by: Darren Baker [ ]
When it comes to resin figures, there are a few companies that spring to mind depending on what you are looking for, one of the companies whose figures I really like is Blackdog. I like their figures as they have a good varied selection covering depictions of troops from many different countries, and provide some great action poses. One of their most recent releases features a modern two man US sniper team sculpted by Hwang Jung Min.
I will start by taking a quick look at the packaging, which I consider an important aspect in the modern world due to the number of modellers who either by choice or forced due to location, shop online. With models and modelling products travelling great distances in some cases this aspect is very much worth your consideration. These two figures are packed inside a card box, which is end opening. Inside you will find two Ziploc plastic bags each of these bags containing all of the parts needed for one figure; these bags are protected by polystyrene peanuts. Having recently found out what damage postal workers can inflict on a model that travelled less than 50 miles and that had to be signed for I am pleased to say these reached me in perfect condition.
The shooter is supplied in four parts, a full body casting only that only requires the addition of the two arms and a small piece of camouflage. The figure is depicted having taken a knee and so shooting from a kneeling position. The castings that make up this figure look to me to be completely free of any issues as I detected no air bubbles and zero flash that is impressive when you consider the amount of gillie type camouflage present. The pour plugs and connection points should be easily removed but take care with the one on the muzzle of the rifle. The connection points look to me to have been considered very carefully where possible and has resulted in a figure that should be very easy to clean up.
The detail on the figure is of a very good standard, with some good undercut detail present, particularly around the face under the hood. The hand detail is very nice with good thumb and finger definition despite wearing gloves. The facial detail looks right but then again you only see the eyes due to material covering the mouth and nose, the eyes are very small and will for the most part be hidden when assembled; good news for those who fear painting faces. Stance and scale look very good with a nice natural look to the figure, by this I mean if it were a person the stance would be comfortable as opposed to awkward.
The detail on the clothing is well defined where it is visible under the gillie, and has natural crease detail. The figure does appear to be wearing body armour and I know this was commented on in the news release, all I will say on the matter is never say never as stranger things have happened, and if I said it would never happen someone would put up a picture within 20 minutes to prove me wrong. Something I particularly like is that Blackdog has put detail on the visible sole of the right foot, something that is very noticeable when absent. The gillie type camouflage has been nicely randomised and so looks natural rather than being uniform and so odd looking. The ability to paint the gillie camouflage well, will be the make or break of this figure. The rifle the figure has I cannot identify with any accuracy due to it also have gillie camouflage over a large portion of it.
This figure shares the majority of the attributes of the shooter, with a few exceptions. This figure is depicted on both knees and looking through binoculars, yes the sole of the boots are detailed. The face is visible on this figure as the material around the face has been pulled down around the chin. Depending on your ability where face painting is concerned, you are saved as when the binoculars are in place the majority of the face will hidden, particularly the eyes which is what worries most. Assembly wise the only difference is that one hand, which is cast holding the binoculars is a separate casting. This figures rifle is even more unidentifiable as there is even more gillie material present, the rifle is also supplied as laid on the ground and so one side is devoid of any detail.
Where possible I have checked the fit of parts (arms) and the fit is good, I cannot secure the parts in place to photograph as it would make painting some aspects next to imposable.
These two figures will make an excellent vignette of figures shooting from cover. The fact that the faces are hidden should make this set appeal to modellers who are concerned about this aspect of the hobby. Everything I have looked at is positive with only possible negative if I really nitpick is that the muzzles of the rifles are not hollowed out. This is a great pair of figures that should call out to all members interested in current or modern figures.