Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Black Scorpion US Army Officers and NCOs

Over the next few posts I'll be reviewing my collection of Black Scorpion 30mm scale US Army figures. Believe me, this review is long overdue as I have had these figures for about five years now. I can't even say I've just painted them as an excuse to wait until now for showing them to you. The fact is, I painted them almost as soon as I bought them and then promptly forgot about them. Shameful, I know! They have never seen action in a game. So, why am I reviewing a group of contemporary US soldiers? Simple. At some point they will make an appearance in my zombie campaign. I have used military types in a few old ATZ-BDTZ scenarios but in them, I rolled for National Guard types rather than the regular US Army. National Guard soldiers appear if you roll 1-4 on a d6, whereas regular US Army soldiers appear if you roll a 5 or a 6. My National Guardsmen wear different coloured camouflage uniforms to my regular Army troops. I'll begin my series of reviews with a look at the officers and NCOs.
From left to right are my staff sergeant, first lieutenant, chief warrant officer and master sergeant. The staff sergeant is armed with a 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifle, the standard firearm of the US Army since the mid-1980's. He also wears Night Vision Goggles (NVG), which in ATZ removes any penalties for sight at night or in darkness.  The first lieutenant is the overall leader of this company and he is also armed with a 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifle. In addition, he carries a 10mm Colt Delta Elite Pistol, a modern version of the famous .45 Colt Government M1911 Pistol. In ATZ it would be classed as a Big Ass Pistol.
Both the chief warrant officer and master sergeant are armed with 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifles. The kneeling master sergeant is using a pair of binoculars.
Next up, from left to right are two corporals and two sergeants. The two corporals and the second sergeant in line are armed with the standard 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifles but all have fitted an under-slung 40mm Colt M203 Grenade Launcher.
The first sergeant in line is armed with a 5.56mm M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). Note that the first corporal and first sergeant both wear Night Vision Goggles. In ATZ, these would be classed as Luxury Items.
I'm afraid I have not got round to naming any of my modern US Army soldiers. They will be given names when I use them. These figures have been available for a long time now. Technically, they should be US Marines, as this is what Black Scorpion call them, but I think they work just as well as regular US Army troops.
Be aware that these are over-scale when compared to a lot of 28mm scale figures. This did not put me off from buying them but it may influence some of you. I recently showed them to Mathyoo when he stayed with me last month and he commented that they look a lot better in real life than in their photos. He's right - they do. They are well sculpted, even if they do look a bit bulky and tall. Anyway, I'm happy with them and that is the main thing.
The two officers (my first lieutenant and chief warrant officer) are available in a USM Command pack priced at £5.00 for the pair of them. The rest appear in an assortment of multi-packs, containing five figures for £10.00. Please note that my figures were cast in metal but nowadays all Black Scorpion figures are cast in resin. This may influence your decision as to whether to buy them or not. I must admit that I prefer metal to resin but these figures are very reasonably priced.
Next time I'll review my heavy weapons troopers and snipers.

18 comments:

  1. I was lucky enough to have picked these up when they were still made in metal, and I have always been fond of them. Funny enough, I did the same thing and split them into two groups to be "National Guard" or "Regular Army". Painted them in Dessert Camo and Woodland Camo BDUs. Just a really fun set.

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    1. I'm using figures from other companies for my National Guard, but even so, it's a good idea to split them into two separate groups. I agree wholeheartedly about painting the two groups in different colours. It makes identifying them so much easier. As you say, Carl, they are a fun set.

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  2. Nice figures and very effective camouflage. And in a zombie game I see no reason these could not be Regular army, National Guard, Marines or anything else you need them to be. A very good job mate I really like these troops.

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    1. Thanks, Clint. That is my thinking exactly.

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  3. Don't hate me, buuuuuut US Army's (just the Army, not the Marines :P) service rifle is (going to be?) M4. That's the difference between them and Marines you'd notice on a miniature. And a company would be lead by a Captain and M249 wouldn't be used by a sergeant.

    Those are still minorities and obviously don't make any real difference when zombie tide has to be stopped! I really think they are MUCH nicer sculpts (not counting the height, at least) in flesh, I really liked them. Your camo on them came really great - did you just paint the big blobs and then stipple the brown dots on them?

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    1. Of course I don't hate you, Mathyoo. But the truth is I'm not that anal when it comes to being strictly accurate. It's a zombie game when all is said and done. I've never been a bean or rivet counter and I don't ever want to be one!

      I'll go into great detail on how I painted these in my next post, so please bear with me for a few more days.

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    2. Ah, I know, I know. It's just something I am interested in - I on the other hand am perfectly fine with calling ragers zombies :P

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  4. These are great Bryan. Really like the camouflage. I don't bean count so would just use these as whatever US Armed force I'd want to. I must admit I do prefer metal I think its more resilient over resin it just feels fragile to me.

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    1. Many thanks, Simon. I agree with you on all counts.

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  5. Lovely job Bryan.
    Awesome camo Dude.
    Great squad of US soldiers, whatever force they are.

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    1. Thanks, Bob. As far as I'm concerned these are US Army troops. 'Nuff said!

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  6. I've always wondered if these figures were worth getting the pictures on the Black scorpion site don't do them justice. Your painting of them is fantastic.

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    1. It is true that the pictures of them on the Black Scorpion website does not do them justice. I took a chance on them and was glad I did. They look a lot better in real life, Robert.

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  7. I've been aware of Black Scorpion's Old West figures for some time. Whilst they are extremely nice models, the 32mm size does put me off. It would be nice to see your figures here compared to other makes of soldiers or civilians, just to see how much the height difference shows.

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    1. That's a good point about showing some size comparison pics, Hugh. I'll get onto it for you, okay?

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  8. What a great set. love your camo. its perfect

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    1. Thanks, Shinto. I'll tell you how I painted them next time.

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