“Hey Wyrmalla, why are you picking up all this American stuff when most of your models are Eastern European”. Well I’m glad you asked voice in my head that keeps telling me to murder kittens…
In my First Impressions Review of SASM’s new SEALs and GROM I mentioned the universalism of their kit in the modern world. With most Western aligned forces moving towards using similar gear, and their competitors doing something similar with locally made stuff.
Having posted that review and shown off the models, I was going to just paint them up as is. However, these SASM models come with loose arms (at least the SEALs do) which seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a go at some conversions.
So here’s my shot at doing something a bit different with that set. Rather than doing them up wearing entirely American gear, I’ve gone ahead and included some bits more specific to Eastern Europe, or rather Ukraine specifically.
The Ukrainians seem to largely be using American style armour, with locally produced webbing, etc. Their dump pouches for instance look a bit more basic than the ones you see on the SEALs, perhaps just being something bought on the commercial market. Along with things like ski goggles probably being bought in the same place that Airsoft players did.
Now what I found interesting in particular was that Ukraine, at least until a few years ago, shared commonality in their kit with what the Russians were using. Those big ballistic shields that the Russian breaching squads use? Apparently RPC FORT in Ukraine makes them. As do RPC FORT make pistols and shotguns in use by Ukraine’s special forces which I couldn’t avoid including.
So here’s my initial work on these Spetsnaz.
I decided to go for a Breaching Squad, aping the set up of Spectre Miniature’s Spetsnaz and the existing Russian special forces that I’ve already built.
First off the squad has a pair of Grenadiers armed with AK-74s with GP-25 Grenade Launchers. These are the support gunners for the team, with one being the leader.
The rest of the squad however have more compact firearms. In order to show that the Ukrainians may not be using as expensive gear as the Americans, I decided to not go for as many picatinny rails on their guns. Rather they armed more to a 90s standard that’s been upgraded a bit “enough”. This pair’s armed with a pair of SBR AKs (taken from the Warlord Games Spec Ops AKs that I just cut the barrel down on and added attachments from SASM’s M16s. That Spec Ops set was the source for most of the arms on these conversions).
Running short on AKs, I looked for an alternative. Police breaching squads seem to feature shoguns paired with ARs, so I mocked up a pair of Fort-500 shotguns out of the Benelli shotguns included in the Spec Ops sprue, with spare hunting shotguns. They aren’t exact, but close enough.
Last up in the squad …and first coming through the doors, are my attempt at shield bearers. Of course the squad’s set up is guess work, so they aren’t likely armed exactly like the real ones. In this case I’ve seen guys with shields armed both with pistols or full length rifles (with wrist attachments to be fired one handed). From what I can remember in the Spectre: Operations rules if a model has a full sized shield like these they can’t be armed with a rifle, so instead I went for some stocked pistols (they should really be Glocks or something, but I just had these Tokarevs to hand and they look the part).
Hopefully they look the part. The goggles are a bit large on some of them, but they’ll probably do. I should probably mention that I modified the original SEALs a bit besides the arms and weapons. Adding various pouches, the ski goggles and generally changing the positions of the heads and legs so they looked a bit more dynamic (the running guys were mostly standing upright originally),
They’ll be painted up in either Multi Cam, or British Desert DPM. With a mix of tan webbing with the odd bit of black and green – giving the impression that some of the stuff really has been bought from some outdoor goods store and never intended for combat. Ah, giving their AKs wood stocks may be a bit much though. 🙂