Sunday, July 1, 2012

XM-29 OICW - 1/6th Scale Review

So what's the point of reviewing a canceled weapons system? I guess because it is still a cool looking weapon?
I picked up this item a couple years ago at Joelanta, I think maybe 2011. I've always loved the look of these new weapons that have been in development for US military forces. I had previously purchased one of these, but I was fortunate enough to just leave this one on the card. I imagine that it was during a time when I have been more focused on the small GI Joe line and less focused on the big guys.
The XM29, also known as the OICW, is a pretty cool looking weapon. I must make the disclaimer that I don't know much of anything about weapons - mainly just what looks cool and the XM-29 looks cool.
Hasbro actually created a 12" soldier around this weapon. In the early 2000's, they created the "Experimental Weapons Specialist," or something like that. That was probably my first exposure to the XM-29. 
Currently, I have two of Hasbro's versions and two from Dragon Models. I was also able to find another example of prototype weapons built in 1/6th scale - the XM-8. The XM-8 is a really cool looking weapon, much more compact than the XM-29.
Unfortunately, the XM-29, in this configuration, has been cancelled. But the toy is still pretty dang cool. So let's take a look at it. Lt. Falcon will be helping with the demonstration.
Lt. Falcon swears that this is the way that the weapon was to be actually delivered to US forces - on a giant blister card. I kinda' doubt it.
The packaging is very crisp and clean, with the card having sharp graphics. There are just a few parts to the OICW, so the blister is uncluttered. I will go into the elements of the weapon once Falcon opens it up. 
There's a nice feature of the package that is collector friendly. The blister is actually taped to the card, rather than being glued. A simple cut and the blister is free of the card. The weapon can then be stored back in the blister and slid back onto the card.
Here is some official information regarding some of the history of the OICW.
"The XM29 OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) was a series of prototypes of a new type of assault rifle that fired 20 mm HE airbursting projectiles. The prototypes were developed as part of the Objective Individual Combat Weapon program in the 1990s. The term SABR (Selectable Assault Battle Rifle) was also used at certain points, but is less common."
The top scope is a combination 6x scope, video camera, laser rangefinder, and fire-control computer. The middle section is a 20mm launcher that launches High Explosive rounds. The lower section is an assault rifle using 5.56mm kinetic rounds. The single trigger can control both functions of the weapon. I haven't found explicit details, but I believe that the buttons on the outer edge of the trigger guard act as selectors for the different functions of the XM-29.
This particular 1/6th version comes with two clips for the HE rounds, three clips for the 5.56mm ammo, and two loose HE rounds.
There is an amazing amount of detail in this replica. Each of the 5.56mm clips have detailed bullets sculpted and painted at the end of each clip.

This great attention to detail began, in my little GI Joe collecting world, with 21st Century Toys. In their glory days, 21st was revolutionary in their weapons and uniform sets. Amazing, amazing stuff - from WW2 to modern era. Dragon and BBI were two of many companies that expanded into the 1/6th realm with amazingly detailed equipment. Sideshow and Hot Toys are two additional companies of note, especially Sideshow, since they are creating some incredibly detailed and incredibly expensive GI Joe 1/6th figures.

The 20mm projectile clips are even more detailed than the 5.56mm clips with one notable difference. The top most shell can be removed and the one below it is painted. Really quality attention to detail.
Once the weapon is fully assembled, you really get an example of a quality product. The flat black paint on all the components adds to the look of the weapon - nothing shiny or glossy.
The drawback to actually using this weapon with a 1/6th figure such as Falcon, who is using the Hasbro super-articulated body, is the fact that this weapon uses a "bullpup" configuration for the 20mm clip.
The clip lies behind the trigger of the user. This gives an added element for the figure to try to grab around. I think that Sideshow and perhaps Hot Toys may have addressed this issue with body construction. I don't know, I use the Hasbro S-A body for nearly all of my 1/6th custom figures.
In a relaxed position, the weapon looks just fine in Falcon's hand.
But he can't stay that way, he has Cobra soldiers to fight!

When Falcon uses a two-handed grip, it is difficult for him to get his right arm around the end of the weapon and allow his left arm to reach up and support the weapon. The limitations of the shoulder joint doesn't allow him to extended even more forward.
Falcon's two-handed grip works well enough. This is really not a toy, it's more of a display piece and Falcon can be displayed well enough holding the weapon. Perfectly? No, but I'm okay with that.
Overall, I think that this XM-29 OICW made by Dragon way back in 2002 is an excellent piece. If you want to add it to your collection, I would highly recommend checking out a local toy show, specifically one that includes GI Joe dealers. You may still be able to find one and pick it up for a decent price.
Lt Falcon approves this weapon!