Z Force launched the main assault on Ascendancy Island, taking advantage of SAS Force's
diversionary attack to secure a beachhead and advance inland. Once the bomb was located and dealt with, it appeared that the threat
from Baron Ironblood was over.
It took a while to decide on which figures to use for my Z Force infantry. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've tried to go with the spirit of the figures rather than
slavishly copying every detail. The original Z Force infantryman figure came with an MP5 SMG, but
those shown in the comics usually seem to have the FN FAL/L1A1 SLR.
An assault rifle is more practical for general combat troops
than an SMG and Peter Pig professionals were one possibility -
lots of great details with webbing and backpacks to match the action
figure plus an SLR as the main weapon to match the comics. The only problem here was the
head, the bush hat doesn't match any of the action figures.
Rather than try to hand-sculpt the heads for 40+ 15mm figures, I went
for the easier option of using Peter Pig modern US troops instead.
Heads and weapons aren't exactly right but they'll do for now! Helmets
aren't unprecedented anyway, Z force minesweeper "Scout"
and medic "Doc" both had helmets, as did tank commander
"Steeler". A few head swaps will create a more varied
force, red berets and black commando stocking hats being present on
some of the action figures. Many of the infantry pictured in
the comics wore the commando style stocking hats too, especially on
Vanyo's excellently illustrated strips "Desert Strike" and
"Jungle Terror". I will buy some more Peter
Pig professionals and swap their heads for the spare US helmet heads
and some more of the stocking cap heads to give me SLR-armed Z Force
troops. For now, the modern US have a great range of dynamic poses.
Base colour is Vallejo medium olive green with matt black webbing
and tiger-stripe camouflage. A 50/50 Pledge/sepia wash provides
subtle shading, though my second batch seems to have come out rather darker thean the first ones. Helmets don't have the camo striping, the
hooded infantryman and minesweeper action figures just had plain
headgear. Red googles are something I particularly remeber from the action figure so that was a big reason for going for these specific figures. Webbing, weapons, boots and gloves are black with a dark grey drybrush. The final touch is a very carefully painted military stencil type red "Z" on the shoulder. Trying to paint this 4 times on each figure (first in white on each shoulder, then overpainting both in red) was a real pain!
Action Force moved swiftly to retake Ascendancy Island, and this time the operation went like clockwork. Q
Force, the naval element, reconnoitred Ascendancy Island, capturing a Red
Shadow. Space Force satellites observed the Baron's movements.
SAS Force parachuted secretly behind the Red Shadow defensive lines,
ready to attack from the rear when the moment came.
I've used Peter Pig WWII British 14th
Army figures with sten guns and tommy guns for my SAS Force soldiers, the original heads
swapped for British commando stocking cap heads. These match the SAS
force action figures fairly well, "Quickfire" having been
equipped with a Thompson SMG. The 14th army figures
are carrying plenty of equipment which compares well with the action
figures and ties in with their appearance in the Battle Action Force
comics. Some of the SAS action figures were finished in a grey
and black camouflage pattern, others were all in black. For the
moment I've opted for the all-black colour scheme, I don't know how
well the grey and black pattern would show up at 15mm scale but I
might experiment with the next batch to see what result I get.
The disaster in Antarctica could have spelled the end of Action Force
but fortunately the chance to redeem themselves followed quickly. Baron
Ironblood invaded Ascendancy Island, a small sovereign nation in the
mid-Atlantic Ocean. Concealing a nuclear bomb on the island, Ironblood
demanded a ransom or he would detonate the device.
The Red Shadows are the footsoldiers of the evil Baron Ironblood.
started off as Peter Pig late war Germans. The Sg44 assault rifles are
a good match for the weapons used by Red Shadows in the comics. Heavy
weapons will be a mixture of Panzerschrecks, which are close enough to the
bazooka issued with the original action figure, and MG42 light machine
guns. All my Red Shadows have needed some conversion work to the helmet
to create that distinctive shape.
colour for them all is my trust old pot of GW red gore. A Vallejo
sepia ink wash brings out the detail and prevents them looking too
bright. Weapons, webbing and boots are matt black with a Humbrol 36
grey drybrush. Final details are the black triangles on the shoulders
and helmet, followed by white edging on the collar, "V" shapes on the
sleeves and a teeny-tiny skull and crossbones on the helmet.
*Update* - Found one of my Red Shadows, so here's what I was aiming to achieve...
With the ink barely dry on the Action Force treaty, the fledgling military unit
was called into action in the Antarctic. Being a continent over
which no nation has control and governed by international treaty
which prohibits military activity by individual nations, Action Force was effectively the
only unit which could investigate attacks on research outposts by a
man calling himself "Baron Ironblood". At this early stage, the 4 fighting arms were not yet established and Action Force was still a disparate mix of different soldiers.
It was not an auspicious start for Action Force - ambushed by
"Red Shadow" infantry working for the Baron, the Sea Kings
of the investigating marines were riddled with bullets.
thinking by one Action Force officer killed the ambush party but not
before the Colonel leading the operation was killed. The
remaining Sea Kings were destroyed by anti-aircraft missiles launched
from a hidden submarine and wave after wave of Red Shadows
overwhelmed the survivors of the expedition. Only 2 Action
Force troops survived, John Shepherd and Chas Dillon, both
experienced Royal Marines who had been plucked from their SBS
training to join the new unit. Baron Ironblood employed
brainwashing techniques on both men and eventually Shepherd turned on
his former colleague and joined the Baron. Now known as the
Black Major, Shepherd became Ironblood's trusted right hand man,
leading the Red Shadows in many attacks. He was at the
forefront of their attack on a small Andean village which Ironblood
had chosen to house his new lair.
My Black Major is a Peter Pig German officer. It's a fairly simple colour scheme, Vallejo matt black with a Humbrol 32 dark grey drybrush. The boots are Vallejo black which for some reason always comes out gloss. In this instance, I made a point of using it so that his boots stand out from his uniform. Vallejo Dwarf Flesh face with mixed sepia/flesh wash and an Elf Flesh highlight. The officers' cap is GW Red Gore with a Vallejo sepia ink wash, as are the shoulder markings. A skull-and-crossbones logo on the chest finishes him off.