Michael Skram thank you for taking the time to do this amazing review of the Marc A. Lee sixth scale tribute figure. Wonderful work. 🇺🇲️
Here is my latest sixthscale ( 1/6 scale ) action figure review. This was one of the most important ones to date – if not THE most important one. I am posting larger than normal pics (1500 x 2000 pixels ), to show the detail on this amazing tribute figure based on Navy SEAL Team 3 Charlie Platoon member Marc Lee ( sadly, the first SEAL KIA in Iraq ).
Thank you for reading , God bless, and best regards, Michael A. Skram II
Marc Lee Tribute Seal Team 3 Charlie Platoon Deluxe Tribute Figure
With the release of the new Marc Lee Tribute figure, we see the third tribute figure to be released by Easy & Simple ( E&S ) and Mission Specific Equipment ( MSE ). And with this figure we see all of the usual care and diligence that go into E&S/MSE tributes. It really does involve the hard work and input of all of the concerned parties – from Marc’s mom Debbie, to his friends, and loved ones. A collaborative effort built on love and devotion to honor one of our nation’s greats…
Marc Lee’s mom Debbie Lee, has a great page called America’s Mighty Warriors. It is a must view – here is the link:
Here is a little background on Marc ( as culled from wikipedia ):
Marc Alan Lee ( March 20, 1978 – August 2, 2006 ), was a United States Navy SEAL. He was the first SEAL to lose his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom when he was killed in a fierce firefight while on patrol against insurgents in Ramadi. Lee was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart. On March 20, 2013, the Marc A. Lee Training Center building was dedicated at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.
Marc was born in Portland, Oregon and moved to Colorado when he was a year old with his mother Debbie and brother and sister. When he was 7, he and his family moved back to Hood River, Oregon. Lee was home-schooled until his junior year and graduated from Baptist Christian School in 1996. In 1997, he moved to Colorado once again to pursue his dream of a career in professional soccer. He was scheduled for tryouts with the Colorado Rapids. In an indoor soccer match the night before tryouts, he blew out his knee requiring surgery on his ACL and meniscus. He attended The Master’s College in California with a major in Bible & Theology and played on their soccer team. In his 2nd year, he changed his major to Law. In May 2001, Lee went into the Navy with a contract to tryout for the SEALs.
Lee was the first Navy SEAL killed in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A fellow SEAL Team 3 member, Ryan “Biggles” Job, was critically injured by a sniper and Lee single-handedly provided cover fire while other team members prepared Job for medical evacuation. The team re-engaged the enemy force after the evacuation of Job. Lee was mortally wounded when he exposed himself a third time to draw fire from enemy forces away from his teammates. For his action on the battlefield, Lee was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart. His Silver Star citation reads:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Aviation Ordnanceman Second Class Marc Alan Lee, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as Assaulter and Automatic Weapons Gunner in Sea, Air, Land Team THREE (SEAL-3), Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 2 August 2006. Petty Officer Lee conducted clearance operations in South-Central Ramadi as a member of a Naval Special Warfare Combat Advisory element for the Iraqi Army. During the operation, one element member was wounded by enemy fire. The element completed the casualty evacuation, regrouped and returned onto the battlefield to continue the fight. Petty Officer Lee and his SEAL element maneuvered to assault an identified enemy position. He, his teammates, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Abrams tanks engaged enemy positions with suppressive fire. During the assault, his team came under heavy enemy fire from an adjacent building to the north. To protect the lives of his teammates, he fearlessly exposed himself to direct enemy fire by engaging the enemy with his machine gun and was mortally wounded in the engagement. His brave actions in the line of fire saved the lives of many of his teammates. Petty Officer Lee’s courageous leadership, operational skill, and selfless dedication to duty, reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Action Date: August 2, 2006.
Base body and head-sculpt:
ES-Buddy 1.0 Body
Real like Head Sculpt Marc Lee (Officially Authorized)
As one can imagine, accuracy is an absolute must when it comes to figures based on real people – perhaps made all the more important when the figure is to be based on a truly heroic individual who served his country with honor and distinction, and paid the ultimate price. I was partially involved with the Mark A. Forester Tribute figure, and was updated on the process involving the crafting of the head-sculpt. In that case I learned just how important the family is when it comes to not only generously providing pictures of their loved one, but in giving much needed feedback along the way as the sculpt is perfected. The same applied here as well.
In the case of the Marc Lee head-sculpt, I was especially impressed with the expression that was chosen – one that shows a hint of a smile ( especially around the eyes ), and that seems appropriate as Marc was reported to be a caring soul and especially good natured. This is an excerpt from the America’s Mighty Warriors page ( under the “About Marc” header ):
“Marc will always be remembered for his humor, playful antics, determination, perseverance, courage, selfless attitude, and his faith. His head stone reads “Loved deeply, deeply loved.”
I believe that sums up more adroitly the idea that I was trying to express. I also looked at numerous pictures of Marc on the web, and was hard pressed to find one where he wasn’t wearing a warm smile on his face. So I was impressed with how well the E&S/MSE sculptor did with this sculpt.
Additionally, the tone of Marc’s skin was very well rendered ( he having a natural and deep tan ). The hair was also expertly rendered – an area where some great sculpts can go wrong – which is not the case here. Another area where we see the expert level of detail is on the eyes – they are very well painted – crisp and clean delineations between the sclera and iris – along with the lids and eyelashes. All of these details add up to a very faithful sculpt.
The ES-Buddy 1.0 Body has undergone some very effective and transformative upgrades since it was first released. That is important as we need a strong base body to hold poses on shelves without the dreaded “shelf dive“ happening.
There are some areas where the ES-Buddy 1.0 Body stands apart from other base bodies – one area is the articulation of the neck – there are two axis on which the sculpt can pivot and move ( three if you are dealing with a sculpt that has a separate neck and head element – what we saw with both the AMG Juggernaut Sully figure, well as the Private Military Contractor Urban Grenadier figure ). This added articulation is a plus and gives the ES-Buddy 1.0 Body a whole plethora of posing possibilities.
One thing that is almost never mentioned with sixthscale base bodies is whether or not they are easy to head/hand/boot/foot swap. I being a collector of sixthscale figures for the past 20-years, as well as a sixthscale figure designer, am always looking for ways to make base bodies more user friendly. And one big way is with the aforementioned parts being easily popped on and off.
This requires a ball and socket joint – which in turn requires just the right amount of friction between the surfaces of the ball and socket to allow for easy release, while still providing enough grip or stiction so that the ball and socket can remain fixed so as to enable the figure to stand without the support of a stand or prop up. That can be an easier said than done sort of thing, and yet the ES-Buddy 1.0 Body is well on its way to being my favorite sixthscale base body because of the amount of gription not only in its ball and socket joints, but also in its flexion joints. There are some areas where E&S can improve the amount of gription and make the Buddy a bit more burly – but so far I have been impressed with the way that E&S responds to feedback and critiques of their products.
On a personal note, I am of the school of thought that proposes that it is always best to have a stand – even when the base body you are supplied with can stand on its own. Prolonged posing on a shelf without the misery of an unexpected and unwanted shelf dive is a lot to ask of any base body. So it is best to be on the safe side and get yourself a figure stand to protect your investment.
E&S do not currently make or include stands with their boxed figure sets. I am hoping that one day they will. In the meantime, there are plenty of online sixthscale action figure dealers that sell loose parts including figure stands. And a sixthscale stand will typically sell for very little money ( on average, a decent Hot Toys or Sideshow stand can be had for around $ 5.00 ). So protect that figure from shelf dives – head to your favorite online dealer ( like Black Ops Toys ), and search for the figure stand that best suits your fancy. You can also look at your local craft store to see if they have them – I saw some at our local Michael’s a few years back, but have not looked for them there since. Being a big fan of both Hot Toys, and Sideshow Toys stands, I tend to pick them up in bulk for future figure purchases.
NSW Custom DCU Jacket & DCU Pants
Coyote Brown Tee Shirt
Tan Riggers Belt
Merrell Sawtooth Boots
Mechanix Original Gloved Hands
Oakley ballistic Sunglasses
The NSW Custom DCU Jacket & DCU Pants, are a sight to behold – with immaculate detailing and just the right weight of fabric to realistically drape on the figure. You might not think that the weight of the fabric would matter that much, but in truth it does – as much as all other detailing in the construction of a good sixthscale figure. If the fabric is too thick, it will not drape, and will make the figure look like he is wearing a uniform made of construction paper. If the fabric is too light, the uniform will not stand up the wear, and will tear or pop seams when you pose the figure. E&S has found a very suitable scale specific fabric to use with both their clothing elements as well as their softline elements ( think vest and pouches ).
As for the stitching and finishing both are done with exacting precision that make one wonder if they have sixthscale sewing machines do their tailoring. We also see scale specific velcro and button/snap details – who knew that such a thing were possible… All of these rudiments add up to a uniform that looks like it has been rendered to include every conceivable bit of detailing.
There are some molded pieces that stand out as well; the Merrell Sawtooth Boots, Mechanix Original Gloved Hands, and Oakley ballistic Sunglasses. Each is sculpted with a core attention to detail that I have come to expect from E&S and MSE.
I have an analogy that I like to use to try to explain the incredible level of detail that is to be found on today’s sixthscale figures. I sum it up this way:
If the old “fuzzhead” G.I. Joes that we Generation X folks grew up with were analogous to a rotary dial phone, then the nowadays sixthscale figures would be analogous to the latest iteration of IPhone. While the comparison deals with an analog as opposed to digital artifact, in nonetheless demonstrates the distance and scope of intricacy and detail evidenced between the figures of old, and the new high end figures. Even the current sixthscale figures that you can find at your local brick and mortar toy store, or Target, can still be used as the rotary dial metric in this analogy.
And all of those little details that we see from the head-sculpt, to the uniform, to the other elements that I will cover upcoming, add up to a whole that is most likely inconceivable by those who have not seen a sixthscale figure either in the past ten years, or have not seen one outside of the toy aisle at the local Walmart. These figures are sort of an undiscovered art form.
It is my sincere hope that with figures like the Marc Lee Tribute Seal Team 3 Charlie Platoon Deluxe Tribute Figure, the current sixthscale renaissance will grow to the level of exposure and appreciation that it deserves.
In addition to the 1/6 scale patches that come with the set, we also receive a 1/1 scale patch ( measuring about 3.5″ x 3.5″ ). It is very nice – embroidered image and text on an almost wool like backing. It has hook side velcro on the back so you can apply it to your patch fields ( on jackets, pullovers, back packs, etc. ). There is also a removable piece of loop side velcro that is cut to the exact dimensions and shape of the patch ( it is what connects the patch to the inside flap of the box ). You can peel it off and sew it onto whatever you like. I really like this.
PACA Body Armor
MLCS MBSS Plate Carrier
MLCS Pistol Mag Pouch x2
MLCS PRC148 Radio Pouch
MLCS M60 100 Round Ammo Pouch x4
MLCS M4 Triple Mag Pouch
MLCS Frag Grenade Pouch
With this set we are able to outfit Marc as either a gunner or rifleman – a similar inclusion or set up as we saw with the Chris Kyle Tribute figure ( Deluxe Edition ), with which we could set up Chris as either a sniper or a patrol rifleman. The components that go into both the gunner and rifleman kit(s) are made with an eye for detail. The PALS or MOLLE webbing is used in the same fashion as the fullscale equivalent – you weave the PALS web tabs on the back of the pouch(es) through the PALS webbing on the MLCS MBSS Plate Carrier, and MLCS H-Harness. Except in this case you use forceps or tweezers. In my experience forceps work best, and can be had through medical supply stores for very cheap.
The detail and finish on all of the pieces is outstanding, and we see a substantial use of scale appropriate velcro and zippers, as well as scale appropriate slider and fastex buckles – and yes, the sixthscale fastex buckles function exactly like their fullscale counterparts. I would say that if some mad scientist developed a working shrink ray, you could borrow it and shrink yourself to sixthscale ( you would then be roughly 12 inches tall ), and actually use this stuff – to battle rats or maybe pigeons bent on pecking the 12 inch you.
MICH 2000 Tan Helmet
Norotos NVG Mount & Shroud
M-18 Smoke Grenade
M-67 Frag Grenade
VIP Strobe Signal Light
Navy Seal Bible with Inscription
Red Light Sticks x4
Black G-Shock Watch
Petzl Tactikka Head Light
Before I get into the hardlines, I would like to mention that the headset which comes with the figure has some fit issues. E&S will therefore be issuing a new headset that is sized to better fit the sculpt.
As a Christian, one of my favorite parts of the hardline section is the Navy Seal Bible with Inscription. This is a truly cool inclusion – and very fitting if you have read about Marc, or if you happened to have known him in life. It is a very nice touch. This along with the scriptural quote on the outside of the box, and the copy of Marc’s last letter home that comes with the set, make it not merely a modern era military themed figure – but a true commemoration and an inspired memorial to a great man.
By the way, I looked at the sixthscale Navy Seal Bible that comes with the set, and sure enough, there is tiny printing on each page ( on the front and back of each page in fact ). It begins with: In the beginning – and ends with the flood and Noah. So while it does not contain all of the writings of the whole Old Testament, or of the New Testament either, it does feature an important range of material from of Septuagint.
Within the hardlines we see a new level – or rather, expression of detail – this time surface feature detailing that is molded in and painted on. To look at pictures of the included Norotos NVG Mount & Shroud, the PRC-148 Radio, or the Sordin Headset ( to name a few ), you could easily imagine that you are looking at fullscale, and not sixthscale items. And to actually see them in hand and up close is a striking overview of just how detailed the latest-era sixthscale offerings are. I wasn’t overstating things when I referred to this stuff as an undiscovered art form.
MK 18 MOD 0 Rifle
M-68 Aimpoint with Wilcox Mount
LMT Rear Sight
LA5-PEQ Aiming Laser
KAC QD Suppressor
SureFire M962 Tactical Light
M4 Mags x4
Tan Tactical Sling
MK 48 Mod 0 Machine Gun
Trijicon ACOG 4X TA01 Rifle Scope
Harris 6-9” Swivel Bipod
LBT 0261 M60 feed tray pouch
Sig P226 9mm Pistol
Surefire M332 Torch
Safariland 6004 Dropleg Holster
The weapon elements section is full of surprises. This is probably one of the best places to really exhibit the demonstration of first-rate detailing. From the crisp clean lines, and etched in verbiage details of the MK 18 MOD 0, MK 48 Mod 0, and Sig P226, to the actual functioning RIS ( or Picatinny ) rail systems, and related optics, grips, taclights and PEQ’s. This stuff looks and functions just like the fullscale equivalents – except that they do not actually fire rounds.
There are some exceptions to that above stated – of course, but on the whole, the three weapon systems are as close to equivalent ( scale wise ), as is possible.
The MK 18 breaks down in almost the same fashion, and to almost the same degree as the fullscale version. The charging handle, selector switch, bolt cover, and Crane stock all function – the Crane stock even has a lock lever that has a small pin that catches in the small detents on the underside of the buffer tube. Pretty amazing. And the bolt is spring loaded – too cool.
The MK 48 Mod 0 Machine Gun, Trijicon ACOG 4X TA01 Rifle Scope, Harris 6-9” Swivel Bipod, Tangodown Foregrip, and LBT 0261 M60 feed tray pouch are peerless. The detail is remarkable, and the fit of the pieces is easy plus easy. We even get a chain of ten brass rounds held together by miniscule metal feeder links. Man, that is detail to nth degree. We also have a working Harris bipod with adjustable legs. Some of this detail is so minute that it could go unnoticed. And that is part of the fun – discovering the details piece by piece.
The Sig P226 has a working slide, removable magazines, and model/caliber marking on the slide. Even the Sig magazines have Sig logoing, as well numerical indicators and peepholes on the side to show you how much ammo is on board. And the fit of the Surefire M332 is better than what we have seen with previous versions. I have spoken with Brian Sullivan from MSE about this before, and he says that E&S and MSE are devoted to making each new version of the weapon in question better than the last. And that they try to bring out more and more detail with each new figure. I would call that a good business model, and having an ear to the rail as far as customer input and discernment.
Jennifer Sullivan creates the box art for E&S and MSE – and she is a box art master. She has skills – and I am comfortable stating that as I have some experience in the field of making boxes for sixthscale figures.
In this instance she did an admirable job capturing and combining all of the fundamentals that you want to see in a box made to hold a figure that is a memorial to a heroic man who is loved by many, and is an inspiration to many.
The scriptural quote from The New Testament is perfection. It is found in The Gospel According to St. John: chapter 15, verse 13. These are Christ’s very words ( subject “love one another” ). And they read: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Another touching inclusion is a copy of Marc’s last letter home. It is a moving and poignant message that conveys so much heartfelt love and introspection that it does not fail to move one to tears. It is at once an unassuming and yet inspiring enclosure, and I personally would like to thank Marc’s mom Debbie for sharing it.
Additionally, we have a certificate of authenticity held in by four photo album tabs. Under this certificate is a very nice picture of Marc – with a warm smile on his face.
I would say that this is a great tribute done with love and respect.
Kudos to all involved. And love, respect, and God’s grace to Marc Lee, his mom Debbie Lee, and all of their loved ones.