Soldier Story SS-17 MACV SOG Vietnam
In many ways Vietnam themed figures jump started the resurgence of 1/6 back in 1997 when 21st Century Toys launched their carded Nam sets. Since then the 1/6 hobby has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of number of hobbyists and in terms of the quality and detail of the figures. Vietnam era however, has been largely left for dead in the past few years. Other than the outstanding sets and gear from Toy Soldier, there has been virtually no Nam gear. We at MD (and other dealers I am sure) have told any maker that would listen, that Nam was a viable segment and that if done right, would sell well.
Enter Soldier Story: Soldier Story is a young company that seems to have come out of nowhere to quickly grab collectors' attention with their high quality, ultra detailed figures. They have not been afraid to try new things and have released Chinese WWII figures, Korean War, and other non mainstream releases along with their highly successful modern Spec Ops type figures. It was only a matter of time before this up and coming 1/6 force jumped into US Nam figures. The US Soldier Story distributor (Cal Tek USA) forwarded us a picture of the prototype of this figure months ago and I will be the first to admit, I was kind of hoping for a different subject. Toy Soldier had already done an outstanding job doing the "secret squirrel" high speed Nam spec ops guys. Nonetheless, Soldier Story's take on the subject would be a welcome addition to the market. When the figure arrived today and we had a chance to take a look at one, we were amazed by the details that Soldier Story managed to pack in this set.
When we were opening the set to take pictures a bag of small metal parts fell out. without looking
too close, I thought they were machine gun links or something. Upon closer inspection, I
found out that these were actually real metal and functional ALICE clips! That's right.
These ALICE clips work just like the real 1:1 and are amazing!
Rear of web belt with all the ALICE goodness.
The M1956 web gear is outstanding. The attention to detail on the hardware parts is amazing.
The set comes with 2 of the shorter M16A1 pouches and 2 of the longer universal pouches.
Check out the detail on the 1st pattern M1956 suspenders. Note the hooks and keepers.
While the rest of the gear is M1956 webbing, the buttpack is the M1961 variation.
Again, note the buckle detail.
The M1956 and M1961 buttpacks are almost identical, but the M1961 included a liner
that was waterproof as shown below.
See this rifle? It is real metal and wood! Soldier Story has done the famous (or infamous)
Type 56 (Chinese AK-47) in stunning detail.
Bayonet folds. Check out that mag. More on that in a minute.
Action is working and spring loaded. Safety selector functions.
Working mag catch you may ask? That's right. Even the mag release lever works.
I still remember the first time I saw a 1/6 rifle with a removable magazine (that WAS a
big deal back in the day), and then later when rifles started having working actions, we
used to joke someday that they will get functional magazines that you can put the ammo
rounds in. Well Soldier Story has done it. A stamped metal mag that you can feed little
metal round in! The set comes with 5 cartridges and 5 spent shells.
The tiger striped fatigues and boonie are a nice pattern and have the extra cigarette pocket
on the arm.
Tiger stripe variations make my head hurt. I am sure one of you Nam experts out there
can identify this pattern variation.
Note the size difference between the M16A1 pouch and the longer universal pouch.
CHICOM chest rig was favored by spec ops forces.
One of the nit picks from the early photo we were given was the black boots. US issued
black leather boots early in the war, but they were replaced by jungle boots as the leater
was not suited to the tropical enviroment. I mentioned to the Cal Tek guys that Soldier
Story goofed. I should have known better. The black boots are ARVN/CIDG tropical
combat boots which featured a black canvas upper. Soldier Story captures the detail
including the ankle reinforcements (black circle things).
This figure marks the second release of the S2 body, so I figure we should get a closer
look at this new figure type. I have said before that there is no "prefect" body and the body
should be chosen based on the needs of the project. As the hobby continues to evlove
there are many body choices and it is nice to have a new one.
One of the biggest differences is how the neck is handled. The neck is actully sculpted
to the torso as to avoid unsigtly gaps and seams. The neck still allows for a nice range
of motion, inlcuding the ability to bend back to lay prone (more on that in a second).
The two handed pistol grip can be done with ease. This is a staple combat pose that many
figures have problems with due to the way the shoulders are articulated.
Can get high and tight on the carbine.
At the ready.
All proned out. Another pose that is difficult for many figures.
Overall and outstanding release and hopefully a sign of things to come from Soldier Story.
The Vietnam war has such a colorful and wide assortment of subjects just begging to
be recreated in 1/6 and with makers such as Soldier Story on the march, it is a great
time to break out those Nam books and start researching. Also, be sure to check out the
great site of http://www.vietnamgear.com/ for TONS of great info on Nam stuff.
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