So, update time – it’s been about 18 months since The Reptile House kindly hosted our ramblings and a fair bit has changed. The current situation with the pandemic has provided a rare opportunity to give team endeavours far more time than previously thought possible.
Over the past few months we’ve been unusually busy with collaborating (in a Covid secure way) on filming projects, with our own individual projects, and generally tweaking our kits.
We’ve always prided ourselves on being kit pests, and too right – poring over pictures to find justification for odd bits of kit. We’re passionate about our individual and team impressions, but a quick disclaimer for any UKSF novitiates reading this: you don’t need to drop the obscene amount some of our members spend to achieve a convincing impression.
Indeed, many members of the community are compiling kit lists based wholly on satisfactory reproductions – or a curated blend of real and repro. We also don’t have any super-secret squirrel industry contacts, or know the first man on the balcony – we’re just passionate hobbyists. We also strive to be as honest as possible about our knowledge and inspiration, as well as our history, origins and even kit lists (seriously, just ask us, we’re not precious!).
Due to the nature of modern impressions, we accept that things are always chopping and changing to suit both personal preference and the needs of the team as a whole – similar, we imagine, to what might happen in the real world. Indeed, many members of the callsign have undergone sweeping changes in rigs and belt kits to accommodate what works best for their role and personal preference.
Building a convincing impression is a labour of love more than anything, one that we’re rarely satisfied with. We have had the privilege of being invited to some fantastic events and other projects that have helped us ‘trim the fat’ and find out what we really want and need in our kits.
So, to the updates – we’ll run through the team members alphabetically and break down in as much detail as possible.
T42B (tango42_bravo) and T42T have both been busy setting the standard when it comes to replicating some of the more elusive bits of kit, only rumoured to be in use as at the time of writing; namely the Sig Sauer ‘Rattler’. They’ve both done an excellent job of converting the legacy MCX and current Virtus RIF bases into something equally unique.
Apparently employed primarily as a ‘glove box gun’ (when deployed covertly or, as the nickname suggests, when in a vehicle), these are for use when the 10″ suppressed A2s (apparently stashed in the boot) would be unsuitable.
Bravo is working on a more thorough article purely based on his MCX Rattler, so Sig Sauer aficionados are encouraged to keep an eye on the blog in the near future.
Over the past few months, Bravo has also found his niche for 3D CAD, custom modelling many of the specialist components of both his and Tango’s Rattlers and collaborating with some very interesting people in the community to work on some truly exciting projects.
Pairing this with Romeo’s ability to 3D print components means we can keep the timeline of many of these projects fairly short, and don’t have to outsource them – which means quality and reliability can be controlled in-house.
T42D (tactm_) is our natural choice for team leader/IC role at events, employing his wealth of professional knowledge. It’s been a fantastic learning experience for all of T42, with Delta able to broaden his leadership skills (Juliet acting as 2IC, and other members given scope to stand in), and the team getting dedicated and flexible leadership.
Delta’s JPC 2.0 is set up as an amalgamation of rigs seen to be in use with UKSF as well as his work rig. That is to say, kept as simple as possible. He uses operational experience and takes inspiration from the Winchester accord pictures (2016) and the JPCs seen in the follow-on raids in Manchester (2017).
T42F (tango42_foxtrot) is the newest member of the callsign, but one that appears to be settling into the team remarkably well. We’ve always run on the ethos of ‘Friends first, teammates second’, and it is vitally important that we actually like a bloke before offering them a ‘smiley patch’.
Foxtrot is developing the role of breacher, currently, and had this to say about his experiences over the last few months.
I was approached by a member of T42 after being an active member on facebook groups and DEVTSIX forums. We’d chatted for a while beforehand and got along really well. From there I was invited to attend a training event and we seemed to really hit it off. I felt I was able to slot into the team with minimal hassle.
After being ‘formally’ offered a spot, I got to choose my letter. Given that B and J were already taken, I naturally chose F for ‘f*ck’, because I’m such a cool kid!
I’ve been collecting UKSF kit for over 10 years, having owned some real ‘holy grail’ type items in the process. Not only this but I’ve attended my fair share of Stirling 24-hour events…and watched the ‘Art of the Tactical Carbine’ over 10 times!
I currently fill the role of an assaulter in the team but am in the process of adding more breaching kit to keep abreast of my additional responsibilities in the team. This felt fairly natural given that I work out quite a lot and am amongst the bigger members of the team. Paired with the kit I run, I feel this all contributes to a convincing impression.
In terms of kit development, I’ve chopped and changed my kit around quite a bit to find what really works for me – having started in the scene with a Task Force Black impression. Since then I have moved through the eras of UKSF kit, to Task Force Knight-based kits and into the post-TFK era. The high point for me personally was owning a genuine S&S Precision Plateframe, kitted out with all the pouches pictured or rumoured to be in use. I loved that rig and it worked fantastically for me. However, from there I upgraded to the Crye Precision AVS and finally to the SPC.
I’d like to think my story is indicative of a regular impressionist with a passion for what they do – it’s an immersive hobby after all. I love the kit aspect of the impression scene and paying attention to detail. I love nailing the little things on a particular kit as this is what gives it that ring of authenticity.
Enjoy what you do, be passionate, take your kit seriously but remember to have a laugh and joke – that’s me in a nutshell I think.T42F in his own words
T42J (bilko_bailey) is our designated team medic. Following on from the last few events, Final Encore and team training workshop included, we noticed a particular need to develop in-house all specialisations necessary for realsim events: signallers, medics, breachers, ATOs, team leaders and point men included.
Having taken possession of a Plateframe Modular (REVIEW) rumoured to be in use, Juliet is modelling his kit closely on images of SBS medics which are slowly being released across various social media platforms.
I’ve always been interested in doing a medical impression. It’s an incredibly useful role and one that isn’t too popular in the impression scene – which I always found slightly odd.
A medical kit is by no means an easy, cheap or glamorous kit to build – it’s heavy, cumbersome and you won’t see as much action as, say, an assaulter or a breacher. By design you’re at the back of the stack or out in the harbour area. The impressionist in me 5 years ago would never have considered this. Now, however, I can’t wait for the next event to “pew pew, tourniquet”.T42J in his own words
T42R (JCI_comms) is our team signaller and he definitely brings a lot to the callsign. Given the fact that most of us can barely key in our radios, Romeo operates on another level.
As the second-newest member of T42 at the time of writing, he’s definitely made his mark; simplifying for us the intricate complexity of the comms world, as well as keeping us whippersnappers in check with the whip-smart humour that comes of being of a certain age…not to mention reminiscing about ‘the good old days’.
Romeo has spent time and effort building a convincing impression based on UKSF signallers (264 (SAS) Signals Sqn.) as well as the corresponding rifle, closely resembling that of the tan-cerakote issued L119A2. He carefully balances the practicalities of running dual radios (drawing on his considerable knowledge as a communications specialist), all the while fitting it into the framework of an impression kit.
T42S (tango42_sierra) is our ATO, and a bloody good one. His role involves rendering safe suspicious devices, gaining safe entry to potentially booby-trapped entrances and the safe removal of such devices. Sierra has put a lot of time and effort into his kit, recently upgrading to a Mystery Ranch RATS Bergen as per the Manchester raid reference pictures.
We’re proud to say that Sierra has likely the most authentic and functional ATO impression in the community – with an ex-forces C-IED instructor recently getting in touch to offer his advice and training services to the callsign. Sierra has also stepped into the role of explosive method of entry (EMOE), alongside Foxtrot.
As well as building one of the two most convincing Sig Rattlers in the community, T42T (mk1_tactical) has developed his niche as being a tactical hipster – namely with his 40, 20 and 10-round magazines – and god-knows what else he has in the pipeline.
If it’s difficult to get, he’s likely got it or has tried it. He was amongst the first to try out the Crye Structural Plate Carrier (REVIEW) and subsequently modify it with First Spear quick detach Tubes. Despite pushing his builds to the very fringe of what would be deemed ‘acceptable’ for an impression, Tango still manages to achieve a convincing kit (we don’t know how either).
Overall, quarantine and lockdown has been a useful time for many of us – allowing for us to spend more time with our kit and finding new ways to put effort into the hobby.
We would like to use this space in conclusion to encourage all readers to keep a hold of their kit, as much as is possible and not to sell up – no matter how tempting it may be. There’s been a sharp rise in people selling up and leaving the hobby, although they’ll likely come to regret it later on down the line.
It’s a tricky time for us all at the moment – but we intend to keep on doing what we enjoy, and continue to provide content that we hope you guys will enjoy.