by: Mario Krajinovic [ ]
Originally published on:
The roots of the figure can be traced to the creative works of Jeff Meckley and his Think One Eighty Studios. The second in the line of OIF figures has now (re)appeared under the MIG Productions line under a different label – US Navy SEAL vol. 3. The figure depicts a crouching Marine in a relaxed pose during the early stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This is easily recognized since the figure wears JSLIST protective garments, (which will be discussed further in the review) while there was still concern about the possible use of biological & chemical weapons by forces loyal to Hussein.
The figure is nicely packed in a clear plastic clam-shell container with a single zip-lock bag holding the resin parts. For a single figure it has a lot of parts, but since the container space is relatively small, there is no play of loose parts in the packaging, but due to the number of parts there is the danger of breaking of some small parts.
Featured in the packaging, is the very nice “box-art” with the figure painted by Artur Miniszewski. This is also noted on the packaging as well as the name of the figure master builder, Jeff Meckley. A very nice touch is the addition of the picture on the back, showing the built and painted figure from behind, which will ease painting as no instructions or paint guides are provided. On the back you can also find a date which I guess is the manufacturing date (in my sample it says 27th July, 2011.)
The figure is comprised of 14 parts molded in cream resin. The parts are as following:
• left (complete) arm
• right arm
• right hand
• gas mask bag
• 6 pouches
The resin itself is cream colored, which obscures visible details which you know are there. They are kind of hard to see. I wish resin manufacturers would use the gray color which lets you immediately know what you’re looking at. It also feels a bit greasy due to the release agent or something.
A crouching, relaxed pose is depicted with the figure holding binoculars in the right hand and the primary weapon rested on the legs. This pose is useful for lots of situations, either as a stand-alone vignette or part of a larger diorama with a number of figures. I think it could be used for “in-action” scenes, or marine squad tactical meetings, even just a pause after the battle. It is versatile for such a relatively in-mobile figure pose.
The helmet is the PASGT (Personal Armor System for Ground Troops) type, also known as the “Kevlar”, “K-Pot”, or “Fritz”. It was first fielded to U.S. military units in the early 1980’s. The helmet is available in five sizes, provides ballistic protection for the head from fragmenting munitions. It is a one piece structure composed of multiple layers of Kevlar 29 ballistic fiber and phenolic PVB resin. It is removed from the service but was still fielded with the start of OIF. The helmet is nicely molded and features a camouflage canvas cover and goggles, but no straps on the inside.
SWDG (Sun, Wind and Dust Goggles) goggles are simple in design: one piece lens on a rubber frame. This design dates back to WW II. For years they’ve been the standard goggles providing basic environmental protection. In recent decades they have been improved to provide ballistic and then laser eye protection. SWDGs are worn both by soldiers who need prescription eyeglasses and those who don’t. The goggles consist of an injection molded rubber frame with a polyurethane foam backing with a skin that contacts the face. The rubber frame holds the lens while the foam provides a seal between the face and goggle frame. The goggles are compatible with standard military prescription eyewear. Flannel covered vent holes allow some ventilation while keeping dust out. Two snap fasteners provide additional lens retention in the frame. The goggles are molded in solid resin and will take effort in hollowing them out and using clear plastic or epoxy to fill them or nice painting skills.
This figure is one of the rare figures that properly depicts JSLIST (Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology) clothing although it is also known as MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) suit. The JSLIST ensemble is a set of over-garments that provides both vapor and liquid protection against chemical and biological agents, radioactive fallout particles, and battlefield contaminants. The JSLIST ensemble is specified for wear in MOPP 1 through MOPP 4 conditions and is intended to be used with the Joint Service General Purpose Mask (JSGPM) or the M40 / M42 / MCU-2/P series masks for complete protection.
The JSLIST garment's outer shell is 50/50 cotton/nylon poplin rip-stop fabric with a durable water-repellent finish. The material is flexible and can breathe without losing any protection. The JSLIST liner consists of a non-woven front laminated to activated carbon spheres and bonded to a tricot knit back that absorbs chemical agents. The JSLIST suit weighs only 5.6 pounds, 15% lighter and 60% less bulky than its predecessors. Depending on the temperature and mission, the JSLIST over-garment may be worn over the standard duty uniform, over underwear, or over / under cold weather garments.
The JSLIST waist-length coat has an integral hood, a zipper covered by a Velcro flap, enclosed extendable elastic draw-cord hem with jacket retention cord, full-length sleeves with Velcro wrist closure adjustment tabs, and an outside expandable pocket with flap on the left sleeve.
The JSLIST trousers have expandable pockets, adjustable suspenders and adjustable waistband. They also have a front zipper opening with a protective flap, and a bellows pocket with flap located on each thigh. Each leg opening has Velcro ankle adjustment tabs.
Everything about the JSLIST suit is molded adequately and all the folds and creases look natural and fall heavy just like do in reality. A butt pack is also molded on the figure’s back.
Also molded on the torso of the figure is IBA (Interceptor Body Armor), one of the latest modern body armor series fielded by the US military. IBA replaced the older fragmentation protective Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops and features two modular components; the outer tactical vest and small-arms protective plates which can stop 7,62mm rounds. IBA is equipped with MOLLE-compatible webbing loops on the front and back which permit modular attachment of other equipment to the vest. IBA weighs only 16.4 pounds, providing more mobility to the wearer. The MOLLE loops are nicely molded and will stand out with a decent paint job.
One the back is a Camelbak hydration bladder/pack that’s quite nicely molded with all the straps and buckles and once painted can be a contrast to the woodland camouflage. One thing that I noticed is the lack of the hydration tube itself, and the Camelbak logo (due to copyrights) but this is easily added.
The head is nicely molded as well, depicting (according to the box art) an African-American face with a head wrap. The face is slightly generic, so I think you can also portrait Caucasian faces as well with paint. What I was wondering is what to do with the helmet? Since it is hollowed out, and wide enough the head fits inside, but there are no straps so this would need to be scratch built. Some tiny flash is present on the back, but absolutely nothing obscures the details.
Perhaps the biggest letdown on this figure is the weapon. The assault rifle is a USMC M-16A2 variant. The barrel is slightly warped due to the thinness of the part and doesn’t have a drilled out end. The front sight is extremely thin and almost transparent and on top of that has flash inside which will be a real piece of work to clean out. The hand guard is nicely molded with some hints of a delta ring on the end. Now for the questionable part - the entire receiver setup (lower and upper) with the carrying handle looks very soft in detail. There is also flash present so this is also something considering the minute size of everything. The pistol grip looks somewhat undersized also. The stock looks like it’s not really flat and straight. In the end, I’m not really impressed by the weapon, but fortunately there are many replacement options out there, from spare parts from other figures, dedicated plastic weapon sets (like Trumpeters new guns in styrene) or the HQ resin parts from various manufacturers like Live Resin.
The hands are nicely molded. Every part looks very nice molded and doesn’t feature seam lines, bubbles or other imperfections. The right hand is molded with the binoculars so it eases the process of fitting one more part in the right position. It is then inserted in the hollowed out part of the sleeve which then has the proper thickness and look. The other hand is in a relaxed position holding the helmet if you choose so.
The pouches provided are:
• 1X ALICE (All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) small arms ammunition case
• 1X ALICE field first aid dressing/un-mounted magnetic compass case
• 4X MOLLE II (Modular Lightweight Load Equipment) double magazine ammo pouches
• 1X Gas mask pouch (designed to be fitted onto the body with the proper straps
This figure is great for the very interesting early OIF period. It was a part of an on-going series that was sculpted under the Think-180 label and later sold off to MIG Productions. There aren’t any other figures that I know that have JSLIST gear and I wish MIG would release all of those and continue the series. The molding is great, just swap the weapon for something a bit better in my opinion. Casting is flawless as well with only minor flash present but nothing much. What sticks out to me is the fact that since the original name for the figure was US Marine w/M16 MOPP gear, I can’t help to think MIG Productions wanted to take the best of the hype concerning the latest actions by SEAL teams leading to demise of one infamous terrorist. All in all, it’s a great figure and is highly recommended for this period of modern warfare.
NOTE: I have added the only picture as reference I could find on the net of the CamelBak water bladder. It is not mine but placed here for reference purposes only.