by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Operator, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, US Army Special Forces ("The Green Berets") Afghanistan, 2011-2012 is one of the latest additions to Assault Models catalogue. After producing the figure in 1/35 scale, the company offered it in 1/16 scale as well... a very welcomed move for all large scale figure modelers.
The figure is packed in a big plastic box featuring an image of fully assembled figure. Inside the box is a zip-lock bag containing resin parts. The kit consists of 16 pieces:
- left arm,
- right arm,
- both hands holding a sidearm,
- equipment pieces (8x),
- weapon and accessories (2x).
The pieces are cast in grey resin. The resin looks really good with the details perfectly delivered in scale. The cast is very nice, however I found a seam line going along the right leg all the way to the boot... some careful sanding is needed to clean the imperfection, making sure no details are lost in the process. I also found two damaged pieces in the kit; the thin radio antenna was broken, as well as the drinking tube which was originally cast with the backpack. A drop of superglue solves this problem. Carrier blocks are large, but very easy to remove using sharp side cutters and x-acto blade. The resin feels a bit soft under the blade, but I experienced no issues during the cleanup process.
The assembly of the figure is very much straightforward. The intelligent design with protrusions and indentations in corresponding parts enables optimal alignment of the pieces. I dry fitted all the pieces before gluing them, just to make sure everything fits well... it does. In fact, the fit is almost perfect, reducing putty work to an absolute minimum.
I started by fixing torso to the legs. No gaps whatsoever. Adding equipment to the figure presents no problems, as it is easy to deduce which piece goes where. The fit is, once again, perfect. The only thing which requires some additional work is testing and finding ideal placement for the figure's arms... both arms should be adjusted to connect to the torso well, and both hands should connect to the arms so that the weapon is aligned optimally. It's not as hard as it may sound, although the process resulted in small gap between the left arm and the torso. The gap was filled with putty and sanded carefully. The head and the weapon were fixed to the figure using a small amount of Magic Sculp. This was done so the pieces could easily be taken off the figure to facilitate painting process.
The figure represents US Special Forces operative firing his handgun. I really like the two-handed shooting pose, it looks very realistic with the head looking down the barrel of the gun, both hands gripping the weapon firmly. The figure wears RAID BDU uniform and Crye Precision Jumpable Plate Carrier (JPC). Various equipment pieces are secured on JPC (triple ammo magazine pouch, GP pouch, tactical radio pouch w MBITR-148, Thales speaker and Eagle Industries Beaver Tail backpack w hydration system) with other gear attached to the tactical belt (SERPA holster, IFAK pouch, ECLiPSE dump pouch and two grenade pouches). The figure sports MICH-2000 helmet with NVG bracket mount, Velcro and IR patches, MS-2000 Strobe and SureFire Helmet Light. Oakley glasses, Asolo tracking boots, Petzl gloves and Garmin Foretrex 401 wrist-mounted GPS navigator add to the Special Ops feel of the figure. The details on the uniform and equipment are absolutely wonderful.
The figure is armed with MK18 Mod 1 featuring Elcan Specter DR scope with Docter red dot sight, forward grip and AN/PEQ-15 target pointer/illuminator/aiming laser. The weapon looks great with ton of details impressively delivered in scale.
Operator, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, US Army Special Forces ("The Green Berets") Afghanistan, 2011-2012 (AM16005) is a very impressive large scale figure. Developed using 3D scanning process and delivered in resin, the kit shines in every possible way... The cast is really good, the details on the pieces astonishing. The fit is great and assembly very easy with only minor putty work needed. Altogether, I feel this is one of the best 1/16 scale figures I reviewed in a while and an absolute must for any figure modeler interested in modern US Special Forces.