Welcome to Iraq, 2003. Verlinden has recently released two outstanding figures representing modern U.S. GIs serving in Iraq. The first issue was a 101st figure in standard desert uniform with modern Interceptor Body Armor (view review
More recently, Verlinden released q 3ID figure which features a GI in walking pose with a full compliment of MOPP protective gear.
This figure repesents US GIs and Marines as they appeard on the drive to Baghdad during the first phase of the war when it seemed likely they would encounter a WMD attack of some sort.
Around April 8th or so, troops stopped wearing the MOPP gear featured on this figure, but during the drive to the city, this is what GIs looked like.
Grunt or Desert DogThis figure can be built as either a member of 3ID (or just about any other Army unit) or as a Marine. The main difference will be how the uniform is painted, and in some cases the weapon carried.
Woodland and three tone camo NBC gear is common in photos, just check your refrences as to the unit you are featuring. Additionally, woodland vests are common on Army troops while Marines have a mix of woodland and all tan vests.
The figureAll sculpting is crisp and clean and really well done. The figure includes a nice CamelBak hydration system which features the drinking tube molded to the figure which gives a realistic apperence when finished.
The kit comes with the new MOLLE gear, which includes M-16 pouches, and grenade pouches. It appears the canteens are the same ones that have been issued by Verlinden for the last decade or so. I replaced mine with a set from the recently released Tamiya modern figure.
The one piece helmet fetures the NVG mounting bracket and retaining band as scupted items. Both look good once painted The chin strap is also nicely sculpted to the face and looks much better than the one fetured in the Tamiya kit (view review)
The arms attach about 1/4 of the way down from the shoulder. Mine took a little putty and sculpting to align correctly, but once the uniform is painted, they look great.
The figure comes with what I think is an M-16A4. the gun is a is a multi-piece affair with the stock, reviever and handle molded to the right hand.
I can't comment on how it builds up as I swapped out an M-16A2 from the Tamiya kit. In the box, however, the A4 looks good and comes with a scope that can be raided for other sets if you don't use it on this figure.
You also get a few odds and ends, smoke grenades and combat knife with the plastic sheath. I did not use them items, but I'm sure they will end up on another kit somewhere down the line.
A small resin base is included with the kit -- I did not use it.
ConclusionI loved building this guy. It was a smooth easy build and looks good done. Either I got lucky, or this is one good kit. I will say Verlinden seems to improving with some of their latest releases, dating back to last year with the "All Quiet On The Western Front" mini-vignette.
Hopefully we'll see a few more Coalition figures in the future (I'd love to see Aussie SAS or Polish GROM) and perhaps a few more USMC subjects.