by: Martyn Crowther [ ]
Private military contractors provide a variety of military-type services, including training or supplying armed forces, protecting embassies around the world, but primarily acting as body guards. There are many private security firms in the world who employ private military contractors, including Airscan and Aegis Defence Services. PMCs are currently working around the world in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Saudi Arabia. Many of the men and women who work in these firms are ex military from all types of backgrounds, including the SAS and the USMC.
Trumpeter’s "PMC IN IRAQ 2005 VIP Security Guards" figure set contains three private military contractors and one VIP. The box art shows the PMC giving cover to the VIP as he is being escorted through a dangerous, desolate landscape. One of the PMC is armed with an M4a1 Carbine with laser sights. The second PMC has a M9 semi-automatic pistol and an M4a1 by his side. The third PMC holds his M4a1 in his left hand while holding his right arm out, presumably to signal the VIP? The VIP clutches a briefcase and wears what looks like a bulletproof vest.
Trumpeter supply six sprues, two moulded of grey styrene with the figures broken down into heads, torso with ballistic body armour, arms, hands and legs with military desert boots. The head is separately moulded to the baseball cap, and all heads are wearing “shades” (sunglasses). The hands are moulded separate from the arms, and all three PMCs are wearing fingerless gloves. The other grey sprue has all the accessories such as two backpacks, M9s in holsters, ammo pouches closed, ammo pouches open, medical packs, camel backs and other pouches.
Four black sprues are for the weapons and ammo. Two of them have the M4a1 on them with hand grips, while the sights are on the other two black sprues. Trumpeter have also included extra ammo clips on the weapons sprues as a bonus (good thinking Trumpeter!). The other two black sprues are to spice up the M4a1, including laser sights (4x day optical scope and Ecos-N sight), and hand grips. There is also M203 9” barrel assembly grenade launchers for these weapons.
The second black sprue supports the M9 semi-automatic pistols; 4 pistols are supplied, two in holsters, two out. Four separate magazines are included, another nice bonus.
The VIP: The VIP figure comes in seven parts: two for his legs, two for each arm, including the hands, one for the torso and one for the head. The head is well-moulded, and he is wearing sun glasses so this will help modellers who hate eyes. Over his clothes is Blackhawk body armour, and he has on a shirt and tie. Detail is good in this figure, with nice creases in the clothe. However, on the top of his trousers, detail is really soft, and a pocket is missing off the back.
PMC aiming with M4a1: The PMC aiming his rifle includes at least seven parts, depending on how you build the M4a1. The head is in two pieces (head and baseball cap). The baseball cap is very nice, with sharp detail I will enjoy painting. The face is lacking in detail because of the glasses; the “shades” are quite thick and don’t do the figures any good. Moving onto the torso, the PMC is wearing ballistic body armour. The body armour is really well-detailed, and will come up nicely on paint. Moving onto the arms, the PMC has his sleeves rolled up to show how hot the setting is. The separate hands are moulded rather nicely with gloves on. Also on the torso there are three pouches for ammo clips and any personal gear, such as a mobile or cell phone. Moving on to the legs, the figure is wearing long trousers with pockets on the side and knee pads. Pockets on the side mean the trousers can be painted camouflage. The boots are moulded very well, however I think they are slightly on the larger size, especially around the front area. Overall, I think the pose is a really nice as he leans into the sights of his gun (the correct position).
PMC with Pistol: The PMC with the pistol is broken down into different parts: head, torso, arms and legs. The head comes with a baseball cape just like the other three PMCs. While PMCs don’t have a specific uniform, the baseball cap seems to be standard, and can be painted with the company name or logo on it. He is the the only one wearing ballistic body armour and a camel backpack. The pack is odd; I have never seen one with square ribbing the same as body armour. I have only seen camel backs in black, desert or woodland camouflage, and without square ribbing. But knowing my luck, I just have not seen it yet. The figure is armed with an M9 Colt semi-automatic pistol, which is really well-moulded and a credit to Trumpeter for providing truly detailed weapons. Moving down to the trousers, he has knee pads and a holster for his M9. The knee pads are detailed superbly, with tension creases in the trousers from the knee pad straps.
PMC holding back the VIP: One PMC is holding back the VIP; he appears to be protecting him whilst holding his weapon one-handed. I don’t like that: if he jolts the rifle, it can swing either way or drop. I personally would have it under my arm holding the forward hand grip. Saying that, though, he can easily move his right hand and be ready to fire. As with the other two PMCs, the figure is broken-down into head, arms, torso and legs. Just like the other figures, the detail is superb. Trumpeter figure sets are really improving.
This is an outstanding new figure set from Trumpeter; it is original with great poses. The weapons are excellent-- better than any other plastic weapons on the market! Trumpeter also gives you more accessories such as: extra ammo pouches, pistol holsters, two rucksacks and medical packs. I cannot recommend this enough. The diorama possibilities are endless.