Monday, August 10, 2015

Elite Force Gunboat - G.I. Joe repurpose

Presenting the Elite Force Naval Special Warfare Gunboat re-purposed by the G.I. Joe jungle team.

What's particularly nice about this river boat is that it is based upon a real life vehicle: The Navy SEAL Special Operations Craft - Riverine or SOC-R.

The SOC-Rs were developed for close-in fighting on rivers. It's a given that ambushes in tight river situations may happen at any time and at any place, so either you stock up on armor and hide, or defend yourself with an overwhelming amount of firepower - which is what the SOC-R is able to do as all it's weapons combined form a 360 degree kill zone.

The SOC-Rs are used to insert or recover squads and were designed to be extremely versatile. They are powered by a Hamilton HJ92 water pump-jet system - so no there are no props that may be caught in vines or other river debris - that are powered by two 440hp Yanmar 6L Y2M-STE diesel engines. The SOC-R has no more than a 2ft draft when fully loaded and given its v-shaped hull design, it is capable of literally "skating" over water. It is also light enough that it can be lifted easily by a Chinook.

The Elite Force Special Warfare Gunboat's blister card doesn't say anything about the product. It comes with the following:
  • The gunboat,
  • A smaller inflatable raft with a prop,
  • Two elite force troopers,
  • A Drone,
  • One M2GB .50 caliber machine gun
  • Four M240B 7.62 light machine guns
  • Two GAU-17 miniguns.
  • A rope with a hook.

Inch-per-inch, the SOC-R is supposedly THE most armed vehicle in the United States Armed Forces.

The front of the box also makes the unique suggestion of mounting a .50 caliber machine gun onto a tiny inflatable raft. We would love to see that happen.

Historically a SOC-R can replace any of the mounts with two 40 mm Mk 19 grenade launchers

The drone is an unexpected modification and can be spring launched by pulling back on the drone. However there is no catch. No trigger mechanism. If you don't like the add-on, the launcher still makes a great battering ram.

WHAT'S TO LIKE ABOUT THE ELITE FORCE GUNBOAT? 

FIRST: It's based upon a real, used military vehicle. Most G.I. Joe vehicles ask collectors for a little suspension of disbelief. This does not. It actually exists and it has a practical use.

We've long been looking for a nice vehicle to carry the G.I. Joe jungle team led by Duke and somehow involving a very conspicuous bright red and yellow Blowtorch (We're really looking forward to the 50th anniversary version). Somehow this Elite Force Gunboat seems to make more sense.

We're not sure if it actually floats as of this writing as we do not have a container big enough to float it in - it's 15" long - but we have a hunch it does because it has a solid cast hull without any breaks and is quite hefty so it shouldn't tip over. We look forward to bringing this to a pool.

Adding the G.I. Joes to the ship feels right.



SECOND: The Elite Force Gunboat - G.I. Joe re-purposed - comes armed to the teeth. Check out the following: A pair of forward mounted GAU-17 miniguns covering 180 degrees from fore to aft of the craft. They are backed by four M240B 7.62 light machine guns, two mounted on each side covering 156 degrees on each side. Lastly there's a heavy M2GB .50 caliber machine gun covering 152 degrees of the Gunboat's aft.


THIRD: The Elite Force Gunboat - G.I. Joe re-purposed - comes with a tiny one-man craft that the gunboat can tug along if you mount one of the weapons on it to serve as an anchor for the rope hook at the back of the gunboat.



If you deploy the ship you can remove the M240B 7.62 light machine gun for a Joe to use.

FOURTH: The detailing. The deck and engine covers have a crisscrossed pattern to help keep booted feet planted and stable. Check out the drone - which is lacking a control unit. We suppose someone has to bring a portable control unit. The pilot's control system is pretty detailed. with the right pens you can make that even more detailed. And we love the IR gear up top.


FIFTH: The detailing. The Elite Force Gunboat comes with two generic pilots. Unfortunately their gear cannot be removed - save for those really nice helmets (The night vision goggles do not come down).


WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THE ELITE FORCE GUNBOAT? 

FIRST: It's too small. At 15 inches long, it's already one of the larger vehicles here in the Dungeon, but the size was still compromised by Elite Force. A SOC-R can fit four crew (Pilot, plus three gunners) plus a squad of eight NAVY-SEALS. That's twelve people. The Elite Force Gunship is already crowded with the two Elite Force action figures and four G.I. Joe figures. We're not even sure where we can stow gear.

SECOND: Speaking of gear, where's the ammunition for all the guns? There is none. We were thinking of adding ammunition boxes and ammo-chains, but there isn't room for any.


Still it's a great vehicle to have. We love it! The Elite Force Naval Special Warfare Gunboat re-purposed by the G.I. Joe jungle team was purchased at retail from Toy Kingdom here in the Philippines for PhP 1,499.75 (Roughly US$ 33.33). As of this writing, it is not available on Amazon.


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