Thursday, June 2, 2011

VTS 75th Ranger Chalk Leader, Somalia 1993 PREVIEW

These are preview / prototype pictures of the upcoming release by Virtual ToyS (VTS): 75th Ranger Regiment Chalk Leader of Task Force Ranger from Operation Gothic Serpent circa Somalia 1993.

Operation Gothic Serpent was a military operation conducted by special operations forces of the United States with the primary mission of capturing warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The operation took place in Somalia, Africa from August to October 1993 and was supervised by the Joint Special Operations Command. As part of the operation, the soldiers were deployed in a mission to arrest two of Aidid's lieutenants. The result of that mission – executed under the command of Gothic Serpent – became known as the Battle of Mogadishu, or "The Battle of the Black Sea" to those who fought in it. [source: wiki]

One of the key events is the downing of a UH-60 Black Hawk and the subsequent attempt to rescue its crew. As a result of the Black Hawk Down, the raid quickly became the most intensive close combat in the military history of the United States since the Vietnam War. The events of the raid were later renamed the Battle of Mogadishu by international media, as opposed to the operation's name of Gothic Serpent.

Mark Bowden wrote a book about it and it was then adapted into a film directed by Ridley Scott and released in 2001, aptly named BLACK HAWK DOWN.

The 1/6 scale head sculpt of this 75th Ranger Regiment trooper from Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion is based on the actor Josh Hartnett whose role was based on Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann, US Army Ranger, leader of Chalk 4. Compilation of both Eversmann's actual experience in the operation, as well as of US Army Rangers Lieutenant Tom DiTomasso, leader of Chalk 2, and Lieutenant Larry Perino's experiences during the operation.

Rather than going with the actual person's likeness, VTS is using the actor Josh Hartnett's likeness as more people are familiar with him, having seen the movie and seeing him play the role.

The VTS 75th Ranger Regiment Task Force Ranger Chalk Leader from Operation Gothic Serpent, Somalia 1993 will come with real-like head sculpt and 12-inch male body, OD GI T-shirt, Desert camouflage battle dress uniform (3-color desert), Sergeant rank collar badge, US flag patch, Ranger body armor RBA Woodland camouflage, PASGT helmet with 6-color desert camouflage cloth cover and identify band, Goggles, Altama desert boots, Alta knee pads, Nomex flight gloves, Rappelling gloves, ALICE (All purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) system with belt and Y-webbing / suspender, M16 ammunition pouch x 4, Compass / first aid case, canteen and canteen cover, buttpack, AN/PRC 126 radio and pouch, handmic, SDU-5E strobe light and pouch, M16A2 assault rifle, M26A1 fragmentation grenade x4, M16 magazines x6

Besides this 1/6 scale 12-inch Somali Ranger figure, VTS has released a teaser picture of Ewan McGregor as US Army Ranger Specialist John "Grimesey" Grimes, Eric Bana as Delta Force operator Sergeant First Class Norm "Hoot" Hooten, William Fichtner as Delta Force operator Sergeant First Class Jeff Sanderson, Johnny Strong as Delta Force sniper Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart and Nikolaj Coster Waldau as Delta Force sniper Master Sergeant Gary Gordon. Seems like this is going to be the first figure in a series. Exciting news indeed.

According to the filmmakers, over 1,000 Somalis died and 19 Americans lost their lives in the conflict on October 3 and 4, 1993. The 19 soldiers and officers who died are then listed by name and rank. On the 2nd of August 1996, Warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid was killed in Mogadishu.

There have been other 1/6 scale Black Hawk Down 12-inch figures released in the past, mostly by Dragon with a Playhouse D-Boy Norm "Hoot" Hooten figure most recently. Check out my "Black Hawk Down" label to see all my posts.


Lawrence said...

Hi Alex, how is VTS quality? Any idea?

Anonymous said...

Hi..I'm a first time collector..I have trouble fixing the gloves for chalk leader ..any tips?

alex teo said...

you need a credit card and lots of patience :) you have to put the gloves into the fingers like how you would wear them yourself. use the credit card to push the fabric in between the fingers so that the gloves fit nicely. credit card won't tear the fabric as it has rounded edges. it's a case of slowly pushing and guiding the gloves in CHEERS