Saturday, 9 August 2014

Adam- MARSOC- making Berets and Painting Commandos

Armies of Afghanistan has wound down a bit, but Adam clearly hasn't! He has sent through some tips on how to sculpt a beret, along with a few pictures of the work in progress for his MARSOC and Commando force.

Hey there, I've been pretty busy despite the break in school but I have managed to get some progress on this project. I was really stoked to get the minis and had been working on several ideas in my mind as to what to do with my minimal skills to make them look the part.

One was berets, or 'French Hats' as I jealously refer to them as! I needed to get a couple of them to signify NCO's and officers of the Afghan National Army's,(ANA) Commando Kandaks that I am portraying here. Generally they wouldn't be worn on patrol, but these are wargaming miniatures so they need to be representative as well as illustrative. So berets for the NCO's and O's. The minis have either kevlar helmets or patrol hats so some minor surgery was needed. I tried a couple different ideas and this worked the best.

The starting model:

Scalp them.

Roll out a small ball of green stuff, probably smaller than you think, see the pic. Then smash it onto the head and shape it like you care.

You will often find French hat wearers staring at mirrors trying to get that perfect look. Just saying...

Another detail was the lack of pouches and nonsense on some of the minis. Now I must say that they are excellent sculpts as well as castings from Eureka but my Commandos do a lot of foot patrols unlike the modeled Police. So I made a few pouches and packs or water bladder carriers.

Now onto the Critical Skills Operators, (CSO) of MARSOC. I've drafted a Eureka SAS troopie on a quad bike to go with my Eureka Aussie SF motorcyclist.

Chopped the head off the Aussie, swapped it with an ANZAC head with a kevlar from the Skirmish Sangin Kiwis and did a bush cover trim on the SAS boy. Those big floppy hat brims look a bit strange to Marines.

Both of these minis got a few extra pouches by milliput or hack and slash methods.

The Ranger from Pooch was disassembled and repainted a nice light khaki and them washed with Brown Tamiya model wash, I like this stuff though it's the first time I've used it. However, my first bull bar and roll bar attempts have been rejected by quality control, and I am in search of 3mm brass wire.

Everybody got a good old fashioned woodland camo scheme as well as desert boots and Commando patches. Just waiting on final dry brushing, detail bits and basing add ons. (Bases are washers, thanks Andy!)

In the end I've got a suitable manoeuvre element for a Sangin game to complement my other figures or even on their own buffed out a bit. My other Afghan Police minis will be mostly more Commandos but I will keep a couple of them as Police in their grey blue.

Looking great Adam! You will have to keep sending through pictures as the painting continues- I will be very interested to see how the roll bar turns out on your Ranger! For all those who were looking lovingly at Adam's motorbike and quad bike, the rules for them you can find in Despatches II, out later this year.


  1. Looking fantastic :) where do you get the Pooch ranger from ? cant find anything like this in the UK.

    1. The Ford Ranger came from a die cast company Maisto in 1:43. They randomly appeared in a department store here in NZ, but after searching multiple cities, I could only get my hands on two of them. One went to Adam, and the other became the ANP truck in Despatches II.

      So, sadly, I have no idea where to find them now!

  2. Cheers :) think I've found one :)