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 first set (EM-35061) in the series. 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. The box features nicely painted box art picture and lists both the sculptor and painter (Sergey Traviansky). After opening the box and examining zip-lock bag content, I was surprised to count only 11 parts in this kit. Clever design of figure break-up made it possible to cast elaborate figures in such small parts number: two complete figures are made of only 7 parts with the rest being weapon or equipment pieces.
The casting is flawless, as we have come to expect from Evolution Miniatures, and the gray resin is completely clean of any imperfections. Casting blocks of main figure parts are big, but well placed, allowing easy clean up with minimal chance of damaging the detail. The assembly of the figures is quite straightforward and the fit of the parts excellent; there is almost no chance of misaligning the pieces due to small protrusions and recesses in corresponding parts. Placing the parts correctly leaves no visible gaps between the pieces so minimal putty work is needed.
The first figure shows a Marine in action providing security or suppressive fire down range with proper combat stance that clearly depicts the body weight distribution, grip on the weapon and aim down the sights. The figure consists of 6 parts:
- full body with head
- right arm
- left arm (holding weapons forward grip)
- weapon (with right hand attached)
- weapon target pointer
- Ka-Bar knife.
The figure wears Interceptor body armor (IBA) with groin protector attached. 6 M4 ammo pouches and a utility pouch are sculpted on the vest, and the PALS attachment system is very sharply reproduced which should make painting of the tiny details relatively easy. A sheathed Ka-Bar knife is included as a separate equipment piece; it should be attached to the appropriate place on the IBA. A nice feature of this particular figure is a T-shirt worn under the body armor; the detail which makes a nice change from the other figures of the set. The combat pants are part of the MCCUU (Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform) attire. The MCCUU pants are molded with lots of details and feature a riggers belt, gloves in pockets and beautifully molded seams and creases. The head with very sharply reproduced facial expression is cast on the body. On his head the figure wears PASGT helmet with canvas cover and goggles protected in their dust cover.
This Marine is holding a M16A4 assault rifle featuring a carrying handle, fore-grip and a separately cast AN/PEQ-2 target pointer/illuminator/aiming light. The left arm is molded with the grip in hand which should facilitate lining it up to the body and weapon. A nice touch is a watch cast on the wrist. The right arm is molded without the right fist. The hand is cast holding the weapon which ensures a tight grip and enables proper alignment of the hand/weapon to the right arm and the body. Although the hand fits really well to the arm, some putty work will probably be needed here to ensure smooth surface between the two parts.
The second Marine is depicted using safety of his Humvee to reload his weapon and fits perfectly in the scene. The figure consists of 5 parts:
- full body with legs
- left arm
- right arm (with the weapon)
- weapon target pointer.
To add even more variety to the uniforms and gear of the period, this figure (besides sporting the IBA vest loaded with various ammo pouches) features a CWU-27/P Flight Suit that many Marines and tank crews were issued due to the fireproof nature of the material. The suit has a two-way pull zipper, six primary pockets, adjustable waist belt with Velcro, knife pocket on the left inseam, pencil pocket on the left sleeve and a gusseted back. Every detail of the uniform has been faithfully reproduced. The arms are separate pieces very neatly designed: the right hand has been cast with the entire weapon (M16A4 with top-rail mounted Trijicon ACOG sight, fore-grip and separately molded AN/PEQ-2) while the left arm is holding the magazine with the ammo pouch flap cast together. This kind of part break-up allows very precise positioning and aligning the delicate pieces.
This figure has the head as a separate piece; it features PASGT helmet with a camouflage canvas cover. The straps are very nicely reproduced in the scale and all the little details such as straps, buckles, etc. can be clearly distinguished. The face also has prominent facial features which should look great when painted and the face has a sense of anguish to add to the situation.
This is another brilliant 1/35 scale figure set from Evolution Miniatures: molding is perfect, the fit of the parts really good and the amount of fine points sculpted on the figures is absolutely amazing… everything we learned to expect from Evolution Miniatures releases. The only thing that could be a problem with these figures is the difficulty of painting desert MARPAT camouflage pattern, but that is up to every modeler.
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 and the action. Just check out the vignette built by Sergey Traviansky, the sculptor of these figures to see what I mean: link