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I've been Minimoyzed
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am suprised with all the posts so far there has been no review. So here I go.

When Soldier Story announced this figure late last year, I nearly started jumping for joy. A New SOAR figure. The Hot Toys (HT) versions are so hard to find now, and prices are a premium. And with the detail that Soldier Story (SS), everyone was waiting to se how it would measure up. The wait was long, and got bumped a few times, nearly driving some of us to distraction (yes I am talking about myself, but I am sure I'm not the only one).

One of the main selling points of this figure was that it is a generic SOAR figure, and it can be built up in any number of ways. Pilot, flight medic, crew chief.... essentially a 3 in 1 type of figure. You aren't meant to hang all of the kit on him at once. He would look pretty silly with all that gear on too.

Another of the selling points is that this is not just a figure that was sourced from a random picture on the 'Net, like so many figures are these days. CW4 Todd McDunn, AKA "Chief McStache" was consulted along with the help and backing of Eagle Aircrew Systems, and Monkey Depot, to make an accurate and current SOAR Aircrewman. My hat is off to those involved in bringing this figure to us. Accuracy is a big deal to me, and it really shows with this one. I was, and am totally stoked about this figure. So the hard part is being objective in a review about a figure that I would get even if it wasn't totally awesome.

So without further ado, lets get started.

Being in Canada, it takes me longer to get figures. So I made it easier on my retailer, and just went ahead and ordered a full case of 6. It's not like I won't use them.... A full case was definately in order, but not without some resistance getting them, from the financial deparment. I haven't bought a multiple of a figure in a long time, but this one was different. Is Different.

When my Mrs called me at work and said they had finally arrived, I made sure that I was in line at the buzzer to bail out, and come home to rip into this bad boy.

Packaging - Typical fold gate box that displays two front panels, and the main event in the middle. Nice matte details on the box with muted UH-60 Blackhawks in the background, and the SOAR unit badge. The back of the box has pics of the geared up figure, and a blurb of the SOAR Motto, or maybe just Mr McDunn's. I'll have to look into that. Both front and back covers have the credit logos of those who brought us this fine piece of work.

Figure - Chief McStache. CW4 Todd McDunn. An amazing sculpt, and probably SS's best sculpt to date. The body is the S2, narrow shoulder version, with the roid rage thigh inserts, same as the FCS TF version figure. And we get a spare pair of ankle joints on this figure. They are shorter double ball versions to make him a slightly shorter figure, if only by 1/4" (6mm) actual measurement. Yay.

My gripes? The head sculpt appears to be a bit too glossy. Maybe if you pretend he's operating somwhere hot and he's all sweaty. Other than that it looks great. And for those who really want to know, the head is small just like all other SS sculpts :knock . But it does make it easier to get the sculpt into the helmet. More on that later. And as usual, the hands were left unpainted, and next to the sculpt just look unfinished. Which is a shame, because the hands have a nice sculpt too, and would look fantastic if they were painted to match the sculpt.

The Uniform - The A2CU 2 piece NOMEX Flight suit. It's not ACU. Same camo pattern, but made of a Nomex fire retardant material, and pockets are all in a useful location for flight crew. The cut is nice, and they are not too baggy like most SS Uniforms tend to be. Not a lot of stray threads like we usually see as well. The ACU pattern camo looks like the stuff we have seen on BBI and HT figures. A bit more green than previous ACU from SS. And I personally like this shade. Almost all zips and pockets/flaps work. :thumb

The blouse. Only thing I found odd was the front zipper. I don't know if it is copied from the actual gear like this, but the front zipper goes all the way down, but doesn't separate. If you want to remove the blouse, you have to unfasten the velcro strip beside the zipper and remove the blouse as per usual. Not sure if this is normal on the actual gear, or planned this way, but there you go.

The Pants. At first glance you might say looks good. But wait, the pockets.... look like a one piece flight suit pockets, with side bellows pockets. Cool. This is one more little detail that shows this isn't your typical ACU pattern Army uniform.

The Boots. Nothing new here, in fact I belive these have been on a couple figures now. I think they are supposed to be Danners. I'm not a footwear pro, so feel free to correct me. I believe CorranJ said best with the "banana boots". The sole has a real funky curve to it. A bit of heat and some persuasion and it can probably be bent into a better shape like the others in the past. Just takes some effort.

The Eagle Industries Aircrew T-shirt. Nice add-on and plug too for Eagle. Not really something a Soldier from 160th SOAR would wear on a mission, but still a nice touch. The silkscreening is well done and easily readable. And the humour shot on the back is cool too.

Eagle Industries Aircrew fleece jacket. How cool is this thing? Super cool. I can see this jacket getting a lot of mileage on other figure bashes. It is very well sewn, all the pockets and zips work, and it just looks awesome on the figure. You should not put it on over the A2CU blouse. It won't fit and is way to bulky. Take off the blouse and install jacket. Total winner there. I doubt that a crew member would fly wearing this jacket as well, but it looks cool, and I imagine the armour over top would look pretty cool, if not really accurate.

See next post for more stuff.
 

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I've been Minimoyzed
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Re: Soldier Story 160th SOAR Night Stalkers Pilot; Review ** WIP stand by

The Helmet - HGU-56P. Probably the most sought after piece in the set. Especially on the secondary market. The detail is freaking amazing. It's thin and well made in scale. That thin fabrication is also it's downfall. It's easily broken. Take your time and use caution. Did I mention the details are awesome? Wires for the ANVIS 9 NVG's, the comm jack, look just like the real deal. And the mount and the ANVIS 9 NVG are awesome as well. The two part visor with both clear and tinted lenses. Both are thin, and are nice and clear. Hint's on getting them to come down evenly is to push from the top of the lens cover with some blunt object, and then put the one you don't want to use back up. The boom mic is actually made of metal wire, and not plastic rods that are easily broken. There is a liner for the helmet, and the headset earphones are attached directly to the liner.

The Maxillofacial Shield. It is thin and feels flimsy. It has a fragile appearance. I tried to attach it to the helmet before I put it on the figure, and one of the attach points popped off. No worries, I just glued it on again, but haven't put it back on the helmet now that the helmet is in place. But it looks great. I haven't added this to my figure yet. Not sure if I will on the first one. I have a few extras, so all in due time

I could go on and on and on...... The helmet really is the star of the show. Love it.

A Nomex balaclava is also included. I have head some people have had trouble putting the helmet on with the cover. I have the balaclava on, then the liner, and carefully manipulate the helmet to stuff it all into the helmet. Voila It's in. Patience is the key.

The Vest - Could someone please inform my simple mind what the designation of this vest it. I have heard CIRAS, and also CIRACs. I'm sure it was posted in the teaser link, but that info seems to have disappeared. I digress.

[EDIT] The vest is the Eagle Industries CIACS 6 vest made specifically for aircrew. Thanks GabRaz and JTFazz. See below links and details.

Another work of art. One thing that I noticed RIGHT AWAY was how straight the webbing was sewn on the vest, and all the accessories as well. Straight as an arrow. And all the loops are evenly spaced. So nice. A little tear came to my eye when I saw that. It also helps when threading straps through the loops. Uneven and poorly sewn loops are the bane of my existence. I don't glue pouches on, I loop them properly. And sometimes this little practice just drives me nuts. So much easier, and looks fantastic. Attaching to the vest is a number of pouches for ammo, shoulder pads, deltoid armour, and the Aircrew Breathing Device pouch.

One thing I can't figure out is what the strap in the back of the vest is. It's long and has 2 "D" rings on it, and for the life of me I cannot figure out what it attaches to, or actually even is. Anyone have an idea?

Other Stuff - The Escape and Evasion Pack. Cool little piece, comes with a hydration pack straw, that can be tucked away. The straps can also be stowed in the front of the pack when the pack is stowed in a helicopter. I'll use mine for stashing the bits that don't get used for my figures.

Life Preserver. Excellent.

Subload Dropdown. Not a terribly wowing item, unless you look at the sewing quality again. Then it shines too.

Canteen and ACU Pouch nicely done, and has a nice elastic top to form around the top of the canteen. SAW pouch/dual M4 Mag pouch. M4 mag pouch. Some other odd little pouch, kind of ovalish, looks great. An Admin looking pouch. A small square First Aid pouch.

The Emergency Egress (Escape) Tool and pouch. Sweet. The tool just begs to be made in metal. I might even try it myself. It is actually plastic, and trying to jam it into the pouch could lead to breakage if it's forced. Again, patience is the key. It's an original part, an begs to be shown off by itself. It's pretty much not visible when it's in the pouch, so you really don't need to risk breakage by putting it into the pouch. [EDIT] I actually tried to get the tool back out of the pouch, and the hooked end has snagged on the stitching. It is not permanently in there, unless I try to get it out a bit more vigorously than I should have to. For now it stays put.

The Flight Medic kit bag. Wow, another super cool piece of kit. Unclip, unfold, and unzip the pockets, and you have a three pocket folding medic kit. But I was robbed, there is no medic gear inside it....... Darnit. I'll just have to secure some aftermarket bits again. I can stuff the scissors in one of the pockets. First scissors in OD Green by the way. It is a shoulder bag type of affair, not a true backpack. Still really cool. All the zips and clips are functioning. I just totally want to load it full of medic gear.

Coyote Brown Mechanix gloves. New paint on a decent pair of gloves. Why no Nomex flight gloves in this set? Like the ones from the early figures with bendy hands and Nomex fabric ones. I want some of those for this set. That was a bit of a surprise really. Just seems out of place to me. Fine for a medic or Crew Chief, but I imagine pilots would still use Nomex to some extent.

The M9. Normally a yawner. yay a pistol. Next...... Wait, this isn't the old BBI clone. This looks more like Dragon's Second Gen version. It is different, but very close to the Dragon. And that is my favorite version. This is a close second, but the moving bits show some molding flash, and the slide can't be pulled all the way back because the hammer interferes. It's a slightly more crude version, but does the job well. Doesn't matter really. It is getting stuffed into the awesome holster. Comes with 2 spare mags, but only room for one on the holster. Stuff the other into one of the many pockets on the uniform.

[Edit] The smaller tactical light in Flat Dark Earth tone. The Insight M3X Tactical Illuminator. What a treat. Well painted. Even has the patent numbers and model numbers molded right into the side.

Spare ankle pegs. An LED clip-on VIP LED flashlight. [EDIT] Forgot some bits. The Mk 18 smoke grenade, same old.

[EDIT] The caribiners. Normally I wouldn't add these onto a review, other than to comment that they came with the set, but this time these are of special note. Normally we see these in molded plastic, in various shapes blah blah blah. Not this time. We get metal ones that has the snap gate open and close. Okay, the snap gate isn't spring loaded like a real one, but there is only so much detail you can get into these things. Unlike the older metal magazines that could take ammo,this is actually fairly useful looking, and I hope they keep these around for more than two or three figures. Comes with one " bare aluminum" and one "anodized black aluminum". They are not actually made of aluminum. To keep the safety ring on the snap gate from rattling open, just add a little piece of Blu-tac or similar putty, or superglue that sucker (if you are never going to remove it)

Unit and morale pouches, the toothy decal for the MFS, and the eyepieces for the ANVIS 9 goggles all came in a nice little ziploc bag.

The M4 - As usual, the M4 shines. Not much new in the rifle. The front RIS is not totally ventilated as per previous models. It gives the rifle a bit more of a stiff feel to it. Not bad really, but I have come to like the more detailed older model. What shines here is the EOTech sight, and the new Surefire light. They are done very well, and that Surefire light is huge and well detailed. Cool.

You also get 7 Magpul P-Mags, a new forward tactical grip, the pressure switch. An AN/PEQ-15 laser. An Aimpoint scope. Backup rear flip-up iron sight.

Nice rounded out set of gear.

Overall the figure is incredible. Well worth the amount it cost to purchase. At the average cost if $115 at most retailers, it seems like a decent price for a figure that is almost completely new parts. It's not the average figure where a quarter to half the figure is just regurgitated bits from set to set. It's definitely better than most, and comparing to earlier figures and their cost, the price is more than worth it for the extra cool stuff and added time and detail that was spent making this figure. And they kept the price at the original cost even after the delays in production. The price could have gone up, but SS didn't raise the price. Cudos there as well.

Sure there are some nitpicking things. There always be with any figure. I would love to add a dozen or more small parts that I wish came with the figure, but a quick run through the spares box should sort most of the details that are missing. Some pens, a map or two, small survival kit and flares, maybe a pocket knife or full blown M9 bayonet (pretty sure that wouldn't be added, but just saying). Some Nomex glove hands, or gloves and hands. Medic gear for the bag. Of course some of the extra parts would put the cost would through the roof, but I can still wish right. Now where is that spares box....

Would I recommend this figure to buy? No absolutely not. If you all buy them there will be less for me. And I want to pick up a few more. Kidding. I would highly recommend this to any modern military figure collector, any flight/pilot enthusiast, even the 1:6th geardos will love this one.

But don't take my word for it. You judge for yourself.

And feel free to correct me, and add pictures to the review. I'll be updating over the next few days as I am able to.
 

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I've been Minimoyzed
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Re: Soldier Story 160th SOAR Night Stalkers Pilot; Review ** WIP stand by

See this link for a comparison of the Hot Toys and Soldier Story HGU-56P helmets.

http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/for...ot-toys-vs-soldier-story-hgu-56-p-helmet.html

Check here for some awesome re-work on the HGU-56P helmet and ANVIS NVG's. This is just killer.

http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/for...6-share-bbicn-pics-adding.html?highlight=LEDs

Here are a few more pics of assembled stuff, and I think the closest version of a Little Bird Pilot. The vest is lightly loaded for the most part as the AH-6 cockpit is tight, and the less clutter the better. Waiting on the pro's advice to see how close I got. Which leads to the left over bits. There are a ton of spares wth this type of set up.

Close-ups of the helmet, with liner on, and Nomex hood. While twisting to get the helmet on the hood moved, and now looks kind of crooked. Messing with the helmet ended up twisting the Nomex hood, and I still couldn't get it straightened after trying 3 times. So It stays like that for now.

Pics of the assembled Breathing Aperatus and pouch.

Vest load out, and shoulder strap detail. I also tucked the straps inside the vest so they weren't rattling around. Pilots most likely don't have retention straps on, unless they are seat harnesses. As nice as the webbing was for being straight, it's still a pain to loop the pouches through, and resist the urge to just glue the stuff on. But it looks amazing when finished.

Also some bits I picked up at One Sixth Xpo to add to the pilot. Some safety gear. Radio. Flares, pocket knife. I also found the complete BBI Apache Helmet with the integrated sight. Finally got one complete. And some IV bottles for the medic bag (might be outdated, but I finally found some, so I'm happy).
 

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Re: Soldier Story 160th SOAR Night Stalkers Pilot; Review ** WIP stand by

Glad you've finally received your figures Wooly! So when do you start on your 1/6 chinook? :D

I put the helmet on the same way as you, it seems easier and less problematic.
I'm glad it separates to be a little more manhandling friendly ;)

I kind of wish the skullcap was thinner, I managed to get a normal/larger hs in it but it was a tense moment. But being thicker it seems to sit at the 'right' height inside to align the shield.

Despite the long wait the only thing I've fiddled with are the AMAZING M4 and Brilliant helmet. Both are my favorite pieces for now, at least until I make time to put the whole figure together.

Lol I had forgotten he came with that cool Eagle tshirt, I guess its under the blouse then.

Totally a sweet figure, many props to Mr McDunn, Monkey Depot, Soldier Story, Eagle and everyone else who contributed to this amazing figure coming to life.
 

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Re: Soldier Story 160th SOAR Night Stalkers Pilot; Review ** Complete for now

The 2 straps attached to the back of the vest wrap around front and attach to the chrome caribeener that get slid through the loop on the front of the vest
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Soldier Story 160th SOAR Night Stalkers Pilot; Review ** Complete for now

Saiko - The chinook will have to wait. At least for now. That would be HUGE. The Mrs would not be impressed.

CorranJ - thanks for the heads up. Is it for repelling? I still have no idea what it is used for.

gunm - the "crew" is 2 Pair of Little Bird Pilots = four figures. 2 for AH-6 gunship. 2 for MH-6M MELB in planning stage. I have a Blackhawk gunner planned way down the line, and if Elfbait's half fuselage gets made as a kit, I could do a flight medic as well, taking up all 6. And using the 3 main versions in the kit. Which would mean I need more to get any other projects done...... I knew I should have ordered more.
 

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Re: Soldier Story 160th SOAR Night Stalkers Pilot; Review ** Complete for now

Can anyone provide a pic reference how to do up the duo shoulders-armbands with the vest?

and just for curiosity...does this guy look much cooler with the Black Jacket with Vest or the Camou Bdu with vest?:thanks
 

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Inspector 12
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Re: Soldier Story 160th SOAR Night Stalkers Pilot; Review ** Complete for now

Great review.

The vest is an aircrew specific CIACS6 by Eagle Industries.
Yep, I was looking for some information on this the other day. There are a few places that sell the SOAR figure which label it as CIRACS, but that is incorrect and lead to my initial challenges in researching it. Apparently the big difference is its single release feature drops the ceramic plates only as opposed to the CIRAS single release system for the whole vest. The CIACS only releases the armor plates so the survival gear, which is attached to the vest itself, remains with the wearer.

The CIACS actually looks more like the MAR-CIRAS than the regular CIRAS.

CIACS - Combat Integrated Carrier System 6

A federal procurement site refers to it as the CIACS-6-CIRAS vest
 
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Re: Soldier Story 160th SOAR Night Stalkers Pilot; Review ** Complete for now

Great review, thanks! I had mine a couple of weeks ago, but i haven't had the time to gear him up yet; these figures take me up to four hours to be put together!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: Soldier Story 160th SOAR Night Stalkers Pilot; Review ** Complete for now

Great review.

The vest is an aircrew specific CIACS6 by Eagle Industries.
I will fix the info thanks :thumb

How to install the shoulder armour: figurebase.com SS 160th SOAR
I've seen this, and it helps. Ben is one of the designers from Soldier Story. At first I was wondering what those weird looking banana shaped pads were. Shoulder pads. Helps in the assebly of the detoid armour too. I had to copy the pics in case they went away from the web.

Yep, I was looking for some information on this the other day. There are a few places that sell the SOAR figure which label it as CIRACS, but that is incorrect and lead to my initial challenges in researching it. Apparently the big difference is its single release feature drops the ceramic plates only as opposed to the CIRAS single release system for the whole vest. The CIACS only releases the armor plates so the survival gear, which is attached to the vest itself, remains with the wearer.

The CIACS actually looks more like the MAR-CIRAS than the regular CIRAS.

CIACS - Combat Integrated Carrier System 6

A federal procurement site refers to it as the CIACS-6-CIRAS vest
Awesome.

Great review, thanks! I had mine a couple of weeks ago, but i haven't had the time to gear him up yet; these figures take me up to four hours to be put together!
I hear you. Between working, and stuff aroud the house, this past weekend is the only time I have really had to sit down and fiddle with the figure. Going to need some more time too.

Everyone else, you are welcome. I have been looking forward to this figure, and it didn't disappoint. It's not perfect, but I haven't seen a perfect figure yet. But it is as close to it as a figure can get in my eyes.
 
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