by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Assault Models utilizes 3D scanning technology for producing their figure kits. The process results in creating super-realistic miniatures, but also enables the company to offer the same figure in several different scales.
The latest miniature from the company depicts the US Special Ops operative from Afghanistan, and is released both in 1/35 and 1/16 scale. This review covers the large scale offering: Operator, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, US Army Special Forces ("The Green Berets"), Afghanistan, 2011-2012 (AM-16008).
The figure kit is packed in a top-opening plastic box that features a box art image showing assembled and painted figure. Inside the box is a single zip-lock bag, additionally protected using a layer of bubble wrap. One of the pieces broke off of its carrier block, but was found in the zip-lock bag and closer inspection revealed no damage to the part. The bag holds 16 resin pieces:
- left arm,
- right arm,
- right hand holding a weapon,
- equipment pieces and weapon accessories (10x).
The pieces are cast in grey resin and look really good, with no imperfections in the resin and a ton of sharp details perfectly delivered. The level of details is absolutely astonishing. Assault Models utilizes 3D scanning technology to obtain a digital image of the scanned subject, followed by the meticulous 3D software post-processing to refine and improve various details of the image. This method results in the realism of the uniform and the equipment pieces which is above anything I have seen on large scale resin figures.
The carrier blocks are big, but very easy to remove. I used sharp side cutters, Olfa precision cutting tools and some fine-grit sanding paper.
The assembly of the figure is very much straightforward. The kit pieces are superbly engineered, with protrusions and indentations in corresponding parts, which enables optimal alignment of the pieces. I did a test fit of all the parts before gluing them and found everything fits really well, minimizing the necessary putty work. It is easy to deduce which piece goes where, but to help with the assembly process I annotated all the pieces on their carrier blocks and am displaying images of major subassemblies, defining the position of each part.
I started by fixing the torso and the legs, followed by adding the equipment pieces to the body armor and the belt. The fit is impressive, with almost no visible gaps between pieces. The arms fit nicely as well, although I did use some Magic Sculp to make things perfect.
The figure represents US Special Forces operative in a relaxed posture. The pose looks good and well balanced, with the facial features nicely defined. The figure wears Crye Precision Combat Pants and Shirt with Asolo tracking boots. The Releasable Body Armor Vest (RBAV) provides attachment point for various equipment pieces: ammo magazine pouches, MBITR-148 radio pouch with Thales speaker and blade antenna, 9mm magazine pouches, canteen GP pouch and a large hydration pouch with bolt cutters. The CAT tourniquet and Garmin GPS are also attached, with combat shears tucked into RBAV MOLLE loops. The tactical belt carries two grenade pouches, IFAK pouch, dump pouch and SERPA G17 holster. On his head, the figure sports MICH-2000 with several Velcro patches and SureFire helmet light. On his hands the figure wears Oakley assault gloves and Suunto Core All Black hand watch.
The figure is armed with MK18 Mod 1 featuring EOTech 553 holographic sight, forward grip and AN/PEQ-15 target pointer/illuminator/aiming laser, and is also carrying Glock 17 as a secondary weapon.
Assault Models utilizes 3D scanning technology for producing their miniatures. The technology includes scanning a real-world person, collecting data on its shape and constructing a digital 3D model. The digital model is then refined, scaled and transferred into the physical world by rapid prototyping. In other words, the product is a miniature copy of a real person… can the figure get any more realistic that that?
Operator, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, US Army Special Forces ("The Green Berets"), Afghanistan, 2011-2012 (AM-16008) is even more than a stunningly realistic representation of US Army Special Forces operative. The figure kit oozes excellence all around, from the perfect cast and sharp details wonderfully delivered in resin, to the intelligent engineering that ensures the superb fit of the pieces and easy assembly. This is definitely one of the best 1/16 scale figure kits I had the pleasure of building.
A big thank you to Pavel from Assault Models for this review sample.
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