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. As far as I know, no model company has ever produced a modern figure representing this unit division before and this figure is the first 120mm modern U.S. radioman on market.
As with Deyun’s DS120002, this kit (DS120004) is one of Mr. Maceij “Maciek” Rebkowski (“Airborne Miniatures’” owner and sculptor) original commissions for Deyun Hobby. The appearance and pose appears similar to DS 120002 (the 10th Mountain Rifleman), but there are notable differences such as the lack of one kneepad, lack of tactical vest and vest ammo pouches, and of course the addition of a radio backpack.
DS120004 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 radio antenna. Folded “flat tape” antennae
FIGURE AND GEAR OVERVIEW:
Typical of Maciek-sculpted figures, the parts exhibit nice detail, sharpness, and realism. Once again, Maciek added all the hooks, fasteners, buckles, and straps to give eye-popping detail and realism. I found no warps, gouges, runs, or major air bubbles in my sample. The few very minor air bubbles were located in the interior of the backpack, which won’t show once glued onto the figure. The COMP-Ms, M4 barrel and buttstock, and radio antennae were cast on a pour block so careful sawing, cutting, and sanding are required to remove them.
The pour blocks are significant. 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.
As with the 10th Mountain Rifleman (DS120002), the spare 30-round ammo clip seems too short compared to the one already attached to the carbine. One can opt to leave the spare clip off entirely. The grooves of the RIS however appear very fine and sharp in this kit.
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.
Nonetheless, as with Maciek’s other works, this figure looks stellar. 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 made the buckles, straps, hooks, and loops of the MOLLE radio backpack and shoulder straps. Unlike the 10th Mountain Rifleman (DS120002), the torso doesn’t have any ammo or other vest pouches over the IBA, which makes sense considering the heavy back load this soldier carries.
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 MOLLE radio backpack is mostly closed with just a tiny opening of the flap to stick the antennae in. There isn’t a hole to plug the antennae into, but enough vertical surface on the open flap to glue it against. No radio controls are visible. The thin lanyards and SNAP-FAST buckles on the pack’s surface add beautiful detail and realism. The pack even has a slight lean forward to denote the shoulder straps pulling it up!
The head looks great, right down to the subtle angular cheekbones, lips, and narrow nose. While the head appears very similar to the Rifleman’s, the lips are slightly parted and the neck angled differently to give enough visual difference from DS 120002’s head.
As with Maciek’s other figures, this one is properly and realistically equipped for combat with 360 rounds of 5.56mm, smoke grenade, body armor, rifle sight, AN/PEQ-2, canteens, buttpack, night-vision provision, ballistic glasses (shades), and kneepad. But the real weapon (unique item!) is on the soldier’s back, the radio.
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 and can’t really be turned or posed any other way. 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 buttstock with the COMP-M sight raised to eye-level.
The M4 carbine is cast as one-piece with only the barrel and scope that needs attaching. It looks great, and I find the one-piece M4s a godsend since one doesn’t have to fuss and fidget with aligning the separate pieces of Maciek’s earlier M4s. There’s a flat surface on the Pictinny Rail for mounting the COMP-M. The spare buttstock isn’t needed.
The MOLLE radio backpack hugs well to the back. It needs to be positioned flat and under the molded-on torso backpack straps.
There is no phone receiver so there’s no need for coiled wire. One can assume the phone receiver is tucked into the backpack. One needs to provide a rifle sling.
Very few specialized 120mm modern U.S. figures exist on market, and very few sculptors care or dare to explore and break free from the norm. Deyun’s DS120004’s radioman has all the gear required to make an awesome and realistic radioman. There are enough subtle differences to distinguish it from Deyun’s 10th Mountain Rifleman.