This entry was originally posted on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 and has since garnered 2727 views and quite a number of comments, especially from the soldiers who have been there. Let's NOT let the recent insane actions of one man undo what these Americans have been fighting for over there. Thanks to them and the other allied soldiers doing their part in Afghanistan, the world can live in peace and enjoy the freedom to go about more freely without fear of terrorism striking at any moment.
Originally posted on Wednesday, April 6, 2011:
This is my attempt at kitbashing a 1/6 scale OP Restrepo: 173rd Airborne 12-inch figure after watching the documentary on National Geographic (see my previous post). I noticed that these guys weren't loaded to the hilt i.e. they didn't put on that much stuff unlike some of us 1/6 scale military figure collectors who like to dump everything onto our figures. Let's face it: in the real world, the more stuff you put on, the heavier your load gets and that slows you down making it harder and more difficult to move fast when you have to, especially if you are in a firefight.
They didn't bother with elbow pads and kneepads, sidearms or drop-down leg panels. Just the basic combat load that gets the job done. At times when they were receiving fire, they just put on their vest and get on with returning fire and defending their position. Forget dress codes, it's more important to stay alive! And these guys were in the thick of the action. The Korengal Valley was at the time regarded as "the deadliest place on Earth".
I know that this is not a 100% accurate portrayal of the guys in the 173rd Airborne in Afghanistan. First off, the helmet is of the wrong type but we all know how hard it is to find a 1/6 scale ACU helmet. Like I said, just an attempt at kitbashing a 173rd Airborne trooper as seen at OP Restrepo in 2010. I mean no disrespect to the guys who were there, just a simple bash to pay homage to all the people who are putting their lives on the line on a daily basis.
I also added my own patches that are worn by the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
Scroll down for more pictures :)
I noticed from the RESTREPO feature-length documentary that there were different types of radios carried. I believe some are meant for ground communications and one was probably used for calling in the air strikes.
I also received a recommendation from "kibitzer" to read the book "War" by Sebastian Junger. He said, "It's based on the documentary itself and details the day-to-day living in the firebase. Also included are the actions in Operation Rock Avalanche, O'Byrne's (who seems to be the book's main character) backstory and Sal Giunta's actions leading up to his MOH. The books contains several details that were not included in the documentary such as their "blood in-blood out" ritual and also some deeper insights including psychological studies discussing the combat environment. Highly recommended."
So that's one book I'll be looking out to grab and hunker down for a good read :) Thanks "kibitzer"
And here are some close-up shots of my OP Restrepo: 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team kitbash
In 2009, I'd posted on this toy blog a picture from the newspapers of just such an incident. You can view the post and read about it HERE
The other 1/6 scale 173rd Airborne trooper 12-inch figure I have is "SGT Jerry Ellis" - see my post HERE. The 173rd participated in the initial invasion of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. On March 26, 2003, 954 soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade conducted a combat jump from C-130 and C-17 aircraft onto Bashur Airfield in Northern Iraq, in an assault known as Operation Northern Delay.