Backpack help.

I’m thinking of getting a new backpack for my CAG sniper kitbash. Currently it uses the backpack from the DAM PMC Syria figure, but the waist strap on that one is proving increasingly unwieldy, especially since the figure also has a battle belt which the pack may make it harder for my figure to access the content of said belt. As well, the shoulder straps make it difficult for it to properly hold its rifle. However, I have learned of the existence of backpacks that can be attached directly to the back of a plate carrier via Molle. Since a lot of sales are currently going on, and since I plan on getting the plate carrier from E&S’s upcoming CAG figure (that hasn’t been officially announced yet at the time of me writing this) in the coming months, I need some input on which type of backpack I should get. It would probably be helpful for both me and everybody to discuss the pros and cons of each type.

For the attachable backpack, there would be few loose straps that could prove to be bothersome, no any waist strap that would be rendered redundant by or obstruct the battle belt. The problem is that such packs would likely be too small to fit the custom Barrett MRAD that I plan to equip the figure with, or any of the other equipment that it might need as a sniper. For a regular large backpack, the opposite is true, with more space coming at the cost of more straps to manage, and possibly even impairing the figure’s ability to tilt its head back.

There is also the question of accuracy in regards to the unit that the figure belongs to, as well as availability. Recent reference media have featured CAG operators using crye packs that are zipped onto their JPC 2.0s. In contrast, there has only been one recent photo of such an operator using a standard backpack. Although that specific one does not yet exist in 1/6 scale, other such packs exist that are attached by Molle. Of course, it is worth considering that the vast majority of reference media features only those operators who are assaulters, whereas snipers likely require different gear for their particular missions. Contemporary reference photos of unit snipers seem to be nonexistent, thus it is necessary to extrapolate based on what is known to be used by other tier 1 units like DEVGRU as well as regular SOCOM units. Since the standard issue assault pack for SOCOM is the Mystery Ranch SATL, it would thus stand to reason that either it or a pack of a similar quality would be in use by CAG as well. Since I cannot locate a 1/6 scale version of the actual SATL (at least one that will arrive in time for Christmas), I will instead seek out a similar one of higher quality. I think that the M5 assault pack from the upcoming E&S 26041S figure will suffice very nicely, Although storing the MRAD may be an issue. From what I’ve seen in the preview photos, there don’t seem to be any straps that may get in the way. As for the waist strap, I suppose that I could put it above the battle belt.

Are you intending for the figure to be a squad marksman, or a sniper who’s kitted for long range ops? Since you mentioned it will have an MRAD (not a SR25 or 417) and a pack equipped to carry a rifle, I’m guessing you mean the latter. As I see it, you have basically 3 options for packs.

Type A (PC-mounted): A pack that attaches directly to the rear of the vest/plate carrier (via MOLLE or zippers) is usually for small items that your teammates may need, like 9-bangers, breaching kit, extra ammo etc. Sometimes personal kit - extra gloves, rations and maybe a small raincoat - can go in/on there too, so long as you have buddies to get them for you. Examples include the Crye Zip-on (a), the Ferro Concepts Back Panel (b), and the Haley Strategic Flatpack ( c ). These are basically intended to carry kit for a particular raid or mission, one that will NOT last much longer than 24hrs.

This type of pack is no good for what you’re after, IMO. Snipers often work in pairs, or alone, and need to be able to access their rifles without help. None of the available (in 1/6th) direct attach packs will accommodate a rifle like the MRAD, either inside or strapped on. Since snipers often go on long walks/recces, they may need a large pack or ruck that can be dropped quickly, and can carry lots of kit. Additionally, snipers often wear chest rigs instead of PCs (to my understanding). Since direct-attach packs are both a) small and b) difficult to reach without help, they’re no good for a sniper. Unless your figure is more of a team marksman-type, who rolls with the assaulters - but your choice of a very long and heavy riffle like the MRAD indicates that he won’t be.

(a)
BLC-ZP5-MC-WEBSITE

(b)

( c )
OIP

Type B (“Normal” Packs/Rucks) These packs, with hip straps and internal/external frames, are better for long-range movements because, unlike with a PC (and whatever pack is mounted on the back), the load can be shared between the shoulders and the hips, and the pack can be ditched quickly if the user comes under contact. They can also, generally, carry a lot more and as such as good for multi-day ops (unlike Type A, above).

I think with this type of pack - like (a) the Mystery Ranch SATL, or the Tac Tailor RHINO Ruck (b) - the rifle would be strapped to the left or right side of the pack. Please note I’m a field engineer, not a sniper, so this is just a guess. Definitely a much better choice for a sniper than the PC-attached pack.

(a)

(b)

Type C (Rifle Packs) This is the type that’s a big ruck, that also has an internal pocket/system designed to carry a big rifle. Don’t know how many exist in 1/6th beyond what Hot Toys have made. This sort of pack may or may not be useful for what you want. Examples include (a) the Eberlestock Phantom.

(a)
eberlestock-phantom-sniper-rifle-pack-33

I think Type A (PC-attached packs) are no good. Type B or C (some type of ruck) would be better for what you’re working on. For shouldering the rifle, you could remove some of the stuffing from the shoulder straps on the pack to enable them to lay flatter on the figure’s shoulders/upper chest.

As for the battle belt issue, you have 3 options as I see it:

  1. Forego it entirely, since the pack’s waist strap may conflict with it

  2. Build your battle belt to accommodate the pack - that is, leave the back portion largely free, or put only a slim load on it - and strap the pack’s waist strap in the section below the PC and above the belt (around belly button level)

  3. Build a heavy battle belt (canteens, large IFAK, GP pouch etc) and have the pack rest on that. My understanding is that the brits used to (still do?) wear heavy Bergens without waist straps that rested on their belt kit.

I know you want your whole team to have a fairly uniform appearance, but the sniper figure you seem to be going for would probably carry some degree of unique kit, and have a somewhat unique loadout to reflect that.

Even with the rather unique backpack, my sniper figure is already in line with the rest of my figures, appearance-wise. All I plan to put on the back of the Sniper’s (callsign Wendigo) belt is a RMJ tactical Jenny Wren tomahawk mounted on either the battle belt itself or the bdu belt underneath it, an Ifak pouch and and a mag pouch for long guns. I could transfer the latter to the plate carrier on the left side of the front flap, or even on the waist strap of the backpack. Although I’m not sure where to put the tomahawk or Ifak, but I’d welcome any suggestions.

I can’t really forego the BB as it contains the extra mag pouches for Wendigo’s secondary weapon (a recce 14.5 HK416D), his G17 and its respective mags. Even if I could transfer the holster to the bdu belt and the pouches to the waist strap, if my figure had to ditch the pack it would be left with much less ammo. Thus, I think that the second option that you posited is the best one. As for which type of pack I’ll go for, I think that either the MR M5, or the Eberlestock from the recent SS NSW figure. It really comes down to what is available by the time that I start ordering my Christmas gifts in December.

The MRAD that I ordered (the black MSE one whose barrel I plan to replace with the longer one from the boxed MRAD set) comes with a sling and mounts; since I’ll be storing the rifle in or on the backpack when not in use, will the sling be necessary or can I save that for a later bash?

1 Like

I’d keep the sling. Always useful for when the “operator” is carrying the rifle at the ready, or when no pack is carried.

EDIT: in case you haven’t seen it yet, this may be of use. These are CAG.

You imply that a Designated Marksman would require gear that is different from that of a dedicated sniper. While I know now what the latter might need, I’m not entirely sure what the former does. DMs usually operate closer to the assaulters, so it’s likely that they would not likely need as much equipment as snipers do.

The CAG sniper that I mentioned is just one of my grand project: a twelve-man Black ops death squad composed of both CAG and DEVGRU operators, with 6 operators from each unit. It would be named Task force Spectre. I have been able to assemble at least 4 figures (2 CAG and 2 DG), and I poured a great deal of attention into just them. I knew that by making 8 more, It would be difficult to come up with and/or get all of the necessary weapons and gear needed to bring them up to snuff with the “golden four”. Especially since some of the stuff that they have like the uniforms, hands, gloves, pistols, holsters, and belts. Thus I decided to call it quits on making more modern SOF figures, and just improve those four while focusing on historical figures. Thus I had to make it so that the sniper would be pulling double duty as a DM as well, so I put together a recce M110 as well. I even considered making an “ancient SOF squad” of a knight, a Viking, a samurai, and maybe a ninja. As well as a leader to rule over them all, known only as “Erebus” (with some referring to him as Geschäftsführer). However, planning the assembly of such figures quickly proved to be very arduous, regardless of whether I was getting them mint in box or kitbashing them. While I have managed to make Erebus, I have not made any of the others.

So I recently began thinking. As hard as putting together the other operators would be, tracking down the historical figures would be harder and likely no less expensive. Add to that the fact that I’ve already thought of the names, appearances, and load outs for 7 out of the 8 other operators, and have a modest stock of spare parts that will only continue to grow, and suddenly the prospect of completing the team has become a lot more probable. Especially with some upcoming figures that have a lot of promising new gear, like 26040A, 26041S from E&S, as well as 78065 from DAM. If I can get enough copies of the gear that I want from each of those releases, then I should be set in terms of some of the items that I mentioned earlier. There are other items like the uniforms, shoes, and gloves that will likely be difficult to get on account of their rarity, but I’m sure that future releases will take care of that. It will likely take a long while before all of them them are complete, but all good projects take time.

Since there will be more team members, that means that I can have a proper DM and a proper sniper. As such, I can give the former either the recce M110 that I had previously gotten for the lattter, or the upcoming M110A1 rifle.

Interesting. I think the DM would probably have similar kit to everyone else in the team, as you mentioned, and a back panel (attached to the PC) would be fine. Might want to consider keeping the front of his PC slick though, so he can get prone comfortably. Idk, all speculation.

That was what I was thinking as well. As for PCs, I’m thinking of getting both the Sniper and the DM Crye SPCs, if and when those ever come out. Because those figures likely won’t need to carry much on their PCs, and because I’d like them to have plate carriers with laser-cut molle.

1 Like

I like it! Hopefully we do get SPCs at some point, although the logistics of producing a laser-cut (LCS?) plate carrier in Multicam material seems dicey, at least in 1/6th. I imagine AVS and JPC would work for your purposes too.

You may want to consider some sort of chest rig/slick PC combination for your sniper too - I think there are some good, recent CAG pics over at DEVTSIX of this sort of setup.

My sniper bash already has a JPC, and I have already attempted to pair it with a haley strategic D3 chestrig before with middling results. I mentioned the SPC because I heard that it combined the load-bearing abilities of the AVS with the sleekness and minimalism of the JPC, which might make it more suitable for a Sniper or DM than either of the other two. I’ll still get two or more of the JPC 2.0s from the upcoming 26040A figure just to keep it up to date, then switch those out if and when SPCs come out and tsave the 2.0s for other CAG figures

1 Like