Wednesday, July 30, 2008

173rd Airborne Brigade in Iraq, 2003

Leading the war on terror from the front, the fine soldiers of the USA. In 2003, about 1,000 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade parachuted into Kurdish-held territory in northern Iraq. BBI released this 173rd Airborne trooper "SGT Jerry Ellis" in late 2003 (You had an option of kitting him out as a 101st or 173rd Airborne trooper - I chose the latter). I switched his BDUs and helmet with Dragon's because BBI's BDU was quite figure hugging and the helmet looked too small to fit his head nicely. I also added the ALICE pack, secured in front for quick release when approaching the ground.

The modern paratrooper, not very different from those of World War II except he has his SPEAR BAS (Body Armor Subsystem) with interchangeable upgrade plates

Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door... (brings backs memories of my airborne days in the army)

Lurve the gloves on this figure

His T10C Static Line Main Parachute with his reserve chute in front, hasn't really changed much since World War II

Fully loaded and ready to drop in and pay Saddam a visit

Nice figure from BBI

Armed with his M4 carbine and M9 pistol, secured tightly for the drop

His knee pads and ankle braces - one of the best things to be introduced coz the fear is not in the jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft but landing wrongly on your ankles and not being able to complete the airborne course which you worked so hard to get in.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Australian 1st SQN SASR Desert Ops

BBI released this Australian 1st SQN SASR Desert Ops "SGT Barney" in 2006 and we finally get the aussie desert camouflage uniform or desert auscam. 

Headsculpt resembles actor Richard Chamberlain of Shogun and King Solomon's Mines where he played Allan Quatermain, big game hunter and occasional trader in southern Africa. Another famous actor who played Allan Quatermain was none other than Sir Sean Connery in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), he of the famous 007 fame as well as being the father of one Indiana Jones.

Frillneck UTE hat in Auscam, unique to the australians and Oakley shades

Tactical headset connected to PTT PRC 148 radio and Afghan style scarf (guess he's doing his part in the war on terror in Afghanistan)

Lock and load, and ready to rock and roll in his Desert Auscam BDU and Merrell Chameleon Vintilators.

Tactical chest rig

SOG SEAL pup knife in sheath

M4 carbine with PEQ2 laser pointer, Surefire tactical light, ELCAN tactical scope and M203 grenade launcher. Although the F88 AuSteyr - a derivative of the Austrian Steyr AUG STG-77 assault rifle - is the ADF's standard individual weapon, special forces prefer the M4 for its battle-tested reliability and handling.

Browning GP-35 Mk III Hi-Power in holster, the standard-issue service pistol of the Australian Defence Force.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Australian SAS Regiment Trooper

I also got this figure, the Royal Australian SAS Regiment Trooper "SGT Sean Bannon" at the same time as the SASR HALO. My intention was to combine the two sets into one for a more complete SASR HALO trooper coz if you remove the HALO parachute rig from "CPL Chris Naylor", he'll be just in his AusCam BDU and weapon, not exactly decked out to take out "tangos". However, after kitting out the two, I liked them both individually and that's how they stayed. "SGT Sean Bannon" is more complete as a trooper than "CPL Chris Naylor" is as a HALO jumper.

Face resembles that of Telly Savalas, who played a religious fanatic named Archer J Maggott in the movie "The Dirty Dozen".

"SGT Sean Bannon" with boonie hat, SF Lash headset comlink with boom mike connected to radio transmitter in pouch

His watch to help him keep time

Camelbak Hydration System - a vast improvement over the water canteens of yore

SAS dagger, "for use in emergency" and to keep tangos real quiet without waking up his buddies

His trusty sidearm

"SGT Sean Bannon" is armed with the M4 assault rifle with M68 aimpoint CQB scope, power grip and suppressor

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Australian SAS Regiment HALO Jumper

BBI released this Australian SAS Regiment HALO Jumper (SASR HALO) "CPL Chris Naylor" in 2003 and it was GOOD!! Not as heavily decked out as Hot Toys' HALO, but still very nice for the asking price.

Gentex helmet with visor, goggles, oxygen mask with connecting hose and O2 tanks in carrier pouch.

His HALO parachute rig harness with additional chest pouch and M4/M203

One of the BEST cylume sticks I've seen IMHO, with strobe light and map.  

Australian camouflage or "AusCam" BDU (Battle Dress Uniform)

Overall, a really nice figure - and not expensive too!

Australian Jungle Fighter by GI Joe

In 2001, Hasbro re-released the Australian Jungle Fighter under the "Timeless Collection" line. The Australian Jungle Fighter was part of the "Action Soldiers of the World" line released back in 1966 by Hasbro and consisted of six soldiers from both sides of World War II - the others were German and Japanese soldiers (Axis powers), British, French and Russian soldiers (Allied forces). The most unique feature about these sets was the headsculpt - two new sculpts were created, one asian sculpt for the Japanese soldier with stereotypical slanted eyes, and another for the other five soldiers, a more "Nordic" face. All the other GI Joe soldiers had the same original sculpts. You could say they were the original clone army because when you displayed them together, you got a whole army of identical faces.

The Australian Jungle Fighters bravely distinguished themselves as excellent forward observers, tracking and communicating valuable information about Japanese ship convoy movements and troop deployments in World War II. The regular Australian troops also fought off the Japanese force in New Guinea and prevented them from establishing the island as a foothold from where they could strike Australia itself.

Basic GI Joe Australian Jungle Fighter figure with "Nordic" face

His accessories consisted of a flame thrower, machete, entrenching tool, trench knife, six grenades and Victoria Cross medal. All six "Action Soldiers of the World" had medals unique to their country.

GI Joe Counter-intelligence Manual - in essence, an instructions booklet.

GI Joe Action Soldier was the true father of today's military action figures. GI Joe and Action Man created a desire for boys to collect action figures and when these boys grew up to become men, there was a void that had to be filled because the GI Joe and Action Man lines had been discontinued. Then came Dragon, BBI, Hot Toys, DiD, ACE, Toy Soldier etc etc. GI Joe and Action Man's rich history holds a special place for me because they were there before every other Tom, Dick and Harry deciced to jump on the 12 -inch, 1/6 scale bandwagon.