One of the most intense combat actions for US armed forces during operations in Iraq happened in Fallujah. Although one of the most peaceful areas of the country after Saddam’s fall, Fallujah slowly turned into a city of full civil disorder with insurgents launching attacks on police stations and ambushing American private military contractors. In response to killing 4 Blackwater contractors, the US Marines launched Operation Vigilant Resolve in April 2004 to regain control of the city and capture the individuals responsible as well as others in the region who might have been involved in insurgencies. Under pressure from the Iraqi Government council, the US announced a unilateral ceasefire which didn’t last too long. In November 2004, US Marines and Coalition Forces launched Operation Phantom Fury, which is considered the highest point of conflict in Fallujah and the bloodiest battle of the entire Iraq War. It finally resulted in a complete neutralization of insurgent resistance in the area in December 2004. Operation Phantom Fury is especially notable for being the first major engagement of the Iraq War fought solely against insurgents rather than the forces of the former Saddam’s government.
provides a set of 4 figures that capture the thrill of combat of that time, showing Marines in a firefight, hunkered down around their Humvee with electrifying sense of action. US Marines Humvee Crew in Fight
figures are released as double figure sets (EM-35061, EM-35063) and this review covers the second set (EM-35063) in the series while the review of the first set can be seen here: link
. We can hope that both kits will be released together as a Big set, same as the US Special Forces set before.
The kit arrives safely protected in a well designed hard cardboard box which features nicely painted box art picture. With this box-art, you get a sense of continuity with the previously released Humvee Crew set which shows the talent of the sculptor/painter Sergey Traviansky.
The zip-lock bags hold 11 resin parts for building two figures. The parts are cast in grey resin and are pretty much clean of any imperfections, showing all the intricate details of the sculpt really well, however one seam line down the left leg seems to have escaped Evolution Miniatures quality control. Casting blocks are quite big but intelligently located, allowing easy clean up of the pieces with minimal chance of damaging the detail. The parts fit perfectly and the figures are very easy to build; there is almost no possibility of misaligning the pieces due to small protrusions and recesses in corresponding parts.
The commander of the Marine fire team is superbly animated figure. He is depicted in a slightly crouched pose using Humvee comms under fire; just about from every angle action and distress can be seen. The figure consists of 7 parts:
- full body with legs
- right arm
- left arm
- Ka-Bar knife.
The figure is wearing Interceptor body armor (IBA) and the MCCUU (Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform). The IBS is nicely sculpted with 40mm grenade, M4 ammo magazine and FAK pouches and the creases on the IBA back following the natural movement of the figure. A sheathed Ka-Bar knife is included as a separate equipment piece and it should be attached to the appropriate place on the IBA. The MCCUU consists of the blouse and pants with following features:
• Two slanting chest pockets with Velcro closure
• Two shoulder sleeve pockets with button closure
• Reinforced elbows
• Internal pockets for elbow pads
• Adjustable cuffs
• Eagle, Globe, and Anchor embroidered on the left chest pocket
• Two front slash style pockets
• Two rear pockets with button closure
• Two thigh level bellows cargo pockets with elastic closure
• Button fly
• Reinforced knees and seat
• Partially elastic waistband
• Internal pockets for kneepads
The MCCUU looks great with intricate details and very natural folds, and I especially like the details that most people forget to paint like the small IR tabs on the shoulder Velcro pockets. The right hand of the figure holds a radio earphone and is molded as a single piece, while the left hand is holding the weapon at rest. The separately cast head has a great facial expression clearly seen as shouting out orders or requesting support. The helmet is the PASGT kind with canvas camouflage cover, goggles and their dust cover.
The figure is carrying a M4 carbine with the rail attachment system and underbarrel M203 40mm grenade launcher. It also features Trijicon ACOG sight and AN/PEQ illuminator/laser device mounted on top rails. The weapon fits perfectly to a cradle in figure’s left arm. Leg holster for the M1911 is provided as a separate part.
Once again I have to compliment the pose of this figure… it is in perfect balance with the Marine from the previous US Marine Humvee Crew set (standing, firing stance) and will look great to depict small fire team tactics.
The second figure is showing a Marine in action, manning a Humvee turret armed with a .50 cal M2 HMG, providing security or suppressive fire down range for the entire team. The figure consists of 4 parts:
- full body
- both hands (with turret weapon spade grips)
- Ka-Bar knife.
A great thing about this figure is you don’t have to fear painting the face! The face is covered with the goggles and a shemagh-type face mask so this one should be a no-brainer to paint. The Interceptor Body Armor is again superbly molded and every figure in the US Marine Humvee Crew sets seems to have a different IBA setup which really adds to the individuality of the figures. IBA on this figure features a neck protector and 8 various pouches with the folds and creases on the vest looking very realistic. Again, a sheathed Ka-Bar knife is included as a separate piece and it should be attached to the front of the IBA. This figure is also clad entirely in the MCCUU which is beautifully sculpted.
On the head the figure sports what looks to be a Lightweight Helmet. The Lightweight Helmet is the USMC replacement for the PASGT combat helmet. As it is nearly identical to untrained eyes in shape to the PASGT, and outside of the Marine Corps, it is still called the Fritz or K-pot. Though heavier than the Army's Advanced Combat Helmet, its larger size also offers more protection and is lighter than the PASGT. Featuring a V-neck strap and improved fit, it entered service in late 2004 and completely replaced the PASGT in 2009. The helmet features a camouflage canvas cover as well as goggle strap with goggle dust cover on the side.
The weapon for this figure is a M4 carbine with the rail attachment system and featuring Trijicon ACOG sight and AN/PEQ mounted on the top rail, and a fore-grip. The carbine can be strapped to figure’s back or, more appropriately, stowed in the Humvee turret.
Simply great – that’s all one can say about this figure set. Resin cast is really good, the fit of the parts perfect and the amount of fine points sculpted on the figures is absolutely amazing. There are a couple of things that could present a problem, especially the seam line down the left leg of the commander which could be a bit difficult to remove and perhaps a slightly stiff pose of the gunner, but those are definitely not serious issues.
The figures can be displayed separately, as a set, or in a larger scene with a Humvee and all 4 available Marines. The variety of the gear and the gung-ho poses make the figures extremely attractive and easily shift the focus of the entire vignette/diorama to the figures carrying the hectic combat action scenario. Just check out the vignette built by Sergey Traviansky, the sculptor of these figures to see what I mean: link