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"Wargaming in 1/32?" Topic

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Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian07 Jan 2005 4:11 p.m. PST

I've seen all the new stuff coming out in 28mm (or 1/58 according to TMP link ), but I can't be certain if I saw some discussion on 54mm wargaming which, I would imagine, would be much like gaming with your average 3 1/2" action figure.

The reason why I ask is that in my ongoing crusade to clear my garage, I came across a motley selection of models. Not only did I uncover more of the 1/40th scale Aurora stuff my father put together 50 years ago, but I also rediscovered a 1/32(?) AH-1 Cobra helicopter along with a box of Airfix figures in the same scale. I remember at the time that airfix merely scaled up some of their popular 1/72 figures - at least as far as the poses - and molded them in the same plastic. The end result is that they're not as detailed as the hard plastic Tamiya jobs, but they're much better looking than the green army men that came in the $2 bag at the grocery store.

The figures in question are about a dozen each of German Wehrmacht and British commandos (with the knit hats). Obviously they don't work very well with the helicopter. I'm unlikely to get involved in yet another scale, but I'd be interested in finding out if there people out there who use models and minis this size.



Skannian Inactive Member07 Jan 2005 4:43 p.m. PST

When the 32X stuff first appeared from 21st Century toys, a few friends of mine and I bought too much to admit to! :-) We used Battleground WW2 rules and had a blast! That was until the "I only wanna play Germans - ELITE SS Germans armed with MP44's and King Tiger Tanks in EVERY GAME" guy showed for every game... hadn't played in years since. But we did do it and it was fun and looked great! :-)

DoctorStu Inactive Member07 Jan 2005 4:50 p.m. PST

Sure. There's at least two yahoo groups dedicated to the best wargaming scale.



Plus this website: link


cloudcaptain07 Jan 2005 5:28 p.m. PST

Yeah, you just gotta love those Motoworks prebuilt/painted/crewed tanks at Walmart. They've branched out and now make some armored cars and halftracks. I have to resist starting ww2 gaming everytime I walk past. There is another manufacturer with 1/32 British and German infantry packs on a nearby shelf. Can't recall the maker but they arent that badly painted. Would be perfect...then there's the 21st century stuff...

..I am going to go back to reading Pirates! now and pretend ww2 never happened and that I want to game it too.

Mlatch221 Inactive Member07 Jan 2005 5:56 p.m. PST

Cloudcaptain, is the other line Forces of Valor? Both lines (Motorworks is made by 21st Century) are great if your not too concerned about exacting accuracy. Better yet, they're pretty cheap (less than the 1/50 scale Corgi and Solido stuff in many cases) and they're durable and pre-finished.

One of the big advantages for 54mm- 1/32 scale is that it's close enough to the common 1/35 scale to mingle the two a bit. There are lots of excellent figures in resin or polystyrene and the cost is often compares well to 28mm. Heck, it's often cheaper! Most of Dragon's figure kits have four figures and are usually less than $7 US. It IS awfully darn tempting!

ragnar07 Jan 2005 7:27 p.m. PST

I have a VAST collection in 1/32. Conte Figures and playsets are simply fantastic, FOV and 21 st Century toys provide many vehicles, also old Monggram kits, airfix Multipose and solid plastics are very good. Theres Old Britians plastics that are available again, Formtech produces many buildings, ruins, trenches , fighting positions ect. More becoming available all the time. I like to model and convert and paint and there is simply so much available I won't and don't bother with 20 or 28mm troops anymore.

Warning! If you are trying to clear out the ole garage , 54mm is going to take up alot more space then reguler wargame troops and terrain. However if you can swing it and make it work for you then you will be well pleased.
GO for the 54mm!!!

I have several collections in 54mm and after a lifetime of working on figures and models I am having the most enjoyable and splendid time ever with the 54mm troops.

Waterloo, WW2 Normandy and Pacific, Alamo, ACW, Dark Ages, Zulu,HYW. All in 54mm. Fantastic stuf. Still love the 25mm Armies I have labored over for years but 1/32 is best.

Just my opinian


Ditto Tango 2 1 Inactive Member07 Jan 2005 8:42 p.m. PST

An anal retentive nitpick: grin the Airfix 1:32 stuff was scaled DOWN for second and 3rd edition 1:72 packs, not the other way round...

CorporalTrim Inactive Member08 Jan 2005 9:02 a.m. PST


There's plenty of good stuff available in 1/32 (54mm), and the plastic is not only cheap, but the sculpting is getting better as well. I second ragnar's endorsement of Conte. Here's a few that I painted to give you an example of the nice poses and sculpting to be had:


Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian08 Jan 2005 12:14 p.m. PST

Thank you all for the information. And, thank you Tim Marshall for the clarification. Those are indeed nice sculpts in the links that Cpl Tim provided.

I agree that this guys would take a hell of a lot more room than smaller scales. Especially since I've chosen to spend the $50K I don't have yet on my kids' college education rather than building two more rooms onto the house (good excuse for a game room). At this point in time, I'm trying to cut back on what I've got to just the scales I'm using. I'll put up an announcement in a day or so with photos if there's anything you gentlemen would like (rather than putting it up on e-bay).


wiattheodd (AT) aol (DOT) com

HobbyGuy Inactive Member08 Jan 2005 2:35 p.m. PST


If those are original issue Airfix figs, they may be worth more than you think (nothing staggering but more than you'd expect). Keep that in mind if you ever sell them.

Jeigheff Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2005 4:55 p.m. PST

Corporal Trim, I really enjoy the photos of your work!

These might be pretty basic questions, but here goes. Do you have any preferred methods of a) removing flash and mold seams from soft and hard plastic figures, b) preparing and priming the same, and c) putting a clear protective coating on the same?

I realize your figures look good because you're a very skilled modeller who has a lot of talent! However, if you don't mind my saying so, I've mostly worked on metal wargame figures instead of plastic, because of the problems I've had with cleaning up soft plastics, and then keeping paint on them when they had to be handled during games. If nothing else, I'd sure like to know what kind of final clear finish you use to protect your figures.

If you have a moment to describe a technique or two, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would appreciate hearing aobut them. Thanks in advance, CorporalTrim!

CorporalTrim Inactive Member08 Jan 2005 6:57 p.m. PST

Thanks, Jeigheff. :-)

For removing the flash, I just cut the flash with a sharp x-acto blade. Clean up with soapy water and then pre-coat the figure with Plastic Figure Coat #HM101. I don't think this stuff is produced anymore, but I think white glue would work as well. But it's essential to have something on the plastic figure which the paint will stick to.

Then I prime with Floquil Railroad Colors gray primer, white where vibrant color is needed (which is not an issue with WW2). Once the painting is done, I wait several days until it's dry and then coat with Model Master flat lacquer finish, or semi-gloss for any shiny parts.

ragnar09 Jan 2005 12:25 p.m. PST

Corp Trim, Your Germans are top notch, I noticed a couple Irregular 54mm figs in there as well.Have you done any of the SS troops in the camo smocks?Would love to see some.
I have converted many of the Germans , switching torso's , arms , heads ect. and I actually enjoy painting the different camo , no 2 the same.

Again, superb work on the Krauts in the links.

CorporalTrim Inactive Member09 Jan 2005 1:29 p.m. PST

Good eyes, ragnar. There is indeed an Irregular guy mixed in there.....I'm completely lacking in discipline to stick to any one period, so I haven't done much with the SS troops, but here's one (from the days when I only had a webcam, so the resolution isn't good). link And another regular Wehrmacht. link

One thing about Conte's D-Day set which disappoints me is, so far as I know, they never made any regular US infantry, only paratroopers. Also, too many "late war: Germans are sculpted wearing '39-42 kit, but what can you do ?

Thanks for your kind comments. How about posting some of your conversions, I'd love to see what you've done there. That's another great thing about plastic.

ragnar09 Jan 2005 3:37 p.m. PST

Corp Trim, There has not been ANY 1/32 Americans done in close to 30 years.I have painted a very few Matchbox and Airfix and maybe a MArx guy or 2, but the figs are adequate at best.

I did add gear { my biggest complaint about most of the old figures} from some Airfix Multipose sets to Airfix Soft plastic Americans and a few Britians Deetail figures for use as USMC. Not perfect but they added some variety to the poses available.
I got lucky and scored a large amount of the Multipose Marines, British Tommies, and 1 x 12 fig set each of the Germans and American infantry off ebay a couple years ago for dirt cheap.So, Lots of parts and gear left over.

Conte has promised some American Infantry but they have many, many irons in the fire.ACW and Alamo are leading the way in their sales and that's where they concentrate, for now anyway.

Toy Soldiers of San Diego has some GI's in the works, about 8 poses and the one I saw on their website looked very good.

I have a terrible affliction as I collect some of the painted metal sets as well, Old Northwest Trading co. has some KILLER Americans on Michtoy website.Had my heels dug in pretty good and have not as of yet succumbed to the temptation.

I'll get some images soon. I HAD many images of epic battles of all scales and periods from games and displays , 5 years worth, that were lost when my hard drive went tickets up.So, I have zero images of WW2 right now.They have not been out of their storage since last June.

Have to get my Ancients fix in. Dying to play either Ancients or 1/32 WW2.Battle next weekend with the massive 25mm Punic wars.Much easier to put away. Then, I can take the time to get all the 1/32 WW2 Normandy collection out and it can stay there a while.


CorporalTrim Inactive Member10 Jan 2005 2:07 p.m. PST

Come to think of it, you're right, Ragnar. Conte never released the US paratroops in plastic. Thanks for the tip about the TSSD GI's, I'll keep my eyes out for them.

ragnar12 Jan 2005 12:14 p.m. PST

Paratroopers, Yes, Conte has made 16 different. American Infantry. No. Not yet.Maybe never.

It would be nice if they at least finished off the Airborne with some crew served weapons. I used some I R metal kits for a 30 cal. and 60mm morter.

Same with the British Airborne .Valiant Miniatures for a PIAT gunner at least.

Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Jan 2005 12:55 a.m. PST

Just as a follow-up, I located the box (again) and it has the 14 Commandoes and 14 German infantry just as I left them. The lacquer model paint I put on them is still intact after 25+ years so that may provide a clue on how to paint them.

From a quick Google, I found that the figures in boxes go for about $30-$35, but I'm pretty positive I couldn't get that for these.


Goldwyrm Inactive Member30 Jan 2005 8:51 a.m. PST

I'm hard set into 28mm for my own WWII games, but I've been slowly picking up the really nice 1/32 vehicles available now for my 11 month old son. They all go into his future gift vault :-)

I figure in 4-5 years he'll have some really cool toys to game with (I sure hope he wants to wargame..) and I might be able to outrun price inflation at the same time :-)

Cosgrove Inactive Member04 Feb 2005 11:57 a.m. PST

If you are interested in 1/32 wargaming, see this site.


Bew sure to check out the photo gallery, there tables are more like movie sets!

Azantihighlightning Inactive Member05 Feb 2005 10:08 a.m. PST

Ragnar, are you from the UK??

I have a large number of 1/32 forces at my disposal made up mainly of Conte, Airfix, Britains which we have match painted and mixed with no problems. I have American and British Paratroops and then loads of Germans along with Airfix and Forces of Valour Vehicles which are just excellent. The scenenary is always the big expensense.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2005 8:11 a.m. PST

I've been collecting 1/32 scale vehicles and figs, intending eventually to do France 1940 and NW Europe '44 and '45. I hope it is as much fun as I think it will be.

Also check out the Toy Soldier forum on TMP; that is where a lot of 54mm gamer post.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2005 8:13 a.m. PST

Make that "Toy Gaming" board.

Napoleon1944 Inactive Member18 May 2005 6:46 p.m. PST

I follow in the footsteps of Ragnar. I have a huge collection of 1/32 WW2 stuff. Conte started me off and I have been collecting for about 5 years. I have full platoons of British, German, German paras, and US.

We have been playing skirmisg games using Red Poppy White Feather that I modify when we play multi-player games. I recently ran a scenario from the Skirmish Campaigns series on a 8x16 table with the Conte bridge as the centerpiece.

Conte and TSSD are planning on doing 1/32 GIs. TSSD figs will be out in a few months. TSSD will also be doing Germans in greatcoats. The Old Northwest Trading Cos figs can now be purchased unpainted from Valiant miniatures.

andyoneill Inactive Member19 May 2005 4:41 a.m. PST

I always say that if 20mil is too small for you then forget 28mil and go for 1/35th.

1/32 is near enough.

Ken Chile Inactive Member20 May 2005 11:55 p.m. PST

Yes I too have abandonded my smaller scale 28mm WW2 collection and became addicted to 1/32 when FOV came out with their vehicles. I must admit that I have had more fun gaming (actually I'm more of a player than gamer) with 1/32 scale that the smaller scales. There are a great many 1/32 scale WW2 figures out there to choose from in both plastic and metal. My figure collection is in plastic including Conte, Matchbox, BMC, CTS and a few others. I actually use some of my Solido 1/50 scale artillery (which is actually closer to 1/32 scale anyhow) to augment my armies.

Now on to Moscow!!!

colonelkurtz Inactive Member21 May 2005 4:48 a.m. PST

what about the king and country WW2 US figures ?? - very nice , very expensive

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