Based in Fort Drum, New York, the United States Army’s 10th Mountain Division specializes in (light) infantry warfare in mountainous terrain. The 10th participated in “Operation Anaconda” in Afghanistan in 2002. Although there is nothing unique in the appearance of the 10th Mountain Division soldier aside from the shoulder patch, as far as I know, no model company has ever produced a modern figure representing this unit division before.
As one of Mr. Maceij “Maciek” Rebkowski (“Airborne Miniatures’” owner and sculptor) original commissions for Deyun Hobby, DS 120002 has all the trademarks of a typical “Maciek figure.” Maciek gives the figure plenty of stored ammunition, some of the latest gear, a dynamic pose, exceptionally-crisp detail and sculpting, and proportions that just make the figure appear so realistic.
DS 120002 kit’s contents are contained in two clear Ziploc bags surrounded by Styrofoam popcorn inside a colorful cardboard box. The larger bag contains the figure and gear parts and the smaller one contains the parts for the M4 carbine and what appears to be an ASTRO SABER digital radio with attached “push-to-talk” button microphone. The 21 parts are cast in smooth cream resin and they are: “Push-to-talk” button shoulder-harness microphone
No radio wire, rifle sling, or base is included.
FIGURE AND GEAR OVERVIEW
Typical of Maciek-sculpted figures, the parts exhibit nice detail, sharpness, and realism. I found no warps, gouges, runs, or major air bubbles in my sample. The few very minor air bubbles were at the bottom of the torso, which marred the fine line of the bottom of the web belt. However, these bubbles were so miniscule that it’ll take a very keen eye on very close inspection to see them. Besides, the web gear will hide them anyway. The bottom of my 30-round clip in the M4 did have extra resin that made the clip appear to have a gouge at the bottom, yet sanding off this lump of extraneous resin should return the bottom of the clip to its proper realistic angled appearance.
The figure does have some raised seam lines that need sanding away by the kneepad straps, bayonet handle, and carbine receiver and magazine.
The pour blocks are significant though. Most blocks are located at logical places, such as the glue surfaces, although some, such as the blocks on the arms, may require cuts at tricky odd angles other than straight cuts. My advice is to cut off as much of the block as possible without cutting into the actual piece and then wet-sanding the remnants down with sandpaper. My sample also contained some minor resin flash on the ALICE web belt ammo pouches, M4 barrel front sight and trigger, and the radio; nonetheless, the flash didn’t seem to affect the surfacing or details of the affected pieces.
Of a more important concern is how some parts seem off-scale, namely the spare 30-round ammo clip which just seems too short compared to the one already attached to the carbine. One can opt to leave the spare clip off entirely. The M9 knife’s handle can also be judged as a bit too skinny for 120mm. I found minor debris (lumps and bumps) in the grooves of the RIS, affecting the appearance of the RIS’s uniform sequential lines. One can try to use a scriber to dig out those lumps, yet bear in mind that since the grooves are so shallow and fine, doing so may cause more damage and harm than good.
Being one of Maciek’s earlier works, the AN/PEQ-2 lacks the top surface detail of lumps, bumps, and grooves because Maciek didn’t have the photo references at that time, thus the top surface is unrealistically flat.
I overlaid the M4’s magazine over the ammo pouches and discovered that it barely fits inside the vest pouches. One can overlook this since the figure carries four ALICE web belt ammo pouches where the width of the ALICE pouches easily accommodates the dimensions of the M4 magazine. The vest pouches would be hard to widen since doing so may affect the positioning of the arms. Maciek’s other earlier Airborne Miniature figures with the LBV ammo pouches also exhibit this issue. One can only take solace in knowing that the magazine just barely fits in and isn’t a huge problem.
Other than these issues, Deyun Hobby’s “10th Mountain Division [Rifleman]” looks great. The proportions, items and weapon’s detail, realism, crisp niceties and pose all contribute to making this a unique figure. The kneepads are well-done, complete with detailed rivets, and Maciek even captured the minute angular facetted shape of the hardened plastic pad itself. The buckles, straps, hooks, and loops of the LBV and IBA are well-defined, and at places, even raised to give the figure a three-dimensional non-flattened appearance. The torso has the full suite of eye candy from straps, SNAP-FAST buckles, rivets, buttons, string, stitching, wrinkles, and layering.
The four ALICE ammo pouches are molded in two pairs, one ALICE pouch literally resting on the side of another. As such, the side pouches contain no grenades. The fastening clips are particularly well-made, appearing uniform and of the proper visual size.
The head looks great, right down to the subtle angular cheekbones, frowning lips, and narrow nose. One can see the delicate clips attaching to the wraparound ballistic glasses. Although simple in form, the glasses really do give the solider a “cool” outwardly complexion, as in Real Life. The glasses are also practical, allowing this figure, if real, to fight in snowy mountainous terrain, and in addition to protecting his eyes from reflective brightness, also shield them from pebbles and dust thrown up from the mountainous environment. This figure clearly was well-planned during sculpting.
As with Maciek’s other figures, this one is properly and realistically equipped for combat with 600-660 rounds of 5.56mm, M9 bayonet, digital radio, smoke grenade, body armor, tactical vest, rifle sight, AN/PEQ-2, canteens, buttpack, night-vision provision, ballistic glasses (shades), and kneepads. The soldier travels light and yet is heavily armed and armored for a light rifleman. One only needs to sand off the 10th Mountain division patch if one wants this figure to represent a soldier from another division.
Due to the large pour blocks not being removed, I testfitted what I could. The head locks into the neck area specifically at one angle although I found that one could pose the head turned at the full 180-degree frontal arc without any fit, gap, or realistic-appearance problems, a nice “flexible feature.” Unfortunately, there are no pins-to-holes to attach the boots to the legs as I often found this location to be very prone to the boots snapping off even when superglued. One may wish to actually drill holes and insert pins to connect the boots to the legs. I did find tiny hairline gaps when I pressed the boot’s tops to the bottom of the legs, putty or gap-filling superglue is recommended there. The pouches, buttpack, and canteens do hug the torso fine if attached as the box photo suggests. The arms cannot be raised or lowered off the kit’s intended pose without showing too much of their respected torso’s glue surfaces.
The box photos show the figure peering down the COMP-M rifle sight and based on my experience building previous figures sculpted by Maciek, I believe the pose can be obtained. The shooting pose also appears fairly accurate too with the legs spread, the cheek resting on the tucked-in buttstock, and the COMP-M sight raised to eye-level.
The M4 carbine, being an earlier version, comes in pieces. I found that the one-piece receiver and RIS barrel to be slightly misaligned since they were actually two separate pieces joined together and cast as one. The misalignment is only noticeable when viewed from the top (not the sides or front) and hopefully attaching the COMP-M sight would hide this and give the illusion that the carbine is “straight-as-an-arrow” when viewed from the top. Gluing the individual carbine pieces together may present a challenge, but with patience and attention, one can achieve an aligned carbine. Since the arms have no indentions to hug ammo pouches (meaning nothing lies under the arms), I recommend gluing the arms and carbine together first to ensure a proper fit and alignment and then place the web gear around and under them. One needs to provide a rifle sling.
One also needs to provide and make a coiled wire to attach the radio to the handheld microphone. The box photo shows the radio attached at the hip and the microphone on an IBA MOLLE loop; a shoulder loop is another option.
Created several years ago, Deyun Hobby’s “10th Mountain Division [Rifleman]” still has all the hallmarks and items of a great piece. While the large pour blocks and complex construction means this figure isn’t for beginners, a figure modeler with experience, patience, and an eye-for-detail should be able to handle assembling this kit. The pose is dynamic, the gear combat-oriented. And at its time, there are many “firsts” included in DS 120002 such as the SABER radio, handheld microphone, ballistic glasses, and the 10th Mountain Division shoulder patch. The crisp, sharp, and proportional sculpting and details are consistent with Maciek’s other figures; this figure really does look nice and is only available from Deyun Hobby.