by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
After releasing a selection of printed accessories, Arkebuza Model Art ventured into 1/35 scale figure business, producing two modern British soldiers serving in Afghanistan (reviewed here). Their newest figure depicts an Afghanistan National Army (ANA) soldier, which should be a very welcomed addition to any Middle Eastern vignette.
The kit is packed in a hard plastic box, featuring a very comprehensive box art image: it displays not only the assembled figure in three different views (front, back and side) but shows all the kit pieces as well. The box art also lists the company, scale, item ID and figure sculptor (Pavel Sapotsky).
The resin pieces are safely secured in the zip-lock bag. The figure consists of 8 parts and a simple resin base. Here is the list of parts:
- full body with legs,
- right arm,
- left arm,
- equipment accessories (2x).
The figure is molded in grey resin and the cast is absolutely flawless. The weapon and equipment accessories are molded on a large resin carrier block, and should be cleaned before assembly. All the other pieces however are already clean and ready for assembly… Nice! The fit of the parts is really good. The assembly of the figure is pretty much straightforward.
The figure represents Afghanistan National Army Officer, communicating with his allies via the portable radioset. The figure wears a uniform which closely resembles Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). There were several sources for these uniforms, including surplus BDUs from the US, imported Chinese BDUs, and locally-produced copies made from imported fabrics, mostly in woodland camouflage pattern. Over his uniform, the figure wears MOLLE type body armor. I have to admit I couldn’t find the correct designation of this particular body armor version, but my references show it is the item ANA soldiers usually wear and, as far as I can tell, it is accurately portrayed in scale. On his body armor, the figure sports two ALICE magazine pouches, designed to hold three M4 30-round magazines and has two side pockets each able to hold a single grenade. The weight of the full magazine pouch is nicely portrayed on this figure. Other equipment in this kit includes two 40mm grenade pouches, which are cast separately and could be attached to any part of the body armor. On his head, the figure wears PASGT helmet also donated to the ANA as surplus from the US.
The figure is armed with a M4A1 carbine featuring M203 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher. Afghan Army received M16s and M4s from the US military as part of a modernization effort; M16 rifles are used by the Army while M4 carbines are usually carried by Afghan Army Commandos and Special Forces.
While preparing this review, I browsed the internet searching for references on Afghan Army. After seeing many photos of ANA soldiers, I have to say I’m impressed with the way the sculptor captured the look of these fighters. Equipped with US gear and weapon, the rather reluctant stance shows the regular Army soldier engaged in a conversation via the portable radioset. The details on the uniform and body armor are well defined, and accurately depicted in scale. The M4/M203 looks good, and casting the hand with the weapon ensures a tight grip on the weapon.
This figure presents a really impressive rendition of ANA soldier. It is nicely sculpted, well cast and easy to build… This is definitely not a mainstream modern figure release, but should prove very popular with modelers building vignettes depicting War in Afghanistan.
Thanks to Andrij from Arkebuza Model Art for this review sample.