Arjen earned £50
in eM-4 credit


by Arjen Pilon

Having bought the Combat Zone boxed set I had 30 plastic miniatures at my disposal. The first models I chose to paint were the troopers.

I didn't like them much at first, but after deciding I would paint them up as police officers I was filled with renewed enthusiasm. They would be usable in various game systems (always a plus), and it gave a purpose to models I had more or less givien up on.

The troopers' backpacks made them look more like soldiers than like the police officers I wanted them to be, so I left these off completely and filled the holes in their backs with green stuff. I was surprised at how much difference this made to their look.

I felt that the weapons looked a bit awkward (though taking a look at the illustrations in the book gave the designs a bit more sense), but the hands were embedded in the weapons so much that replacing the weapons was not really an option.

Although there are some mighty fine metal arms available for the troopers, I did not have these at my disposal. In any case, they are mostly special gear, and the bulk of the troops would need standard weapons.

I decided to just use the weapons they came with (you could also give them weapons from the plastic gangers, but I decided against it for the sake of uniformity), and paint them in an interesting manner.

I also removed the heads so I could attach them at different angles. This also helped a great deal in giving the models some personality.

I removed the small block from the back of a couple of the troopers, but as this was too much of a fuss I decided to leave it on the rest of the models. I must say it doesn't look out of place (despite the missing backpacks).

In addition to the regular troopers, there were three special models:

  • a communications trooper with radio pack
  • a sergeant with the standard pistol and knife arms positioned individually
  • a trooper with a metal machine gun from the ganger heavy weapon set (and a ganger backpack).

Having my squad of 10 complete I decided after some searching for S.W.A.T. uniforms that I would give them a uniform in the style of the Dutch police forces.

I sprayed them black and drybrushed them dark blue, followed by a lighter shade of the same colour. I painted the armour (including the part that's supposed to be clothing, I liked it better that way) and helmet light grey, with a white highlight.

Boots, visors, weapons, the thing on their behind and the radio were painted gloss black, kneecaps and knee insides were black with a dark grey highlight.

Skin was painted in skin tones, details and insignia were picked out in silver, and sights in red.

Their backs were then given the characteristic blue and orange stripes of the Dutch police forces (the only exception being the radio guy, who got a wide orange strip). Finally each trooper got the word "Politie" on it's back, and a personal number on it's helmet and chest.

To save trouble I glue sand to the tops of the bases before priming, and then drybrush them in blue-greys.

All in all I am very pleased with how they turned out. They were easy and quick to paint, and have a great tabletop presence. The link to actual police uniforms also gives them a very nice recognizability (at least within the Netherlands).

To finish my squad I gave them transportation in the form of two 1:43 Hongwell/Cararama VW transport vans (with slightly different colour schemes), and a BMW 325i Touring police car of the same brand.