Sunday, 22 August 2010

West Wind Army Special Forces


This figure review looks at the West Wind 28mm scale Road Kill set GRK011 Army Special Forces - Night Rangers. Night Rangers? Never heard of them. This is obviously a small and elite group set up to combat supernatural creatures, seeing as there are vampires, werewolves and zombies in the Road Kill range. However, once I received these figures and had a good look at them, I knew exactly who I wanted them to be. These would be perfectly suited for Echo Team of the DMS (Department of Military Sciences) a covert team of hard ass specialists, who are the heroes of Jonathan Maberry's excellent novels - Patient Zero and The Dragon Factory. I reviewed Patient Zero last year as it dealt with Echo Team trying to prevent a zombie apocalypse taking place in America. A cracking good read for any zombie fan! Whilst The Dragon Factory lacks any undead opponents, it is still an excellent sequel.
So, let's take a closer look at these lovely figures. At the far left of the two photos above is the figure I'm using to represent team leader Captain Joe Ledger. Joe used to be a Baltimore detective before being recruited into the DMS for his exceptional combat skills. He is leaning back and firing his assault rifle from the hip - a very nicely posed action figure. Note that his assault rifle has a huge ammo drum, which I would say in ATZ allows the user to ignore his first Out Of Ammo result. He carries two spare ammo drums, so he's well prepared for an extended firefight! Slung across his back is a sword - very nice for decapitating enemies. He is wearing body armour and a helmet with night vision goggles.
Standing next to Joe is Grace Courtland, an ex-SAS Major. This figure was the best out of the group to represent a female as her left arm is covering her breasts. Not that Grace is well endowed in the chest department. Under all the armour and gear she is wearing she'd lose her womanly outline. I guess, realistically speaking this figure should be smaller than the rest if it was meant to be a female but I can live with the slight height discrepancy. Plus, I like how the figure appears to be assessing the situation as she holds her rifle aloft. All four figures are identically armed and armoured.
Next in line is Bradley "Top" Sims, an ex-US Army Rangers Sergeant and an African American who looks like he's been carved out of stone. Most people call him "Top." Unlike the figures of Joe and Grace, he has night vision goggles in place, not sitting on top of his helmet. He's holding his assault rifle at ease and looks like he's bellowing out orders.
Finally we come to the operative with the unfortunate name of Harvey Rabbit aka "Bunny." His parents must have had a sick sense of humour when they named him! Indeed, he does acknowledge in Patient Zero that he thought his parents hated him! He was in Force Recon before DMS recruited him. In the novels, he is the tallest member of the group. With this figure, his goggles are not being used. He is firing his assault rifle from the shoulder, dishing out a world of pain!
These are all very nicely sculpted figures and I'm sorry that West Wind only make the four of them. In Jonathan's novels, DMS has access to the most cutting edge equipment, armour and weapons thanks to their mysterious boss, Mr. Church (which is probably not his real name). It's always a pleasure to find figures of your heroes from a book, film or TV series. Not a lot of people will know about the Joe Ledger novels but as a huge fan of them I saw the possibility of using these four as Echo Team straight away. A serendipitous find for me! If I ever use these in ATZ (and God, I'd love to!), Joe will be a Rep:7 Military Star, with the others being Rep:6 Military Grunts. This set of four figures costs £6.00 on the West Wind website.

10 comments:

  1. This is probably the coolest thing I've ever found on the Net.

    There are Joe Ledger short stories available online: “COUNTDOWN” is a prequel to PATIENT ZERO (http://us.macmillan.com/CMS400/uploadedFiles/COUNTDOWN_free.pdf) and “DEEP, DARK”, which takes place just before the second book, THE DRAGON FACTORY. Here’s the link: http://media.hbpub.com/stmartins/jonathanmaberry/deepdark.pdf

    Best
    Jonathan Maberry
    www.jonathanmaberry.com

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  2. Jonathan, your comment "this is probably the coolest thing I've found on the Net" hasn't just made my day, it's made my year! Thank you so much!

    I've read both Countdown and Deep Dark and I can recommend them to any other Joe Ledger fans.

    Wow, I'm still trying to get my head around Jonathan's praises! I may be stuck on cloud nine for some time!

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  3. Very nice minis. These would go good with my future cops.

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  4. Agreed. No reason at all why you couldn't use them to represent a SWAT team. They'd be right at home in a near future setting.

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  5. these figures look great for a special forces group
    and vampifan which models would you reccomend to go whith the bag o zombies zombies.
    theye are 25mm tall and i dearly need survivors that are the right size
    thanx

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  6. Most metal figures are 28mm scale and will look a bit too big alongside your Bag o' Zombies. I have some of those zeds myself, by the way. I use them as teenage zombies to explain why they're a bit smaller.
    Anyway, you want to look at the Last Night on Earth boardgame and its supplements for more zeds and some great survivors all in 25mm scale. The firm who make the Bag o' Zombies also produce the Zombies!!! boardgame and lots of supplements for it and you'd be able to add more zeds and a few survivors from them. I've seen other gamers use figures from both games and their supplements and they look good when painted up. I hope that helps you.
    Hasslefree Miniatures are probably your best bet for true 28mm scale survivors if you want metal figures. A lot of their child and female adventurers would fit in well for you. Worth a look.

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  7. thanks vampifan i'll have a look
    i didnt know about it having survivors in the zombies set i just got a bog o zombies at a bootsale for £3

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  8. Honour to whom honour is due!

    I may repeat myself, but these miniatures look so much better here than on the West Wind Website.
    Patient Zero is on my to-buy list anyway.

    Whiteface / Elwood P. Dowd

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  9. Oliver, the West Wind website does the company no favours by showcasing so many unpainted minis. No wonder folks are put off by them and no wonder I get so many comments saying how good they are, simply because I've took the time to paint them. It's a shame really, because they're nice folks to deal with and a lot of their stuff is first rate.

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  10. Actually my comment fits in with the discussion already. When you told me you were ordering a lot of West Wind Road Rage stuff, I wondered what it could possibly be as I didn't see anything that caught my eye. But after seeing your great paint jobs and uses for these figures,
    they definately should be painted up for sale.
    You're doing a great job with these, Bryan, congrats.

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