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Conversion Corner - Adam's Zona Alfa Western Operators

Conversion Corner - Adam's Zona Alfa Western Operators

A month after finishing my previous crew, I'm still pretty excited about Zona Alfa - and they needed a rival crew anyway! I could've settled on using my previous Spetsnaz, but when I have to opportunity to build something new I always take it!

These had to be significantly different from my two Soviet / Eastern inspired crews, so I settled on a team of NATO / Western operators. From this point my faction was pretty much set as Military, and as I wanted to build a slightly more experienced team I picked two Veterans (including the Leader) and three Hardened as my starting crew.

Zona Alfa Western Operators Helmets Digital Kitbash

The test prints for our Heist Kickstarter SWAT Team came just in time for this project, so I decided to use their legs pretty much unmodified (apart from removing pistols from their holsters where appropriate), their arms kitbashed with different weapons and the NODs from their helmets. I could've used their PASGT helmets, but I prefer OpsCores. Luckily we have them available in the Modern Post-Apocalypse bundle and customising them was a really simple digital kitbash. I also added a helmet camera from the Biohazard Containment Team Millennium gas masks.

All the models feature resin Load Vests and various backpacks from our resin range. After printing, I shaved down about half of the identification strips on all the left arms, I will paint these as flag patches for my international task force.

Veterans - Leader & Breacher

Zona Alfa Western Operators Leader & Breacher

  • Leader - Starting skills: Leader, Bone Doc, Starting Equipment: G36C (Assault Rifle), Pistol, Smoke Grenade, Hand Grenade, Gas Mask, Red Dot Sight and two Med Kits

As the leader, this model had to stand out somehow - the best way to do this was to give him a slightly different version of the unit's helmets, from the PMC Helmets sprue and flipped up NODs from SWAT - these multishell parts can be easily printed separately with a few quick supports added in Lychee. Obviously he can't go without his gas mask, so I took one from Respirators and glued it to his backpack.

He is armed with a G36C - the UMP's stock from the SWAT arms looks similar enough that I could keep it after splitting the multishell weapon. The G36 comes from the Modern Weapon Conversion kit, with the stock and grip removed, thus making it compatible with the Pistol Grip arms.

I finished this model with adding a smoke grenade with a SWAT arm in a "non standard" pose - some gap filling is needed if you don't set the arms fully in their socket, but this gives you a much bigger variety of poses.

  • Breacher - Starting skills: Knife Man, Scrounger, Starting Equipment: Remington 870 Tactical (Shotgun), Glock 19 (Pistol), Flash Bang, Hand Grenade, Gas Mask, Red Dot Sight, Med Kit

Some extra digital kitbashing went into this model as I wanted to swap the SWAT pistols for something different, I settled on the Glock from the Biohazard Suit Sergeant (which is actually also available in cast resin). I had to represent his shotgun somehow, so I attached one (previously scaled down for my Agents) to an Assault Pack and printed it as a single piece.

He also needed some breaching equipment, the bolt cutters from Trench Melee Equipment were my best option as they don't come with hands attached. I glued them to the side of the backpack then added straps made from thin plasticard.

Zona Alfa Western Operators Leader & Breacher

Hardened - Combat Engineer & Comms / Drone Operator

Zona Alfa Western Operators Combat Engineer & Drone Operator

  • Combat Engineer - Starting Skill: Fuse Cutter, Starting Equipment: P90 (SMG), Pistol, Satchel Charge, Hand Grenade, Gas Mask, Red Dot Sight, Med Kit

This is probably my favourite model in the set - it must be something about his pose! His P90 arm is from the Interplanetary Expeditionary Force, with an added Modern Suppressor. His satchel charge is represented by the explosive charge from the Gothic Void Engineer - with a SWAT arm, looking similar enough to his IEF right arm to work well.

Obviously, I had to go with the torso with the most grenades attached to it! The model was finished with a Modern Assault Pack.

  • Drone Operator - Starting Skill: Steady Hands, Starting Equipment: H&K 416, Pistol, Smoke Grenade, Hand Grenade, Gas Mask, Binoculars

Another model with extra digital kitbashing - the SWAT UMP arms are actually really easy to convert to work as foregrip arms with other pistol grip weapons. Just line the new weapon up, then delete the UMP! Depending on your new weapon, you might need to remove some of the original supports and add new ones.

He got a different backpack from the other models, one of the Modern Comms Packs, and I added a wall piece with a drone flying over it to this base. This represents his Binoculars.

Zona Alfa Western Operators Combat Engineer & Drone Operator

Hardened - Support Gunner & Sniper

Zona Alfa Western Operators Sniper & Support Gunner

After building these two I actually had more models ready than I could field in the crew, so I will have to decide on one of them once I get around to playing the game!

  • Support Gunner - Starting Skill: Unload, Starting Equipment: M249 (Squad LMG), Pistol, Smoke Grenade, Hand Grenade, Gas Mask, Red Dot Sight

The most extensive digital kitbash in the crew, and more of a "can I make this work" experiment! I wanted to try using the Scorpion Feed from the PKM / PKP gunner on the M249. First I measured the weapon for the magazine feed placement, then made a quick "scale mockup" in Blender, lined it up with some SWAT shotgun arms (with the weapon removed) and the ammo feed from the PKP (as it is actually split into several shells!). The only thing that needed more serious manipulation was the feed cover, but I managed to line it up after a few minutes of moving it around with the Grab tool. Then I added a torso from the Patreon Welcome Pack and printed the model as a single piece apart from the helmet and the weapon.

It lined up almost perfectly after printing and I bulked it out with a PEQ and a Specter sight.

  • Sniper - Starting Skill: Steady Hands, Starting Equipment: Barrett MRAD (Sniper Rifle), Pistol, Smoke Grenade, Hand Grenade, Gas Mask, Scope

For the sniper I took the MRAD from Undercover Operatives, overlaid it on top of one of the SWAT shotgun arms, then removed the multishell shotgun - I could mostly use the original supports, only needed to add a few to the scope. Then I drilled a Modern Suppressor out and attached it to the end of the barrel.

I decided to keep his loadout lighter, so I used a Hydration Pack instead of the assault packs used for the other models.

Zona Alfa Western Operators Sniper & Support Gunner

The Zone Guide

Zona Alfa Zone Guide

This is another of my NPC models, this time using the Gorka Suit body with the addition of an ALICE pack absolutely loaded with gear. To further sell the idea that he's a local, he's wearing an Ushanka Hat with a gas mask. He also got a spare gas mask from the Brodie Helmets sprue, and the separate Ops Core from PMC helmets.

For a slightly different pose and look I decided against using the Gorka Suit arms, and went with resin Biohazard Suit open wrist arms instead - it's a great fit, and it gave me a chance to use the paired Geiger Counter hand set from the Hazardous Environment Equipment pack. This time my NPC isn't entirely unarmed, as you will see on the bases later.

 Zona Alfa Zone Guide

The Bases

Zona Alfa Western Operators Bases

For the bases I took the same approach as before, first adding some detail elements like rats, broken bottles, concrete walls & pillars from Recon Drop Troops, tree stumps from Post-Apocalypse 2 and sign posts from its booster pack, and another fence made with aluminium mesh, then covering the rest of the base with Vallejo Brown Earth texture paste. I also used Typhus Corrosion Citadel technical paint to add some rust texture to the metal parts.

I added a Spotter Drone flying over a piece of concrete wall to represent the Binoculars of my Drone Operator, and I also built a suppressed Mosin rifle with a 12x Scope for the Zone guide - I'll just have it leaning against a broken pillar on his base.

Zona Alfa Western Operators Bases

Sadly this time I did not get around to painting the models or the bases, but I hope I can do so soon!

The bases will be painted and decorated the same way as my previous ones, so they will look good together and fit with the terrain I'll hopefully make some day. I will probably go for some kind of green based camo for the models, with flag patches for their origin countries on their left arm.

That's it for now, see y'all later!

Zona Alfa Western Operators Crew

Zona Alfa Western Operators Crew

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