In an unusual release by Plus Model of the Czech Republic, we have a very rarely modeled subject of a US sniper team in Ghillie suits. The box is labeled “Jackle Hillie Suit”, and I honestly don’t know where this came from, but the correct nomenclature is “Ghillie” suit.
For a brief background, the Ghillie suit is a trademark of the sniper, and US soldiers wishing to become a sniper must report to sniper school with a Ghillie suit in hand, usually hand made. Most start with an old set of uniforms, or a one piece Nomex suit, then weave and sew on strips of fabric, rope twine, and other materials to make a very distinctive and effective suit. It is used during sniper training, but its practical use is limited due to the difficulty moving in the suit, high internal temperatures (well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit), and the fact that the suit tends to be flammable making any contact with fire or combusting material (such as a flare or WP grenade) very hazardous. Regardless they are unique and present an interesting subject to model.
The kit is packed in a traditional small cardboard box with a photo of the finished item. There are a total of 9 resin parts on 4 sprues. The low parts count is due to the figures themselves are basically molded in one part with only the hands and weapons separate.
The parts are bubble free, and have minimal flash and appear to be very well cast, much to the standards of other Plus Models releases.
Ok, here is where my honest opinion will come out. The figures are cast in some very odd poses. One is standing with the sniper rifle slung over his shoulder, as a former Marksmanship Instructor would say, “like your granddaddy’s shotgun”. The other is hunched over cradling his rifle while pointing at a tablet of some kind; a GPS unit or PDA maybe? There is no interaction between them, and in my opinion both poses are, in a short assessment, boring.
The idea of modeling a Ghillie suited sniper is a great idea (something I’ve been wanting to do myself), however the choice of poses has much to be desired. The sculptor should have at least posed the sniper sighting in, and had the scout looking through a scope, binoculars, or something interactive. Even if the two figures were in a more concealed pose (both crouching, etc) and interacting over the GPS unit as though getting ready to sight in on the target would have been more interesting than what is provided. It is the lack of interesting poses that cause me to give this set a lower than usual rating.
The kit has both weapons covered in Ghillie suit like material, so identifying the rifles is a little difficult. The scout has an M16 with M203 grenade launcher, which is accurate. This is carried in case there is contact made with the enemy during extraction to provide some means of defense. The bolt action sniper rifle would be unable to combat a group of automatic rifle armed adversaries. The other rifle is hard to tell, but appears to be one of the variants made by Accuracy International such as a L96 or PSG 90. Maybe somebody more familiar with these rifles can give us a positive ID based on the shape. The choice of the L96 or PSG 90 is odd, as most US Army snipers carry the M24 Sniper Weapon System as standard equipment.
Like always with Plus Models, the mechanics of the model, such as molding and resin, is top quality. Also the handling of the Ghillie suit itself, which I’m sure was problematic to sculpt “just right” is well done and looks right. I am personally just disappointed at the poses and feel that the subject would have been much better served with a better choice of poses that where more interactive, which maybe would have made for better sellers too.
Highs: Good quality molding and casting.Lows: Poses have much to be desired.Verdict: Good casting but not the most attractive poses.
About Andy Renshaw (skyhawk) FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES
I started modeling around 8 years old when my dad bought me a Monogram 1/48 A-7. We built that together, and after that he turned me loose. Along with armor and figures, I also enjoy building aircraft and trains (model railroading), and tend to cycle between the genres.
Recently married, I have...