Tuesday 21 December 2010

Rebel, Rebel

I receive a small stipend at the end of the year for my extra-curricular but still work related activities and have a couple of squids left to spend on a Winter of '79 theme before the year is out. With Maff upping the ante in Wales, I turn once again to Rolf Hedges' extensive 20mm post war, cold war and modern figures ranges for suitable minis, where £12-15 will buy me a small but still complete unit.

By far the best figures for ex Regular/Territorial rebel units or a nationalist milita based on a military cadre come from Rolf's SAS Range.

First things first, let's forget the 'SAS' tag. What we have is a range of 'shambly' figures in largely accurate but non-uniformly attired British kit. Where the gear is anarchronistic (eg Gulf War 1) I'm treating it as specialist or homebrew kit sourced via Silvermans and the like. No need to get hung up on it. It's a civil war - remember, Millets is your friend!

So, first up, we have SASFALKSQU; Falkland era SAS - 6 with M16A1, 2 with CAR 15 - mixed headgear (£3.90); and SASFALKSUP; as above, 2 with GPMG, 2 with BREN, 4 with M16/M203 (£3.90).

Well, can't go wrong with these dedicated 1970's/80's SAS minis. I currently have a pack each of these plus a pack of Vietnam era OZSAS; 9 SAS, mixed weapons (M16A1,SLR etc), mixed headgear (£4.35). I added the OZSAS to give my rebels more variety and the essential Brit squaddie character that only an SLR can bring.

I'd prefer to have more SLRs in my unit but 'Armalites' aren't a bad choice as an alternative weapon in this timeframe. There were plenty in GB even if not generally issued, and further stocks could be had via terrorist links, friendly foreign agencies or unscrupulous British and international arms dealers.

I also go for the M16 over an AK47 in a Multi-Coloured Swap Shop/Tiswas/Professionals/Tinker, Tailor....  UK. Instead, I'm saving the AKs for my Left Wing, militant union or revolutionary militias for that Mad Trot/Red Under The Bed feel.

Those three packs alone give us enough figures for a decently sized rebel British Army platoon. Plus, versatile enough to provide us with Flklands SAS, post apocalyptic/meltdown survivors or even Twilight 2000 options.

You can expand your force with more of the same, or SAS1; 9 figs, SAS GULF WAR 1, bareheaded - 3 with M16/203, 3 with MINIMI, 3 with M16A1  (£4.35); and SASGPMG: 2 FIGS with GPMG,  bareheaded (£1.00). The FN Minimi came into service in 1974, but would take over a decade before the British Army took it on. This is one weapon that just doesn't feel right for Winter of '79, so suggest you pop these minis in the spares box, use them for head conversions or convert them to other weapons.

Further character or unit identity can be created through anyone one or more of the following packs, which are otherwise identical to SAS1 above: SAS2: 9 FIGS IN BUSH HATS (£4.35), SAS5: IN WOOL KNIT CAP (£3.90), SBS1: 8 FIGS, IN BERETS (£3.90), SBS2: IN COMMANDO CAPS (£3.90). The wool knit caps naturally having more of a cold. bleak moors/wintry feel.