Impressions: Spectre MENA Regulars

It’s safe to say that most ultramodern games will probably end up with high tech Western forces up against irregulars. However, sometimes you’ll need some more uniform looking MENA forces to either act as the OPFOR or to act the role of the locals being advised or assisted. At Salute, Spectre released their first wave of MENA Regulars and I just had to pick them up.

The release goes for the classic look of these forces, with the combination of PASGAT helmet, body armour and Russian weaponry. There are three packs available, with a six figure squad set armed with assault rifles and two support packs. There is a nice variety of poses for a squad in combat (with a combination of shooting and moving under fire). As you’d expect from Spectre, there is a really nice level of detail to the squad; things like different types of body armour and a variety of AK patterns (including some with folding stocks) help to make the squad look a little better equipped than their militia opponents while not quite being up to the same level as their Western advisers/opponents.

For painting, I went for the classic 3 colour desert camo along with green body armour and helmets. I used a few slightly different shades of green for the armour and helmets (although its hard to see on the final models) which was then dusted with Medium Grey to make it look a bit dustier. The desert camo is a little different from other models as I made the Camo Beige splodges slightly bigger than I have previously. I quite like painting this camo as it’s relatively easy with only three steps and simple shapes.

As well as the main squad, the first release includes two support weapons – an RPG gunner and PKM machine-gunner to help deal threats that the normal squad can’t.

As a little bit of extra firepower, and after seeing the pose on the gunner, I realised that this squad could do with some mobile backup. For this reason, I built up a technical weapon using some bits box elements and the base template I’ve used on previous weapon systems. I’ll go into more details in a future post (as well as looking at other weapons designed for Technical Bravo) but I’m happy with how it came out. It will also be a nice backup for other Bazistan Army vehicles.

Of course, you may already have some troops for your MENA Army. Eureka and Empress also produce figures in similar kit. As you can see above the sizing is pretty close. Although the Eureka figure is a little on the small size, the helmet and gun are still to scale. Overall, I wouldn’t have any problems using them together (for example when you need the whole Bazistan Army).


Bazistan Army troops (accompanied by Bazistan SF elements) engage an opposing militia on the streets of Bazi City

So what do I think of these guys? I really like them! They have Spectre’s usual high quality with great poses and detail and are perfect for any less well equipped nations – I’d even be tempted to use them for nations outside of the MENA region such as African Forces. Apart from one guy with a slightly elongated neck, my only other comment is this group could be a little too uniform if you were wanting some really crap Indigenous Forces. However, this won’t be a problem for long – from talking to the Spectre guys, we’ll be seeing more MENA regulars coming soon with different weapons and kit. I’m really looking forward to getting these guys on the table.

Impressions: Project Z Spec Ops

As a rule, most modern wargaming figures are either metal or resin. Due to the relative niche amount of interest in ultramodern wargaming, it’s never really made financial sense to release plastic multi-part kits. There is however one place where a modern wargamer may find some suitable figures. Of course, it’s inside the subject matter that always sells, the genre that has a habit of spreading.. like a virus. Zombies.

Project Z, Warlord Games’s entry into the zombie market, contains several kits of multi-part plastic figures designed to give you the widest option for assembling your gang of survivors. I’m going to look at one of them which seems the most interesting for gamers looking to build military forces, the Special Operations Team. From researching, these plastic kits were originally from Wargames Factory; the Special Ops frame was one that didn’t quite make it out the door before Warlord bought and repackaged the entire range.

Alongside the Project Z specific components, the box contains one pack of 10 bases and a single sprue of operators, with enough bodies and legs to make 8 operators in total. The frame has a quite large number of weapons included (both attached to arms and unattached), giving you a wide variety of options. As well as the classic M4 and AK families, there are also weapons for the Chinese and British. For a bit of extra kick there is also a combat shotgun, what’s supposed to be an AT4 and an RPG (both in the hand and stowed alongside some extra rounds). All the parts are nicely moulded, showing off all the little details on the guns such as rail sections and various attachments. On the other hand, the plastic is super soft and I managed to bend almost all the barrels when cutting them off the sprue. Although I like the sheer variety of guns, it does mean you don’t have enough combined arms and weapons to make a full 8 man team with the same style of weapon – you’ll either need to make two small teams or be willing to do some additional cutting up.

The sprue includes some other handy details. There is a nice selection of heads with multiple types of helmets (US Army ACH and British Army Mk6 ish), balaclavas, bandanas and boonie hats. You can also add some extra details to make the squad look even more operator with NVG monoculars, belt mounted stowage and pelvic armour. There is even a block of C4 and some assembled IEDs for base detail or creating ingame markers.

For all the positives, things get worse when you start actually building the guys. All the bodies share the same basic design (hydration bladder and plate carrier) with different shoulder positions designed for different arm/weapon combinations. There is a fancy guide available from Warlord for showing which arms go with which bodies. Documentation is nice but there seems to be a miscalculation in terms of arm sets. There seems to only be one of most of the lettered arms which can leave the second round of guys to be left with the more unusual arms. Combined with the limited leg options, this can lead to some really strange poses.

After a relatively quick construction process (complete with plenty of frowning) and a painting sprint, here are the finished models. As I was losing my interest in them, I decided to go with the quick and dirty single colour clothing schemes covered up with some washes. Due to some of the issues I had with the parts, I had to create two themed four man teams rather than building one full size squad.

Team 1 is done in a Western look, with AR15 pattern weapons and a combat shotgun. For all of these, I used the ACH heads (except for the mandatory “marksman in boonie”) and added the crotch armour and extra stowage. Tan armour and weapon details offset the green of the clothing.

For Team 2, I went for a more Russian/Irregular look with the AK variants and a RPG ready to go. As an opposition to the tan tinged Westerns, these guys are all in greens and blacks. I’ll admit, I quite like the RPG gunner. With some arm tweaks he looks like he is ready to pop out and take down a vehicle or two.

And of course, here is the classic “new figure range” comparison. From left to right: Empress recent, Empress older, Warlord Games, Eureka, Spectre


Honestly, I don’t think I’ve bought a set so far that I’ve hated the process of making as much as I did working. There is definitely some good points about this set but between some of the design decisions and the soft plastic bending left right and centre really soured me on the box. The main thing though is that, apart from pieces for conversion work, the set gives you nothing you can’t get from other manufacturers at better quality.

If you really, really want some plastic modern troopers (or need some of the guns for conversion work) I’d skip this box. Instead, you can buy four figure frames directly from Warlord. I get the feeling that (with the limited arm selection) this was how the sprue was meant to be sold before being redesigned. I still don’t think it will solve the posing problems but it does give you a few more options. On the other hand, if you play Project Z, the main box does include the cards and extra details you’d need.

If you’re reading this on release day (13/04/2018) or while catching a ride to London on the following day, I’m going to be at Salute in London on the 14/04/2018. I’m always happy to meet and talk with anyone who reads my site, so keep your eyes open for the bag shown in Monday’s Wargaming Week

Impressions: Spectre Green Beret Jungle Ops

One thing that Spectre have always focused on is providing a range of models that bang up to date, backed with careful research to get the exact details right. Their latest release continues this trend, bringing us the Green Beret Jungle Ops, a new team of American Special Forces developed with the assistance of a team of currently serving operators based on their time in Central Africa.

The squad pack contains six operators designed for missions in the jungle. These guys are running really light weight, having dumped much of their tactical gear to make jungle operations easier. There are other details that came from talking to the real guys – the operators are modelled without radio headsets (which have a habit of not doing well in the humidity) and also none of them carry pistols as they would potentially cause a hindrance when moving through dense terrain. The weapons on the models are also carefully chosen – M4’s with suppressors for close in work and rapid movement accompanied by SCAR-Hs for penetration through jungle and fighting off large animals (apparently). At the moment, the range doesn’t include anyone with either machine guns or explosive weapons. This is due to the Green Beret’s role which is to advise and train local forces; the locals would bring the RPGs and LMGs along when they were needed. Perfect opportunity to pick up the African Forces range.

Anyway enough discussion, how are the models? Well, as you’d expect they are Spectre’s usual quality. Pulling them out of the squad box and you could already see the level of detail we’ve come to expect. I did have a slight problem in that one of my SCAR-H gunners had a broken barrel but I got a replacement sent out ASAP and got to work on them.

Here they are, looking ready to operate. I went for the multicam look, using Spectre’s painting recipe, along side a few coloured baseball caps to add a dash of colour. Probably not the best idea for the jungle but should be alright when running light operations in Bazistan.

The rear view really shows off how lightly equipped these guys are. I also decided to paint them in the under body armour shirts using Vallejo German Camo Beige.

As a little comparison, here are a few guys who would work well alongside them if you want to add some more firepower to the team. Next to the Green Beret is one of Spectre’s Tier 1 Operators. With the right paint job, these two collections almost match, letting you add some extra umph. If you want more guys with M4s (and don’t mind the lack of Crye Precision kit) the Empress SAS are also lightly equipped and slightly scruffy.

Overall, another spot on release from Spectre! They really show off the level of research the team at Spectre do and are a great set of models ripped from the headlines. My only real issue is that, for building a force, the lack of support weapons mean they’ll have to be drafted in from elsewhere but that’s a small price to pay for accuracy. I can see these being pretty popular, both for use in the jungle but also as contractors or low profile guys. I can’t wait to get them on the table.

If you want your own set you can find them on the Spectre site here.

Impressions: Eureka Modern British

One of the first projects that got me into wargaming was building up a platoon of Brits ready for operations. These inital guys were from Empress and, I’ve got to say, it’s a pretty definitive range if you’re wanting to play battles from 2010 onwards. However, the War on Terror saw some pretty major changes in the British Army’s equipment so what works for 2010 are not suitable for players wanting to run battles in 2006 or earlier. Which is why, when the Eureka Modern British were first shown off, I was very interested in picking up the range to add to my collection.

The new range is currently 20 figures, consisting of three standard fireteams (2x L85s, L85 + UGL and LMG) and a selection of heavy weapons and specialists. The figures are all kitted up for the starting period of the War on Terror, with Mk 6 helmets, Osprey vests and not a rail in sight. The figures are sculpted by Kosta Heristanidis and packed full of his style (not heroic but with some of the guns slightly oversized for easy readability) with plenty of detail. There are some really nice little bits on detail on the figures, such as knee pads around the ankle. They also scale pretty well with other Eureka figures (such as the ANP I use in every comparison) and other ranges. Expect a more in-depth size/kit comparison once I repaint my Empress guys.

As for painting these guys, it was really simple. There is plenty of detail for the final wash to pickup. My DDPM recipe is really simple (Iraqi sand base, Beige Brown applied in sweeps) so painting this block of 20 didn’t take anywhere near as long as certain OTHER camo schemes. It’s probably not the most accurate way of painting it (I won’t be winning any awards) but it does help to evoke the camo pattern. The only right pain when finishing them off was painting up the helmet netting. Although annoying, I think the final effect makes it worthwhile.

The first fireteam has the chaps posed in an advancing state, while moving under fire.

The second team has engaged and are in firing poses. LMG and an AR are firing from the shoulder while the UGL gunner has learnt forward to engage. The last figure is in a crouched position.

Finally the last team will be useful for anyone wanting to deploy their team before the action starts. Weapons are held in the low ready state while three of the team have their heads on a swivel (the fourth seems to be checking something in his pouch)

To give your team some extra bite, there are several other weapon available. First up is some guys wielding the good old Gimpy. These figures are sold individually with two variants. Figure 1 is looking ally having taken off his shirt to beat the desert heat. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some of the inspiration for this guy in the “British Army in Afghanistan” book I used as reference when painting. Figure 2 on the other hand is wearing long sleeves but seems to be a big fella (the sort you’d nickname Tiny) while firing the GPMG from the hip.I also like how both of these guys have pistols on their vests.

Another option is to give your team sniper support. This pack has two figures in it and a tripod for the sniper to rest his rifle on (not pictured). The sniper is armed with an Accuracy International rifle while his spotter is using his scope to assist. These guys would work great if mounted on a weapon team style base but also work well on individual bases.

The last pack available are four extra specialists. Two of the team are designed to counter any IED threat (one with Vallon sweeper and the other carry an IED jammer) while the other two give you figures for your platoon HQ. One of them is your radio man, while the other holds a 51mm platoon mortar in his hand.


So what do I think of the models? I really like them. The Eureka style is one I quite like and getting some Brits in it is great. There is something iconic about the look these figures are wearing and give me a good chance to paint something other than multicam. My only comment would be that producing three fireteams rather than four limits you to only one squad + fireteam of unique poses (assuming you don’t swap some guys out for the sweeper or a GPMG). However, I’m quite happy with the final result – expect to see these guys on the field standing in for the Republic of Aden’s Defence Force.

If you’re wanting a set of these for yourself, they are currently only available via email from Eureka but will be coming out on general release (meaning it should be available in the UK through Fighting 15’s) around Salute this year. Nic at Eureka also mentioned that the range will also be available with the guys wearing berets. I actually have a pack of the heads which were included and I really like the look of them… so I might have to pick up some more to round out the squads.

Impressions: Warhansa Spetsnaz

When I started looking for new companies to buy models from and write about, there were some that jumped out to me straight away. Others, including today’s manufacturer Warhansa, were ones I had looked at but never seen a set that screamed for me to take a look. Checking the site at the start of the year, my mind was swiftly changed upon spotting the Warhansa Spetsnaz pack appearing on their Facebook page.

Now, I have many weaknesses when it comes to figures. As previously mentioned, guys in bandanas and M4s are one (mainly down to how many places they can be used) while another is ultra-modern troops with near future sci-fi (think Chappie or Elysium). However, the biggest has to be figures in giant EOD style armour and totting machine guns. Be they military or police, I love this Juggernaut archetype. I guess you can blame Modern Warfare 2 for this. So upon spotting a team of four figures where one of them is a chunky looking fellow with a PKP, I just had to jump in and take a look

There are a couple of key points I’m going to mention first about Warhansa. Number 1, they are based in Russia. This is going to lead to some fun times with their postal system – for example, tracking on the parcel cut off as soon as the parcel left Russia and didn’t seem to pick up in the UK until it was delivered. However, the postage times were pretty great (taking only 3 weeks) so I’m not going to complain too much. The second point is that Warhansa figures are in Resin rather than metal. I find the old Resin vs Metal debate to one primarily of personal choice with resin providing a really nice level of detail but the cost of durability. I normally prefer metal to resin due to the difference in weight (especially as I base them on MDF disks) but it’s not a deal breaker for me.

Those points covered lets look at the figures!

The pack comprises of four figures. Two riflemen with AN94 assault rifles, an officer in beret and a PKP gunner wearing EOD gear. The figures are sculpted by Igor (who was also the sculptor behind the War in Chechnya kickstarter from Tiny Terrain as well as some upcoming releases from SASM) and is style is all over them. There is also a great level of detail to them from just the contours of the webbing to being able to identify the guns based on the muzzle break design. From looking closely I only found two minor issues (an air bubble in the PKM box mag and some unusual patterning on a shoulder piece) but both were easy to fix.

Aftergetting them out of the bag, I was really excited to get started painting and within a day of taking the first photo, they were done. A new record for me!

So, the paint scheme. When I ordered theses guys, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to fit them into my ongoing Bazistan/Zaiweibo campaigns. The Empress Russians are filling in the role of modern Russian troops so these guys (in older gear) didn’t make sense to add to the elite Russian taskforce. However, I realised that one nation hadn’t received it’s well equipped frontline troops – Bazistan. By using these guys, as well as the Russians from the War in Chechnya Kickstarter, I’m able to show a force that may be a little bit less advanced than their foes, is still a threat. I’m particularly excited about using the gunner to smash through some doors and lay down the hurt when the dammed western operators are working a little too well.

Because of this, I had to work on the paint scheme. Although there are Russian desert camos, I wanted to make something different to what the actual Russians will be wearing (once I’ve painted them) and also be relatively easy to paint. For this reason I went with a simple scheme – Iraqi sand base with beige brown sponged on. This is designed to give the impression of a pixel based scheme in a similar colour to some of the older patterns. The only downside? I think I might have been a little heavy with my paint job and so obscured some of the detail.

As always, with new figures it’s time for a comparison picture.

From left to right

  • Under Fire Miniatures
  • Empress (older)
  • Empress (recent)
  • Warhansa
  • Spectre Miniatures
  • Eureka Miniatures
  • Crooked Dice
  • Hasslefree

And again from the rear

An extra comparison is to show off how chunky this PKP gunner is compared to his regular opponents, a Spectre Task Force Operator.


My overall opinion? If you hadn’t guessed above, I really like these guys. They are definitely more stylised compared to companies like Empress or Spectre but they still look pretty great on the tabletop. There is an incredible amount of detail on them if you are more interested in painting than playing. My only concern is how durable the resin is going to be, both for the weight (I like the feel of a metal figure in my hand and stops them being nudged) and for surviving the wear and tear of playing/going in and out of boxes. We’ll have to see that in the upcoming days. , If you are looking for some Russian characters to paint up, I heartily recommend this set.

Also I get to have a tiny Juggernaut sat on my desk. What’s not to like?

If you want a set of your own Spetsnaz, you can find them on the Warhansa website at http://www.warhansa.com/index.php/katalog/spetsnaz.html

Impressions: SASM Operator Juarez

A big push this year on the site is to expand the list of companies I cover, with the goal of providing the widest possible look into all the options available to an ultramodern gamer. One of the companies that had sat on my list for a while has been Special Artisan Service Miniatures based in the US. As well as their 3D printed vehicles, they also have a growing range of figures. After browsing through the range, I settled upon picking up one of the Operator Juarez packs for my invesitigation.

The CIA Juarez Operators pack is made up of six figures, all inspired by popular culture around the various agencies fighting the cartel in Mexico. There is a nice mix to these figures, giving you a set perfect for a whole host of scenarios. After ordering, the package with them in arrived on my desk after about a week after being sent out. They were securely packaged, with no damaged bits, and the hand written note wishing me well was a nice touch. Preparing was minimal, with the expected amount of of infill and mould lines to tidy up. The figures have a half pill shaped base, similar to many other ranges which almost melds into the base with no adjustment required.

Looking at the  figures, there are several different groups. The first consists of three guys perfect for contractors or low profile shooters. These guy are all wearing tactical gear and wielding AR15 pattern weapons. The “balaclava and baseball cap” look is one I particularly like (mainly because they can be used for all sorts of organisations). All three figures are moving forward cautiously, gripping either the magwell or the vert grip.

The next group are two characters designed to lead and support the rest of the team. One is holding his M4 in a low ready position while the other wields a silenced Mp5, holding his hand up while trying to calm the locals. These two are dressed the same way as the first, with civilian clothing and tac gear.

The final model is a little different from the rest. Rather than being one of the other characters ready to cross the border, this guy is dressed for a bit of black ops. Armed only with a pistol, the practical use of this one will mainly be for stealth missions and creeping around in the dark.

As this is a new company for me to look at, it’s time for for another figure comparison. From left to right:

  • Under Fire Miniatures
  • Empress (older)
  • Empress (recent)
  • SASM
  • Spectre Miniatures
  • Eureka Miniatures
  • Crooked Dice
  • Hasslefree

And again in rear view.

Okay, that’s all the basic information, showing off the painted figures. If you are interested in them, they can be found on the SASM site at http://www.kingshobbiesandgames.com/28mm-CIA-Juarez-Operators-p/28mmciaop.htm

Personal thoughts below the line.


To be honest, I have mixed personal feelings on this pack. I really love the concept and the ideas behind some of the figures but i’m less impressed with the style. The sculptor is very talented (all the characters were easily recognisable at first glance and they easily fit in with other ranges as part of a game) but there are one or two elements that don’t quite match my expectations. Although it’s not obvious, the figures seem incredibly slight and tall, almost like a 28mm figure from another company that has been grabbed at the top and pulled. I also have issues with some of the detailing – while the characters are packed full of it (such as molle loops and folds in the clothing), the weapons (especially on the three guys with bandanas) all seem a little flat sided. The suppressed MP5 also appears incredibly bulky compared to the other weapons, although I can see the practical reason for this adjustment. I would have also have liked to see a little more variation in the poses, particularly for the trio of shooters.

As always, this is just my opinions. Although they are not the ideal figures, they are certainly not the worst I’ve seen. Importantly they also spark the idea for plenty of scenarios to use the figures in. While I don’t necessarily recommend them, and as long as you like the style, they were certainly an interesting set to paint up and write an article on. As a final note, SASM seem to have a range of sculptors

Impressions: Spectre’s December Releases

After the massive pile of releases in November, December saw a bit more of a focused set. For all of those who didn’t make it to Crisis, this was our chance to get hold of a set of useful support options for some of the other ranges. I’m always a fan of them going back to add new figures to the current lines rather than just pushing forward – when playing a skirmish game, it’s nice to have multiples of each role so you never end up with duplicates when outfitting your squad.

Task Force Nomad Sniper – Alfa

Task Force Nomad has a nice mix of weapons but only has one long-range support (the airburst grenade launcher). Luckily, this guy comes equipped with a XM500 sniper rifle to deliver the killing blow. This bullpup anti-material rifle is an update of the classic M82 and (depending on the profile you choose for it) should be a monster against infantry and light vehicles. In addition to his rifle, he is also sat on his kit bag. Finally, like all Task Force Nomad figures, he’s wearing local clothing to blend in with the crowd.

Like the rest of the Task Force Nomad range, this guy is great for playing some more sneaky missions or adding to a militia force as some advisors trying to operate under cover. He is a wonderfully detailed but simple character and will probably be a nightmare for your opponent when he appears on the tabletop.

Tier 1 Operators Breacher – Alfa

The Tier 1 guys seem to get all the good stuff and I have to say that this model has my favourite combination of gear. As well as his SIG MCX, this guy is also carrying a SIX12 shotgun. This revolver fed shotgun is the newest thing, able to be reconfigured for underslung and standalone use as well as various barrels. This one has an integrally suppressed barrel which should be perfect for when you need to silently infiltrate someone. If you want to be a little louder, the operator also has an axe to hand. This is perfect for breaking through windows and shattering locks, as well as

I have to say, this is one of my favourite models that Spectre has done. I’m always a fan of breacher focused figures and the axe/shotgun combination just makes this guy a must buy. It also makes the Tier 1 range a rather useful one to pick up. It now has 12 figures, with a solid core of 7 AR equipped soldiers and everything from SMGs up to multiple grenade launchers. All it needs is a second LMG figure and it would be perfect for people not wanting to go all in with the Task Force Operator figures. The range also now has two shotgun equipped guys, perfect for fighting through urban spaces.

Task Force Operators SMG – Charlie

The MP5 is the classic SMG, associated in one of its various forms with possibly every Special Operations Force in the world. That said, the availability of compact carbines and the rise in body armour can mean that it’s a little underpowered, leaving many to upgrade to its younger cousin the MP7. The two packs of SMG figures for the Task Force Operator range have only been using the newest kit so I was a little surprised when I found out that this latest figure was armed with the iconic 9mm subgun.

The model is posed in a pretty dynamic way, gun tilted to a 45 degree angle as he moves forward. From looking closely it has a retractable stock, red dot, laser and what appears to be a combined torch/foregrip. The barrel is also long enough to spot that it’s a integrally suppressed version. Overall, a pretty fantastic setup for sweeping rooms quietly. He also has the rest of the required Task Force Operator gear (helmet, sidearm, plate carrier, shades) along with a small assault pack.

Task Force Operators AT4 – Alfa

I am a fan of Professionals and Elites taking a Light Anti-Tank weapon in each squad for games of Spectre. Being able to hit back at RPG teams with a taste of their own medicine or knock out vehicles in a single hit is a useful bit of kit in the toolbox.  We’ve already seen the AT4 in the vehicle stowage pack so it was only a matter of time before we actually saw a figure with one.

This figure has the AT4 out and ready to fire. He also has a 416 (with magnified red dot, PEQ box and suppressor) slung in front of him. As you’d expect, he is rolling with the required Task Force Operator kit but with a much more complete plate carrier than the SMG operator. Plenty of storage places to carry extra gear.

The other cool thing with this release was that Spectre have released some weapon profiles for two variants of the AT4 which can be found on the page for this item. You can now pick between the HEAT round for blasting tanks or the HE for infantry killing. The HE round loses the Tank Killer ability and drops in lethality but increases the frag distance by 2″ making it much better for groups. Seeing as it’s a single shot weapon, I’d force the player using it to pick the

Task Force Operators MG – Bravo

Finally, the last figure from the release is a new operator with a LMG. For anyone who didn’t get the US SOF machine gunners from the early days of Spectre, you’ve been stuck with two LMG models. This guy should help to extend your options when it comes to building your team. What’s really cool is that he isn’t using the usual Minimi derivative but instead the Ultimax Mk5. This gun is considered very accurate for a LMG, with handling closer to an assault rifle and the ability to use a 100 round drum for when things get hot or standard STANAG mags to work with the rest of his team.

As for the model, he’s got the drum mag attached as well as red dot/magnifier combination and PEQ for laser/light duty. He seems to be wearing a low profile chest rig but is also carrying a huge rucksack just in case the drum runs dry. As well as a pistol he has the most dangerous of weapons – the operator beard. This should make him stand out from the rest of your team. Overall I really like this model. That said, he does have one hell of an awkward painting angle when trying to the underside of his left arm.

Final Notes

So final notes:

  • Really happy to see Spectre going back and adding more to existing ranges.
  • There were one or two mould lines that needed cleaning up but it was only very minor
  • The big thing with this group was relearning how to paint colour schemes I’d done before. Luckily two of the three ranges were mostly block colours
  • I’m looking forward to getting this lot on the table!

Impressions: Spectre’s SAS Counter Terrorism Response

The final part of Spectre’s November releases was the SAS Counter Terrorism Response team. These guys may be familiar to those of us in the UK who watched the news earlier this year and noticed the guys in tactical gear alongside the police. All the operators are wearing civilian clothing (with no kneepads and only a few pockets on the trousers) with plate carriers, battle belts and helmets to help them perform their role. The team also wear mesh facemasks which is an unusual choice as it’s an item more commonly seen on airsofters. However, it does a good job of protecting your face from debris and doesn’t fog up your eye protection. This is in addition to the balaclava’s benefit of masking your ID. The operators have varying levels of armour; As well as the basic plate carrier and helmet, some figures also have applique armour panels on their head and/or the pelvic armoured plate. This really helps to make them look like they are ready to rumble. The range has three packs at the moment:

Squad Set

The main set is 6 men strong, in a variety of poses (three aiming, three in combat poses). All are armed with L119A2 short carbines, complete with lasers, torches and red dots. Some of the figures have assault packs. As always, there is plenty of variation in terms of webbing layout and pouches. An important thing with any multi-figure sets, the operators look great when deployed together – even all the shooting poses are varied enough that they don’t look like carbon copies.

Marksman

The first backup pack for the team is a marksman. Armed with a HK 417 DMR (with scope and laser), the marksman will help to back up the rest of the team. I love some of the details on this figure – you can even see the engravings on the AFG on the bottom rail.

Dog Handler

The final Response team pack is a Dog Handler and Malinois multirole dog. The dog is a new sculpt, an improvement over the original one early purchases of Spectre may have received alongside their K9 Handlers. It looks a lot more dynamic than the original one. The handler is also really cool – he’s got both the applique armour AND the pelvic plate. Combined with the UICW (a super short M6 carbine) he’s using, this figure will pull great double duty as a point man for your team.


For painting, my main focus with these guys was the eternal issue of making teams not in uniform still look like they are part of a team. The multicam webbing and helmets help, but I also did the trick of using the same palette of colours – for example I’ll use one colour for a figure’s trousers and then reuse the colour for someone else’s shirt. US Field Drab was used for the holsters and the multicam was done using the Spectre method. As with all my figures, I finished them off with a dousing in Agrax Earthshade to bring out the details and soften the edges of the colours.


Now I’ve finished all three packs, I think it’s time to pick my favourite of the three groups from the UKSF collection. Despite the coolness of the Assault squad in respirators and the dynamic posing of the Rural Ops (as well as the good mix of weaponry), the Response team stands out. I love the combination of civilian clothing and tactical kit. Alongside the two additional packs, this helps to make the team a fantastic set for anyone running close quarter actions. As with all the ranges, I’d love to see some more support operators for the Response Team. Operators with breaching gear or carrying larger rucksacks to stand in as a medic would be a great addition. As well as the traditional role as CT Response, these guys would also work for some covert agents. They look like they have just thrown their tactical kit over their street clothes. Look for them on the streets of Bazistan and Zaiweibo, ready to swoop in and snatch intel while under fire. This is one set I’m excited to get on the table.