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Review 1st Special Service Force " Freddys Freighters" from Recon Productions

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. Nap Forum Moderator

    Hi to you All ,

    Its my pleasure to share with you the 2nd release from Recon Productions .

    The 1st from them I reviewed here ( Bar Gunner at Chosin)


    As with everything life etc gets in the way of enjoyment so there has been a little time between releases , but Sverre the sculptor/owner is a busy man with family/work etc.

    Recon Productions objective remains the same in that items released will be mainly ww2 Allied, Korean war and Vietnam war busts, half figures and full figures in 1/9, and 1/16 ...

    Sverre is currently working on other releases ..hopefully this year!!!

    The subject of this review is :

    1st Special Service Forces Italy 1944

    Lets have a bit of background on these elite troops :

    Originally formed by Robert T Frederick , whose original job was paper pushing ideas to help the war effort , one of these ideas was Operation Plough , the unit was originally planned to consist of US/Canadian and Norwegian troops as they were going to Cold weather areas , but there was little reponse from Norway so it became US/Canadian in a 50% split.

    The weekly training schedule comprised up at 04:30 from Monday to Saturday followed by breakfast at 06:30. The obstacle course was run by 08:00 four times a week followed by the day's training, which differed depending on the month. Soldiers were expected to march double time at 140 paces per minute between training exercises in order to adhere to the strict schedule. Training lectures were given by veterans of overseas wars in the evenings from Monday to Friday. Soldiers were given Saturday evenings and Sundays off.....

    Training was hard to say the least!!!

    The force was known as the Black Devils and as the Devil's Brigade. The members of the brigade preferred the latter.
    Frederick (now a general) had cards printed up with the unit's insignia on them and the words Das dicke Ende kommt noch! or "The worst is yet to come" printed in red ink down the right side which the Force would leave on the bodies of dead Germans as a form of psychological warfare. 2.jpg This was so effective that Sergeant Victor Kaisner reported hearing a German soldier whisper "Schwarzer Teufel" ("Black Devil") as the German's throat was being sliced on the beachhead.
    The unit was unofficially first known as the "Braves". Their spearhead shoulder insignia was chosen with this name in mind. The formation patch was a red spearhead with the words USA written horizontally and CANADA written vertically. 3.jpg

    The branch of service insignia was the crossed arrows formerly worn by the US Army Indian Scouts The unit wore red, white, and blue piping on their garrison cap and on the breast an oval (or trimming) behind their para wings. Members of the unit also wore a red, white, and blue fourragere lanyard or shoulder cord made out of shroud lines from parachutes.
    During the campaign IN iTALY the 1st SSF suffered 77% casualties: 511 total, 91 dead, 9 missing, 313 wounded with 116 exhaustion cases.
    4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 18.jpg 20.jpg

    19.jpg 23.jpg 21.jpg

    11.jpg 12.jpg 13.jpg 14.jpg
    8.jpg 9.jpg a0.jpg
    The force fought at Anzio and in France distinguishing themselves at all times , being disbanded in December 1944 , with honours being reaped on them including the Croix de Guerre with silver gilt star and and the Distinguished Unit Citation.

    More recently the US Congress awarded member the US Congressional Gold Medal a true mark of respect and honouring all.

    For further reading and reference these are good to have a look at:
    1aa.jpg 1a.jpg 1aaa.jpg
    Continued in next post:

    rado2828 and The Norwegian like this.
  2. Nap Forum Moderator

    Open the box I hear you say!!

    What are we looking at:

    Title:First Special Service Force "Freddy Freighters"

    Scale; 1/9th

    Reference: RP09-02

    No of parts :10 plus wire and information insert

    Material: Resin

    Sculptor: Sverre Melleby

    Box Art; Sverre Melleby

    Casting by : YS Castings

    As with the previous release presentation is very professional the secure cardboard box is itself wrapped in a paper "envelope" this is in full colour with the Box Art being clear and well reproduced.
    Recons SSF 001.jpg
    On opening the box we also find inserts one with a history and colour notes Recons SSF 002.jpg

    With parts being secured in plastic bags which are themselves surrounded by shredded paper, its good additional protection and recycling from Recon.

    Parts consist of the main torso , the head in a hood ,a piece of fur surround, the weapon, the stock of the weapon, 3 straps for the weapon, the packboard , a base in the shape of a round . and a small length of wire for the string for the hood.

    Recons SSF 003.jpg Recons SSF 004.jpg

    Whats needed in the way of Prep before the brushes come out , well not much really so good casting from YS , the torso has a couple of plugs to take off from the underside , apart from that this part is squeaky clean and smooth, the head finds a small remnant to take off from the top of the hood, packboard has small areas to sand on the undersides., the weapon parts need cutting away from the former and the fine flashing removed , as is with the straps....and that is it as I said very little needed...wash the resin , prime and away you go !!

    The Torso is first to look at , he is wearing the issue parka and the definition of the folds are spot on , as in keeping with the material , details on the parka such as buttons are cleanly sculpted , with the straps having nice details on the surface .

    The pockets are well worked in particular the undercuts where they meet the main body...see picture .

    The weapon strap is sculpted around the neck , the remaining 3 pieces fit well ( refer to the box art)

    At the back we have 2 lugs for positioning the packboard and underneath a cutout ready to take the base

    I should like to draw your attention to the neck area , this has been worked to receive the head with no problem , the fit is excellent with no filling needed ...very well thought out by Sevrre....thumbs up from me .
    Recons SSF 007.jpg Recons SSF 008.jpg Recons SSF 006.jpg Recons SSF 010.jpg

    On now to the head , this is a lovely bit of sculpting his face is turned to the left into the warmth and protection of the hood , fit into the neck area is nothing short of brilliant really tight and clean. , the hood itself shows the same high level of work on the folds underneath we have the M1 helmet under which we see a wool hat possibly he has "liberated" this ..its needed against the biting winds of the mountains.

    Of note is the way you can see the outline of the helmet edge under the hood , very cleverly done.

    The face is full of character he is almost scowling at you , good details in all areas , large nose , mouth slighly turned down

    The hood has only one half of the fur edge sculpted on the remaining piece fits well and has been left off not only to help the casting but IMO it helps the painter allowing easier access to the facial area....another well thought out idea from Recon.

    The texture of the fur surround is really very good indeed with it being sculpted as though blown by the bitter winds around him.

    Recons SSF 015.jpg Recons SSF 012.jpg Recons SSF 014.jpg Recons SSF 013.jpg Recons SSF 017.jpg Recons SSF 016.jpg Recons SSF 020.jpg

    Continued in next post:

    rado2828 and The Norwegian like this.
  3. Nap Forum Moderator

    On now to the final parts :

    The Weapon , cast in 2 parts the M1A carbine could almost fire its that good IMO , the folding metal stock is separate and very easy to fit, great details on the magazine , infact in all areas of the weapon , really impressed with the stock as well delicated so be careful and really looks the job when in place , on the box art it has been folded into position but I can see no reason why our forcman had it open in place...up to you !!.

    Recons SSF 026.jpg Recons SSF 027.jpg Recons SSF 028.jpg

    The 3 straps are again nicely done fitting will be fiddly if like me you have bannana's for fingers but in place they look good ( see the box art for the positioning as I said)

    Now to the Packboard , this is only the top half with a grenade box tied on to it , the shape is correct as expected with nice sharp edges to the wooden frame . we also see the ropes straining to hold in the heavy load , these troops carried everything they needed hence their name of Freddy freighters ...hard earned for sure.
    The lower edge finishes in line with the edge of the torso and is cleanly finished when in place , if you wish it would not be a hard job and a good modelling project to build the full packboard.

    Recons SSF 024.jpg Recons SSF 023.jpg Recons SSF 021.jpg Recons SSF 025.jpg Recons SSF 022.jpg

    I have already mentioned the fur edging that fits onto the hood , but will again say its sculpted with skill , reacting in position to the weather around.

    The base provided in the review kit was a resin version of a round , this is well details and cast from an original, its a shame that the detail lettering on the underside is lost when fitted.
    Recons SSF 032.jpg
    In certain purchase you will also get an original brass round casing , you also get a screw to fit the casing to your chosen wooden display base ...and a set of instructions on how to fit!!!!

    Recon Bases.JPG

    Heres a picture from the website of the parts all together with the hood fur in place 0aa.jpg

    and one of different views of the painted bust ...by Sverre


    Final Thoughts

    This is a cleaver subject that has been well sculpted, produced and presented to us , high quality is seen in every piece particularly in the way it is made up . I am fully supportive of the smaller manufacturers , they are often the better end of the market as seen in this release and I hope we will see more from Recon very soon .

    For those that are going to Euro Sverre will be there so say hello to him , have a look at this , you won't regret it...I am looking forward to renewing my friendship with him for certain

    For more details why not go to the website for full details of this and the Bar Gunner (In the UK , Recon products are stocked by SK Miniatures)


    0a Recon Logo.jpg
    or PM him via this forum

    Thanks to Recon for the review item and for you all for looking in

    Happy modelling

    rado2828, swralph, Recon and 2 others like this.
  4. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    Not my period Kev but a very well thought out bust and as ever, a superb review, with all the info you could want apart from his eye colour.

    Thanks for your time to upload this.

    napoleonpeart likes this.
  5. Tutilo17 Active Member

    Great review. Thanks.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  6. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Great work getting this together Kevin.
    Thank you
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  7. swralph A Fixture

    Another high quality review Nap.(y)
    Keep em coming.
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  8. The Norwegian Active Member

    Fantastic work. This review makes me want tou build it!

    napoleonpeart likes this.
  9. Nap Forum Moderator

    Hi Guys,

    Cheers for all the comments ..Sverre will be at Euro so why not say hello to him


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