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"Painting Cheap Plastic Aremy Men" Topic

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3,417 hits since 21 Mar 2007
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Personal logo GuruDave Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member21 Mar 2007 11:11 a.m. PST

I have been painting metal and resin miniatures in almost every scale for years, but I have always wanted to buy a bag of those really cheap (pennies each) plastic army men that you can buy in toy stores and try to paint them up to see how they look.

I finally tried it! I was surprised by the results. It kind of takes the fun out of paying $1-3 each for pewter minis.

I describe what I did for prospective or novice miniatures gamers in my Miniatures Gaming Podcast, Episode 6.

Personal logo GuruDave Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member21 Mar 2007 11:40 a.m. PST

"Aremy" being the archaic spelling for "army," of course.

DS6151 Inactive Member21 Mar 2007 1:21 p.m. PST

You have entered a dangerous realm, sir.

Everyone always says how they are "surprised" at how they look. I don't see why. Most of the plastic "toy" army/cowboy figures have far more detail than many of the popular metal figures.

It's a dangerous realm for obvious reasons. How many unpainted figures do you have? And you pay $4 USD for each of those.
Now, you get 100 figures for the same price, or 50 in a Huge plastic tub that includes terrain and vehicles.

Big Miller Bro Inactive Member21 Mar 2007 2:16 p.m. PST

Nice! I too used to poo poo the whole plastic market- mostly cause the paint wouldnt stay but also because I heard the hype about the wonders of metal for years and years.

But Trojan Bunny shoed me Armies in Plastic where 20 figures are only $12 USD – and they have sales where you can get 40 figures for $12. USD

I started pricing 54mm plastic armies and found I could get larger armies than I could for a 28mm metal army lol. Some plasticsc like BMC have poor detail but most have detail that is perfect for wargaming.

With the better spray paints for plastics my collection of 54mm figures jumped from 0 to about 300 (and rising) in 3 months lol

Personal logo mmitchell Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member21 Mar 2007 2:28 p.m. PST

I'm listening to it now: pretty nicely done. I've been thinking about doing this for Gutshot to show people how easy it is to start gaming with toy cowboys. Plus, the larger figures are ideal for smaller kids to game with.

By the way, I always found the toy figures to be a bit wobbly… do you ever base them, possibly with metal fender washers?

PC473RG Inactive Member21 Mar 2007 3:43 p.m. PST

Mike, try using Britains Deetail cowboys with metal bases, old ones can be bought cheaply on eBay or they have been re-released as 'SuperDeetail' with better paint jobs. You can get US Cavalry, Indians and Mexicans too.
If I can work out how to scale up my Whitewash City buildings I might have a go myself!

Big Miller Bro Inactive Member22 Mar 2007 3:48 p.m. PST

I use washers for some of my figs though some are based decently so as not to need any extra basing.

I did pretty much the same thing- bought a ton of cheapo BMC figures on ebay (got around 400 for 14 cents a figure) with the idea of giving some away to kids when I demo.

Ironically I have 7-8 Britains/deetail figures here that my mother just found when she was cleaning her house- let me know if you want em as none of them are for periods I game (some US CAV, Banditos, Gunfighters, Indian with bow and a Union soldier).

deleted Inactive Member23 Mar 2007 11:20 a.m. PST

For basing I use poker chips, preferably the slightly smaller size available at dollar stores. (The big ones are fine, though.) At a penny each, it's hard to go wrong. For cavalry, I either use two chips (ugh), or use board of some kind.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2007 9:39 a.m. PST

You can also use vinyl floor tiles, the peel-n-stick type, some as low as $0.28 USD each, for 1-square foot. You need to cut them with a heavy razor knife, paint the glue side, flock, etc., but they're very affordable. I recommend using Hot Glue to attach the plastic figures to the tiles. Cheers!

johnnyWargames Inactive Member20 Apr 2007 7:04 p.m. PST

Here is what I did with Mr. Dave's advice:


Our first painting experience with miniatures. Thanks for the post.

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