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"Anyone play Chainmail with Gary Gygax?" Topic

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Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2020 6:36 a.m. PST

I am curious is any TMP'ers played Chainmail, back in the early 70's, with Gary Gygax and crew? Specifically, I am wondering if anyone can share what figures he used for the various Giant races?

I asked on Dragonsfoot Forum, and that led me to the OD&D Forum. I searched the latter, for any postings on any Giant races' figures: nothing relevant was found.

I believe Gary used injection molded, toy Cave Men figures, 54mm tall, for Hill Giants; I found that they scale up properly for size, compared to a 25mm tall Human figure. I further discovered that a 60mm tall Viking figure, such as Cherilea's Viking injection molded toys, match up in size and scale, to a 25mm tall Human. After that, however, I am at a loss of what toy figures Gary might have used, or been inspired by. Perhaps he found fantasy Giant figures by an early figure company, which he used to create the Stone, Fire, Cloud, and Storm Giant races from?

Any insights would be appreciated. Thank you. Cheers!

DyeHard28 Dec 2020 8:02 a.m. PST

I did indeed play the original Chainmail.

This was sometime after the release, and we used 6mm figures form Irregular, so Giants were just 25mm figures.

But regarding the Cavemen figures, I know exactly the type.
I grew up in Northern Illinois, so going to GenCon when it was in Wisconsin was a easy thing. The figures I recall were Cavemen by Marx:


As I recall, these were 6 inch tall.

But there are also 45mm tall figures:

Looking like:



There are also many many cheap recasts and re-scaled Chinese copies of these sculpts out there.

I know the Vikings that might have been used, but I do not recall seeing these in use. Again by Marx, a line of figures very popular in the 50s-70s in the middle part of the USA. these would have been the 54mm tall Vikings:
Like this:


And to say I could swear which was in use in the games I glanced at some 40+ years ago would not be too truthful.
But I do recall be amused that plastic toys where being used in a "wargame". I was a bit of a snob as a kid, thank goodness I got over that, as toys make up a large part of my miniatures now.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2020 8:14 a.m. PST

Sgt. Slag,
I know for a fact that all of Gary's human forces were 40mm Elastolin figures from Germany. He and I swapped conversion ideas. In fact Gary purchased a lot of painted minis from me.

emckinney28 Dec 2020 9:51 a.m. PST

So, "Heroic 28mm" is still smaller than "old school." Interesting.

I've seen footage of Peter Cushing painting his Napoleonic figures, which were huge.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Dec 2020 10:00 a.m. PST

Only the british would wear an ascot while painting miniatures…


Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2020 12:02 p.m. PST

Fascinating! I thought Gary used 25mm Human figures… Really glad I asked! Thanks for the replies, All. Cheers!

DisasterWargamer28 Dec 2020 1:01 p.m. PST

A note

Validating the Elastolin 40mm figures for human sized, noting that the rules could be used with 30mm as well

Also A video of the 40th anniversary playing games at Garys Home
YouTube link – claims are made in the video that they tried to recreate everything from the miniatures to table – there are shots of a castle as well as a wall of tanks, knights and other figures

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2020 2:47 p.m. PST

Elastolins are 40mm to the top of the head.

Last Hussar30 Jan 2022 11:08 a.m. PST

If he is British, old chap, he is wearing a cravat. Ascot is a term in one of the former colonies.

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