WELL, i am in the dark and living on a diet of bovine waste matter and have not got a clue as to what is right, wrong, official or player invented in this topic.
BUT . . . .
i do do have some questions about the BLACK CROSS mercs, like:
why are they wearing FEDERATON issue powersuits? why are they armed with FEDERATION issue assault rifles and other weaponry? how do they legally recruit? resupply? where do they come from? who are they? why does the FEDERATION allow this organization to exist? how do the mercs travel from planet to planet? if they have ships, why does the FEDERATION allow them to be equipped as strikers, instead of dull plodding unarmed transports or mervhant hulls chartered for transit from POINT A to POINT B?
some how, i think that SICON would not be happy having well armed, powersuits mercs (equal to the MI) with their own starships zooming about inside of FEDERATION controlled space like space vikings . . . .
i would tend to think that any merc corporations or companies would tend to be a lot less armed/equipped.
and i would think that, IF, these companies existed, the level of professionalism/training, uniforms, battledress, armor, weaponry, and other equipment would vary from organization to organization.
sure, maybe all or some of them use the same caliber weaponry as that used by the MI, but , there would be other calibers involved as well (look at the real world: 5.56mm NATO, 7.62-mm NATO, 7.62mm WARSAW PACT, the newer, smaller RUSSIAN AK caliber, etc) along with various bore and styles of combat shotguns handguns, grenade launchers, flamers, rocket launchers, LMG, SAW, HMG, etc, available would give thes troops a different look from the MI.
possibly, the soldiers in question have been able to plunder a supply depot for local militia (LAMI gear/weapons, but different battledress)?
what i would suggest, since MONGOOSE is soooooo reasonable about the use of proxies/etc, would be to look at the soldiers (metal and plastic) made by other companies. . . .
even the use of any late 20th century/21st century soldiers or other combatants would do for the HUMAN "MERC COMPANY", REBEL. GUERRILLA, MARAUDER/RAIDER, MILITIA look that y'all want
i highly recommend: MONGREL MINIATURES, MODERN FORCES MINIATURES, BROOKS MINIATURES, TAG MINIATURES, DADI & PIOMBI, BAKER COMPANY, EUREKA (small) which are all 28mm and offer a plethora of nice looking choices.
my own favorites are MONGREL, MO-FO, and BROOKS for sources of modern troops: BAKER COMPANY RVN toys for middle of the 20th century look.
sci fi toys that offer good possiblities and vary in 28mm size close to SST are:
VOID metal/plastics, EM-4 metal /plastics, WZ plastic IMPERIAL and BAUHAUS soldiers, COPPLESTONE, various current product as well as OOP 40K IMPERIAL GUARD metal/plastic soldiers, DEMONBLADE (OOP) CORPORATE TROOPERS, KRYOMEK, SHADOWFORGE, and others, which would supply y'all with a huge varietyof HUMAN troops, weaponry, equipment, etc.
just some thoughts from an old lead/plastic/resin toy magnet!