Sometimes, you find “the” weapon, and just have to model a figure around it.
In this case, it was Dragon’s OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon), which is available as carded sets 1 & 2. I found the sets while surfing for something else, and couldn’t believe my luck. I’ve been looking for such a weapon for some time, and earlier bought a Hasbro F2000 assault rifle carded set, which is basically the same weapon as the OICW, and tried unsuccessfully to incorporate it into a future Marine figure. DML’s OICW is correctly scaled, while Hasbro’s F2000 seems to be sized 60-70% of what it should be.
Corporal Cody is packing the OICW from set 1.
Other than his OICW/XM-29, Cody is kitted out in the standard attire of his fellow Jarheads of the mid-point of the 21st Century. As is typical, Cody has managed to stuff a number of necessary items into the band on his helmet and has modified his helmet cover with a bit of graffiti (“Goodnight Chesty” and “Eat the Apple”). His helmet is a combined heat-sensing, night-vision, laser-sighting and targeting unit, which ties into the target acquisition / fire control system (TA/FCS) on his XM-29.
The XM-29 is a combination weapon, which has the 20mm semi-automatic, magazine fed grenade launcher as its primary part, and the 5.56mm compact assault rifle as its secondary part. Both parts are assembled into the single one-man portable unit, with the addition of the target acquisition / fire control system (TA/FCS), which is an essential part of the whole system. The XM-29 will become an integral part of the future Land Warrior system, capable of communicating with the other parts of this system, including the tactical computers and helmet-mounted displays.
The grenade launcher has the provisions for the TA/FCS system to be mounted on its top, and the appropriate interfaces, so the data provided from the TA/FCS can be used to program the 20mm grenade fuses. These fuses, used for the 20mm HEAB ammunition, have multiple modes of detonation, including the direct impact mode and the Air Burst mode. In the latter mode the fuse is pre-programmed to explode the warhead at the preset range, which is calculated during the flight by counting the number of the grenade rotations. This allows do defeat targets without the direct impact, using the blast and fragmentation effect of the high explosive warhead. This is a major advantage over the present small arms, which in most cases require the direct hit on the target to be effective, as it allows for greater aiming errors, and also makes possible to defeat targets in defilade, like the trenches and so. The high explosive warhead also has the advantage of not being dependent on its velocity to be effective, so unlike with the bullets, its effectiveness does not decreased with the increase of range.
The rifle, or "kinetic energy" part of the XM-29 system, is a fairy conventional, short-barreled assault rifle, derived from the Heckler-Koch G36 assault rifle. The basic "rifle" part of the XM-29 has no buttstock and no own sights, and thus can be used separately from the whole system only as emergency, personal defense weapon.
The target acquisition / fire control system (TA/FCS) is the most expensive and complicated unit of the whole system, since it must combine day and night vision capabilities, laser rangefinding unit, ballistic computer and various interfaces to the grenade launcher and external systems. It is used to find the targets in any light and weather conditions, determine the range to the target, calculate and display the aiming data, so the grenade or bullet could be fired to the desired point of impact, and then supply the data to the grenade launcher, so the range could be preset into the grenade fuse.
Current research and testing indicates the XM-29 can be up to 500% more effective than the present small arms.
The XM-29 OICW
XM-29 major components
The XM-29 is scheduled to enter service during the year 2008 in limited numbers. It will be then consequently upgraded with the new technologies then available. Present plans are to issue four units per infantry squad of 9 men. Early in the 2002 the XM-29 test weapons were successfully tested with the newest 20mm HEAB (High Explosive Air Bursting) munitions, which will be a major "kill factor" for the M-29 weapon. At the same time the "kinetic energy" part of the XM-29 was type-classified as the XM-8 light rifle, and, in the near future, could possibly replace the current Colt M4 carbines as a standalone compact conventional small arms