Sunday 28 September 2014

Vampifan's Views 56 - Monthly Musings 34

Vampirella Summoning by Michael Kaluta
It has been yet another very busy month for me and I have a lot to report, so let's get on with it. I am well on the way to finishing my painting of the last 15 of the Zombicide season 1 zombies. Yay me! These have all been converted. The conversions were simple but very effective. I'll explain just what I did when I post my review of them, which should be soon.

I have made five Stoelzel's Structures 28mm scale SUVs from Carl's Auto Park set. These are the first Stoelzel's vehicles I have ever made and they fit in well with my other card vehicles. Once again, a review of them will follow very soon.
Incidentally, fans of the Stoelzel's Structures forum will know that it has been off-line for the past couple of weeks. Carl had problems with the old host but thankfully, has now found a new host and the forum is now back on-line. Currently, Carl and I are the only two members. You can check it out here -
The bad news is that all of the old stuff from the previous forum is gone but looking on the bright side, the new site should be a lot more reliable. All fans of Carl's works (of which I know there are many) should join the new forum.

Studio Miniatures have launched their Kickstarter project and I have backed it at the £30.00 level but I can see me spending much more than that when/if all the stretch goals are reached. Characters from The Walking Dead TV series are prominently featured with new sculpts for Rick, Carl, Daryl and Michonne. In addition, Glenn, Maggie, Tyreese and his sister Sasha will appear, along with a couple of notable zombies from the very first episode - zombie little girl and zombie crawler. What has got me very excited about this project is that the four heroes from George A. Romero's classic Dawn of the Dead film are planned for release. As you should know, the original Dawn of the Dead is my all time favourite zombie film and I look forward to owning miniature figures of Fran, Peter, Roger and Stephen. This will be a very popular Kickstarter project. It reached its target goal within two hours of its launch! If you haven't backed it yet there is still time to do so. Here's the link to the home page of the project -
From left to right are Studio Mini's versions of Fran, Stephen, Peter and Roger from "Dawn of the Dead"
Regular readers of my blog will know of my love for GURPS and that I plan on running a GURPS Zombies campaign. Well, a couple of weeks ago I began my prep work for this new venture. I have been working on artwork to use as portraits on my PC and NPC character record sheets. I have done quite a few survivors and different types of zombies. Most of the zombies in my campaign will be of the clumsy, slow-moving, stupid variety - your standard zombie walkers. However, I will be adding some other types, but they will be both rare and few in numbers. I have worked out the stats for a standard male and female zombie walker and both cost -326 points. It's a good start but I still have loads of prep work to do so don't expect to see any action soon. This is very much a long term project but one that I am very enthusiastic about. I do love ATZ but I want more detail and more of a role-playing element from my campaign so eventually I will switch over to GURPS. Fortunately, it won't be too difficult to convert my ATZ material over to GURPS. I will certainly be using ATZ for many of my campaign ideas and scenarios.

Speaking of ATZ, there are more supplements in the pipeline. I received a preview copy of the latest supplement, "Tales of Dread" from Ed because of an idea I suggested when I reviewed "Hospital 911." I mentioned that a good idea to use this supplement without restarting an existing campaign would be to slot in some or all of the encounters as flashbacks. "Tales of Dread" can be played as either one off adventures, as part of a campaign or as flashbacks. It consists of 13 new scenarios along with new rules, which include lots more zombie types and even has an option for playing zombies as player characters. Zombie stars are just one frightening option. I haven't read all the scenarios yet but one stood out for me - Bloody Big Top. Yes, the circus is in town and not only does that mean clowns but zombie clowns and zombie circus folk. Giggles the Clown is especially mean! This supplement hasn't been released yet but it should be available soon.
I mentioned that there are more ATZ supplements due. Note the word "supplements" - plural. Ed and I have been chatting about an ATZ supplement set two to three years after the initial outbreak. According to Ed, it won't be like ATH. I can tell you that it will be called "Brand New World." Once again, Ed has sent me a preview copy of the supplement but I've been sworn to secrecy about its contents. I'll pass on more info about this product when it's due to published. Funnily enough, Ed and I share very similar views on how the zombie apocalypse will develop. Feel free to share your own views on how a zombie apocalypse may pan out. I'd love to hear your ideas.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Poundland Fire Engines

Following on directly from my last post, here is a review of a couple of fire engines I recently bought at Poundland. I have photographed them alongside the three converted firemen that I reviewed last time. After all, what use are firemen without a fire engine?
The first thing to note about these vehicles is that they are made of plastic. However, they are quite detailed and are almost the right scale. They are a tad too small but they are acceptable enough for me.
I have a few great fire engines in 20mm scale but until I bought these, I had none in 28mm scale. It seems odd that no one makes proper 28mm scale fire engines in card. I know that Finger and Toe Models make an airport crash tender, which is close but not the same.
The cab detail is well done apart from being moulded in silver plastic. I may repaint it black if I remember to but more than likely I'll just leave it as is. Note that driver sits at the left of the cabs (facing front), which makes these ideal for an American or European setting but not so good for a game set in the UK. Although to be honest, such a detail could easily be overlooked.
As you can see, both vehicles share the same chassis and front cab. It is the rear details that make them so different. The one at the left is fitted with six storage bays (three per side) and has a few portable ladders on the roof. The one to the right has a large turntable ladder. The turntable does turn and the ladder is extendable (see photo below).
A few stickers have been added to the models but whoever stuck the sticker on to the rear of the vehicle to the left was rather slipshod in their application. Because of the way they were packaged I didn't notice this until I got home. They are stuck on too well for me to reposition it so I'm just going to have to live with it. A shame as it is distracting.
For just one pound each, I thought these were damned good value for money. In case you're wondering which came first - the firemen or the fire engines - it was the vehicles.
Finally, here is a photo of the turntable ladder at its fullest extension. The cradle is too small to fit a figure on a 25mm or even a 20mm diameter base but if you had a suitable figure without a base he could fit in.
Okay, so I'll admit they're not the best fire engines on the market but you can't argue at their prices and they help fill a gap in my vehicle collection and that's plenty good enough for me.

Sunday 21 September 2014

Studio Miniatures Firemen 01

The one group of figures that are very poorly represented by figure companies in a contemporary setting are firemen. Yes, I know that Mega Minis made a set of 8 firemen, but quite frankly, they were very poorly sculpted. I didn't buy them. The best fireman figure I've ever seen came from Griffin Miniatures (see picture to the left), but alas, he is no longer available.
After chatting with my good friends Joe and Mathyoo, it was decided that the best option to fill this gap would be to convert an existing set of figures. And so Mathyoo bravely offered to step up to the plate. He converted three Studio Minis 28mm scale plastic zombies into human firemen. The heads came from plastic WW2 German infantrymen. Sorry, but I forget who made them. It could be Wargames Factory. When Mathyoo visited England a couple of months ago to stay with Joe and me he presented me with the three figures he'd converted. Here they are.

On the whole I was delighted with them but a few things about them bothered me. And so I made a few changes. First up was the helmets which looked too much like German WW2 helmets. No surprise there, really, given their origins. However, by adding a large badge to the front of the helmets I totally altered their appearance. I could have added a big rim around the helmets but ultimately decided against it.
I was not happy with the length of their coats. Mathyoo's ended at the top of the lower yellow hoop. I extended the coats by a couple of millimetres, which made a huge difference.
The two firemen with the gas-masks and oxygen tanks originally had scarves wrapped around their faces. This was something else that I wasn't happy about. So I added the gas-masks and oxygen tanks. This was my biggest change to Mathyoo's work but one that I think vastly improves them.
One final change I made was to give them all gloves. After looking at many photos of firemen in action I discovered that most wore gloves when out in the field. It makes sense really. Incidentally they armed with, from left to right, a tyre iron, an axe and a large hammer - all useful weapons to use against zombies.
It is always nice to have unique figures and these guys certainly fill a niche that needed filling. It just goes to show what can be done with a bit of imagination. By the way, Mathyoo thoroughly approved of my changes and I kept him well informed of my plans and work. I should point out that Mathyoo's conversions were unpainted. Given the changes I made to them this was probably a good thing.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Stoelzel's Structures Brummie's Burgers Fast Food Restaurant

It has been FAR too long since I last posted a review of a card model building. I started making Carl Stoelzel's excellent Brummie's Burgers fast food restaurant in April of 2013. I began by making furniture items and props for it, which is not my usual method of making buildings. I like to make the building first before working on the furniture and props. Anyway, I didn't get much done before I was admitted to hospital. That effectively put an end to my card modelling in 2013. It took a LONG time before I got my mojo back. But earlier this year I decided I was going to complete this model and over the past three or four months I have worked on it at a steady pace. Last week I finally finished it. Before telling you about the model and how I made mine here is bit of background history that Carl devised.
Welcome to Brummie’s Burgers, founded by Mr. S.M. Quinton and his step brother Bryan during the great meat famine of 1975.  Brummie's began as little more than a of couple students collecting scraps from the local butcher and selling dirt cheap lumps of meat to their college friends.  By the 90s, Brummie's had spread to 50 shops across England, and opened up their first international location in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Today, Brummie's is known to have the best burgers this side of Birmingham, and is home of the original widow maker burger, "the only burger to have, not one, but two full pound patties, sandwiched between three layers of our world famous cheese stuffed fried dough, and dripping from our tangy secret sauce.  The widow maker burger will surely leave your loved ones to mourn, but the nitrates and other preservatives are guaranteed to leave your body in a state of near mummification.  A steady diet of Brummie's Burgers is the best step a prepper could undertake to prepare for the zombie apocalypse, because you will have the nicest looking reanimated corpse around."
There is so much that I love about this model, but one of the things I like best of all is that it comes with its own car park so you can use it as a drive-thru restaurant. The colour scheme of the ground tiles perfectly match those of Carl's Undeveloped Real Estate set. Note that the two large signs on the long metal pillars are not glued in place.
The car park is made up of 12 tiles each measuring 7.5" square to give a board size of 30" by 22.5". That is a decent sized gaming board. The restaurant itself measures 11.5" by 12" and is a tad over 4" tall. The grass bits are glued to strips of mounting card to slightly raise them from the ground. The two pavement areas are glued to two strips of mounting card, which raises them even further.
Note that the restaurant building comes in a choice of four colour schemes. The default colour scheme is brown and red. I did not like this particular choice. I opted for an alternative colour scheme - yellow and red, which to me says fast food restaurant best of all. The other colour schemes were yellow and blue or yellow and green.
The model comes with four litter bins but I have only used two, which I've placed on the pavements on either side of the building. They have not been glued in place.
This is the side of the restaurant that shows the booth (at the far left) where drivers can order and pay for their meals, without getting out of their vehicle. The menu board at the left of the booth has been glued in place. It may look like it is floating in space in this photo but I wanted my restaurant to be separate from the ground tiles so I had to make allowance for the thickness of the ground tiles, which is why the menu board is not sitting flush with the ground. As you can see from the photos above, it looks fine when coupled with the ground tiles.
This is the front of the restaurant and whilst that huge curved window looks very hard to make, in reality it wasn't. It consists of a five tier sandwich. On the outside is the photo paper that I printed the design on. This was glued to a piece of thick cartridge paper. You could use thin card instead. After the glue had dried (I use UHU clear adhesive, which dries very quickly and which gives a strong bond) I cut out all of the glass bits. Cutting thick paper or thin card is a lot easier than cutting mounting card or foam-board. Once that was done I added the centre of my sandwich - the transparenceees (name trademarked by Carl). These are printed on transparent inkjet film. I then glued the inner window frames to a piece of thick cartridge paper and once again cut out all of the windows. This was then glued to the back of the transparent film. The cartridge paper, even though it was double thickness, was flexible enough to be bent into shape. As I said, UHU glue is fast drying so it did not take long to glue the whole lot in place. It sounds complicated and was rather labour intensive, but by taking my time and being methodical the end result was well worth the effort. Of course if you want to keep things simple you don't have to use the transparenceees. But I like my windows to be see through.
This is the opposite side of the restaurant to where the pay booth is. Note the drain pipes, which is a feature on model buildings that is often overlooked. As with all of my card models, the doors open and shut. This particular door uses the sandwich technique that I used for the front window as it has two glass panels in it. The hinges are simply a strip of masking tape.
This is the back of the restaurant. The door is solid "metal." The large brown garbage skip is glued in place, just like the menu board.
Here is an overhead view of the restaurant without the large sign on a pillar. The roof was the last part of the model that I made and was the part I was least looking forward to making. Why? Because it looked so difficult to make. But I'm an experienced modeller and I was not going to be defeated. So I carefully read the instructions - something I recommend you should do before making any model. Once I had cut out all the pieces and done a few dry runs I came to the realisation that this was not going to be as hard as I feared. I began by making the main roof by gluing my printouts to thick cartridge paper. Next, I cut out a large square of foam-board to which I glued three sides of the roof to. This was the lowest level of the roof and the biggest square. The gutters that run around the roof are the same thickness as a piece of 5mm foam-board. Each roof side comes with a large underside flap which gave me two points to glue each roof side to the foam-board - the flap and the gutter. I then slotted progressively smaller sheets of foam-board into place. This is why I left one side of the roof off. I should point out that this is not the method that Carl suggests in his instructions but I could see it working well for me. I think it took five layers of foam-board before I reached the large flat level in the middle of the roof. Note that there is a small wall running around all four sides of the main roof. These four walls were reinforced with mounting card. Before gluing the central roof section I added the fourth side in place. Then it was a simple matter to slot and glue the central section in place. My roof is unbelievably solid and very thick. Once that was done I used a similar technique to make the roof of the pay booth. That roof is glued to the main roof. Finally, I added signs to three sides of the roof slopes and painted the edges. Yes, it was tricky to build but it wasn't as hard as I originally feared. Incidentally, Carl offers two versions of the roof, the complex version that I made or a much simpler roof with a single set of sloped tiles. No way was I going to make the simple version! I relish a challenge.
And so we come to the interior. From top to bottom you can see the drive-thru pay booth, the kitchen and serving area, the main dining area, a storeroom and the toilets. This view is the best for seeing what is in the storeroom and the toilets. In the storeroom, from top to bottom, are a large stack of shelves, a small unit with a few trays on top and a large sink unit with one tray off to one side. In the toilets against the outer wall are a flush toilet and an urinal. This is the first time I have seen a urinal in any card model so well done, Carl. To the right is a wash basin and on the left wall is a dispenser for feminine products. Although this is a uni-sex facility I have no doubt that whoever is using it will lock the door behind them when doing what needs doing.
If you look closely in the pay booth at the top of this photo you can see I have added a desk with a till on it. The till came with the model but the desk did not. It came from the WWG Mayhem Police Station set. Sorry, Carl, but I needed a small desk and this fit the bill perfectly. In the toilet room you can see a condom machine next to the door. It really is a unisex toilet with dispensers for male and female products.
From this angle you can clearly see the serving desk and the menu board above the desk. On the menu board the eight dishes shown at either side are the same eight dishes shown on the external menu board. Naturally! In the centre of the board is a sign proclaiming "Home of the famous WIDOW MAKER BURGER." Ah, only in America! At the back of the kitchen you can see a small unit upon which stands a microwave oven. Next to it is another unit with a couple of trays on top of it and finally are a pair of sinks. Some of the posters were already printed on the interior walls. The red poster on the far wall above the work unit was one I added from a selection. Also, note the paintings hanging on the walls are all optional extras. There are eight paintings in total and I used all eight. The one on the side wall of the conservatory that doesn't have the door in it is the hardest to spot.
Check out the two dispensers next to the wooden door in the kitchen. They sit atop another small unit. To the left is an ice cream dispenser and to the right is a drinks dispenser. Both offer a variety of flavours. In the centre of the dining area is a trash receptacle. This is one of two such items. If you look at the two windows at the top of the photo you can see that the "glass" is slightly tinted. I like this effect better than them being totally transparent.
In the kitchen I placed the main cooking devices in the middle of the floor. From left to right are a pair of deep fat friers, a large hot plate for grilling burgers, and finally a four ring oven. The long serving desk is stacked with cups and glasses. I added a couple of tills to the desk. Note that the menu board is double-sided. In the dining area I placed two small square tables in the conservatory area (top of the photo) whilst five large circular tables were positioned in a V-shape in the main area. Note that the table in the middle has had two extra trays added to it as I didn't want every circular table to show two trays.  Each circular table is surrounded by four chairs, whilst the two squares tables can seat two each. The second trash receptacle can be seen in the upper right of the photo.
I should point out that my review is somewhat biased, but on the other hand, I do rave about ALL of Carl's products. The reason for my bias is that Carl announced a competition to come up with a suitable name for the restaurant. One of my suggestions was for Brummie's Burgers, a nice alliterative name, that Carl thought was the best choice. Naturally I was delighted to win the competition. My reward was to receive a free copy of the model. Incidentally, if you are not keen on the name, Carl provides a full sheet of alternative names, many of which were submitted to him in the competition. One alternative is a place called Vampi's Fans, which has a nice ring to it! If you fancy purchasing this fine model it cost a mere £3.39 from Wargames Vault - a real bargain when you consider it consists of 91 pages. I love this model and I can't tell you how pleasing it is to have my card-modelling mojo back.

Sunday 14 September 2014

Black Scorpion US Army Infantrymen 02

And so we come to the last (for the moment) review of my Black Scorpion 32mm scale US Army infantrymen. These 12 figures are the last of the soldiers to make up my infantry platoon, which is made up of four squads of 9-10 figures.
 These first four figures are all identically armed with the 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifle. The African/American soldier who is third in line from the left is wearing sunglasses.
Note that the first and fourth figures in line are wearing Night Vision Goggles, which negates any penalties for night time vision.
Moving on, we have four more infantry privates armed with 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifles. The soldier standing second from the left is wearing sunglasses.
At first glance a lot of these poses seem identical but most have subtle differences. Wherever there are two identical figures I get round that by painting one as a Caucasian and the other as an African/American.
These last four soldiers have a bit of variety in their choice of weapons. Second and third line are armed as would be expected with 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifles.
The soldier at the far left is armed with a a 5.56mm M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). The private kneeling down is a sniper and he is armed with a 7.62mm M24 Sniper Weapon System (SWS), which is the military version of the Remington 700 Rifle. It is called a Weapon System because it comes with a telescopic sight and other accessories. It is loaded with a five-round box magazine.
I went to check the prices of these figures on the Black Scorpion website and you can buy the majority of the range in packs of five figures for £10.00. Do remember that these are labelled as being 32mm scale and that they are now cast in resin. I discovered that there is a female medic that can be used with this range. I ordered her and she arrived a few days ago. For a resin cast mini, she is very nice. Some of you may be put off by her having her jacket open showing off a mighty fine pair of boobies. They are covered up, by the way. Such cheesecake doesn't bother me in the slightest but not everyone thinks as I do... thank God! I'll review her just as soon as I paint her.
I have a real treat in store for you with my next post. For those of you wondering where my card models are, just wait until you see Brummie's Burgers fast food restaurant.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Black Scorpion US Army Infantrymen 01

In my last two posts I've reviewed my Black Scorpion US Army Officers, NCOs, Snipers and Heavy Weapons Troopers. Today, I turn my attention to the ordinary infantrymen in part one of of a two part review.
The two infantrymen to the left of the photos directly above and below are armed with 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifles. Note that the private at the far left is wearing Night Vision Goggles (NVG).
The two infantrymen at the far right of the group are each armed with 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifles with an under-slung 40mm Colt M203 Grenade Launcher. The kneeling private is wearing a pair of sunglasses. Note that three of these four figures are left-handed. Even though I'm right handed myself I do like to see diversity in the handedness of figures.
Three of the second group of four are also armed with 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifles with an under-slung 40mm Colt M203 Grenade Launcher. That's a lot of firepower!
The private at the far right is kneeling with a 5.56mm M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).
No doubt someone (Mathyoo, cough, cough!) will tell me that they have far too many M203 Grenade Launchers but I don't care. They look good to me and that is all that matters. I should point out that my company of figures are split into four squads, each consisting of 9-10 men. Once again, I do not know or care if this is historically accurate. In each photo the first figure in line, starting at the far left, belongs to squad one, the second figure in line belongs to squad two and so on.
Next time I'll review the final twelve soldiers from the range. Nearly all of them are armed with the standard M16A2 Assault Rifles.

Sunday 7 September 2014

Black Scorpion US Army Heavy Weapons Troopers and Snipers

As I continue my review of my collection of Black Scorpion US Army soldiers I thought I'd show the company's heavy weapons troopers and snipers. There are four of each.
My four heavy weapons troopers are all armed with an 84mm Saab Bofors AT4-CS Light Armour Weapon. The AT4-CS (Confined Space) is a man-portable shoulder-launched disposable anti-tank missile system designed specifically to be fired from confined spaces. The system fires a single-shot high velocity 84mm warhead and comes complete with a shoulder strap, crew protection and sights that can fold up from the system. The launcher casing itself is produced with fibre-glass reinforced construction and offers up a lethal dose of anti-armour protection for the standard infantryman. The "confined space" approach means that the system can be fired from openings in rooms without the fear of tremendous and deadly "back-splash" occurring to the firer or the occupants around the firer. The system is also designed to be recoillless and is thus resistant to forms of self-degrading damage that make the weapon more reliable than other weapons of this type. The launcher container is fully watertight.
The soldier at the far left of the group has his AT4-CS slung over his shoulder. He also has a 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifle slung over his other shoulder. He is using a pair of binoculars. The next two soldiers are identical sculpts that I have made different by painting one as an African/American and the other as a Caucasian. The fourth soldier in line is kneeling down to fire his AT4-CS.
The four snipers are actually just prone figures. Only one of them (the fourth in line from the left) is armed with a sniper rifle. The first soldier in line is firing a 5.56mm M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). The next two are armed with the 5.56mm Colt M16A2 Assault Rifle. The only difference between them is one has a pair of goggles and the other doesn't. The one true sniper is armed with a McMillan TAC-308 Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle, which is chambered to fire the proven .308 Winchester cartridge from its heavy match-grade free-floating barrel. It comes with a five-round box magazine and is fitted with a scope-sight. I must admit that I am not a big fan of prone figures (unless they're corpses) but these came with the various figure packs so I couldn't avoid getting them. Fortunately, there are only four in the range so that's not too bad. They are mounted on two 20mm diameter slottabases that I glued together and filled in the gaps between them with Milliput.
Last time I promised I'd tell you how I painted the camouflage uniforms of these figures. My colour scheme is based on the current Army Combat Uniform (ACU) which uses the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) as shown in the photo to the left. Sadly, my efforts did not come out strictly accurate as they are far too green. No matter. I'm happy with how they came out. This is how I painted them. First I gave each figure a base coat of Foundry Cadaverous Green Shade 46A. This was then given a Citadel green ink wash, which is now called Biel-Tan Green. Next I dry-brushed the figure with Foundry Cadaverous Green 46B. Then came the hard part - the stipple effect for the digital camo pattern. I used Foundry Cadaverous Green Light 46C and Foundry Forest Green Shade 26A for the light and dark spots respectively. Because everything has to be painted in this colour scheme (helmets, pouches, knee pads, body armour) I had to use my black line technique to identify them. The boots are painted in Foundry Deep Brown Leather 45B with a dry-brushing of Foundry Deep Brown Leather Light 45C.

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.