Hammerhead 2018

Okay, so I may have said I was not doing a Wednesday post, but while writing the Operation Dragon’s Hoard focused article I realised that it was turning into a bit of a monster by combining show report and post mortem. Instead, I’ve brought forward the post with all the pictures to today! So here’s my coverage of Hammerhead 2018:

Perhaps the biggest thing for me, as you might expect, was that I was running Operation Dragon’s Hoard in the Gamer’s Lounge along with Peeb’s Gaming Nonsense. Full details coming in Friday’s post.

However, I did make some time to speed around the rest of the show and take some snaps of the various games.

Zomski was a combination of Chechen War and Zombies. With a board packed full of cover and teeming with combatants it was certainly a sight. Did it need zombies? Who can say! That said, it did seem pretty busy when I swung past.

I didn’t get a chance to spot the rules this game was playing but it was certainly one of the most eye catching. I do like the teddy bear fur look for North Western Europe.

A very well put together game of Sharp Practise 2 from Harrogate Wargamers. Every time I see a game of it, especially one looking this nice, I will admit I do start planning a force for it….

Leeds Wargames Club brought along Conn Sonar. I really liked the look of this game when I spotted it at Fiasco and it’s cool to see their method of allowing submarines and surface vessels on the same board.

I think I saw this board (or a game similar) at last Hammerhead. However they had tweaked it slightly, with the addition of a crashed glider and a UBoat pulled up on the dock.

7TV’s new board was showing off their Apocalypse range. I’d seen TM Terrain working on this board over on his Facebook page and missed it at Salute so getting to see it finished was fantastic

Indian Mutiny game up and running – spotted a few familiar buildings amongst the town which drew the eye.

The massive Battle at the OK Coral Board – I believe this ended up with the overall “Best Game” award of the day. Wild West is something I enjoy from afar but haven’t yet been pushed to jump into.

A Lord of the Rings game? Haven’t seen this being played for ages but it was cool to see Corsairs being rumbled.

With What A Tanker being the recently released game for tank fighting, it was interesting to see someone running Tanks!

The other modern game in the Gamer’s Lounge was this large scale battle of Germans vs Russians. Some inventive methods for doing hedgerows .

The final game was a massive Science Fiction game using some hex base terrain.

So that’s all the games I spotted. Details of Operation Dragon’s Hoard will be in Friday’s post as well as some thoughts on the show.

Wargaming Week 30/04/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 22nd through to the 29th of April.

BLOG STUFF

This week I finally finished off my Spectre Barricades. These have been sat on my workbench for way too long. I’m planning to try and finish off the taller barricades as well so expect to see them soon!

In terms of blog updates, I mentioned on Facebook and Twitter that I’m going to stop doing the Wednesday posts. This is mainly as (based on how often I talked about work in these posts) things are starting to heat up at work so I’ve got a bit less time to work on stuff. Similarly, I’m going to be a bit less fussed about covering everything possible out there – as much as I love this blog, it’s still just a hobby blog rather than a job. I’m still going to keep the schedule (it’s great collating details on all the new stuff coming out) but the focus will be not quite as much only new stuff – I still have a lot of lead mountain to dig through and show off.

NEWS

They are finally coming. This week, Spectre have finally shown off some images of their upcoming range of Humvees. The first teaser shows an uparmoured GMV Humvee for SOF usage, with the open topped but armoured rear section, enclosed turret and armoured doors. From what Spectre have said, all these parts are modular and show only one of several variations. This is probably the next big release I’m excited for, both for the chance to build up a cool fleet of vehicles but also being able to get a column of Humvee variants on the board. Expect something similar to Project Technical once they come out.

The other news is some cool upcoming releases from Lazy Forger. He’s been sculpting up these hescos (it’s been fascinating to see him weaving metal wire together on his Facebook page) and they look really good. Based on the news post, these have been sent off to White Dragon Miniatures to cast and release them while Lazy Forger will be working on some larger wall sections, ready to make building FOBs and fortifications even easier. I’m really looking forward to putting these on the table.

GAMING

I played a ton of Skirmish Sangin while running Operation Dragon’s Hoard at Hammerhead. It was a really good time, and turns out I still really like playing Skirmish Sangin. More details (and pictures) in Friday’s post.

PURCHASES

Shockingly nothing. I did a walk around the usual suspects at Hammerhead but the mental image of the pile of livestock to be painted must have stalled my purchasing hand.

However, I did pick up the latest volume of Black Powder Red Earth Yemen and I’m looking forward to sitting down to read it this weekend.

HOBBY

The combination of Hammerhead prep, leaving Edinburgh on Thursday night for my weekend in Yorkshire and work meant I didn’t have a huge amount of time to do much hobby stuff this week. Apart from the walls, the only other painting I managed to do was the base colours on the MENA Regulars so all they need is the camo pattern.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Spectre Jersey Barriers

If there is one thing any gamer knows, every battlefield should be littered a number of chest high walls perfect for hiding behind and funnelling enemies into killzones.. While thinking about balancing out my demo game and looking through my list of unassembled projects, I realised that I could kill two birds with one stone by building some more cover points for the insurgents. Time to assemble some Jersey Barriers.

The starting point was Spectre’s Barricades Alfa. I bought this pack ages ago when they were first released and really liked them (as you can see in my original scatter post) but never got round to painting them. Part of this was working out the best way to use them. I could leave them loose for the most flexibility but it would put them at risk of being constantly knocked around by stray arms and vehicles. The other option, slightly more limiting but likely to look better, was to put them into groups. This was the option I went for.

The first step was assembling the bases. I went for some straight-ish elements that look like emplacements without being too rigid. Like most of my demo board terrain, these were made out plasticard with filler laid over the top to form a surface. The ground was them covered in PVA and dipped into sand to add some texture. After that, they were sprayed in various colours. Black basecoat, then grey to give the concrete colour. Finally, I sprayed the ground colour used for my boards, aiming to hit mostly the ground elements and only a small dusting on the concrete (to show the sand resting in the gaps). Nuln oil on the grey was then used to darken it down and bring out the cracks sculpted into the surface. The final element? The traditional Iraqi sand drybrush.

After all that, here is the final project. The texture generated from the sand and a spray can drying issue has helped to catch the drybrush and make the dusty look I have on most of my terrain.

And here is the reverse view. As you can see, there is a really nice level of detail. I’m tempted to add a little extra to the barricades by painting on graffiti and other messages from the locals.


There we go, some new jersey barriers for my troops to use as cover/learn to vault over. I’ll be putting them into action this weekend at Hammerhead, giving the Insurgents some firing positions for their RPGs while also making the new partially constructed buildings feel more like a construction site rather than just in the middle of nowhere. I’m now looking at my other scatter terrain and thinking about the best way to use all of these small items.

(This wasn’t the post I had planned. However, I had a few issues this week which didn’t combine with Hammerhead prep very well and so I had to prioritise. I hope you enjoyed it!)

Final reminder – I’ll be at Hammerhead tomorrow running Operation Dragon’s Hoard. Look for the board with the crashed C130 in The Gamer’s Lounge!

Wargaming Week 23/04/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 16th through to the 22nd of April.

BLOG STUFF

Another two post week. Wednesday’s post was recapping Salute complete with the usual pile of pictures – as you might guess, it’s done pretty well in terms of views. Friday’s update then looked at Osprey’s latest book as part of Project Technical.

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Big news – this weekend is Hammerhead at Newark Showground. After being postponed in March due to the sudden arrival of snow, I should be running Operation Dragon’s Hoard in the Gamer’s Lounge. I’m not currently scheduled to run this game again so this will be the last time (for now) that downed C130 will be on the board. Full details can be found at the event page on Facebook.

NEWS

No news – everyone is too busy recovering from Salute.

GAMING

No gaming – starting to sound like a broken record but things have gotten busy so I haven’t had a chance to get down to the club.

PURCHASES

Nothing – I have plenty of stuff to be working on

HOBBY

With work being mad, I haven’t had a huge amount of time for painting. But I did get a few things done.

The biggest thing was that I got to work with my bits box out and tweaking up some more weapons for the Technical. I’m going to do another part in the Project Technical series in the next couple of weeks but as a preview, here are the three weapon system I’ll be looking at. A ZPU-1, a PKM with crew for the MENA Regulars and a tall mount for the SPG 9.

I also did some work on the Empress US Infantry model with the AT4. The base model’s launcher seemed incredibly stubby, so I cut off either end and replaced them with the bits from the Spectre Vehicle Stowage pack. I ended up lining the sections up based on the hand positions on the original model which I think worked okay. However, it does mean he’s folding it a lot further forward than it should be. On the other hand though, it does now match up in terms of size to all other AT4s in my collection.

I’ve also started work on the Spectre MENA Regulars which will be another job for solid colour armour and helmets with DCU camo uniform.

Finally, I got around to building the replacement Colonial Souk that Sarissa sent due to errors on the first one. Turns out my guess as to what was incorrect was wrong. Rather than the tabs being in the wrong place, the cut out on the end pieces was incorrectly placed.

Next step is going to get all this lot painted up and ready for a game!


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Impressions: Osprey New Vanguard Technical

The historical wargaming hobby has many aspects to it for people to enjoy. One of the aspects I particularly like is learning the period as it’s a great way to learn tactics, be inspired for scenarios and find references for paint schemes. When looking for information, one of my favourite places to start is Osprey Publishing’s various ranges. Well written and formatted and with great artwork to illustrate the subject, these books help to provide a great overview. So when they showed off their new releases for April 2018, I noticed one book in there I just had to pre-order.

Written by Leigh Neville, who has also done several books for Osprey (including the RAID book on Takur Ghar and the hardback Special Forces in the War on Terror book that lives in my reference pile), the latest book covers a subject that has been featured quite heavily on here – Technicals! So for the latest part of Project Technical, we’re going to take a look at some reference material for building your own fleet of vehicles.

The book is the usual form factor for Osprey. Softback, 48 pages and colour throughout, the formatting makes the book an easy read. It’s also packed full of pictures (at least one on each page on average) and includes 13 pieces of Peter Denis’s incredible artwork. There are a whole host of base chassis shown ranging from the classic pickups to Land Rovers and trucks.

The book kicks off with a basic introduction to the concept of the technical as well as looking into the very early roots of the idea. A small section then looks at the most common weapon systems found in use with the technical. After that, it runs through various key conflicts the technical has been involved in starting with Beirut and The Great Toyota War in Africa, passing through Somalia (including an interesting bit of information on an alternative origin of the name “Technical”) and the Balkans before looking at their use in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. It’s a pretty comprehensive look at the history, with a focus on showing the various unique vehicles from each theatre. This is a great inspiration for how best to make your technicals stand out.

Finally the last section jumps the fence and looks at the use of technicals by Special Operations forces. This section covers the whole history of them, such as the use of Land Cruisers in Gulf War and some details on Russian technicals. There is a lot of information I here I hadn’t read before, as well as plenty of photos of pickups with the Special Operations modifications I have on my own Spectre vehicles.

Do I recommend the book? Wholeheartedly, yes. I think it’s a great little reference, covering all aspects of the topic with a great level of detail without bogging down trying to tell you them. The pictorial element helps to bring the information to life, showing off the weird and wonderfully variety of things people have made.

The only problem with the book? It would have been nice to have last year when I started building mine own collection of these vehicles!

If you want to pick up your own copy, it’s available in PDF, ePub and physical copy over on the Osprey Publishing website. You can also get it via Amazon – you’ll find two affiliate links below (pointing to the UK and US stores)

Salute 2018 Trip Report

Salute is the largest wargames show in the UK and, for me, a chance to visit London, see the sights, catch up with other wargamers and then escape within 24(ish) hours with a bag full of lead and future plans made. Since going to my first in 2015 as I rejoined the hobby, I’ve eagerly enjoyed going along even when I moved up north and turned 1 hour on the train up to 4+ depending on the time of day. Salute 2018 was even better as I was joined by my demo game assistant Peeb’s Gaming Nonsense who came down to see the delights, share the cost of the hotel and work together to prevent us spending way too much while at the show.


With my trip to London being kind of part of my Summer holiday (at least in the budget), I usually try to get out to some local attractions and be a tourist. Thanks to taking the morning train rather than the afternoon, I was able to do my touristy stuff on the Friday rather than the following day when my bag is filled with models. With a few hours before I was going to check in to the hotel, I headed off to Chelsea to visit The National Army Museum.

The Museum is definitely very modern, with lots of interactive displays and graphics alongside display of artefacts. I’d actually done the museum last year so apart from a quick run round, my main focus was up in the temporary gallery area with their Special Forces exhibit.

The exhibit has an entry fee (unlike the rest of the museum) which was maybe a little on the pricey side but the exhibit was well done. If you’ve read a lot of Osprey books you’ll find most of the information familiar, although I felt it was presented well.

As well as plenty of information boards covering all aspects of the Special Forces, there was lots of kit on display, ranging from WW2 up to the present day.

More of the exciting kit and one of the interactive screens

The rest of the museum was still the same high quality, with multiple displays covering the entire history of the army and tons of artefacts. Having already been here, this was more of a cursory look round and soon I was heading back to the underground.

After heading off to check into the hotel, the rest of the evening was spent in the [email protected] until it was kicking out time.


Waking up in no great rush, we grabbed breakfast at the hotel and leisurely walked over to the Excel (one of the advantages of staying close by) for about 10:15. Despite being so close to opening time, we managed to just walk straight in with only the shell of a queue to join. I think the organisation team seemed to have nailed the process for getting everyone in at a sensible speed.

First role of the day was to go round and do the Ultramoderns check – see what new things/previews were on offer for my chosen era of choice.

Kicking off with Spectre Miniatures and they had their new releases (along with what seemed like their entire range) being shown off in the usual display cases and available from the racks behind them. Nothing new in terms of previews. Every time I went past the stall throughout the day, Spectre always seemed to busy.

I did also visit Empress, despite already having the latest releases on my painting tray. They didn’t have anything new and, although tempted by a T14, I ended up saving my money. I’ll be getting one of those when my Russians get to the tabletop.

Another company whose releases are in the queue is White Dragon Miniatures. I caught up with them at Chillcon and got to have a pretty long chat about whats coming next. These guys are the foot patrol versions of the currently released Vehicle Dismounts, wearing patrol packs and some slight tweaks.

More exciting is what was on the shelf above – as well as the quads, Foxhound and NVGs, Salute saw the first showing of the Taliban figures. These guys look rather nice and I can’t wait to see the rest of the range. White Dragon have shown off these guys in some images in the Modern Miniatures group if you want to see some nicer pictures.

Not necessarily interesting for me but I known a few people play Ultramoderns in 20mm. Well, White Dragon showed off some 1/72nd scale Brits. This is one of the great things about CAD designed models – it’s really easy to rescale or make minor adjustments.

Blotz were also showing off their range. As much as I’m excited about some of these buildings (that compound especially), some of the doors and staircases seem a little small for 28mm when I was there but I think I’m gonna pick some up in a few months once I finish off the pile I already have. The minaret especially would be a rather distinctive.


After looking around for things to buy, I instead set off to take a look and take all the photos of things that caught my eye. Most of these are not suitable for my prefered era of wargaming but it’s still great to see the best of the hobby all on display.

TT Combat had a massive stand which was dominated by several bundle tables offering tons of their MDF. It does show off just how much stuff they produce. I may have had to drag Peeb away from the sci-fi desert planet buildings in the top left.

They did however also manage to fit in a few demo tables for their range of games including this rather nice setup for Carnevale. Their buildings could be quite good for building a modern Venice, perfect for some spy related shenanigans.

Blood Red Skies from Warlord Games was being shown off in perhaps the most dramatic way possible for an air combat game – with a to-scale aircraft carrier!

This wintery game of Bolt Action was packed full of details. Quite cool to bring a background element as well.

Spotted this very early in the day and didn’t see a huge amount movement on it by the time I left. However, it was a great looking WW3 game, complete with lots of helicopters and carefully hidden NATO troops waiting to spring the ambush on the thousands (or so it seemed) of Russian tanks and BMPs pushing through the area.

Something that stood out all day was the blue tent at the very end of the convention hall. Upon reaching it, I was treated to this rather impressive sight of two games using custom lighting and effects. This Necromunda game worked especially well.

Looking at more sci-fi was this rather neat looking compound.

This setup actually stopped me in my tracks. The multi-storey hab block looks like something ripped out of every cyberpunk story. I’m almost tempted to get some and start doing some near future, megacity street fighting.

It’s also cool to see the detailing pack, letting you theme the boxy base buildings to whatever type of sci-fi environment is most appropriate.

A rather nice battle going down in Florida as the Spanish raid a plantation. The board included some tall ships sat in the creek while the main force formed up for battle.

Stand To Games were showing off Forager on two different boards. This game is right up my street and seeing some really nicely made small boards was a nice surprise

The first of two Battlegroup games, this one covering The Battle of Leros. I listened to the team behind it talk about the historical battle on A Few Brits and the Hobby and it sounded like something special – FJ, Brandenburgers and Luftwaffe troops fighting against the LRDG, British and Italians on one of the Greek Islands. The board itself is something else, with floatplanes and a mix of forces battling over a Mediterranean landscape.

The other Battlegroup game saw US and German tanks clashing in the desert in Tunisia. Aside from the nice buildings, I also really like the base material. It’s sackcloth with bits of sand and shrubbery piled on but it works well and saves on carrying big chunky boards everywhere.

I always find 40mm to be a mad scale to wargame in so seeing board with a fort (constructed by TM Terrain) AND big blocks of troops was something rather special.

Finally, this was something that I was really excited about. I have a soft spot for Mechwarrior, especially the Mad Cat/Timber Wolf, so seeing a 28mm version was fantastic.


I have something to admit – I find it really difficult to spend more than 2/3 hours at a wargame show, even one as big as Salute. I’m not a major fan of playing participation games at shows (I’d rather be running it) and with my main interests being WW2 and later, most of the stuff on show is just a quick glance and moving. After a few hours of looking around and taking photos, we decided to bounce and go check out a few other things in London.

After leaving the Excel Centre I stopped at Meat and Liquor for lunch, visited an Airsoft shop to take a look at more expensive things and then rushed back to catch my train and head home to Edinburgh…. and then spend the following day assembling all my goodies.


So how did I like Salute 2018? Well it was pretty great! Not being on the London Marathon weekend meant the Excel wasn’t as packed as it usually is. Several people made comments about the lighting and, although it was reasonably dim, I didn’t find it too bad. A nice variety of stalls and games means there was something for everyone. I think Salute is without equal in the UK for sheer variety and, although you don’t get quite as much time to chat with the sellers about what’s coming next, it’s definitely worth going along to see everything the hobby has to show off.

Am I going back next year? Hell yeah.

Wargaming Week 16/04/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 9th through to the 15th of April.

BLOG STUFF

Last week’s post was looking at Warlord Games’s Project Z Spec Ops box. These guys had to be looked at as they are a unique set amongst the primarily metal and resin alternatives. Overall I wasn’t that impressed but I can see lots of use of other elements on the sprue. For anyone who was expecting some Bundeswher thoughts, I unfortunately found myself running rapidly out of time to do all that camo.

The plan for this week is to do my Salute writeup on Wednesday and then something else on Friday. I’m still deciding what so watch this space!

As a bit of forewarning, in the next few months I’m going to slow down posts/make my schedule less rigid. Work is going to get pretty busy in the second half of the year and as much as I would like to get everything in my collection looked at, I also don’t want to burn myself out. The plan is still to do the usual Monday/Friday posts with an occasional additional one slipped in whenever I have time.

NEWS

It was Salute on the weekend which means new stuff. Probably the main news for Ultramodern gamers was Spectre’s releases at the show. The World Leaders pack definitely turned some heads, bringing some very special VIPs to the tabletop. Interesting for this style of figure, the focus has been to make them look realistic rather than caricaturing them. I’m not sure I’ll be using them very much as the real world people but all four of them would be perfect for more generic VIPs such as ambassadors, businessmen, former spies being brought in from the cold etc. This set was actually planned as a show exclusive but fortunately for those who couldn’t make it to the show,

More exciting for me was the release of some MENA Regulars. Wearing PASGATs and body armour, this first set are armed with Russian guns, giving you an 8 man squad with PKM and RPG support. I really like this type of figures as they can easily be used for both OPFOR or BLUFOR in games, either giving your SF some support or causing problems for them. Having talked to the team at Spectre, this range is one they are excited about extending and giving you more options based on the huge variety of countries that use this style of equipment. With my set in my hands, they have the same style and level of detail you’d expect from Spectre.

Beasts of War, who were running a live blog all day, also talked to both Spectre and Empress which are both well worth watching. Both mention upcoming releases, with Spectre naming a quite a few things. This includes their upcoming Humvee range I’ve been gathering reference material for.

GAMING

None – my Thursday night was spent frantically getting a bag packed to go down south. However, with the recent purchases, I’m really inspired to get to work on some more scenarios coming soon.

PURCHASES

Salute is always big for purchasing and this year was no different. To skip the preamble, lets look at what I picked up after a lazy Sunday spent gluing figures together.

Interestingly, this year’s purchases were entirely split between Spectre and Eureka (after pre-ordering figures to be brought from Down Under) thanks to Empress releasing Ultramodern stuff several weeks before hand. So let’s take a look:

Spectre

  • World Leaders: I’m looking forward to getting these guys painted and using them as more generic VIPs as I mentioned above.
  • MENA Regulars: I grabbed the squad pack, RPG gunner and two PKM gunners. This will give me enough for a full squad and another figure to go one of my hot-swappable technical mounts to give some backup. The pose with the machine gunner leaning forward would look perfect when resting a bipod on top of a vehicle.

Eureka

  • Chickens: Eureka always run a code-word at every Salute allowing you to receive a small set of models if you walk up to them and work up the courage to say it. This year’s granted you a sprue of Chickens ready to add to the table.
  • Taliban Type 63: As I’m almost ready to finish off Taliban collection, I just had to pick up this artillery piece to act as a possible objective. Unfortunately, I don’t currently have a base big enough for the carriage so I’ll need to order one. The set comes with a nice amount of stowage as well making a great objective marker/jumping off point.
  • Taliban DSHK ground mount: One of the new releases for the show, and something I’ve been looking forward to since the Eureka DSHK on AA mount first decided it wanted freedom and dove head first off the desk. I also like the fact the spotter comes with a Lee Enfield across his lap.
  • Taliban on bikes (AK, LMG, RPG, Dicker): The main new releases at the show, these bikes offer some
  • “Bringing Bazistan to Life” is actually one of my goals this year as I want to make my battles in that dusty imagi-nation to life. The Eureka Civilian packs are a great start but there are other things that provide distractions for troops operating there.
    • Afghan Civilians on bikes: Another new release, these bikes are going to really help make the streets come to life. They are also going to be pretty fun to paint.
    • Goat Herd: Since Dispatches 2, Skirmish Sangin has included an option for the Taliban which is to include a herd of goats to wander round the map nibbling at anything that looks vaguely tasty – like a well camouflaged soldier. As the book specifies the size of the herd, I’ve picked up 12 goats in total which also include two herders.
    • Donkey train: Ready to fill the roads or be spotted trekking down mountain passes, this pack of three mules (plus handlers) will either be making towns looked lived in or be an objective to be checked for smuggling. I also grabbed three donkeys for ambient reasons and will probably paint one white.
    • Donkey carts: Alongside the train, I picked up two donkey carts. One is loaded with boxes while the other is stacked high with barrels. These carts occupy a chunk of space and might be a pain for larger vehicle rolling round the town.
    • Goat cart: Less of blocker for larger vehicles, the goat cart and handler will help to bring my towns to life.

With such a large number of models to look at, you can expect a glut of posts coming soon.

Combined this with the Empress Germans release (which falls in the same hobby budget month) and I think I pushed this month’s budget (and some of the Hobby Emergency funds) to the max. Because of this, and because I still want to keep up to date with modern releases, I going to start slowing down how many figures I buy from each release, looking to get a few small examples rather than buying into ranges I don’t technically need. I’ll be going in deep on the Spectre Humvee range (because literally everyone uses them) but the main focus of the site is going to be conserving funds and finishing off all the projects I already have.

HOBBY

Apart from finishing off the Warlord guys for the post, I’ve also been working through the pile of Germans. All the figures are base coloured except on the weapons so the next step is weapons painting and then camo which is going to take ages. I’m going to break them down into smaller batches than I was previously working at so I get a better sense of momentum on them. Apart from them, work has ramped up and will continue to slow down painting time.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

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