by: Ted Hayward [ ]
Two zip-lock bags of goodies in bubble wrap fill the now-familiar Hobby Fan box:
• 10 MOLLE packs on frames: 6 with dust covers, 4 without.
• 1 MOLLE medic bag.
• 4 rolled sleeping mats.
• 2 sleeping bags.
• 4 Kevlar helmets (2 with goggles, 2 without).
• 4 canteens.
• 4 ammo/utility pouches.
• 8 magazine pouches.
• 1 box magazine each, for M240 and M249 machine guns.
• 1 of each weapon: M16A2, M4 with Close Quarters Battle Receiver (CQBR), M240, and M249 (with bi-pod).
Included are ammo pouches, canteens, magazine pouches, and box magazines. All of the personal equipment is of the modern MOLLE configuration, as currently employed by US forces. The modern MOLLE packs included are a welcome accessory, as other after-market sets only include the out-dated ALICE packs. The backs and fronts of these packs are superbly-detailed with shoulder straps and frames. Four “fritz” style helmets -2 with goggles, are provided, rather than the more current MICH - ACH helmets. I found removal of the unfortunately-located pour stubs difficult, without damaging the fragile helmet rims.
Clean-up of the remainder of the items was trouble-free, but you will need a Dremel rotary-grinding tool or razor saw. A small amount of flash clean-up was needed on the weapons: you will unavoidably break off the fragile carrying handles from the M240 and M249 machine guns, and they will need to be cemented back on. These items are similar in size to ones from other AM sets, so one could easily combine items from this set with others. The included weapons are spot-on in scale.
As with all Hobby Fan sets, the definition of detail is crisp and realistic, with life-like seams and creases in soft items. The higher price of resin sets puts these sets out of the price range of some hobbyists, but this level of detail is just not seen in styrene sets. D-rings, pockets, and draw-strings are well-depicted. Unlike other AM resin sets which have items moulded together in a single lump, the separate articles of equipment in this set make it possible to position individual items wherever needed.
As a universal set intended for any modern US vehicle, items are not shaped to conform to any particular place on the vehicle; a little planning will be required. Unlike some AM equipment sets, no securing webbing is provided –I made my own from 1/16" painted masking tape. Though I used this set to enhance AFV Club’s Stryker ICV, I can immediately think of a number of kits it will go nicely with. Highly recommended!