Saturday, 10 October 2015

20mm Operation Nimrod SAS

At the Derby show last weekend, I picked up a couple of packs of Operation Nimrod SAS figures from the Urban range of Combat Miniatures, available from Stonewall Figures.  These are nice figures, a little smaller in stature than Elheim or Britannia Miniatures, but not significantly so.  There are 5 figures in the pack, all wearing overalls, four wearing NBC suit hoods and respirators and one bare headed, presumably the commander.  He and one of the troopers are armed with a pistol, the other three figures carry what look like Heckler and Koch semi-automatic weapons.  There are various pouches strapped to arms, legs, waist and hips, plus grenades and what looks like a hammer or folded grapnel hook.  The commander wears a headset with microphone.  Detail is quite crisp and raised detail responds to dry brushing well.  One of the commander figures had a miss-cast pistol which was missing the barrel, but this was easily replaced with a piece of flash cut from another model.

To reflect the very dark grey or black uniforms worn by these troopers, I base coated them Vallejo NATO black and then progressively dry brushed them basalt grey, then neutral grey.  NBC hoods are green grey.  Weapons were given a slightly heavier neutral grey dry brush, as were gloves.  For me, the prominent feature of contemporary photographs is the way the mask reveals quite a lot of the eye and surrounding eye socket and parts of the forehead, nose and cheeks, so I used flat flesh to paint in the lenses of the respirators.  Everything was washed with Army Painter dark tone ink diluted 4:1 with a drop of airbrush flow enhancer added to help the ink flow into the nooks and crannies.  They are coated in Vallejo matt varnish with gloss used for the respirator lenses.  The bases are coated in Tamiya tarmacadam basing medium.

I assume intentionally, the commander figure bears more than a passing resemblance to John McAleese, who, according to Wiki, led the SAS assault team that stormed the Iranian Embassy in London, back in 1980 (Operation Nimrod).

Will now have to think of suitable rules to use these guys on the table top, possibly Force on Force or I'm tempted by "Geezers .... "Shut It"" rules, which are more for recreating 70's cops and robbers action, but which I've seen on various blogs used for actions in Northern Ireland and others spanning the gap between civilian police actions and full military operations.

As ever, thanks for looking.


  1. Looking good Andy, can't wait to see them on the table!

    I always find it very difficult to do black uniforms. So much so that I don't really even try anymore...


  2. Thanks Jack,

    I got some practice in on the Polish FORMOZA frogmen and some SS tank crew uniforms, so have got to a finish I'm comfortable with.

    By the way, something that will interest you, I'm sure is that I've almost finished the last of my USMC for Afghanistan, just the EOD team to finish basing and I'll photograph them and post them up. I had a bit of luck and managed to get hold of some diecast AAVPs in a sale and them some M1s from the cheap tanks being sold in the U.K. from the Works (which I'm sure you've seen reports of on TMP if not elsewhere). Quite pleased as I now have a full strength platoon, plus various assault, comms, medics, EODs, snipers, transport and a tank troop. Now to work through all those scenarios in Enduring Freedom.

    Cheers, Andy

  3. Nice work Andy, especially like the way you have handled the masks using flesh tones. Perfect for Tcherbevan as well!
    Richard P

    1. Thanks Richard.

      Well, you can't get more urban than downtown Tcherbevan and these are from the urban range of figures. Don't know how well Arc of Fire would handle them, but they will certainly be there.

      Cheers Andy