The XVIII Airborne Corps - the US Army's largest warfighting organization - is the only airborne corps in the defense establishment of the United States and exercises control over approximately 88.000 soldiers. Designed for rapid deployment anywhere in the world, the XVIII Airborne Corps is a force capable of conducting peace operations and general-purpose war, as well as conducting large-scale joint and combined operations.
This review covers the second US Paratrooper from XVIII Airborne Corps sculpted in 1/35 scale by Dmitri Shevtsov for Assault Models, a pair to the first US Para figure reviewed here (link
Paratrooper, XVIII Airborne Corps of the US Army, Afghanistan 2012 (AM35008)
is packed in a nicely designed plastic box, with the zip-lock bag securing the figure pieces. The box features an image of the fully assembled but unpainted figure. Pavel Ilyin, the owner of the company, is in the process of painting the figure and, once completed, the kit will be supplied with painted boxart image.
The kit consists of 5 pieces:
- full body with arms,
- weapon accessory.
The pieces are cast in grey resin. The cast is really good, however I found a thin seam line going along the figure’s left leg which should be cleaned and sanded carefully, not to damage details on the uniform pockets and folds. The pieces feature an astonishing amount of details very nicely rendered in scale, a true work of art from the sculptor. Due to the exceptionally good fit, I had no problems assembling this figure. Small protrusions and indentations in corresponding parts enable optimal alignment of hands with the weapon to the arms, as well as the head to the torso, which keeps putty work to a minimum. The helmet is a bit big so I used some Magic Sculpt to firmly secure it to the head.
The figure depicts a US Para in an alert posture with his weapon ready for any sign of hostile activity. The figure wears Army Combat Uniform (ACU) with the mandarin collar in upright position. His Assault Plate Carrier features a pretty heavy loadout consisting of several 200-round and 100-round SAW pouches, medical/utility pouch, canteen/general purpose pouch around the waist, pistol holster and triple pistol magazine pouch on the chest, plus a hydration pack on the back. All this equipment is cast on the plate carrier, as well as a thin hydration tube secured to the webbing and a SAW weapon sling. Knee pads are a nice touch, one of them pulled down around the figure’s ankle. As for the headgear, this figure sports the current combat helmet of the US Army, the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH).
The figure is armed with M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) in its compact Para configuration. It features a shorter barrel, Picatinny rails for the feed tray cover and forearm, and a buttstock based on the M4 carbine design. The ELCAN 3.4x scope and 100-round “soft pack” ammo box are cast with the weapon, while the bipod is a separate piece in this set. I do wish the set also included a small portion of ammo belt going from the ammo pack to the weapon receiver.
This figure is a great example of Dima Shevtsov’s sculpting talent. The anatomy of the figure is perfect and the facial details are defined well. I also have to compliment the pose of the figure as it conveys alert usually seen among coalition troops on check-points throughout Afghanistan. As far as my references show, all the details on the uniform and the equipment are accurately depicted and sculpted to the highest standard. The only detail I noticed is a bit off was the NVG mounting plate on the helmet which feels too small. The weapon is a product of 3D rapid prototyping. This technology works well for producing extremely realistic replicas of the real weapons in scale, and this particular piece can easily be compared to the best 3D printed weapons on the market today.
Finally, this figure has a pair in US Army Paratrooper, Afghanistan 2012 (AM35005), with the two figures available together in a set (AM35A03). I added a photo of both figures to this review... these would do well in a Middle East check-point vignette.
Paratrooper, XVIII Airborne Corps of the US Army, Afghanistan 2012 (AM35008) is another top-class 1/35 scale figure kit from Assault Models. Perfectly sculpted and nicely delivered in resin, the figure features loads of details all around. The pieces fit well and the assembly is very much straightforward. Together with its pair, this figure could very well become a focal point of many Middle East vignettes and dioramas.
A big thank you to Pavel from Assault Models for this review sample.