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  1. Some UH-1Ns from the 20th Special Operations Squadron, 1st Special Operations Wing out of Hurlburt Field (Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field No. 9) providing helicopter support for Red Flag 81-1. Nellis AFB, November 1980. These helicopters participated in rescuing survivors from the roof of the MGM Grand Hotel during that disastrous fire. 69-6604 69-6642 69-6653 69-6654 Thanks for looking, Sven Old Viper Tester
  2. Danger Close (MB35207) Special Operations Team, Present Day 1:36 Master Box Ltd via Creative Models Ltd Special Ops has its official roots in WWII, although its origins are somewhat older, where elite warriors were gathered into specialist units for dangerous and/or difficult operations. Today, these Special Ops teams are well-known although their individuals’ identities are usually a guarded secret during and after service, with a few notable exceptions. We have the SAS, SBS in Britain, Seal Team, Delta Force, Rangers and others in the US, Spetsnaz in Russia, and many more across the armies of the world. This figure set depicts US Special Forces, although sometimes it’s harder to tell the difference between modern “brands”, due to the convergence of equipment, weapons and even camouflage between units and even nations. It arrives in an end-opening figure box, and inside is one large bagged sprue in grey styrene containing parts and accessories for four figures, with the instructions printed on the rear of the box. As usual, sculpting is excellent and the parts are broken down into torsos, separate legs, arms and heads, plus caps, mag and other pouches, backpacks, and even a few hands separated from their arms to improve moulding detail. The ‘danger close’ strapline refers to the manner in which the figures are taking cover behind some barrier or other, while one pair dress a flesh wound to one of their arms, with the other two trying to draw out the shooter with a cap on a stick (does this still work after all those movies?), as they watch for a muzzle flash. The are all kneeling or hunkered down to avoid getting shot, and each one is dressed in a plate-carrier with MOLLE loops for mounting mag pouches, rucksacks, other pouches and a side-arm. They all wear ball-caps and gloves, except the guy with the poorly arm, and the medic, who has latex or nitrile gloves on to attend to his comrade. They’re all rocking beards except the injured man, who sports a moustache. Do beards offer some kind of bullet resistance? Rounds deflected by Tacti-cool facial hair maybe? Each man carries either an M4 derivative with Acog or red-dot sight, while the medic is carrying an AK derivative, the Israeli Galil. Contrary to the box art, only one man has a 40mm Underslung Grenade Launcher (UGL) under his rifle, while others have PEQ boxes (light & laser) and/or separate flashlights mounted to the rails. Colour call-outs are shown on the instructions along with the part numbers, which match a drawing of the sprue to the right. The colour codes are shown in a table in the middle of the instructions, giving paint codes for Vallejo, Lifecolor, Mr Color and Tamiya, which should be sufficient to allow conversion to your favourite brand if you don’t use those given. Conclusion Excellent sculpting, realistic poses and drape of the materials they are wearing, that will add realism to any diorama that they are placed into. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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