Saturday, 7 January 2012
First Look at Elheim's New BAOR
Apologies for the quality of the pic. Best of the bunch - I'll replace it later. In the meantime look here (link).
So, what you get in this first BAOR pack (BAOR01) are eight 70's/80's squaddies in 'patrolling/advance to combat' poses. Six are armed with L1A1 SLR, one carrying a Sterling with slung Charlie G, and a GPMG gunner. There's two 'leader' figures - one pointing/gesticulating, the other, obviously 'corp' raising his clenched fist at alert the section.
The defining feature of these figures and of squaddies in the field generally has to be the scrimmed and hessian helmet. I really like the way this has been portrayed and that it's sitting low over the brow in typically warry fashion.
The '58 pattern webbing comes across as a wee bit svelte on these guys - I can understand if designed from photos of empty kit laid out, but in the field, this stuff ballooned with all your essentials crammed in. The kidney pouches, 'bum roll' and respirator (and sandwiches) case just don't quite capture the feel for me. The 'bum roll' needs to be bigger as this not only carried a poncho but your Noddy suit. The respirator case has to really bulge at the side and hang annoyingly (lol). It could be it's all been sculpted ito true scale and it's just my memory of hefting it about that has inflated over the years? Nevertheless it's crisp and well detailed, so should respond well to highlighting/drybrushing.
Conversely, unlike the pouches, the pockets on the figures' trousers are bulging at the seams! I see where they keep all their kit! Looks like the QM had a special on Chicken Supreme - those little brass tins of joy! These Toms must rattle like a tinker's donkey when they double! Note that they do not have packs. As we are talking BAOR primarily for these figs, these would be carried in the section wagon.
The 'GIMPY'( GPMG) No.1 has a belt of ammo festooned round his neck but none ready for action. A nice touch is a small sprue with a choice of open or folded bipod which can be attached to the weapon. Overall the GPMG itself looks about right. I'm still not convinced by the pose and feel. IMO it would be better if the butt of the weapon was carried under the elbow and the weapon, slightly more level.
The only glaring omission in the pack is a discernible No.2 for the 'Charlie G' with his ammo case. But two plastic tubes glued to the back of one of the riflemen will do the job if you are that fussed.
How do they stack up against other similar BAOR figures? First off, they are taller than any I own (Platoon 20, ex-Hotspur, Britannia, Liberation). The older Platoon 20 and ex-Hotspur minis come off worse in a direct height comparison, being the better part of a head smaller. The kneeling Platoon 20 Carl Gustav No.1 and lying GPMG team (best) work well with the Elheim figures if you want to give your Section a bit of variety. Both Britannia and Liberation are half a head shorter. Not really noticeable looking down on them from two feet away. I popped my CP-Models Falklands figs away somewhere safe till I got round to painting them and will let you know how they stack up once I disentangle the study following the Christmas break.
Overall I really like these figures. They have have the correct feel of Brecon drizzle and damp German fir forest about them. Detail is good and best of all the patrolling poses are very natural. They are also carrying their weapons pointing down, not waving around like clowns (Hurrah!), a personal pet hate.
A great start! Not disappointed, very suitable for Winter of '79 and definitely worth keeping an eye on what other BAOR codes appear from Elheim.