US Marines
Iraq No.1
FIGURE

Blast Models  BL35049F
1/35

    Recently released resin figure from Blast Models portrays a US Marine Corps soldier in outfit typical to operations in Iraq in 2003/2004. Figure arrives packed in a small clear plastic container with a picture of completed figure printed on paper insert visible inside it. After opening the container (which can be then easily closed again and no cutting is necessary to open it) inside we find four resin parts in a small resealable zip-bag and a small sheet of paper with three pictures of finished figure on it. No assembly instruction are provided, but none are really needed. There are also no painting guidelines included whatsoever, so some photo references will be needed to determine right colors. I can offer a small hint here: "out of the box" you have two options to paint the figure uniform. You can paint his BDU in woodland camouflage or in 3-color desert pattern. But to paint it in one of new Marine "digital" camo patterns, you would need to modify the figure slightly first, as it does not have pockets on sleeves, which were added to new style uniforms.

Inside a clear plastic container are four resin parts and
a small sheet of paper with pictures of completed figure on it.
Click on picture to enlarge it.

    Four resin parts included are:
        - complete body with head, legs and all personal gear molded integrally, but without arms,
        - two arms molded on one resin pouring block,
        - M16A2 rifle with sight attached and figure hands molded on it.

    Molding quality is almost flawless. There are just two or three small air bubble holes on parts and they should be easy to fill without damaging any details. The only bigger problem was revealed when I tried to cut resin pouring block off the figure's left boot. The boot appeared well molded, but when I removed the excess resin, the heel almost separated itself from the rest of the boot. I discovered that the boot is empty inside - big air bubble got trapped there. I had to use gap filing superglue to fill the boot and save it from disintegration.

    There is small amount of very thin flash on parts, but it can be just brushed off. 

    Most small details, like those on M16A2 rifle are molded with tiny resin "horns" on them - they were added there on purpose. Thanks to them even tiniest details are fully molded, as the resin has this extra space to get into and fully fills the most important parts of the mold. Those horns and other pouring blocks and aids are very easy to remove and the resin used is particularly easy to work with - all you need is a sharp No.11 blade - razor saw is not really needed.

Four views of figure body part.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Arms, hands and M16A2 rifle.
Click on pictures to enlarge.

    I will not try to describe in details what gear the Marine is carrying on him - I think it is all very clearly visible on photos and honestly speaking I would have serious problems naming some of those items. But I'm almost sure he has a small spoon slipped under one of strips on the front of his Interceptor armor vest   :)

    I used "blue-tac" type clay (which was actually yellow) to test assemble the figure. The fit of parts is just perfect with arms fitting so well to the figure body that no seam would be visible after assembly if good quality thin cyanoarcylate glue is used. The figure pose is very natural. It is not a relaxed pose, but also not "hot combat mode" one - it shows cautious Marine on patrol. His finger is however already on the trigger of his rifle, what suggests that he just spotted some potential danger and is checking it. Nice diorama possibilities here!

Figure parts were temporarily glued together using "blue-tac" type clay for those photos.
Dry fitting revealed that there would be no visible seam whatsoever between arms and body if proper glue is used
Click on pictures to enlarge.

   

FINAL VERDICT

    Blast Models US Marine is one of the best 1/35 resin figures I have ever seen, although I must admit that I have not seen all that many of them. But still the quality is just fantastic with number and quality of details molded on almost hard to believe. A true master sculptor works for Blast!

Highly recommended!
 

Review sample was purchased and quickly received thanks to excellent service from Blast Models.


   

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