Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Tiny Tactical Gear

I like firearms. I just don’t have the money, space, or actual need to collect one of everything I would like to have; what you like or want is normally different from what you need and have. But then one of my students and younger brothers, “J”, who works overseas doing “stuff” introduces me to the world of 1/6 scale tactical gear. (In 1/6 scale a figure is twelve inches tall.) I’ve always know about ol’ G.I. Joe, but never realized there is a world of 1/6 scale gear from all time periods out there, especially realistic looking miniature weapons.

One of “J’s” favorite sites he put me onto for ordering is Red Planet Toys (www.redplanettoys.com) that carry anything from a Roman Centurion dagger to a USMC M4A1 SOPMOD rifle with ACOG scope and Surefire light. In addition to the variety of weapons available there is a wide difference in quality. The inexpensive models are plastic molded weapons with decent detail, while the more expensive weapons are incredibly realistic, and even break-down and disassemble just like their full size versions.

I start out buying a few weapons, but as I search I keep seeing cool kit like 1911’s with rail lights and Serpa holsters, my favorite blades, and other tactical gear like vests and belt rigs. I end up picking up a few pieces here and there, and eventually decide I need to build a couple of figures to display the gear properly. Although there are complete dressed figures available, I want to assemble mine using different gear from a variety of sources, which is called a “kit-bash” or just “bash.”

I decide to base my figures on different student’s that have come to Shootrite, with the first two a military and a law-enforcement student. To make them look realistic I start figuring out how to age and modify gear to make it look like the stuff students actually use. When you really get into it this stuff you realize it is a true art, and some of the pictures you see of bashes on forums like One Sixth Warriors (www.onesixthwarriors.com) are difficult to distinguish from a real person.

Not only is this hobby/art fun, but for me it has therapeutic value, both physically and mentally. After decades of abuse and broken bones my hands and fingers don’t function like they used to, so working with tiny objects keeps them limber and exercised. As I work on the gear, trying to cut up five different carbines to make a replica of the Shootrite Katana, my worries of the day seem to melt away. Well maybe not melt, but I am definitely distracted for that time period doing something I just enjoy.

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September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Gear

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