Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dragon EOD Squad Leader Sergeant First Class "William" REVIEW 1

This is the recently released Dragon Models (DML) 1/6 scale 12-inch US Army EOD Squad Leader - Operation Iraqi Freedom - "William" (Sergeant First Class). "William" depicts a US Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squad Leader during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After the success of the Academy Award-winning 2009 American war film "The Hurt Locker", about a three-man United States Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team during the Iraq War, Dragon was quick to jump on the bandwagon and hope to catch the wave of popularity and demand for figures related to the film.

The box cover shows the figure clad in a bomb suit. The back of the box shows the same figure also wearing the newer ACU (Army Combat Uniform), with older style Interceptor body armor in woodland camouflage and helmet with woodland cover.

Dragon Models DML had released a similar figure called "U.S. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit - Dennis" back in July 2003 and this is basically a re-hash, with some new inclusions.

When you open the box packaging, you'll see Sergeant First Class "William" in the main tray wearing his ACU. Beside him is the complete SRS-5 bomb disposal outfit, all laid out for assembly (no instructions given).

Two more side trays hold the other accessories and extra gear such as Insignia (there's the Unit Tab - 5 Ranger Bn, EOD patch, U.S. Army and Name Tab "WILLIAM"), Protective Under Garment (Smock and Trousers), Interceptor Body Armor, M4 R.I.S. Assault Rifle, Improvised Explosive Device (7 shells), hydration pack, knee pads and pouches.

Dragon Models DML Sergeant First Class "William" out of the box, basic figure

Dragon's William is supposed to be Sergeant First Class William James, a character from "The Hurt Locker", a battle-tested veteran, who arrives as a new team leader in Bravo company of a U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit during the early stages of the post-invasion period in Iraq in 2004.

Jeremy Renner portrays Sergeant First Class William James. Renner's performance as James earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. But Dragon's sculpting doesn't do the man justice.

More close-up pictures of the Dragon 1:6 scale Jeremy Renner as Sergeant First Class William James head sculpt. It seems everyone else (i.e. 1/6 manufacturers) have moved forward in the area of head sculpting and paint application (realistic paint jobs that look like skin) but Dragon remains trapped in the past. A good thing then that this head will be hidden inside the SRS-5 Helmet.

And this is a stripped Dragon 1:6 NEO 3 Body with new character head (not a very good interpretation or representation of Jeremy Renner as Sergeant First Class William James at all) including hands with gloves cut off at the fingers.

And here's the Dragon EOD "William" figure wearing Protective Under Garment (Smock, Trousers and socks). This was what the original Dragon EOD "Dennis" figure wore under the bomb suit.

And this is how the figure looks with the hood up - peekaboo!

The set is outfitted in the newer ACU, with older style Interceptor body armor in woodland camouflage, and helmet with woodland camouflage cloth cover. It also has a Camelbak style water bladder pack (for hydration purposes), molded desert boots, and woodland camouflage kneepads.

Why is the figure wearing outdated woodland camouflage gear if he already has updated ACU on? That's because the character William James from the film "The Hurt Locker" also wore older woodland camouflage gear. Dragon may be staying true to the film in this instance but that's only because it's easier on their pocket - they already have these stocks, no need to make new ones. Their principle seems to be REHASH, REHASH, REHASH!

So why did I get this you ask? Having missed out on the earlier "U.S. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit - Dennis" boxed set, this was a good time to get a green colored EOD bomb suit (price was right)

Close-ups of the PASGT Helmet with Helmet Cover (Woodland Camouflage), T-shirt, ACU shirt and pants, Interceptor Body Armor, Camelbak Hydration System, Kneepads and Desert Boots

Also included: two Molle Compass / Grenade Pouches and two Molle Vest Large Pouches (for rifle magazines) and watch

Insignia: Unit Tab - 5(th) Ranger Bn, EOD patch, U.S. Army and Name Tab "WILLIAM"

Weapon: M4 Assault Rifle or M4 Carbine with Infrared Pointer / Illuminator, Aimpoint optic sight, Forward Hand Grip, tactical light attached under the barrel, retractable / extendable butt stock and removable magazine.

1/6 scale Improvised Explosive Device. An improvised explosive device (IED), also known as a roadside bomb, is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action. It may be constructed of conventional military explosives, such as an artillery round, attached to a detonating mechanism. [source: wiki]

IEDs in Iraq may be made with artillery or mortar shells or with varying amounts of bulk or homemade explosives. Early during the Iraq war, the bulk explosives were often obtained from stored munitions bunkers to include stripping landmines of their explosives.

These 1/6 scale IEDs are meant to help re-create the scene in the film where Sergeant First Class William James (Jeremy Renner) does the unorthodox method of pulling out seven buried IEDs without first checking if they had been booby-trapped to explode upon removal / movement. It was a rather stupid thing to do - gung-ho no doubt, but stupid no less. James' unorthodox methods lead Sanborn and Eldridge to consider him reckless and a dangerous addition to the 3-man team.

What's next? Suiting up William with the SRS-5 EOD bomb suit


Anonymous said...

The helmet in the kit is an old type which is not exactly the same as the one in the movie. The one in the movie is type EOD 9A which comes with a black frame hosting the visor glass. Also, the knee pads of the EOD suit in the film is a new version whereas the set in the kit is an old type. Dragon has been adopting a cost-effective commerical strategy over the last few years for cost control (yet the prices are soaring in the par with its competitors) -- to the diappointment of buyers !

alex teo said...

Thanks for the input :) I'm covering the suit in the next post.Yeah, I know Dragon is going the re-hash way but I just wanted an EOD suit as it breaks the monotony of the other releases.

Mike from germany said...

here's Mike from germany!
It's a shame that Dragon just re-released the old "Dennis" EOD gear!
I hoped for a updated helmet for my own EOD too!

Here're 2 pics of my small dio!
I hope you like it!

Sorry for the bad pic quality!
I think of to change the small PACKBOT to the "METAL-MADE" TALON by Black Box Toys! Do you've any plans to get the TALON robot too?

JasonChart said...

I would say he looks more like Guy Pierce, playing Staff Sergeant Matt Thompson.
(the one that was blown thy kingdom come in the first minutes)
What do you think?

alex teo said...

hey Mike, thanks for the pictures - very nice dio too :) the metal-made TALON by black box toys is a little out of my budget at the moment haha. maybe you can share pictures when you get yours - that thing is pretty cool CHEERS

hi amphivolias, guy pierce really? does look like him from certain angles if the face was much thinner haha. poor guy was demolished pretty fast in the film.

abg33 said...

AWESOME likeness. Where do i find similar one n how much

alex teo said...

I think eBay would be your best bet. Price depends on seller. Cheers

abg33 said...

Thanx for info.