I wanted to create some troops that would fit the bill of spec ops pros but be easily differentiated from standard military troops. The items on my mental checklist are combat armor, enclosed helmet with NVG/gas mask, and modern firearms (no lasers or plasma here). Looking around, nothing direct exists in plastic. I know, I know there are plenty of metal models out there, especially from Wargames Foundry and Hasslefree, but I’m making a concerted effort to stick with plastic these days, or even restic if I have to.
I decided to start with out of the box solutions and rooted through my figure collection to see what I could come up with.
First up are the UAMC Marines from Defiance Games (Defiance Marines). Although they meet my criteria, they are generally lackluster models. I own a box of them, put one together and couldn’t even bring myself to finish painting it. Also, the defiance marines are shorter and have the exaggerated “heroic” proportions closer to Games Workshop than my taller and slimmer PA figures. They might work, but I’ll save them as a last resort.
Next up are the Corporation Marines from Mantic Games. These models are a step up in quality from Defiance, and they are slimmer in proportions, but again they are a couple of millimeters shorter than my PA figures. They would also need a weapon swap away from the laser rifles they come with. These are viable candidates, but not really ideal. Let’s see what else I can come up with.
I also looked at some out of print Halo Actionclix Figures from Wizkids. I looked at the UNSC Marines and ODST Troopers. In contrast to the Mantic and Defiance figures, these ones are a little on the tall side and the soft plastic is a little on the soft side in details. They come pre-painted and the ODST dark paint scheme would work, but the green marine would need to be re-painted.
|Left to Right: Halo ODST, Halo Marine, Corporation Marine
Looking farther to the back of my figure boxes are some troops from the now out of production AT-43 from the equally defunct Rackham. I’ve got a UNA Star Trooper, a Red Blok Spetznatz Kommando and a Red Blok Dragonov Kommando. All three have similar pros and cons. They are all on par scale wise with most of my PA figures. They all have armor and modern-ish weapons. The Dragonov and the Star Trooper have enclosed helmets with night vision. They came pre-painted to at least a passable table top standard, but I’d probably want to do a re-paint with a darker paint job. I’m not really a fan of any of the lower bodies though. Also, as with the Halo figures, the soft plastic makes the details, especially the weapons, soft and a little cartoony. As with the others, they might work, but are still not exactly what I’m looking for.
|Left to Right: Dragonov Kommando, Spetsnatz Kommando, Star Trooper
The last out of the box figures are the Dream Forge Eisenkern troopers. They’ve got armor, projectile weapons, a fully enclosed helmet and they scale up great with my PA figures. They are also very well sculpted hard plastic figures. On the downside though, the armor is a little too sci-fi for me. Also, the upper torso has too much of a medieval feel with the big shoulder pads, gorget and pointed neck collar.
Last up I figured I’d give it a try to do some conversions from the Eisenkern troops. Forgive the WIP look but the figures are just held together with blue-tac for now. First I used a stock body and head and fitted the arm with a riot shield from an old Void 1.1 kit. On the next figure I ditched the back pack, shaved off the faux gorget and trimmed down the collar. The conversion is a little rough and will need to be cleaned up and the collar trimmed up with green stuff. This doesn’t change the sci-fi feel, but it at least it makes the armor look more generalized. The MG-43 look alike was a little to iconic as was the helmet, so I swapped out with an M-16 from the Wargames Factory survivor kit (men or woman) and a helmet from and AT-43 trooper. I ditched the shoulder pads on both figures. They might work too, but still not perfect.
|Left to Right: Stock Eisenkern, Eisenkern with shield, Eisenkern conversion
Well that’s all I could find in my collection. Let me know what you think. Will any of these work? What do you think is best? Are there any I missed? Feedback is appreciated.