Tuesday, September 17

We go all "Tour of Duty" and review Verlinden's new figure - the 1/16th scale "Jungle Recon Vietnam"

Verlinden has gone deep into unknown territory (metaphorically) in their latest release of large figure kits - A Southeast Asian long range recon soldier in 1/16th scale - let’s see if he is as badass as he looks when we build him up. I can hear "born on the Bayou"  or some other suitable Vietnam era tunes playing right now..

Verlinden Productions
Kit 2771
120mm/ 1:16th Scale
23 parts in cream resin
Special sale Price: $22.46
Available from Verlinden directly at this link

Verlinden make a large 1/16th scale (120mm) figure pretty much every month, no era has been left untouched in their excellent range -  and this month we have from them a special forces G.I. – probably a SEAL or Delta Force trooper armed for a long range recon in the jungles of Vietnam during the conflict in the 60’s &70’s.

The resin figure is comprised of twenty three parts of cream resin the make-up not just the recon soldier but also his array of equipment and weapons. The resin comes on several casting block attached to the parts which aren’t too bad to remove and the resin itself isn’t too smelly and is bubble free.  All of the parts came in a sealed Zip-Loc bag with a white cardboard box with the artwork of the painted figure as your construction guide.

There is no alternate head choice in this box – but the one we have is plenty detailed and looks well sculpted. I know Verlinden have copped it before about their heads being a bit narrow – but this head look perfectly in proportion. The head wears a bandanna to combat the hot and humid climes of the jungle. There is a separate part that recreated the knot on the back of his head.
His angular jaw is dropped in a way that he is talking to add more drama and you can see his teeth so he can be shown talking or barking orders. A nice head is a good place to start.

The torso of this soldier wears combat trousers and a full length shirt with a mesh backed vest that holds all of is ammo for his M79 grenade launcher. The pouches look full of ammo and the mesh on the back especially of the vest will come up nicely under some deft painting. 
The belt around his torso fits many an accessory which is included here – a med pack, two water bottles (for the warmer, humid climes) – three grenades (two frag and one smoke), the knot for the bandanna, a pistol in it’s holster, a single ammo round for the M79 that is to be seen placed inside the gun is also here.

The M79 grenade launcher is shown in it’s open position ( in two halves) while the recon soldier is loading it – ready for action! The fingers holding the launcher and the round both broke off at the thumb when I was adjusting them so take care – the good thing was they secured on again no problems. also supplied is a bayonet knife in it’s holster and a large machete for chopping through the jungle as well, and most impressively a single barrel 12 gauge shotgun – sawn off for close up combat..
The legs and arms fit on pretty easily - the casting blocks are an easy enough removed from the elbows and torso and i lost n fingers in the result using only a blade and my snips. The uniform material is nicely baggy and folded naturally.

And the reverse side - notice the hollows in the arms to fit around the torso clothing
 The hands are well sculpted and fit ok - though my thumbs both broke when i was trying to force the issue a bit too much  - they secured back on easily and looked ok after that though.
The well cast jungle jump boots are finely replicated – you can see clearly the laces on the boots and subtle folds in the leather.
There are some good bits of engineering on this kit. The arms on the torso are hollowed out underneath to accommodate the M79 rounds on the vest and other things like the legs fitting up into the pants into little hollows are a great bit of attention to detail for the customer.

The water bottles and other parts hanging off the belt all have a recess to slip into as well which helps the soldier stay in one piece once assembled.
Well it took just a short hour to make him up – I can say I was impressed at the detail and engineering of the kit. If you are a modeller in this scale or genre/era he would be a solid choice for your cabinet.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Verlinden for supplying this recon soldier to build – he can be bought directly off the makers at this link