Monthly Archives: July 2012

Defiance Games UAMC WIPs

Haven’t had a chance to paint my new figures yet (need to replace a few of my Vallejo colors and mediums when I get a chance), but here’s a photo of the 4 guys I built up as private military contractors.

The second guy from the left is a SAW conversion. I wanted to see how the SAW looked in a more conventional form factor, so I cut off the right arm, removed the grenade launcher, shortened the sound suppressor attached to the barrel, and shaved a few other places down a little bit. I used one of the normal rifle-carrying right arms as a replacement, shaving off everything except a portion of the shoulder stock. It’s a bit on the chunky side, which kind of works because it looks like one of those gonzo fully automatic shotguns.

I gave them ball caps and carbines. No real reason other than it looks different from the fully helmeted marines with full-length rifles. I haven’t decided what color to paint them yet, but I’m leaning towards either gray or OD for the clothing and black for the armor and webbing.

Defiance Games UAMC Box Set

A few days ago, one of my customers gifted me with a box of Defiance Games marines, and they showed up on our doorstep this morning. Of course, I had to open the box and have a peek early.

I’ve always had a thing for plastic figures. Part of it is because they’re easier to convert, part of it is because they remind me of the 1:72 scale model soldiers I used to collect when I was a kid, and they’re easier to clean up and assemble. So whenever I have a choice, I tend to go for plastic over metal.

These figures are cast in a pretty hard plastic, and each sprue yields enough components to build 2 figures.

My first impression was that the tooling process didn’t do the parts any favors, since a lot of the detail is a little soft and indistinct. In this regard, they remind me a bit of the old Space Rangers plastic armored troopers (now sold by EM-4 Miniatures) that I had back in the 1990s. My follow-on thought, however, was that they’re better than some people give them credit for. I mean, very few things still look good when blown up to 8000% of their actual size, and these figures look significantly better in tablevision than they do in photographs.

There are 3 leg sets, 2 torsos, 4 25mm round bases, 2 open faced helmets, 2 closed face helmets, one bare head, one head in a cap, a backpack, a right arm holding a carbine with vertical foregrip, 2 right arms holding rifles, a right arm holding a rifle with attached grenade launcher, a right arm holding a SAW with an attached grenade launcher, 4 left arms, and 6 belt pouches.

The weapons are interesting in that they look more realistic than a lot of other offerings on the market, and yet there’s a hint of cargo cult about them. For example, they’re liberally festooned with Picatinny rails, but there aren’t any iron sights, optics, or any other rail accessories, so it’s almost as if the sculptor or concept artist just thought rails were there to look cool.

That said, I really like their size relative to the figures, and they look nice. They’d look even nicer if the sculptor had added at least some sort of ACOG or ELCAN style sight to the upper rail.

The SAW is an ergonomic disaster with the grenade launcher attached to it, so the first thing I did was cut off the grenade launcher to see how it looked. That was a huge improvement, although I wish the sculptor had kept the front horizontal grip, as shown below:

That wasn’t a big problem, however, since I was able to use one of the rifle-carrying left arms to hold up the modified SAW. The end result looks okay, but I’m still torn. On one hand, I think it would look more ergonomically sound if I just cut the right arm off and grafted the SAW onto one of the rifle-carrying arms like a M249, but on the other hand, I’m thinking about making a sling for it and seeing how that turns out because I like the smartgun-style hold.

Speaking of which, I built 4 guys:

I gave them all caps and backpacks when I first built them, but I suddenly changed my mind about 10 minutes ago and replaced the heads with the open-faced helmets with visors down. I’ll explain why later.

The first time I saw these helmets up close, the thought that leapt to mind was “That looks like something Crye Precision would come up with”, and sure enough, have a look at this:

Crye Precision AirFrame Chops

I’m ambivalent about the fully enclosed helmets because I think they would look much better with long sleeves and gloves than with short sleeves. The bare head is something I might use once or twice. I like the caps and the open-faced visored helmets the most.

Given how the box contents break down, I’m probably going to end up with 12 guys done up in full gear with rucks. The rest of them will get the carbines and be used as dismounted vehicle crew, lightly equipped scouts, or something like that.

I like these figures. I’m looking forward to painting some of them this weekend!