Need advice on buying first Full Kit :)

Hello everybody, i am Tom, 33, from austria, and I am new here :slight_smile:

I am a complete newbie, and i am about to buy my first Full Kit, but i would need some help.
As far as i realized, there´s some of the “big” players, like Dam-Toys, Soldier Story,DID, and Easy&Simple, and i am looking to buy one of their kits as a solid “base” kit, to then upgrade all the gear i want.

But i have some problems in choosing the “right” one…first, many of the best looking kits are already sold out here in europe. Second, i dont exactly know the differences in the bodys:
Every company has some upgrades to their bodys, but i haven´t seen a “changelog” so i can confirm what to look after?

What do you think would be the best starting body, what´s the best “Base” to start with?
Where can i look up the differences between the body versions somewhere? DamToys has 3.0 now, but what are the diff´s from 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0 ?
Does Easy&Simple produce good bodies, because they are cheaper than Dam Toys?

Currently looking at:
DamToys DEA SRT Drug Enforcement Agency
DID U.S. Navy Special Boat Team
DID Sean - British Special Air Service (SAS)
And some Easy&Simple Soldiers, most of them with 2.0 Body

What i also found out:
Multicam isn´t multicam, not in realworld and not at the figures :slight_smile:
It looks completly different on different figures, so i am not sure to really buy it, and just stick with some woodland or black, or simpler colours. And i also have seen that DamToys changed the Multicam on the DEA SRT Model, and it looks superb now! How can i be sure that i buy the “new” multicam? Is there some sort of serial number change?

Thank you all for your help !!

Best wishes and stay healthy!

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Welcome Tom, nice to have you here.

Bodies are made in large batches to cover multiple figures so generally once a change is made it continues in further products until further changes are made. Usually the numeric sequence of a figure will give you some idea, you can then refer to photos of the parted out sets to confirm visually. Sometimes products get released out of numeric sequence and use an old body to save money so it can be confusing.

DAM has the best body among the military brands and it is the most consistent for quality control currently. Unless you need a very specific body size that is the one I would recommend to use. You can group their bodies broadly into two groups, their first style from many years ago then a newer style that has been tweaked many times. The oldest style uses head sculpts with an elongated sculpted neck and the rest use a neckless style where the longer part of the neck is on the body itself rather than being part of the sculpted head.

There are many subtle changes across the newer style from legs, ankles, hip joints, torso, etc and they have used two different length neck pegs for this style of the head. The heads can be swapped between the various generations of this body style as long as you have the original neck peg that was meant for the body, otherwise the heads will sit a bit funny as they will be slightly at the wrong height. The torso and leg length vary between the generations of this body so clothing will fit slightly different depending on which version of this newer body it originally came from.

They have been making improvements to their body but still have some weak areas that can be improved like the consistency of the joints (hip/legs especially) and other areas. Their ankle peg and neck peg sizing on the latest bodies is unique to them and if you want to use their boots or heads on a different body you’ll need to do some DIY. For an ES figure I’ll usually upgrade and replace the feet, gloves, body, and head. As a mater of personal preference I’ll use DAM or Soldier Story bodies only depending on which head I will be using.

DAM DEA is the best of the bunch but it really depends on what you are taking from each and what you are intending to assemble. DID SBT is absolute junk and had many quality control issues as their quality of plastic was terrible and assembly was very hit or miss. The newer DID figures are better but I would only use them for parts. Figures can sell out within the year of their release and likewise the popular lose parts from them so the best time to shop is when they first hit the market.

To get a pattern done a brand has to commit to a large amount of cloth material in the printed pattern. The producers there often rely on airsoft references which almost never use actual real camo material and as such the colors are off. Depending on the fabric material being printed on and the process many of the OEM providers seem to have trouble replicating colors even from their own intended colors when they have an actual real example on hand to compare to. Once a newer fabric is made it will get used on figures until the brand requests a revision or they change to a different OEM factory and lose the rights to that material.

@AdamC Thank you sooo much for this great insights, much appreciated :slight_smile:

So, i think i really got an idea of where to start from. I will try to either snap a DAM Toys or Soldier Story Set, and then further advance from there.

Thank you from saving me to buy the DID Special Boat Team!

Do you or anybody have some insights on the SAS Guy (Sean) ? It looks really good, but i know about promotional-photography, as i am a photographer myself hehe… but the gear and stuff packed is quite nice…i am not sure if i would like to use a DID body and headsculp as my base, on the other side…so maybe i just pass.

BTW, as far as i realized, it isn´t a good idea to just start completly from scratch as a beginner, isn´t it? I thought about buying and building my soldier part by part as a Bash, starting from the body to head, gloves, outfit, etc…but i think it would be more expensive and much more time consuming, than to just buy a “base” and then go from there, hm?

Thank you all for your time.

I haven’t tried that particular figure. Beware the preorder photos as they are usually a combination of prototypes and golden samples that aren’t always representative of the end product. Very, very few figures ever sell out in the preorder phase so it is always good to wait for some impressions like those from some our users here like @chpo. I’ve had quite a few DID loose pieces and I’m not really impressed with their output (their headsculpts are often very nice however) compared to other military brands. If something is only available from them it is of course worth considering. They pack a lot into their releases but it is sometimes a case of more is less in terms of quality.

With the rising prices of figures and how many recycled parts they use these days it is more nuanced now. Either way you can end up spending quite a bit more. Starting from scratch is a good way to get some experience with various brands and items and you can decide how much you want to add as the budget allows. Loose parts are going to be more expensive generally as they have to get priced at a premium to cover all the quality control rejects, recycled parts nobody wants, slower moving items, and so on. With figures now carrying standard retail prices in excess of $200 USD and commonly repeating items you can easily spend at least another $100 USD and that is before considering any substandard parts with QC issues. From my personal point of view the fun in the hobby is spending the time to research the subject matter then try to track down the parts. Boxed figures are a good starting point and some are excellent as is, but they are often a compromise between the subject matter and a brand reusing parts from their previously made items. If nothing else they are great for adding to your parts pool. For some inspiration have a look at posts from @oso2013 to see the end result you can get from tweaking and mixing and matching.

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welcome…stay and have fun:-)
and as adam says…for me too…
dam dea seems to be the best bunch a lot of sweet parts and goodies…

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OK i just ordered the DEA SRT Agent as my first kit :slight_smile:

Its a bit expensive here in europe, i paid 240€ with shipping and one extra black balaclava, but i think its better to have a good base than to worry later.

I will keep you updated as soon as it arrives and i got my first photos!

Have a nice day!

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Hi, @AdamC pretty much wrapped up the whole hobby, but as you experienced yourself, there is so much to learn, as every brand is doing things differently and one brand might have the wrong colors, another one the wrong markings etc.

Welcome to the forum,
Christoph

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That is a great choice. Welcome to the madness.

@CrimsonGhost138 welcome to the forum!

Jetzt haben wir ein weiteres deutschsprachiges Mirglied hier. :wink:

The Damtoys DEA SRT is a very good choice indeed! You will like him. I’m looking forward to see your photos.

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Ohh, Servus :slight_smile:

Yes i think its a very good base with lot of options, i also think i need to watch that movie again, “Sabotage” hihi… thanks to all again for the great insights, cheers everybody and have a nice weekend!

I hope it is OK to post my pics here? I only found the kitbash section in the forums for image posting, is there a place where i can post “normal” kits as well? I will try to do some special shooting in movie-style, or gaming style like Battlefield and Call of Duty and would then like to share it with you guys :slight_smile:

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Nice pictures. You could use the New Product Announcement for example, so people have in hand pictures next to the preview images, but there are no rules really where to post :slight_smile:

Hard decision how to dress up your DEA when having two options plus a shirt. Maybe I need a second one!

Wow! :astonished: Great photos! Are you a professional photographer?

Thanks alot, much appreciated :smiley:
Yes i am, but I don´t photograph figures for a living (yet) … but I am into Urban Exploration, Car Photography, Nature and Landscape and stuff…if you want to take a look, here´s some of my best of (hope its ok to post it here, otherwise i can send it to you via PN if you are interested)

BTW here are some more pics of this guy! I tried to get some movie/game look, some of you will see where this comes from :wink:

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Wow, those pics are impressive.

Yes, indeed. I love the last one! :astonished: :+1:

Thank you guys, i am glad you like it :slight_smile:

Btw, i found someone near me selling a Very Hot CIA 2.0 Set, including Figure and Gear, for 50€ incl.Shipping. Is this brand any good? I am interested in the black uniform, EOtech Sight, Kneeguards, HEadset, and the vest… are the hands compatible with DamToys Body?
Thx!

The older Very Hot sets tend to be pretty entry level in terms of quality. The clothing and other fabric items are usually fine but the plastic items tend to be on the fragile side and range from ok to quite subpar and notably worse than competitors. Plate carriers use a cheap material that looks and feels a bit off. Things like their boots are pretty dire. If you were to buy an older set be prepared to upgrade or replace various pieces. Their last few sets were of a higher standard comparable to where they took the Minitimes line, and in particular they have some clothing pieces that are as good as other competitors and the rifles were brought up to a better standard. If you were to buy an older set be prepared to upgrade or replace various pieces.

One thing to watch out with their older sets is where they have dark clothing mixed with lighter (for example dark top with tan pants) as the dark fabrics will often stain other items due to them being packaged together in the box. The paint on the boots and gloves sometimes fails on the older products and becomes a sticky mess.

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thx for the insights @AdamC !

Mhmm maybe i will just save the money :wink: I only want high-quality stuff, everything else is going to look bad on this kind of photographs i have in my mind i think…

You’ll quickly start to see why many people end up buying loose parts and kitbashing. Each brand has their strengths and weaknesses based on how they try to market their product and balance the budget for a figure. Pretty much all the brands have some unique or really nice pieces hidden throughout their line so it can make knowing what to buy challenging. For example DAM has the best boots in terms of finish and quality control, Soldier Story boots look to have equally good detail in promo photos but almost always have subpar QC and glue stains. On the other hand their plate carriers and vests are really well done and when they manage to assemble their weapons correctly they are among the very best examples. Easy Simple has the old style rubber molded boots but on they have great quality uniforms on the newer sets and have strong offerings for weapons. A mix of those three is what I generally use but also individual loose pieces from Minitimes, Very Hot, and SuperMCToys/Magic Cube as well as other smaller brands.

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