The war in Afghanistan was and still is mainly an Infantry war. The rough, high desert terrain with narrow cuts and high mountains does not lend itself well to travel by tanks and heavy armored vehicles. The US Army does not have any tanks or Bradleys deployed there, only Stryker’s and other wheeled vehicles. The USMC is mainly deployed to Helmand Province which is in the south western portion of the country which is more open and less hilly; which is more conducive to tanks and tracked vehicles. Since 2010, the USMC has deployed a Tank Company (14 tanks) at a time to support operations in Helmand Province.
Master Box offers another set of modern figures to add to their growing list of modern offerings. Included are four figures and an Afghan shepherd with a sheep. The figures are broken down into 6 main pieces; torso, 2 legs, head and 2 arms. They have relatively crisp details and fine moldings on the clothing, faces, and accessories. There is a small amount of flash along the mold seam lines, but nothing that shouldn’t be swiftly taken care of with the quick pass of a hobby knife. The figures have very nicely molded details to their NOMEX Combat Vehicle Crewman (CVC) uniforms. The various zippers and pockets show very nicely. They also have nicely molded CVC helmets with separate hard shells and sand goggles. One is wearing a cravat around his neck and there is an alternate arm provided for one of the standing figures so his arm can either be resting on the tank fender or his hip. The cravat-wearing standing figure is holding his helmet and has a nicely molded head with an appropriate short haircut. There are also 3 pistols in holsters provided for the figures.
The Afghan shepherd is nicely molded with a very crisp face and beard. His clothing and headgear definitely make him an Afghan. The sheep is also molded well with separate ears and top of the head for good definition.
What they represent and what they don’t
As mentioned above, there are no US Army tankers in Afghanistan. There are US Marine tankers in Afghanistan though. There is nothing specific that makes the kit Army tankers other than the Armor Corps badge on the box top. They do not resemble actual USMC tankers in Afghanistan though. The CVC 'spall' vest has not been in use for a while. In the USMC, it has been replaced by the Modular Tactical Vest (MTV). They also appear to be wearing the old style CVC helmet and not the newer Bose version. The tankers could also be used as any armored vehicle crewman, so they could be US Army Stryker troopers in Afghanistan. As is, they could be US Army or Marine tankers or armored crewmen from almost any time from the late 1980s to the early 2000’s. If you replace the torsos for IBA-clad ones, they can be more recent armored crewmen in Iraq. Further, if you swap out the heads with Kevlar or MICH helmets and the torsos to IBAs, they can be more recent HMMWV or MRAP crewmen as well since they started wearing NOMEX in recent years too.
Box Art Differences
Master Box has a habit of the figures in the box not exactly matching the box art. This set is no different. The tankers are mislabelled on the box; they are inferred to be US Army tankers since the box top shows a US Army Armor medallion. As mentioned above though, no US Army tanks are deployed to Afghanistan. Also, the artwork shows boom mikes and none are included. All the figures are also shown with gloves on, but none are molded that way. Also, one of the figures is molded with rolled sleeves, but the box top shows them all with their sleeves down. Lastly, the Afghan civilian is shown with sandals and a shawl over his shoulders. The figure is molded with what looks like slippers and no shawl.
I highly recommend this figure set to compliment any of your modern AFVs. They are well molded and pretty well outfitted. A few replaced parts and they will be properly outfitted to be more modern tankers. This set is another winner for Master Box.
Highs: Nicely molded and a nice set of modern tank figures which can be easily updated to bring them more up to date. The Afghan figure is a really nice addition. Lows: These figures don't really represent modern tankers well. The box top is a little deceiving since it suggests they are US Army tankers in Afghanistan, but there are no US Army tanks deployed to Afghanistan. Verdict: A very useful kit that is much welcomed. I highly recommend them for anyone who enjoys building modern armor.
About Gino P. Quintiliani (HeavyArty) FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
Retired US Army Artillery Officer, currently a contractor at MacDill AFB in the Tampa, FL area. I have been modelling for the past 35+ years, really seriously on armor and large scale helos (1/32, 1/35) for the last 30 or so.