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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Product Review: Battlefront's Navy SEALs (VUS782)

by Jeff Flint

What can I say...Navy SEALS...need I say any more.  Go buy them.  Now.

Ok...A little more in the review.  US Navy SEALS (VUS782) have hit the Nam in  Battlefront's Vietnam era book release, Brown Water Navy for Flames of War  .

The SEALS add several new options for the US player.  First they are a very adaptable force.  Even though they are only 7 stands you can configure those teams to be all SMG or M16 teams or have up 2 of those teams be Shotgun teams, MG teams and/or M79 Teams.  Add to that their special rules of "Complete the Mission" (similar to Mission Tactics), UDT Training (gives the Pioneer skills when attacking bunkers, and crossing/gapping wire) and special Insertion options that change how they enter the game...By Sea (enter on a PBR), By Air (enter on a UH1 Slick) or Land (enter on ANY table edge)  If you only use 1 squad of 4 teams they also get Recce!  All this 170 points for 1 squad of 4 teams or 235 for 2 squads.  Oh, did I forget to say they were Fearless Veteran?  Well, they are   OUCH!

The other option the add is that they bring with the first Nam raiding mission!  Battlefront has added a Raiding mission called Reliable Intel Mission where a small SEAL force infiltrates a VC hideout does their thing and then exfiltrates.  I am looking forward to playing this over the next few weeks.  Rest assured, there WILL be BatReps.

All right SEALS   Fall...IN!!!  Open Ranks,,,MARCH!!   Dress right DRESS!!!  Sir, the Platoon is ready for inspection.  Ok, lets talk about these troops.

Accuracy:  Again,, these figures are the Battlefront heroic scale and even though they make painting easier, they do take a hit on accuracy.  The figures are very good...from the SEAL Berets to the CAR15, to the M16s to the Stoner MG and Shotguns.  The kit is very representative.  There is a mix of web gear from H style harnesses to Y style.  But this isn't a knock against accuracy since the individual SEALS used what they felt worked and they would have a mix of gear.

Rating: 9/10

Quality:  Quality again was a little loose.  And AGAIN it was with the barrels on the Assault Rifles and MGs.  I had a couple broken in the box and two more bust in cleanup.  If your lucky you can save them with a lot of super glue and some filing....but that is a lot of extra work.  Not happy on this part.

Rating:  6/10 due to the rifle barrels.

Versatility: You get a great variety of poses to mix up the stands.  You can make 5 Assault Rifle Stands, 2 MG stands, 2 Shotguns, 2 M79 Stands...but you only get to make 7 stands total.  I bought a second set to have all the options (gotta catch them all y'know) and for $11 its a no brainer in order to run all the options.

Rating: 10/10

Paintability:  High marks here.  The models have great depth of detail and take paint very well.

Rating: 10/10

Green Face with stripes

 Overall: 8.75/10.  Really it was the rifle barrel issue that brought the score down.  Is the blister worth it...oh yeah...even if it is just to paint Men with Green Faces and different Camo.  Just be wary of the rifle barrels.  Buying a second blister let me swap out figures with busted barrels in most cases.

Painting these was interesting.  Battlefront has a great article where they give a "How To" on painting SEAL camo.  These were the first models I had painted where I had to translate the new colors into a paint plan.  There is a conversion chart that BF kindly put out too, but I wasn't happy with a few of the color translations.  The biggest was in the Tiger Stripe camo.  Here it calls for Afrika Green (346) from the new range and looking at the conversion charts this translate to Vallejo 881 Yellow Green.  This just didn't look right for a Jungle camo scheme...maybe the African Savannah, but not the Jungle.  I found a base of Vallejo 830 German Grey better.  There also was they a slight issue with the Tiger Stripe again with a callout of Dry Dust 364 (translated to Vallejo 819 Iraqi Sand) which seemed to white/bright.  821 German Camo Medium Beige seemed a more muted color.

Battlefront Tiger Stripe on the left/mine on the right

The Plan I used:

To be honest, painting the Tiger Stripe seemed daunting at first, but  towards the end I was knocking it out pretty easy.  You do need a thin brush (actually very fine/thin brush point) and thin your paint when you do the Tiger will get much finer lines that way.
Now GET OFF MY BOAT!!!!! and start your mission SEAL!

SonBae (AKA Jeff Flint) is a long time gamer and painter and runs a semi-active blog at Journey Back To The Table where he posts photos of his work, reviews, BatReps and the “Painting Miniatures Declassified” modeling and painting tutorials. Follow him @wwpdSonBae on Twitter

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