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"Best Scale For Cold War Era Troops Fighting Atomic Monsters?" Topic

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Cacique Caribe12 Jul 2018 2:22 a.m. PST

You know the films I mean, giant* ants ("Them", 1954), tarantulas, mantis, scorpions, etc, made from atomic tests/war. Perhaps attacking small towns and isolated motels and diners in Nevada, Arizona and who knows where else.

1) Would 10mm be the most useful scale for that?

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2) Is that what N scale is in the hobby train building world?

* Of course NOT as big as skyscraper-sized Godzilla and the other gargantuan "Kaiju".







Stryderg12 Jul 2018 4:41 a.m. PST

1. Let's you put a few vehicles on the table and (depending on rules) up to a company of infantry.
2. LOTS of minis choices. You can go from sci-fi to moderns to ancients and fantasy.
2a. Well that's kind of par for the course in fantasy.
2b. I wonder how the Roman Legions would have handled THEM.
3. Quite a few rules choices
3a. Shameless plug for my fave: Two Hour Wargames: Ed's run some convention games with multiple players, a company of troops, helicopters and tanks vs bug holes that appear randomly and flooded the table with up to 120 grick: link

Allen5712 Jul 2018 5:36 a.m. PST

Them and Tarantula. What great old movies. I saw them bothh first run in the theaters as a youth. How about doing this with plastic toy army men? I put together a DBM army with Heroclix figures and a couple TimMee tanks for War of the worlds. I think Them lends itself to gaming more than Tarantula. All I have to do is find some toy ants that are large enough.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 5:40 a.m. PST

I made Ants for "Them" a few years back. Custom sculpts let you get a lot more variety than from the typical "toy" ants but they were expensive to cast as they used a ton of metal.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 6:00 a.m. PST

Any really … just depends what size battle to want to fight. And the size of your monsters, bugs, aliens, etc. … evil grin

cloudcaptain12 Jul 2018 6:09 a.m. PST

1/72 (20mm)!

Cheap and scales well against plastic bugs. Has everything you need from WW2 through Modern.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 6:19 a.m. PST

Yes, N scale ~ 10/12mm. That would work fine if you're pressed for space.

I would go with HO buildings and 1/72 figures for a great assortment of plastic bugs that would look more monstrous.

Defender112 Jul 2018 6:27 a.m. PST

Back in the "old days" at Cold Wars/Historicon the tanks were microarmor and Godzilla's foot would crush one and his atomic breath would wipe out an entire company. Those were fun games.

Pyrate Captain12 Jul 2018 7:10 a.m. PST


Godzilla is about 6 inches tall and models are available.

War Monkey12 Jul 2018 8:13 a.m. PST

Myself I would go for 15mm, only because I have so much invested in it that going to another scale just wouldn't do.

Winston Smith12 Jul 2018 8:53 a.m. PST

Whatever you have on hand.
The nice thing about monsters is that one made for 25mm scale is big.
Used with 15mm figures he's VERY BIG!
And with 6mm he's FREAKING HUGE!!!!

Cacique Caribe12 Jul 2018 9:35 a.m. PST

Allen57: "All I have to do is find some toy ants that are large enough"

How big do you need your ants to be? I can look around if you have an approximate size of ant in mind.


War Monkey12 Jul 2018 9:48 a.m. PST

I was looking earlier when you put this thread up and I saw on Amazon they had large ants that were an inch and a half long!

CorpCommander12 Jul 2018 10:08 a.m. PST

32mm for my Old West vs. Giant Spiders. Fun part was that during setup the players were in two teams, law and desperados of course, and set up as if they were going to war with each other. Then in turn 1 the ants started spilling out of old mine shafts…

CorpCommander12 Jul 2018 10:18 a.m. PST

Here is a 3" tarantula that you can get a bunch of. I think 15mm troops would look quite small next to it, fitting your description!


Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 10:20 a.m. PST

Just search for Plastic Ants on Amazon: .6", 1.5", 1.6", 2", 5"… how monstrous do you want Them?

Micman Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 10:22 a.m. PST

I have a big bag of ants that are about 3/4 of an inch long. Great for 15mm or smaller. Would work for larger scales also. Picked them up off Amazon or Ebay.

CorpCommander12 Jul 2018 10:22 a.m. PST

Here is one if you want to use it like an Ogre from Steve Jackson Games!


CorpCommander12 Jul 2018 10:22 a.m. PST

Here is one if you want to use it like an Ogre from Steve Jackson Games!


Allen5712 Jul 2018 11:43 a.m. PST

Dan (CC),

The Heroclix soldiers are about 30mm. I would guess that what I want for ants would be around 70mm long, 3 inches???

email me at althegamer at yahoo dot com if you find some.


stephen m12 Jul 2018 5:12 p.m. PST

I vote for micro armour size (6mm or 1/285-1/300). Mostly 'cause that is what I have lots of and also because as mentioned above figures from other scales, or dollar store offerings, work out great. Want giant ants? Look in the back yard! A 25mm dragon or dinosaur makes a great giant monster. So does a 28mm ape.

Redmenace12 Jul 2018 6:37 p.m. PST

I might say decide what size monster you want to fight , source that model and proceed from there. If I remember right, in Tarantula Flight Cpt. Clint Eastwood napalmed the spider from a jet fighter/bomber..

Lucius13 Jul 2018 2:47 a.m. PST

All Quiet on the Martian Front is 18mm or so. I like the game, but found myself wishing that they had done it in 1/144. Here is the Pegasus 1/144 version of Sherman's vs a monster sized tripod:


I think that movie monsters would be the same.

Cacique Caribe13 Jul 2018 7:26 p.m. PST

If the ants were radioactive, they might glow in the dark, right? :)


According to this other seller, those ants are 1.5 inches long:


PS. But if you guys are looking for a big swarm of smaller ones, check these out:

Cacique Caribe14 Jul 2018 7:00 a.m. PST

These bigger ones are about 40 cents a piece, but the ants have a few different colors already painted on:


At 40mm or 50mm, those ants would be something like 13-17 feet long for 15mm Figures, right? And something like 24-30 feet long for 10mm figures?

PS. Centipedes are super fast and scary:

War Monkey14 Jul 2018 5:52 p.m. PST

Ants, Centipedes, Roaches, Spiders, Tarantulas and Praying Mantis. You could do a "Land of Giants" theme as well.

I like the Centipede idea, fast and deadly.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jul 2018 5:54 a.m. PST

"Nuc'm from orbit … it's the only way to be sure …"

tsofian15 Jul 2018 7:43 a.m. PST

This is pretty much The Hive and the Flame, except with Victorian Science Fiction technology!

I game in 15mm scale but have been known to put on games that are simply silly in size. There are a lot of great bug miniatures available that look scary next to a 15mm figure or tank.

War Monkey16 Jul 2018 10:19 a.m. PST

This thread has me looking into HO Scale buildings, for a nice set up for a small town, just the kind of place you would fight off our very over large friends, and the bonus would be that one could use them for other games as well!

Lion in the Stars16 Jul 2018 4:55 p.m. PST

Whatever scale you have the most terrain in already?

I'd probably go for 15mm, personally, because adding more scenery is usually less expensive than larger scales.

Also, the original 1954 Godzilla was 'only' 50m tall, so the Big Guy would be ~20" tall in 1/100 scale. Shouldn't be hard to find a Godzilla toy that big.

War Monkey17 Jul 2018 6:03 p.m. PST

Plus you have to have an Electrical Power Station! All, okay not all but many had to Old Power Station at some point in the movie, either to kill the creature or to power the Radio Station! To warn the people!! of the Terror that is coming their way so they can run and hide! So you have to get a Radio Station building too!

Lion in the Stars18 Jul 2018 3:47 a.m. PST

Oh, missed the second question. US N-gauge railroads are 1/160 scale, so would be small 10mm (9mm would be 1/200).

Cacique Caribe20 Jul 2018 12:50 p.m. PST

Then those who game with 10mm figures have excellent options available to them then.

Besides, regardless of the preferred scale, if we are talking about residents near nuclear testing sites, there won't really be that many buildings to buy:

1) A gas station to blow up is definitely a must;
2) So is a nearby diner, to feed on the diners that stopped by of course: and
3) At least a couple of small isolated homes outside of town, where the monster(s) can snack on folk and their animals before the brave troops (would a platoon be too much?) finally show up in force to help out the local sheriff (if he is still alive that is).

A desert board with two intersecting roads and a couple of bug holes should do it, don't you think? One of the bug holes could be a mine entrance and the other could be a convenient exit. Maybe have a couple of electrical towers?

And if the troops do end up going below ground perhaps have a small second board for the subterranean part of the action.

How would that sound?

PS. Maybe have a radio station or a rural school house too? :)

War Monkey21 Jul 2018 8:34 a.m. PST

I myself would go with 15mm, and use HO scaled buildings they're just about 10% bigger then the figures and that's close enough for me, and with the figures on bases they will look okay.

Plus I already have a large investment in 15mm already.

Figures wise I would go with Peter Pig's WW II figures or Eureka's WW II figures.

Cacique Caribe21 Jul 2018 11:35 a.m. PST

War Monkey: "Peter Pig's WW II figures or Eureka's WW II figures"

How well do the two 15mm ranges match up?

And how many figures do you think would be needed for the game, more or less?


War Monkey21 Jul 2018 12:08 p.m. PST

Well I know that Peter Pig's figures match up fairly well with my Rebel Minis figures, Khurasan's figures. and GZG's figures. I plan to buy Pirate figures from Peter Pig to go with the Pirate figures that I have from Rebel Minis.

I use lots of heads on Peter Pig's site to head swap many figures with and they work out very well.

I did the Burt Gummer and State Troopers head swaps that I posted on here and they worked out great.

I don't know about Eureka's Figures, I do want to get a handful of them for a pulp game that I want to do!

thecabal22 Jul 2018 2:57 a.m. PST

For size reference, here are my Kaiju stomping around N scale buildings:

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2018 5:43 a.m. PST

Cool ! Looks like some Urban Renewal is about to happened ! evil grin

Lion in the Stars22 Jul 2018 2:20 p.m. PST

A desert board with two intersecting roads and a couple of bug holes should do it, don't you think? One of the bug holes could be a mine entrance and the other could be a convenient exit. Maybe have a couple of electrical towers?

And if the troops do end up going below ground perhaps have a small second board for the subterranean part of the action.

How would that sound?

Sounds about right for non-Godzilla sized Atomic Monsters.

I agree with Warmonkey, though, you should probably have an electrical substation and radio station available as objectives. Pretty sure both of those are available from railroad kits. (Note that the radio station needs AM station numbers for the 1950s or early 1960s)

Cacique Caribe22 Oct 2018 2:16 a.m. PST

Maybe it's time for me to get myself a cheap glue gun and experiment on some of these "organic" tunnel textures:

YouTube link

PS. Lion, I've been looking at pictures of old (1950s) radio stations, although I can't seem to find many photos of small rural/desert ones.

Apache 603 Jan 2019 10:39 a.m. PST

Assuming you already have a supply of cold war units, you should buy monsters to match the scale of your troops.

chironex04 Jan 2019 7:45 p.m. PST

First you will have to decide what sort of atomic monster adventures you want. Will you have a creature no more than 3' taller than a human? Or perhaps dinnerplate-sized? 25-32mm. Do the small monsters work in swarms? Is the monster the size of a tank or strike fighter? 10-15mm. An army of such monsters? depends how big an army. Is the monster Gojira-sized? Microscale. Even smaller if it's the size of a battleship.
This is made more complex if the creature can fly at an appreciable rate.

capncarp29 Jan 2020 8:51 p.m. PST

Coming out of my mis-spent youth, the Remco Hamilton's Invaders, starring "Horrible Hamilton" vs. 70mm soldiers with tommy guns, grenades, and bazookas (of course).

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2020 7:31 a.m. PST

I had them & loved those guys!!!!!

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