10 January, 2011

Doctor Who Project - UNIT

This post covers my UNIT force for Doctor Who games.  UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) is a multinational force whose purpose is to investigate extraterrestial/paranormal threats to Earth.  UNIT's heyday was during the period of the 3rd Doctor and early 4th Doctor in the 1970s.  They have made sporadic appearances since then, including in the new series.  I use the Doctor Who Miniatures Game (DWMG) rules, available for free on the internet at http://www.drwhominiatures.co.uk/ and with an active Yahoo group.

My UNIT troops are painted in a mid-1970s uniform, though I have no qualms over using them in any scenario calling for UNIT, no matter the date.  It is no coincidence that is the time when I first started watching Doctor Who as a young boy on WOSU, the local PBS television station in Columbus, Ohio, USA where I grew up.  It is often said among fans that your favorite Doctor is always the first one you saw.  In my case that was Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor.  When I was in elementary through high school, WOSU showed Doctor Who on a regular basis, originally with one 25-minute episode each weeknight and a whole story on Sunday mornings.  I have fond memories of watching while my mom cooked dinner and of getting up early on Sundays to watch.  In later years, 1-2 stories were broadcast in their entirety on Saturday nights.

My UNIT force consists of 42 figures; most are from the Doctor Who range manufactured by Black Tree Design.  They were painted in batches from 2007-10.  I only bought six of the regular soldiers directly from BTD, which came in the Invasion Earth box set; the officer figures also came direct from BTD, while the rest were purchased over a long period of time off of Ebay.  There are a few figures from other manufacturers that I will note in the individual photos.  Several manufacturers offer Falklands-era British that can be used as UNIT troops.  For the purposes of this post, I have divided them into four squads, plus heavy weapons support and officers.  They are on slottabases with metal washers underneath to provide balance and for use in my magnetic storage system.

You can click on the photos for close-ups.

The 1st squad of seven:

The 2nd squad of six:

The 3rd squad of seven:

The 4th squad of seven:

Support sections (l-r): a 2-man bazooka team (BTD), a 2-man machine-gun team (BTD) and a 3-man mortar team (The Assault Group, purchased from Scale Creep at Cold Wars 2009).

Officers (l-r): Sergeant Benton, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart , and Captain Yates

This is actually one of the 4th Doctor's companions, Harry Sullivan, who appeared on the show during seasons 12 and 13 in the mid-1970s.  He was a Royal Navy surgeon attached to UNIT.  I found this figure in the UNIT box although he should be stored elsewhere, so I decided to take a picture anyway.  Consider this a preview of the Doctors & Companions post!

The last squad consists of 5 SAS soldiers.  I purchased them from Rebel Minis at the Cold Wars convention in the 2006-8 time period.  They were painted in 2010.

Finally, here is a group shot of all 42 UNIT soldiers, plus the Harry Sullivan figure.  This is the largest of my Doctor Who forces, which is just well.  They need numbers, as the UNIT troops are normally outclassed in the DWMG rules by the various alien opponents.  Although the DWMG does not have a point system, on the Yahoo group there are references to each alien being worth 'x' UNIT soldiers in order to balance scenarios!

I hope you have enjoyed this series of posts on my long-running project which is finally coming to fruition.  Future posts will feature various Doctors and their Companions, civilians, the Sea Devils and everyone's favorite villains, the Daleks.



  1. OOOH great!!! I love doctor who and i really like what you´re doing here :-D
    Where will you get the Daleks from??

  2. I have about 20 BTD Daleks, accumulated from various sources over the years, that I am still working on. I have around the same number of new 'iDaleks' that came attached to an issue of Doctor Who Adventures early in 2010. It is only sold in the UK but I got several copies off of eBay. Those will painted further down the road.

  3. Nice one. Daleks in this scale are virtually impossible to find. I look forward to you posting them

  4. Most excellent and inspiring stuff. I look forward to seeing some after-action reports with these guys!


  5. Very cool. The addition of the SAS is a nice touch.

  6. Very nice! I've just gone and downloaded those rules, but there seems to be nowhere that tells you how to create 2 evenly-matched armies (ie army points or the like). What system do you use?

  7. Hi, I just discovered your blog while searching for Doctor Who miniature stuff. I actually just received my small order from Black Tree Designs, which apparently qualifies as unusually good customer service on their part. I am really looking forward to painting them, though I only ordered a smattering of individual figures, not a whole army.

    Nice work on UNIT here! And the SAS for added punch, since UNIT never seemed quite as "elite" as they deserved to be. I'll probably post comments on your older Doctor Who posts as I read them, so don't be too surprised when material you posted a year ago gets comments :)