Monday, March 7, 2011

Hot Toys USCM CPL Hicks & PFC Vasquez

continued from an earlier post...

In the movie "Aliens (1986)", the United States Colonial Marine Corps (USCMC) or USCM, commonly known as the Colonial Marines, is the successor to the United States Marine Corps and their "force-in-readiness", who are at all times ready to operate in environments far from home. The primary duty of the Colonial Marines is to maintain the security of the United Americas signatories and colonies, and serves as the vanguard of any major problem.

Hot Toys released these 1/6 scale United States Colonial Marines (USCM) Corporal Dwayne Hicks (Michael Biehn) and PFC Jenette Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein) 12-inch figures way back when they first started their MMS (Movie Masterpiece Series), Hicks was MMS003 and Vasquez was MMS005. Gunnery Sergeant Al Apone was MMS004. These were the Marines featured in "Aliens (1986)" and they were portrayed as cocky and confident of their inevitable victory, but when they found themselves facing a less technologically advanced but more determined enemy, the outcome was not what they expected.

Corporal Dwayne Hicks (Michael Biehn) was one of the Colonial Marines who took charge when the squad's Sergeant Apone was taken alive by the Aliens and commanding officer Lt. Gorman was knocked out.

While not comfortable taking over the role as squad leader, his demeanor, unlike the machismo bravado of other squad members showed a thoughtful intelligence. Sincere and impartial, he was open to any suggestions as to how to defeat the Alien invasion.

The Colonial Marine wears the M10 pattern ballistic helmet with Built-in Tactical Camera and audio microphone. In addition, a Flip-down infra-red sight is also included. This projects a IR image over the Right Eye of the Wearer which makes use of the Camera's infa-red capabilities. Helmet also has a rear neck protector. The Colonial Marine also has a shoulder lamp attached to the back of his M3 armor.

The M3 armor vest is a rigid shell that sandwiches the wearer. This rigid armor vest protects the thoracic-abdominal region, front and back, between the groin and the neck. This comprises a two-piece clamshell secured at the sides by plastic clips. At the top of the clamshell, above each shoulder, is a rigid load-bearing arch from which hangs the webbing straps. The rigid shoulder armor is articulated to allow for more flexible arm movement.

Leg armor consists of a pair of clamshell greaves which cover the whole of the lower leg from ankle to knee. The knee segments are articulated on webbing straps and are tied around the leg above and at the back.

Close-up of the M10 pattern ballistic helmet with Built-in Tactical Camera and audio microphone.

Colonial Marine M10 pattern ballistic helmet with flip-down infra-red sight. The webbing holds six 30mm grenade rounds, and he has a combat knife in sheath and standard equipment pouches.

Close-up of the groin guard and leg armor.

The Colonial Marines seem to personalize their equipment in the same way the US soldiers did during the Vietnam War by adding their own little touches to their gear. Note the "Born Again" graffiti on the right shoulder armor and the padlock over the painted red heart on the chest armor.

You can also see the high-powered halogen white-light TNR lamp mounted on a bracket located on the rear left shoulder of the body armor. On his left hand he wears the wrist location transponder.

Corporal Hicks' (Michael Biehn) shotgun is an Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" which he keeps for "Close Encounters". One memorable scene with this gun is when Hicks sticks the barrel of the weapon in an aliens' mouth, and yells "Eat This!" and proceeds to blow its head off. When not in use, it's stored in a leather holster on his back.

Below the shoulder lamp is a personal hand welder (compact welding torch).

Right-side close-up view of the Hot Toys 1/6 scale "Aliens" United States Colonial Marines (USCM) Corporal Dwayne Hicks (Michael Biehn) 12-inch figure. You can make out the USCM shoulder flash as well as the personal locator tucked into the rolled-up sleeve of his camouflaged BDU (Battle Dress Utilities).

The pistol used by Colonial Marines is a Heckler and Koch VP70. It is holstered on the hip when not in use. It was chosen because it had a futuristic look and feel toit.

Close-up picture of the M41A Pulse Rifle. The Marines of the USCMC (United States Colonial Marine Corps) famously use the M41A Pulse Rifle as their standard issue weapon, a futuristic assault rifle with a magazine capacity of 99 rounds of 10mm case-less armor piercing ammunition with a pump action 30mm grenade launcher underneath the barrel. This weapon was made from an M1A1 Thompson submachine gun fitted with a cut-down Remington 870 shotgun underneath with the shroud and fore-grip of a SPAS 12 covering it. At the end of the film, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) tapes one of these rifles to an M240 Flamethrower when going to rescue Newt (Carrie Henn).

In Corporal Hicks' left hand he has the Motion Tracker. Essentially, it is a high-powered ultra-sound scanner that uses doppler-shift discrimination to filter out moving objects from the stationary background.

Private First Class PFC Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein) was a smart gunner on the Sulaco, who partnered with Private Mark Drake (Mark Rolston). Vasquez survived the hive and helped seal off the complex from the aliens. She fought together with Drake and killed many aliens during the attack.

The M56 "Smart Gun" is a specialist heavy weapon. The M56 Smart Gun is the primary machine gun of the USCMC and makes up the core fire support of a USCM squad. Despite the fact that the weapon weighs nearly 40 pounds, it can be easily carried and operated with the assistance of a servo-controlled harness.

It is called a "smart gun" because the weapons fire is guided by an infrared tracking system on top of the gun's barrel and on a head-mounted goggle system, guided by a targeting processor in the harness. When a target is designated by the tracking system, the harness automatically guides the operator and gun to the target.

Jenette Goldstein portrayed a tough-masculine role as PFC Vasquez without missing a bit. She looked TOUGH and was TOUGH! She was one of the coolest members of the squad for her sheer gung-ho attitude.

"El Riesgo Siempre Vive." is written on Vasquez's breastplate armor. In Spanish, this literally means "the risk lives forever", and figuratively means (it's a saying) that taking risks is necessary to survive. Vasquez also wears the head mounted tactical camera with eyepiece screen and boom mike.

The M56 Smart guns were made from German MG42 machine guns. The body-mounting apparatus was made from Steadicam "arms," with other miscellaneous parts coming from various motorcycles. "Adios" was painted on Vasquez's smart gun.

James Cameron drew inspiration for the Aliens story from the Vietnam War, a situation in which a technologically superior force was mired in a hostile foreign environment: "Their training and technology are inappropriate for the specifics, and that can be seen as analogous to the inability of superior American firepower to conquer the unseen enemy in Vietnam: a lot of firepower and very little wisdom, and it didn't work."

Trivia: Michael Biehn played Kyle Reese in "Terminator (1984)" whereas Jenette Goldstein portrayed Janelle Voight (John Connor's foster mom) in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)".

Related posts:
An earlier post on "Corporal Dwayne Hicks USCM" on November 12, 2008.

Another post on Vasquez with more pictures of the M56 smart gun

Check out Hot Toys Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) with 1/6 scale Power Loader HERE

There's also the Hot Toys Nostromo Executive Officer Kane from the first ALIEN movie


Anonymous said...

Hope a company come up with a new 12" line of this characters. The prices are ridiculous right now. The faces in the whole series are full wrong.


ethan said...

The smart gun is the best gun design so far in movie. Not sure if it really existed in the real world other than in James Cameron's Aliens

Anonymous said...

The construction is based on a MG-42 (the gun firering is a MG-42). The extra design elements and the way it was suposed to work in the Alien Wolrd definitely not-

alex teo said...

To add on to anon's comment: The M56 Smart guns were made from German MG42 machine guns. The body-mounting apparatus was made from Steadicam "arms," with other miscellaneous parts coming from various motorcycles. It looked AWESOME in the movie but most probably not good for Close Quarter Combat. CHEERS