Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dragon Models USMC 26th MEU Hugh Upgraded Kitbash

 One of my favourite action figure release from Dragon Models gets a nice upgrade.

It was early 2002 and with the "war on terror" waged by the American forces against the Taliban in Afghanistan at the time, it was inevitable that toy and collectible companies would take advantage of the opportunity from current events by releasing action figure series based on that particular conflict.

"The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) is one of seven Marine Expeditionary Units currently in existence in the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Expeditionary Unit is a Marine Air Ground Task Force with a strength of about 2,200 personnel. The MEU consists of a command element, a reinforced infantry battalion, a composite helicopter squadron and a MEU service support group. The 24th MEU is currently based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The mission of the MEU is to provide geographic combatant commanders with a forward-deployed, rapid-response force capable of conducting conventional amphibious and selected maritime special operations at night or under adverse weather conditions from the sea, by surface and/or by air while under communications and electronics restrictions."

Taken From: Wikipedia


Dragon Models USMC 26th MEU "Hugh" was the first action figure in my collection that went beyond the average RM200 (or roughly USD54.39) a box pricetag, costing me almost RM300 (USD81.60). When I first took a peek in it by opening the velcro-detachable front of the box which previews the contents inside, I was overjoyed. This action figure was the first for many things in my collection:
  1. The first one to have an Interceptor body armor.
  2. The first one to have a ruckpack in his accessory list.
  3. The first one to have an anti-vehicle weapon (a Lancer AT4) in his armament list.
  4. The first one to wear a desert camo BDU, and...
  5. ...the first one which sets the timeline of his equipment in the 21st century.
Considering that my military knowledge was quite limited back then, assembling his gears and equipment took me almost 8 hours of tinkering. The lack of tweezers makes sliding down straps and installing some the pouches a bit of a challenge. Nonetheless, despite lacking proper tools, I still managed to complete it and man, I was really happy having this awesome-looking figure standing right in front of my eyes as if he's ready for his mission, anytime, anywhere.

Due to difficulty of finding loose parts/spare accessories in my place as well as my lack of knowledge in making online purchases back then, it took me until 4 years later to realize this kitbash, now that I have access to some great online hobby store as well as having the knowledge of payment methods outside of my state.

Loose parts as well as spare accessories used in the kitbash are:
  • Woodland Chestrig (Toy Soldier)
  • Stoner M4 SOPMOD (Hot Toys, IINM)
  • Weathered Tan Boots (BBI)
  • Drop-down Holster OD with Beretta M9 (DML)
  • M18 Smoke Grenade & AN-MI4 Incendiary (Toy Soldier)
  • T800 Goggles (DML)
  • AN/PRC 126 Radio (Hot Toys)
  • Standard Webbing Belt w/ Complete Accessories (DML)

For more pics, please visit this thread I opened in the OSW Forum.