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Built Review
135
SF Humvee crew, Afghanistan
Special Forces Humvee crew, Afghanistan
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

Introduction

AC Models is a resin figure company based in New Zealand, producing a wide selection of figures and busts in larger scales. Andy Cairns, the creative force and the owner of the company, recently decided to venture in 1/35 scale... and immediately produced a figure set that caught the attention of many modelers. Special Forces Humvee crew, Afghanistan is a 3-figure set originally envisioned to depict New Zealand SAS operatives, but due to their universal Special Forces look, these figures can be used as any other nation SF soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Review

The set arrived well packed in a very firm cardboard box within a fortnight after being dispatched from New Zealand. The box features box art picture with three unpainted figures and all the necessary information about the kit. Two zip-lock bags containing resin parts are additionally protected inside foam padded box slider... this kind of packing offers minimal chances of parts getting damaged during transport.

The kit consists of three figures cast in grey resin... all together 6 parts. The driver figure is composed of two parts (full body and right arm), the passenger figure of three parts (full body, left arm and baseball cap), and the gunner figure is cast as a single piece. The parts are molded really well with almost no casting imperfections; I did find a small air bubble on elbow of one of the figures, and several tiny seam lines along their backs. The air bubble can be easily fixed with some putty, while the seam lines should be sanded down. On the other hand, the figures are depicted sitting and resting their backs on the vehicle seats, so the seam lines actually present no problems and would not be visible once the figures are placed inside the vehicle. After taking the pictures for the review, I noticed another seam line, this one a bit more awkward, going along the passenger figure left arm. This would have to sanded down carefully in order to preserve the detail on the part.

The figures are sculpted by Andy Cairns. Andy's sculpting style differs slightly from the usual sculpting practice as the lines of the uniform and equipment are more angular and artistic... something that, in my opinion, works really well in this scale. The figure sculpts are wonderful and convey the look of SF operatives in Afghanistan nicely; the beards, sunglasses, ball caps and shemagh scarves will probably remain one of the long lasting memories of SF involvement in Afghanistan.

The figures are designed to depict NZ SAS operatives in the early stage of Afghanistan conflict (2001-2003). As for the equipment, I must admit I'm not completely sure how specific the gear worn by these figures is... getting any info on the NZ SAS is definitely not an easy task. I can tell the figures do not wear US type BDU or DCU, but rather uniforms that look more alike to British desert DPM. The assault vests/chest rigs are a mystery to me although the info I gathered claims NZ SAS wears rigs of both US and NZ origin. The rigs sculpted on both the driver and the passenger figures look very similar to Modular Assault Vest (MAV) chest load bearing carrier. MAV consists of four triple M4 magazine pouches, two small and two large utility pockets. I don't think the gunner wears the identical rig, however I don't have any info to back up that claim. I'm really sorry my research does not offer more hard evidence about the equipment sculpted on these figures. If anyone reading this review has any more info on NZ SAS equipment (and is allowed to share it) I will be more than happy to update these lines.

The figures fit perfectly to my 1/35 scale Tamiya Humvee model. The driver sits comfortably in the driver's seat and his right hand can be easily fitted to properly hold the steering wheel. The passenger can also be placed to sit snugly on the front seat, with his right leg on the Humvee door frame and his left arm resting on the seat or even on some internal stowage pieces. The gunner fits well to the turret ring, both his legs inside the opening.

The poses are nicely rendered and show all three figures comfortably cruising in their vehicle. Equally important, there is no need to cut or modify the figures in order to get them to fit inside Tamiya Humvee. As for placing the figures in other modern vehicles available in 1/35 scale... I'm not sure if they fit as perfectly, but I'm quite confident it can be done with some minor adjustments.

Conclusion

Andy Cairns made quite a reputation among figure painters with his unique sculpting style and the wonderful large scale figures he produces under AC Models label. Stepping out of his "comfort zone" and starting a new line of figures in 1/35 scale was definitely a bold move... and, I think, the one that will prove very successful for AC Models.

The figures in Special Forces Humvee Crew set are magnificently sculpted, well cast, very easy to assemble and fit perfectly to Tamiya 1/35 scale Humvee models. These figures definitely have an amazing "cool factor" to them: beards, long shemagh scarves, sunglasses... what's not to like about the figures depicting SF operatives in Afghanistan? My only gripe with the set is the lack of info regarding the equipment these figures wear, so I'm not sure how specific these figures really are. Although designed as NZ SAS, I feel this set is "close enough" to depict most nation SF operatives in Afghanistan without any major alterations. The die-hard modelers might have an issue with this, but they should be perfectly confident in using this figure set with a really interesting NZ SAS Humvee conversion AC Models is working on (news story link)

Special Forces Humvee Crew, Afghanistan is a very impressive experiment from AC Models and hopefully not the last vehicle crew figure set in 1/35 scale from that company.

EDIT: I finally managed to get some info and really good pictures of the kit these figures are wearing. Apparently the figures are based on the first NZ SAS rotations to Afghanistan; these operatives wore NZ style cut uniforms in British DPM camo and were supplied by personalized Kiwi rigs. Thanks for the help, Thomo!
SUMMARY
Highs: Perfectly sculpted, well cast and easy to assemble. Beards, sunglasses and shemaghs... these figures have an amazingly cool Special Forces appearance and would look great as a Humvee SF crew.
Lows: Several casting imperfections.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: ACM35002
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 23, 2012
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 93.37%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.00%

Our Thanks to AC Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mario Matijasic (Maki)
FROM: CROATIA HRVATSKA

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright 2018 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.



Comments

Interesting...... Andy's sculpting is very "loose", but he captures anatomy and poses so very very well. I feel that suits his larger busts perfectly, but the lack of sharpness and finese and even apparent details in these is very noticable in the photos.....to me personally much more work would be required if you were to use these next to other manufacturers. Great subject, but they look incomplete
JAN 23, 2012 - 12:48 AM
Henk, AC Models range is available at Colorado Miniatures, Milmin Warehouse, Red Lancers and SK Miniatures. I used SK Miniatures the last time I ordered and was really happy with the service. Rob, I understand your thoughts... bear in mind the photos show the figures very much enlarged than they are in real life (which comes to around 50mm from toes to top of the head). Andy's angular style of sculpting and the volumes on the photos might make the figures look incomplete, but in my hands the figures look really good. Perhaps I'm a bit biased as I like the Andy's sculpting... it is different from the "norm" but I think it has a very nice appeal. As for combining these with other 1/35 scale figures... the size is comparable to Evolution, Bravo6, Alpine, etc. but I agree the sculpting style is evidently different. Mario
JAN 23, 2012 - 02:10 AM
I've gotta agree with Rob. The style is awkward but not bad in anyway. It's the missing details like the pouches details, and the gloves that make all the difference for me. We need to see these painted up before making judgements right?
JAN 23, 2012 - 05:37 AM
I have to agree with Rob on this one and say I don't like the look of these at all. Its a shame for me because the anatomy and poses of the figures are stunning, however the sculpting style looks just a bit too weird and artistic to me. To my eye these almost look like concrete garden sculptors scaled down, if you understand what I mean. The chest pouches and things have no real definition and look like they have been deliberately carved to show just a basic outline without any detail, as an artist might do. As i said, great as an artistic piece, sadly no good for me as a realistic 1/35 figure, especially compared to the likes of Evo's SF figures with the most intricate details sculpted in.
JAN 23, 2012 - 08:46 AM
Where can we find these figures.....
FEB 04, 2012 - 06:36 PM
Henk asked the same question couple of posts above... and here is the answer. Mario
FEB 04, 2012 - 07:45 PM
I have this set. Nice, but i agree. Detail a little lacking on the gear. I have his 120mm NVA figure. Compared with Evolution or ANT the casting is not as nice. Great poses though! Ryan
FEB 07, 2012 - 04:54 PM
Currently working on thiks figure set. Very nice and should look great when when put together with the NZSAS Humvee update. A couple of pics of NZSAS kit cheers Kev Photobucket
FEB 10, 2012 - 07:36 AM
Thanks for those Kev. I managed to get some pics of the kit these figures are wearing... Apparently the figures are based on the first rotations to Afghanistan; these operatives wore NZ style cut uniforms in Brit DPM camo and were supplied by personalized Kiwi rigs. Mario
FEB 10, 2012 - 11:22 PM
   

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