| ||AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER||May 2006|
I needed something to fight the undead infestation, and the Troopers in NBC gear were the logical choice.
I have had the privilege of having material published in the Combat Zone Chronicles in the past. When thinking of what I could use my credit on I realized that with my current interest in bringing Zombies into the Zone, NBC troopers were just the titcket. I promptly decided to spend the credit!
I wanted an organization I am familiar with, so I decided on a 9 man squad based on a US Infantry squad. A squad leader and two 4-man fire teams, each with some type of heavier weapon. Code 0020 with the light laser would be the heavy weapon in the fire team, giving the squad two weapons capable of incinerating the evil dead.
The squad arrived with some other goodies ordered (but that's another article...) and I knew I had made a great decision. The figures were very cleanly cast and had a light coat of grey primer already sprayed on. I used a two part epoxy to attach the figures to the provided round slotted bases. I then tried a new technique. Instead of the wall patching spackle I normally use I covered the bases in a pumice acrylic artist gel.
I got a decent sized tub from an art supply store for a few bucks and used a small spatula from the same store to spread the gel over the base. The gel was easy to work with and cleans with water. I will definitely use this stuff again, I liked the effect and feel different colors (or colours for the UK portion of the Zone) will allow different effects. You can mix paint into the gel, I used a cheap acrylic craft store dark grey.
Now it was time to paint my troopers. I have other EM4 troopers painted in a blue uniform and decided since the helmets and weapons matched these guys should follow that color scheme. BUT: NBC suits never seem to be the color of or normal uniforms, at least in the US Army... So I used the color scheme shown here. NBC Troopers: codes 0019, 0020, 0021, 0022, and 0023
A light greenish grey and a charcoal grey for the rubber of the boots , masks, and gloves. A note here, the sculpting of the boots rocks. It may be a small thing but they definitely are contaminated environment boots and not regular combat boots. A really nice touch. Pouches were done in a brown, weapons painted black with a gun metal dry brush. I used watered down ink to shade the figures and a lightened shade of the base colors to highlight. Lenses on the helmet mounted sensors are red with a small yellow dot and line to try to give a shine effect. Eye lenses were a orangish color.
All paints were cheap craft store acrylics except the red for the lenses which was a Vallejo color. The ink was "Wonder Wash". It is a simple paintjob, all of about two hours painting time but I think they look pretty good. The lasers were given a couple decals, one on the gun and one on the backpack to add a little color and interest. These were decals I got from Fighting Pirannha Graphics.
Once in the Zone these troopers will fight as a Hero squad leader who is elite, and two fire teams, each with a Veteran team leader and three Veteran troopers'. I figure the troopers will have to be handicapped in some way because of the NBC suits.
If you have ever spent HOURS in MOPP gear you know what I mean. Dehydration and fatigue hit you but you have to drive on. You are hot, you can't hear well, and your vision is not very good. You are scared to snag stuff and possibly get contaminated, and in a Zombie occupied region of the Combat Zone, that means (un) death and hopefully a quick shot to the head by your buddy.
SO...... NBC troopers fight with one less action than normal each turn. After ten turns on the board they all go down a level in rank from Elite to Veteran, and from Veteran to Average. This should show them wearing down if they do not quickly meet their objectives. If they lose a round of hand-to-hand combat with a zombie they risk becoming infected. See the Chronicle article on Zombies for details...
So, grab your mask, incinerator laser, and cleanse the Zone!