Kit Review: Hobby Fan 1/35 Scale Resin Figure Set No. HF-556; U. S. Marine Digital Uniform (1) - Two Figures with Base; 28 parts; price not known but estimated at $20-25 US
Advantages: beautifully sculpted figures and elegant weapons; nicely done base for the two figures
Disadvantages: no painting instructions provided makes finishing problematical!
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all modern USMC or Operation Iraqi Freedom fans
There is an old interservice saying that "You can tell a Marine, but you can't tell him much." The reason ? other than the usual interservice banter ? is that the Marines are more likely than any of the other services to go their own way and not worry about comments.
A few years ago, after a lot of research the Marines introduced a new camouflaged combat uniform made up of pixilated images on a cloth background to replace the US Army "woodland camouflage" and "desert camouflage" pattern battle dress uniforms that the Marines had been forced to adopt by default back in the early 1980s. The new uniforms had some stylistic changes to pockets, cut and other minor differences, but the camo pattern was an amazing difference, and many photos of the two patterns side by side showed that the digital pattern did more to break up the outline of the wearer ? the prime function of a camouflaged uniform ? and allow him to blend into his surroundings.
The Marines had enough of these uniforms on hand to issue them in both woodland and desert schemes and use them during Operation Iraqi Freedom. They still had a large number of troops wearing the older second desert pattern (the first was the "chocolate chip" pattern from Operation Desert Storm in 1991) but some could be seen on TV wearing the new model.
Hobby Fan has now released a new vignette of two heavily loaded Marines covering behind a doorway with all of their kit on their backs. One has an M4 carbine with accessories like the sight rail and sight, and the other an M249 SAW light machine gun. Both are wearing a large rucksack with cover, Kevlar helmets, and the "roughout" boots.
I have no clue as to how a modeler will paint the "digital" cammies in this scale, and since there are no directions apparently neither did Hobby Fan! The photo shows what would appear to be the second desert pattern on the figures used for the display. They do not have the shoulder pockets that the Marines added to the digital cammies, so that may be a help rather than a hindrance in painting (e.g. use the second desert scheme instead).
Overall the figures are nice, and the wall base even has neat pockmarks from bullets in it as well. If you like the Corps or have an idea on an OIF diorama, you might think about picking up this neat little vignette.
Thanks to Miin Herng Tsueng of Hobby Fan for the review sample.