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"Game in 54mm? No..." Topic

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Action Log

04 Aug 2020 1:00 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed starttime from
    04 Aug 2020 12:51 p.m. PST
    04 Aug 2020 12:52 p.m. PSTCrossposted to Toy Gaming Discussion boardCrossposted to 54mm Napoleonics boardCrossposted to 54mm ACW board

04 Aug 2020 1:18 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Game in 54mm? No..." to "Game in 54mm? No..."Removed from ACW Discussion board

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian04 Aug 2020 12:51 p.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

Would You Game in 54mm If You Could?

55% said "no"
28% said "yes"
9% said "I already game in 54mm"

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 1:12 p.m. PST

Have a lot of found memories of living room carpet covered with old marx and mpc soldiers, tanks and cannons – with friends and I with our tennis balls and rubber bands,,,

Pan Marek04 Aug 2020 2:26 p.m. PST

I game Pig Wars with 54s.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 4:46 p.m. PST


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 6:11 p.m. PST

Would if I could – i.e. someone else has the minis!

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Aug 2020 1:26 a.m. PST

In my opinion and experience It is a great size to play in.
The practicalities are a nightmare.
The need for large building and tree models.
Size of soldiers.
Size of table.
Monetary cost.

But we can dream.


Green Tiger05 Aug 2020 2:30 a.m. PST

I have done quite a lot of 54mm gaming.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2020 2:47 a.m. PST

I suppose it's no use pointing out that "would you game in 54mm?" was not the question in the poll?

The question in the poll was whether or not I would buy a described type of 54mm army if it became available. That's different, and got a different answer.

Really, when I want tilted polls, I go to the political people, who are professionals at that sort of thing.

altfritz05 Aug 2020 5:04 a.m. PST

I just started gaming in 54mm. Whether I would buy an army offered for sale: "that depends"…what army? what price? which figures? etc. etc. etc.

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2020 6:05 a.m. PST

Besides gaming the FIW in 40mm I game the Romans vs Barbarians in 60mm. Loads of fun. I only have a table 5" x 15" and never had a problem with space. Last game I had 12 players and we had a great game as the Celts attacked a Roman settlement. Over the years I have gamed with 15mm, 20mm, 25mm, 28mm and 54mm. Had fun with my collections in all the scales.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2020 12:42 p.m. PST

It was an oddly worded poll.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2020 7:37 p.m. PST

I've been playing with tan and green plastic Army Men figures since 1998. Cost? Are you kidding? Cheap as chips! Do I have 54mm sized vehicles? No! I use the 40mm models they sell -- I play games, not simulations. I don't care!

Is it fun? Hell Yes! Do I play with dirt clods and tennis balls? No! I use CRT's and d6-based rules. My adult nephew likes to host in his shop, where we set up tables which are 12 feet wide, by 30 feet long. It is incredible, really. It is a childhood fantasy come true. Is it costly. No!

Call me a Gaming Redneck, or Gamer Trailer Trash, but I'm having an amazingly good time. We played an incredible game, over a weekend, and it was nip and tuck, to the end. The Green Invaders won, technically, but the terrible cost made it a hollow victory. We had an incredibly fun time playing it. Damn, it was fun.

Working on the terrain for the next game: MDF buildings for a city, most are 2-4 stories tall. Hoping to play some time in September, as progress is slow on the buildings. This will be an Infantry game, where Tanks are vulnerable, with limited mobility and LOS. The last game was mostly open fields, where Tanks mopped up, until they killed each other off, with AP shells. Infantry, in that game, took severe casualties, until the Tanks were mostly eliminated. Next time, the Tanks will be afraid -- very afraid… Cheers!

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Aug 2020 6:50 p.m. PST

Great reply Sargent Slog! +100

Uparmored07 Aug 2020 2:24 a.m. PST

Slag what rules are you using? sounds like a good time.

I gamed with 54mm/1/35 Tamiya and Dragon kits a few years ago. I had one really good game, I still have the guys. I loved how I could customise their poses and gear.

But I changed to 20mm and 6mm which I'm still building for my first games. Not sure why, maybe I wanted more combined arms? Or something..

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2020 1:30 p.m. PST

Back in 1998, I wrote, and self-published, my own set of Army Men rules: Plastic Wars. I've revised it a couple of times. I hope to publish the latest revision of the rules, again, only in PDF, and POD format, on the popular sites that market such things.

My rules are d6-based. They were written to introduce newbie's to tabletop/floor war games, without an experienced gamer to guide them. I covered the game rules, terrain-making, how to use a Ping Pong Table to get off of the floor, painting, scenarios, making smoke, and other things. The physical limitations of the printing format I used, meant some of that information had to be moved to my web site, as it was too much for the page count I could muster. In PDF/POD format, none of that will be a hindrance.

In the early 2000's, I ran Community Education classes introducing kids, and adults, to war games, using my rules. My classes always filled up, and I was asked to add additional classes on, to accommodate demand.

I sold my rules until around 2007, when I shut it down. My advertising budget was $0. USD Even with that, I sold around 150 copies, mostly mail order, with a few overseas/international sales. It was a lot of fun… And a lot of work! Barely broke even, but I had a ball doing it.

The rules are sophisticated enough, to keep even experienced war gamers enjoying themselves. They are basic enough for beginners to grasp, and get a lot of joy out of the game.

Today, I mount the figures on 2-inch square MDF bases, texturing them with colored sands. We use basic terrain. I used to paint the figures, but it rubs off after 5-10 years, so I don't bother anymore. Here is a link to my AAR of our most recent game: TMPLink. Cheers!

acough2001 Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2020 6:09 a.m. PST

I've been dabbling in 54's almost exclusively over the last few years. They are easy to paint, either as "toy soldiers" or more sophisticated/historical styles. There are several rule sets out there that focus on the scale, notably All the King's Men (ATKM), Charge, and my most recent discovery, About Bonaparte.

As for battles, my areas are primarily the American War of Independence (AWI), or one of my first interests, the War of 1812. The battles were small, so 54's are practical.

Finally, the figures produced by X-Force, HaT, Call to Arms, and Armies in Plastic (AIP), are readily available and inexpensive. I even created my own blog to showcase the scale.

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Jan 2021 8:43 a.m. PST

I do 40mm now. In the past I have don 54mm and 90mm too.

peter johnstone Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jan 2021 4:43 a.m. PST

I have just completed a range of high quality 42mm American Civil War figures. Not sure that answers your question.

Rome Bruce26 Jul 2021 10:04 a.m. PST

I have an extensive collection of All the Kings Men for AWI. I absolutely love pushing the big guys around the table.

I would love to expand into other areas for 54mm but I hate (HATE) soft plastics for painting. Napoleonics is my favorite period, and I see some cool stuff, but I can't get past the soft plastic sucking. Advise?

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2021 7:36 a.m. PST

The best technique, is to paint a mixture of 50% water + 50% PVA White Glue, onto each figure. Once this is fully dried, paint as normal.

A secondary technique is to paint them normally, then apply Plasti-Dip, clear formula, to seal them with. Plasti-Dip is a thick rubber/urethane substance. Brush it on, let dry, and your mini's will be rubber-coated.

A tertiary technique, which I have extensive experience with, is to wash them with dish soap and water, dry, then paint only the portions which vary from the plastic's color, with acrylic paints. Seal them with Minwax Polyshades Urethane Stain, Royal Walnut color (The Dip technique). It will rub off, with careful handling, after 5-10+ years.

A fourth technique I have tried, with limited success, is to paint the figure with Patch-Attach. Let it cure, overnight, then paint normally with acrylic paints. The Patch-Attach will remain tacky, forever. To remove it from the figure, you will need to apply vegetable oil, and rub, then wash with dish soap, to remove the vegetable oil. My success with this technique has been limited: it is quite thick, so it does mask details; it is extremely sticky, so it can be a challenge to handle, until you cover the Patch-Attach with paint, which ends its tacky-ness.

Check the Internet for reviews/commentaries on each of these techniques… Whatever you decide, I wish you the very best. Cheers!

John Michael Priest10 Nov 2021 5:55 p.m. PST

I wargame in 54mm both painted and unpainted. I game on battery and regimental level and also 1:1 scale. It is a scale which I can see very well and I like toy soldiers.

chrisminiaturefigs11 Nov 2021 8:03 a.m. PST

I would imagine you would need a very large gaming table at that scale!!!
Oh and trees and buildings!!!!!

RBH Jr15 Nov 2021 11:14 p.m. PST

Who needs a table?

At 1/32 scale you can war-game on the floor (indoor or outdoor).

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2021 10:41 a.m. PST

JMP, my pile of 54s has grown so large that I am thinking about using my Sudan figures straight out of the box. There is no way that I will ever get around to painting them.

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Dec 2021 10:02 p.m. PST


I would recommend knee pads :)

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Dec 2021 10:09 p.m. PST


I forgot about your blog. i just revisited it and loved it. I may need to re-delve into 54's again.

Chris P.

RBH Jr13 Feb 2022 12:55 a.m. PST

I hope you do Greenknight4!

I have in mind a system for battle that uses "feet level" units, where players walk on a large open field of battle. Battalions would be moved via a platform connected at 90 degrees to a handle that would be around 2' tall; allowing players to walk about the battlefield, moving/arranging their units as appropriate without having to be on their knees.

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Apr 2022 5:29 a.m. PST

Sounds like the Pirate ship game I saw done by the Duke where the ships were all mounted on waist high stands and the players moved them around the room from island to island doing combat etc. Very innovative

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Aug 2022 10:36 a.m. PST

If you don't like soft plastic go 3D resin.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2022 9:55 a.m. PST

The inexpensive (IMO) 3D printers are very tempting in the 54mm gaming realm. The cost would be much higher than Army Men figures, but it has possibilities, for sure.

Alternatively, you can look up the 54mm WW II Dunken molds and cast your own figures. They are similar to ridiculously common plastic Army Men figures, only better detail, and incredible heft, being made of metal!

I got into Prince August 25mm Fantasy molds, for several years. I really enjoyed the whole of casting, painting, gaming with figures I had made myself. When I authored my Plastic Wars rules, I was sorely tempted by the Dunken 54mm molds, but the costs killed my interest. I could (and did!) buy prodigious quantities of plastic Army Men and vehicles.

I use every figure type available. I use the Mine Sweeper figures as Combat Engineers, which are high point cost figures in the rules, due to their exceptional capabilities. Those are figures that everyone else hated, and threw away.

Back in the early 2000's, Army Men toys had a following among gamers. A couple of folks bought sets, and sold them by figure types. I ordered as many Mine Sweepers as I could get from them! I also bought some HMG and other figures I needed. It was a great time to fill the ranks of my figures for my games.

I contacted Tim-Mee Toys to ask if I could bulk buy Mine Sweeper figures from them: "No, they are one figure in each mold, and we only sell complete sets. You can order as many sets of varied figures as you need, and sell off the figures that you do not need." Well, I tried. Cheers!

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