magazine pouches for M-16/M-4 magazines X 6
• MOLLE Pocket Set, Sawgunner X 6
• Etool carriers but they don’t look the same as the Army currently uses. X 2
• Camelbak hydration systems X 2
• ‘Butt’ packs X 2
• 5.56 Triple Magazine Pocket 30 Round Direct Action X 3
• 200 Round Ammo/General Purpose Pocket. X 4
• 9MM Magazine Pocket Single X 6
• 100 Round Ammo/General Purpose Pocket X 6
• More 30 rd magazine pouches

Sprue Y contains;
• M9 Bayonet and sheath. Way too big for 1/35th scale. X 2
• M240 300 Round Soft Ammo Can X 4
• 4 pack of 45 Single Stack Magazine Pocket w/ Kydex Insert X 3
• Double 30 rd magazine pouches X 4
• Grenade pouches X 5
•Miscellaneous items unknown to me


Sprue Z contains a couple of different types of ‘assault’ packs. These were fielded in the MOLLE rifleman kits. They are not as big as a traditional rucksack because they are only intended to carry a few extra things in an offensive operation. Items 1&2 on the sprue are M9 pistols in MOLLE holsters.

There is a huge selection of equipment on the last three sprues allowing the user to select how the infantry in the box are equipped. All of the pieces are well moulded with the exception of the M9 bayonet, and depending on the fit could make for some interesting figures. This large selection will also give you a large number of parts for your modern infantry spares box.

the figures

Infantry Figure ‘F’ is made up of nine pieces;
• The legs, while being the same length as a Tank resin figure I checked them against, look a lot chunkier which may detract from the figure when made. They are however nicely detailed with the knee pads being well defined.
• The boots have some detail but it is very soft.
• The arms are well proportioned in terms of length, but the upper arms look a little slim. The hands are weak on this figure as the detail is very soft and poorly defined.
• Torso with ‘Generation 1’ Interceptor vest, the detail is a little soft but a wash should make it stand out better.
• Head with chin strap in place, facial detail is good by injection moulded standards.
• Groin protection body armour which is part of the ‘Generation 1’ Interceptor vest.

Infantry Figure ‘B’ is also made up of nine pieces;
• The legs on this figure are again well defined detail wise with the exception of the leg pockets, and look good dimensionally.
• The feet on this figure have some sort of pack moulded on the outside edge which makes them look very odd on the sprue.
• The arms are again good lengthwise, but slim in the upper arm. The detail on the hands is a little better.
• The torso is again moulded with the ‘Generation 1’ Interceptor vest in place, and the detail is also better on this one.
• Head with chin strap in place, facial detail is good by injection moulded standards.
• Groin protection body armour which is part of the ‘Generation 1’ Interceptor vest.

Infantry Figure ‘C’ is made up of nine pieces;
• The legs on this figure are I believe the best of the three offerings being good dimensionally, and well defined detail. The only fault I can find is that Trumpeter for no obvious reason have placed sprue connection points on both knee pads, when a connection onto the sole of the boot would have been much more user friendly.
• On the torso, the ‘Generation 1’ Interceptor vest is very well detailed on this figure, and should look exceptional when a wash is applied.
• The arms on this figure are well proportioned throughout, but the crease detail is a little soft.
• The hands are very good with good finger definition.
• The heads facial detail is fair, with the straps for the helmet being a little soft.
• Groin protection body armour which is part of the ‘Generation 1’ Interceptor vest.

Crewmen 'A' and ‘B’ are made up of eight pieces each and share the same strengths and weaknesses;
• The legs have some very well defined creases and side pockets. The boots on this one are also very well defined.
• The torso on this figure is very well done with well defined detail and body armour.
• The arms have some very nice creases in the uniform which should look good when painted.
• The hands will need some work as they are not the best.
• The head is moulded with a CVC armoured crewman’s helmet. The picture I have taken is not the best at showing the nice detail.

The '3/4 Height' Crewman is made up of six pieces;
• The torso is very nicely detailed from the waist up, but very basic from the waist down.
• The arms have some nice crease detail, but they appear to be too long in the upper arm.
• The hands will need some work to bring them up to a reasonable standard.
• The head for this figure is possibly the best one in the entire set as regards facial detail, and is moulded with the CVC armoured crewman’s helmet.

Decals:
The decals provided with this set are for BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) and DCU (Desert Camouflage Uniform). This uniform camouflage was issued from 1981 to 2008, I however believe that the uniform has had minor changes in that time as regards pockets and locations. The equipment supplied with this kit, I believe, sets it in the 2004 – 2008 window, with the uniform starting to be withdrawn and replaced from 2006.

Instructions:
The instructions are where this offering from Trumpeter has, in my opinion, its biggest weakness. You are expected to make the figures with a single poor drawing of each figure, and while it will not be an issue with the AFV crewmen the number of parts will make the Infantry a chore unless well versed in their equipment. On the sides of the box there are line drawings for the alternate assembly of the rifles which is good, but there is nothing at all about the M249 and its possible assembly.

Conclusion

It looks to me as if Trumpeter has tried to take on DML in the multi-part figure area, and while this set is not of the same standard of DML figures it is a worthy effort. With Trumpeters willingness and proven ability to improve on their products as they go, the figure sets they have released over the last few months show a promise of some interesting releases to come (I hope).

The AFV crew figures will all be usable with a little work, and you should be able to make one good and one acceptable infantry figure from the set. I will recommend this offering from Trumpeter with the reservation that you don’t expect to throw the figures together and get a perfect finish, they will require some thought in order to get finished figures you are happy with.

I must take the time to say a very big thank you to Brent Sauer (sgtsauer) who made it possible for me to review this item due to my limited knowledge in this area. His help in identifying equipment was invaluable.
SUMMARY
Highs: A new offering for an area that has been largely ignored by injection moulded plastic manufacturers. This sets presents a lot of possibilities with the high number of parts included in the product. Very nicely detailed weapons with an excellent selection.
Lows: Some questionable proportions in a few areas of some figures, and the instructions are very poor.
Verdict: For the price of this product you could do far worse than taking on this kit, costing £1.50 a figure and with a large selection of equipment. I will recommend you give it a try.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 00424
  Suggested Retail: £9.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 01, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.63%

About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Tom Thank you for the information I will try an alternate setting solution. Frank thank you for your input on the figures and the decals. Out of interest what setting solution did you use.
FEB 05, 2010 - 01:20 PM
Mr Softner The decals ripped as I was trying to get them off the paper and not on the figure. On the one figure I used the decal on i used the setting solution and then worked the decal into the nook and crannies with a q-tip. It set pretty well but like I said the color seemed funky to me.
FEB 07, 2010 - 03:24 AM
CMOT,The 'packs' on fig Bs boots are his kneepads. they are often allowed to slip or are placed there to give the legs a rest from the straps of the pads cutting into the wearers legs.
FEB 07, 2010 - 06:49 AM
I used Mr. Softener
MAY 02, 2010 - 12:47 AM
Frank and Jon sorry for being so late in seeing your replys. Thank you for the information
MAY 02, 2010 - 04:10 AM
Uniform decals not worth trying you would have to put so much decals solution you would wash out the colors that is my opinion
MAY 28, 2010 - 08:55 PM
Instead of using the decal sheets should i use paints if so what colors and what paints?
JAN 06, 2012 - 09:43 AM
Here is a great article on painting camo that should get you on the right track.
JAN 06, 2012 - 09:56 AM
I found this kit to be useful when allied with some of the Verlinden resin SOF or DML figure parts. The guns, gear, arms, and most of the legs are quite decent. Also, this set has the added feature of clear visor goggles which make for some neat-looking heads when glued over the eyes.
JAN 06, 2012 - 01:08 PM
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