Sunday, March 4, 2012


SWAT units were first implemented by LAPD in 1968 to perform police operations that required specialized training. Since then, they have been introduced to the police departments of most major US cities.

In the 1/72 world, modern SWAT officers are produced by Elhiem. I purchased the figures with some vague notions of using them for some sort of modern gaming, but mainly because I thought they would be easy to paint.

While the proportions are good, I thought the figures were all too short. They're not quite 1/76, but they weren't big enough for 1/72 either. I know that most if not all police departments have done away with minimum height requirements, but I think that big, brawny dudes are still preferred as recruits. Again, I had to break out the pliers and J-B Weld to adjust their size.

The only other nitpick I have with these figures is their lack of tactical knee pads, although maybe they were modeled after FBI SWAT teams, which do not seem to always wear them.

And finally, to transport the SWAT team to their destination is a Matchbox SWAT van (MB60/MB787).

The Matchbox Express Delivery van is putatively 1/70 scale, and it seems to resemble a Chevrolet step van. It is equipped with a rear overhead door instead of swinging doors. The van would probably be more appropriate with an older style of SWAT team (e.g. from the 70's TV show), but I think it's fine for gaming purposes.


Gowan James Ditchburn said...

These look really cool. A bit smaller than most figs though

EY said...

Yeah, that's my only peeve with Elhiem. Some of their figures are actually 20mm (like these) rather than 1/72, so they are short. Luckily it's easy to increase the height by 3-4mm so that they fit in with other 1/72 figures.

Gowan James Ditchburn said...

sorry for taking so long to reply to this... How do you increase the height of these figs?

the idea of making them more compatible with other figs makes me more likely to buy them

EY said...

I used some needle-nose pliers to compress the metal in their legs to increase the height - kind of like rolling out a ball of dough to make it longer. Afterwards, I filled in the compressed area with JB-Weld putty. Take a look at my "Cold Weather Wear" entry for some more examples.