Sunday, 18 March 2012

West Wind SWAT Troopers 01

Getting back to my police theme, I still have more SWAT Troopers to review and to show. This time I'm going to take a look at two sets from West Wind's 28mm scale Road Kill range - GRK17 SWAT Team Commanders and GRK18 SWAT Sniper Team.
Set GRK17 SWAT Team Commanders contains four figures as shown in the photo above and the one below. I have yet to name any of these guys so I'll just identify them as figures 1 to 4 going from left to right.
What particularly strikes me about figure 1 is the unusual way he is holding his 9mm Heckler and Koch MP5A Sub-Machine Gun. It looks like he's about to use it as a club! Very unorthodox! Another unusual thing about this figure is that most SWAT personnel only have one pistol as a back-up weapon, but this guy has two, one on either hip. If he is a member of the LAPD SWAT, which seems most likely as their SWAT officers receive two pistols each, his pistols will be the .45 Kimber Custom II Pistol, a variant of the old Colt Government Pistol.
Figure 2 is in a more orthodox officer's pose, with his left hand raised as if telling his team to halt. He holds his MP5A Sub-Machine Gun pointing skywards in a standard non-threatening pose. He has night vision goggles but he has pushed his up onto his helmet. He only has one pistol in a holster on his right hip.
Figure 3 is the only one out of this group not to wear a helmet and not to be armed with a Sub-Machine Gun. His only weapon is the .45 Kimber Custom II Pistol, which he holds in his right hand, ready to fire. His head is protected by a Nomex ski-mask, which is fire-retardant.
There is nothing to distinguish figure 4 from a normal SWAT Trooper. He is dressed, equipped and armed as any standard LAPD SWAT Trooper. He holds his MP5A Sub-Machine Gun in a two-handed grip as he crouches down.
Set GRK18 SWAT Snipers contained four figures but I have only shown three here in the photos above and below. The reason for that is that you get two of each of the second and third figures in the photos. The first figure is a conversion of the third figure. The second figure will be a lot harder to convert, so for now remains in my bits box.
As I said, figure 1 is a conversion of figure 3. I cut him in half at the waist and added a pair of standing legs out of modelling putty. I also posed him so that he is pointing his sniper's rifle upwards as if aiming for a target at a higher level than him. Another reason to assume that these guys belong to LAPD SWAT is his choice of sniper's rifle. It is the 7.62mm Heckler and Koch PSG1 Sniper Rifle. This is standard issue with the LAPD SWAT. I added a rather large piece of granite to his base to give him a modicum of cover. It would work better if he was prone.
Figure 2 is the spotter for his sniper partner. He is nicely posed, kneeling down whilst searching for targets through his binoculars. Sadly such a pose makes it difficult to convert him. It wouldn't be impossible to alter his pose to a standing one, but it wouldn't be easy cutting him in half. He is armed and equipped as any standard SWAT Trooper with MP5A SMG and Kimber Custom II Pistol.
Trooper 3 is also kneeling down as he prepares to fire his PSG1 Sniper's Rifle. He carries a lot less equipment than other SWAT Troopers but he does have his .45 Kimber Custom II Pistol in a holster on his right hip.
I must admit, that in my opinion, I have kept the best range of SWAT Troopers to last. Foundry's SWAT figures are the most numerous but are let down by an odd choice of non-regulation weapons and far too many females. RAFM's SWAT Troopers are more accurately portrayed but are heoically sized, ie. they are very tall. Copplestone Castings' HRT Team are damned near perfect but there are only five of them. The Heroclix SWAT Troopers are long gone but may be found if you search the Internet. But they too, are massively overscaled for 28mm. Which brings me back to West Wind. Their SWAT Troopers are perfectly sized to fit in alongside most other ranges of 28mm scale figures. They are all accurately armed and equipped. There are four sets in their range and I'll be reviewing the next two sets in my upcoming post on Wednesday. One other big factor in their favour is the price. They retail for £6.00 per set, making each figure a bargain at £1.50. If you are on a tight budget and can only afford one lot of SWAT Troopers I'd highly recommend going for this range. I think they are superb!

21 comments:

  1. Looking pretty sweet. I like the blue uniform with the black as you have done with these.

    Both good sets and they are on my WANT list.

    Thank you for yet another good review mate!

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    1. I'm very happy with my paint jobs on these, especially with the word POLICE that I've added to their backs. Steady hands required!

      My shopping list doesn't seem to get any smaller!

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  2. These look very nice. I really like the way your reviews cover the strengths and weaknesses of the minis, and the identification of the weapons, and probable origin of the team by equipment. I must get that GURPS book you mentioned a while back. I finally got my West Wind SWAT and Night Rangers a couple of days ago. Only one month to get here from one state away. :( Oh well, at least now I can come back here and look at your pics to help me paint them. I always do better when I have well painted examples. Helps me pick out detail, especially. So thanks for this very opportunely timed review. :)

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    1. That's called serendipity, LJ - a happy accident! You get your figures just as I post a review of them. Awesome timing!

      The GURPS SWAT supplement has been my main source of info for the background fluff for these reviews. It was from there that I learnt about which regional SWAT groups use which particular weapons. Hence my assumption that these figures belong to the LAPD SWAT. If you do decide to buy GURPS SWAT, make sure you order GURPS Cops at the same time. They go together like fish and chips! You can't have one without the other.

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  3. Good looking figures and nice paintjob, the blue looks very good.You'vedone an excellent job on the conversion too - not noticeable at all as a conversion.
    Why "Police" on their uniforms though and not "SWAT" ? -Is this a LAPD thing ?

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    1. Thanks, Joe. Looking at a lot of photos for reference, I noticed that most SWAT Teams have POLICE written on their backs and not SWAT. It's the same reason for why I painted POLICE on the entry shields of some of my other SWAT Troopers. I dunno how accurate this is for the real life LAPD but I don't care. It works for me and that's all that matters.

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    2. I've done some further research and it all comes down to where the SWAT Team is from. Some have POLICE on their backs, some have SWAT and some just leave it blank.

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  4. Nice review Bryan. I do like alot of the Westwind Roadkill Figures they have some really useful ones.

    I think Command 1 the SMG is either is sort of supposed to be strapped onto his chest if you know what I mean. I can't see straps mind so perhaps they where missed off?

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    1. Thanks, Simon. The problem with the Command figure number 1 is that there are no straps sculpted to his SMG. If he had a strap slung over his shoulder it would make some sense as to why he's holding his weapon that way. But there isn't and so it just looks like an odd way to hold a SMG.

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  5. Very nicely done there, Vamp. Writing on figs of this size is never an easy thing to accomplish, but you did a great job.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment, War Raptor.

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  6. Bit late to the party here but I agree. In general.
    I do like the uniforms and now am sorely tempted to get some swat. I was looking at hassslefrees hazmat team also....must rob post office...

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    1. It's a problem we all face, JP. So many nice figures and not enough funds to buy them.

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  7. Superb as always Bryan and that really is a great value set!

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    1. You certainly can't fault West Wind on their pricing structure here. I think they are excellent value for money, Adam.

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  8. These are my second favourite because I'll always be a foundry whore but nice work and enough to fill a large police station.....

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    1. QUOTE - "enough to fill a large police station."

      Well, it just so happens...

      I love Foundry's Street Violence figures but I think these guys are better. Different strokes for different folks, huh?

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  9. As always, good paintjob and great descriptions, I really like how you can give life to every little soldier!

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