Monday, 25 July 2016

RAFM S.W.A.T. Team Review and Showcase

In today's review we take a look at the S.W.A.T. miniatures available from RAFM as part of their USX: Modern Day Heroes line. This is part two of my "Week of the Law" article series (scroll to the bottom of the page to find links to the other two articles).

As many of my readers already know, value is very important to me with my miniature purchases. Value is exactly what I find in every single one of my RAFM purchases. The best way to purchase the RAFM S.W.A.T. team is as a boxed set. The boxed set contains 10 minis and costs $34.95 Canadian.

This box set contains 10 minis and runs for $34.95 Canadian. The above image is from RAFM's webstore. 
Despite the boxed set being the best way to purchase the S.W.A.T. Team, it is not how I acquired mine. For mine, I purchased the USX: Modern Day Heroes Starter Set and bought the rest of the pieces piecemeal. The USX Starter Set provides fantastic value - costing $39.95 Canadian and containing 17 metal miniatures along with a rule set. Whether you use the figures for this rule set or for other games, $39.95 is a great price for 17 metal miniatures. I will be using them on August 20th for a group game of A Fistful of Kung Fu at a convention in Hamilton, Ontario. I can also see these figures fitting in very well with the new Black Ops game from last fall or any other number of other modern (or near future) skirmish games.

USX Starter Set runs $39.95 Canadian and contains 17 metal miniatures and a rule-book. This image is from the RAFM webstore. 
My collection of RAFM S.W.A.T. Team figures contains a total of 11 pieces. These 11 pieces represent all of RAFM's S.W.A.T. figures at this time. With so few figures, a completionest can collect the entire S.W.A.T. set with just the S.W.A.T. Team boxed set and the Sniper miniature. The sniper miniature runs $5.95 Canadian.

Group 1 includes the S.W.A.T. Team Leader, 4 Grunts and a Sniper. To buy this group piecemeal, you are looking at $24.95 Canadian. 

This second set contains a Lieutenant and 4 Grunts. This group is exactly what is in the USX Starter Set for the law enforcement side. These two group pictures together show exactly what is in the S.W.A.T. boxed set (minus the sniper). 
The Grunts in the boxed set are actually repeated, so the buyer ends up with 4 figures duplicated. To depict the difference in my models, I painted black sleeves on one group and grey on the other. At the time of purchase, I was watching a lot of the TV show "Flashpoint." The unit in that fictional show is the SRU (Special Response Unit) so I painted the letters "SRU" on the backs of all my guys instead of "SWAT." My painting skills have improved drastically since I painted these figures, but they are still quite serviceable.

The Leaders...

The Lieutenant.



At this point, I was still painting eyes on my figures. Since then, I have learned to rely more on oils to shade the areas instead. I was never very good at painting convincing eyes on my minis. :) 
The S.W.A.T. Leader



Some Grunts... 









The Sniper...

"I have the solution."

Size Comparison...

Now let's look at how these miniatures size up against other ranges.  

Left to Right... Armorcast Tactical Miniatures Cop, RAFM SWAT Grunt, Warlord Games - Bolt Action Commander, RAFM SWAT Leader, Kit-bashed Imperial Guardsman, RAFM SWAT Grunt, Chaos Cultist. 
As one can see, the RAFM SWAT figures are large. They are 32mm, so they end up being heads to heads and shoulders above other ranges that do true 28mm. Even the 28mm Heroic scale of the Chaos Cultist and Imperial Guardsman is roughly a head shorter than the RAFM models. For someone that wants to keep all of their figures roughly the same height, this discrepancy in scale may bug them and would be reason for them not to buy the kit. For me, they are close enough that I am not too bothered by the difference. I also mix my models freely and own plenty in the 32mm scale.

In Closing...

Over all, I am very happy with my S.W.A.T. miniature by RAFM. These minis are all in 32mm, but I mix them freely with my 28mm figures for various games. The way I look at it, people come in different shapes and sizes, so I see is no reason to discriminate. To be honest, some of my co-workers tower a full head above me and I know a number of people shorter than me too. I think of scale differences as a way to add in the real life variance of people's heights. Having a S.W.A.T. team that is larger than your other 28mm figures on the table might not be a bad thing either. Perhaps the police department is able to promote just the biggest and strongest to the S.W.A.T. team.

These miniatures painted up fairly well considering that all I did was a base coat on them followed by a dip in dark MinWax for shading. I did not go back and highlight or do much work to them afterwards.

My verdict is that these figures are definitely worth the buy. I can see scale as being a barrier for some (and perhaps shipping as another barrier to my readers overseas), but other than those potential issues, these models bring great value to the table for any modern skirmish game.

Week of the Law!!!

Part 1: Introduction and Judge Dredd
Part 2: RAFM S.W.A.T. Team Review and Showcase
Part 3: Armorcast Tactical Miniatures Rookie Cops Review and Showcase 
Bonus: Civilians by RAFM and Reaper: A mini-Showcase and Review

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