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"6mm Italians?" Topic

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robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2022 6:36 a.m. PST

Guys, I screwed up and would appreciate basic information. I was reviewing the WWII shelf of the microscale closet, and realized that somewhere along the line, the North African Italians had stalled. I have a fairly decent range of AFVs and a few AT guns, but not an infantryman in the lot.
GHQ, bless them, offers both normal infantry and Bersaglieri, but no motorcyclists or command. Baccus appears to be a dry well--at least at this stage. Irregular has "Observers/HQ" but presumably not Bersaglieri, since Bersaglieri infantry are so marked, and again no motorcycles. Adler has "infantry"--regular or Bersaglieri not specified--HQ, but no motorcyclists. So
1. Has anyone seen or seen pictures of Irregular or Adler Italians, so I can sort out the regular/Bersaglieri business?
2. Any clever notions on motorcyclists?
3. Am I missing any potential source? Every now and then someone starts making miniatures without informing me.

Thanks for your help. I do NOT like having lead which is not a viable miniature army.

Milgame08 Sep 2022 7:41 a.m. PST

Try German motorcyclists, if you can find them. A blob of greenstuff on the helmet could make them instant bersaglieri -- if you don't look too closely.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2022 8:03 a.m. PST

Have you looked at H&R?

Bashytubits08 Sep 2022 8:51 a.m. PST

I know CGTrader has Russian motorcycle infantry that could be re sized to 1/285 if you are willing to do 3d prints. At that scale no one can tell national differences.

stephen m08 Sep 2022 9:19 a.m. PST

We had this discussion a while back (I think on the GHQ forum). No one has 2 up motorcycles. You would have to live with only a single person on each motorcycle. Scotia Grendel makes 3 wheel Japanese motor cycles which I have painted as Italian. I am sorry no Bersaglieri. Seems like a lot of work to me. Good luck.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2022 9:37 a.m. PST

Thank you all. 79th, pure stupid on my part. I've been trying so hard to buy Punic Wars Romans and to fill a few gaps in Napoleonics that I'd forgotten H&R is actually still selling WWII miniatures. On the assumption they're straight infantry and not Bersaglieri, that's where those will come from.

Bashy, at this stage a 3D printer is a $200 USD+ solution to a $50 USD problem--not to mention space and the learning curve. They just flat came around too late for me. As late as 20 years ago, they might have been invaluable. Now--well, those Punic Wars Romans are the BIG gap--maybe 500 6mm castings. Other deficiencies are mostly caused by copyright, sometimes aided by scale creep. A few aren't made. Every casting in every scale that I'm looking for would cost less than my room at the Host in November--if they could be had.

Query: how adjustable are the 3D printers for scale, really? I'd have expected an stl for a 28mm to have weak ankles in 6mm and be iffy in 15mm. But what I'm actually getting is Etsy people with 3D printers telling me they can't run off a 28mm figure in 25mm. Not won't. Can't. This doesn't sound a lot like "print them off in whatever scale you need."

Martin Rapier08 Sep 2022 11:00 a.m. PST

I just painted German motorcycle teams as Italians. In 6mm you really can't tell from more than a few inches away.

My Italians are all H&R in any case.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Sep 2022 11:31 a.m. PST


In most cases, you can print a 3D file at x% just like a paper document. I do it on my printer. So the file says a height of 14mm, but I want it shorter so I print it at 90%. Super easy to do and I'm a complete noob.

But like blowing up a picture there are limits. I would never try to go from 28mm down to 6mm. But printing 28mm in 25mm is just what, 90%? 88? It's won't not can't. I've easily gone from 15mm down to 6mm.

If you find a small (15/12/10mm) STL file you want in 6mm I'm sure someone here would do it for you for a few bucks….

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Sep 2022 12:19 p.m. PST

It might be can't because they only have a license to print the original scale.

Durban Gamer09 Sep 2022 4:17 a.m. PST

If you take Confederates and fill the hat with a little slow set epoxy. Then sculpt with vertical .8 then .5 bits in an electric drill. Slow, skilled work. But it produced 6mm Italians and French WW2 in broad brim sunhelmet for me. Broad brim sunhelmets needed for WW1 Brits as well, so indeed sad no one makes them yet.

stephen m09 Sep 2022 6:18 p.m. PST

To the original poster. What I meant to say is generally in Italian use and especially with the Bersaglieri motorcycles carried 2 persons, the driver and a passenger in tandem as opposed to the passenger in a sidecar. No one in 6mm makes any such miniature. Many wish they did. Also although I also use WWII German motorcycles painted to represent "generic" desert infantry wearing light sand uniforms all the castings I have of German motorcycles have distinctive cylinder heads sticking out both sides as typical for horizontally opposed twins such as the BMWs. Italian (the ones I looked up) had cylinders which pointed forwards towards the front wheels and were encased in ducting to direct airflow. These would not show up similarly. Again I have both GHQ and H&R models and the ones I have have prominent cylinder heads.

So you would either have to modify existing or make your own. Now when I was in my teens doing so was a thing I did. Now I am in my 60s, not so. Same with the trikes, find something close and live with it. Still we put it out there a few years back on the GHQ forum, perhaps approaching H&R might yield better results. And yes having the figures wearing sand helmets with the cockerel feathers would be awesome. Myself I can't see me converting batches(?) of tiny minis. I could do one of each and let someone who knew what they were doing cast them up but I would rather live with what I have and give manufacturers ideas.

Just my $0.02 USD and worth every penny you paid for it.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2022 6:54 p.m. PST

Thanks, everyone. Just struck me as odd that microscale is relatively common but while you can get the armor you can't buy anywhere some of the stuff systems like Command Decision and Spearhead require for standard Italian infantry units. I think they'll go to the back of the queue while I see whether the situation improves. Plenty of other lead to paint.

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2022 3:14 p.m. PST

I have a rather extensive Italian WW2 force. My troops are mostly not configured for the Western Desert -- my Italians were built originally to be an "adversary force" for when circumstances require me to provide both sides of a battle.

I chose Italians as an adversary force because they could fight my Red Army, my US Army, and even my French army. Very multi-purpose foe. As they fight mostly in Russia and in Tunisia/Sicily, that's what they are set up for. But my Italian force has grown to become one of my favorite forces, so no longer a basic set to turn over to a random newbie just to get a game set up.

For motorcycles -- I have used GHQ German motorcycles to give myself a French Dragons Portees motorcycle company. But after much thought and a bit of experimentation I decided not to use the same models to do an Italian motorcycle force. My reasoning was that I could not duplicate the two characteristics that are so noticeable for Italian motorcycle troops:
1) Italians rode two to a motorcycle. They did not use side cars very much at all. Rather, it was tandem. I tried to kit-bash riders to add to my GHQ German cycles, either clipping stands off of standing figures and bending the legs, or clipping stands off of kneeling figures, or splitting the legs of seated figures. I could not get to a satisfactory result.
2) Italians made frequent use of motor-tricycles. I tried kit-bashing a GHQ kettengrad front onto a GHQ small trailer (jeep sized) back, but could not get to a satisfactory result. The alternative was the Japanese motor tricycle made by one of the UK vendors (can't remember whether it was Scotia or H&R), but seeing some pics of that figure it just didn't look like it would work for me.

Still hoping someone will do some Italian motorcycles, but haven't seen any coming yet.

As to the rest of the infantry, I strongly urge you to take a look at the newer Italian figures from H&R. They are really (REALLY) nice. Quality at the level of GHQ. A bit more robust (as in not fragile, not as in out-of-proportion). And as is often the case, H&R offers some very useful poses and you can buy in smaller lots to make up the combinations you need.

My Italian infantry force is based on GHQ, but I could not get enough LMGs in the GHQ mixes without buying far too much other stuff for my purposes. So I first went to H&R just to get more LMGs. Then I also picked up some HQ figures (command and communications), and some engineering figures (minesweepers, flame throwers, satchel charges), then some gun crews to go with some of the very nice new H&R Italian guns (65mm Mountain/Infantry guns, 75mm Mountain guns, 75mm Truck-mounted anti-aircraft guns). I am quite pleased with them all.

Some pics…

A company of my Italian infantry in Continental uniforms. There is some mix to the formation -- mostly GHQ, a bit of the new H&R.

New H&R LMG team on the left, GHQ on the right. The GHQ gun itself is too long, even after I clipped off some portion of it. Italian LMGs were quite stubby guns. Also GHQ does not offer a loader/#2 for the LMG, so I added a prone figure from the extras bin (think it was an old CinC fig doesn't match well).

H&R Italian AT rifle team. The gun is clearly a Maroczek AT rifle, clearly not a Solothurn. Good for my use in Russia, not so good for use in the western desert.

Italian combat engineers. A mixed formation. Standing and kneeling riflemen, and SMG gunners are GHQ. Riflemen advancing at port-arms, flame thrower operators, kneeling men with satchels, and LMG crew are H&R. For my purposes they mix very well, even on the same stand.

H&R 65mm Infantry Guns and gun crews. This is a REALLY nice gun from H&R, and a very welcome addition to my Italian force.

Italian observation/commo post using the H&R Italian radio. No other vendor gives you such good commo figures, and in the particular case of the Italians no one else offers (nor could I figure out how to kitbash) the characteristic Italian field radio with the hoop antenna.

H&R Italian engineering figures while still in process before mounting on their bases. A good close-up of the mine sweeper figure and the kneeling figure with satchel charge. Really, the figures are so nice, and compare well with GHQ detailing.

For me, the new H&R stuff was a very welcome addition to my force based on GHQ figures.

Your tankage may vary.

(aka: Mk 1)

stephen m11 Sep 2022 6:34 a.m. PST


Thank you for the info. I am building, slowly, my Italians but for North and East Africa primarily. Do you have any of the new H&R Italian paratroops? If so opinions. Too bad they haven't done Bersaglieri (yet?). Maybe if they do they will also do the 2 up motorcycles and trikes. Have to send an email to Andy asking nicely.

Looks like the figures are mostly in helmets, as opposed to sun helmets, is that correct? Or are they so similar, especially at this scale, you could get away with paint differences?

Thank you for the opinion on the lmgs, command and communication figures. Have to get some specific ones.

I agree wholehearted with you wrt H&R figures being more animated, sturdy and closer to scale than GHQ. I have some of the GHQ 3rd world warriors and they are almost full height when bent over advancing! If straightened out you could equip a lot of basketball teams.

I think you were one of the people involved with the discussion on the GHQ forum about Italians. I seem to remember it was part of a wish list thread. Thank you for your input.

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2022 9:21 a.m. PST


I have not seen the new H&R paras, so no first hand observations. But honestly everything I have seen from H&R that is new (from the last 8-10 years) has been top quality.

I have a lot of older H&R kit, and I don't mean this to sound like a criticism. But I had generally considered H&R to be a second tier vendor in terms of the modelling qualities. That didn't mean I would not use it. The infantry in particular was top of the line in the early 1990s. My two largest forces, my Red Army and my US Army, are built around GHQ 1990s era infantry figures. But the state of the art from GHQ moved forward significantly with the introduction of their "individual figures" lines.

But since Andy took the helm at H&R, the new introductions have been of superb quality. Don't expect the 1990s era stuff when you order their new pieces. Expect something much better. This goes for the vehicles too, by the way. The new Italian trucks I bought from H&R were very much a match for GHQ quality. That's a pretty high bar to meet, and I don't say it lightly because I don't know that even CinC stuff meets the level of newer GHQ stuff. But it appears to me that newer H&R stuff does.

However, the new H&R infantry is sized almost exactly as most of the GHQ infantry is. This is a bit larger than the 1990s era H&R figures. Personally I have never had a problem with the size differences, even mixing them on the same stands when it served my purpose. But I know others have expressed objection to the size of GHQ individual infantry. If so, you should approach the new H&R lines with caution.

Worth noting, though, that my first hand experiences with the GHQ line are with Italian, Romanian, French and Russian figures, along with US artillery crews and armored infantry vehicle crew figures. I find the size of all of these not only acceptable but very good. I have no objections to their size. I use the figures with, even in, my vehicles and find their sized quite appropriate.

But some have reviewed other GHQ figures and found them to be out-sized. In particular I have seen discussion and pics of the US paras, US Vietnam line, and a few others that do look too large. But I have never seen these in person so all I can say is I saw some pics from others. Don't know if the 3rd world warriors may be along those lines.

As to sun helmets -- well with the quality of the new H&R figures you can indeed see what kind of headgear is being worn. Just look at the engineering figs in the pic I posted above, and you can clearly see that the mine clearer does not wear a helmet but a soft visored cap. And it is a pretty good visual presentation of the Italian visored cap, with the front of the cap being almost but not quite a continuous slope (due to the downward angle of the short visor of the cap).

The only WW2 figs with sun helmets that I am aware of are from the GHQ German line -- there are a few (!) figs in the Afrika Korps infantry and Artillery Crew sets that have sun helmets. But not enough that I have been interested in buying the sets just for those figs.

As an alternative I have chosen the GHQ Romanian infantry, which have somewhat out-sized helmets (representing the Dutch M35 style helmets adopted by the Romanians). I uaed these figures for my French Armee d'Afrique force.

Not exactly a sun helmet, but an approximation. However the uniforms are not a real good match, as the Romanians have cross-shoulder rolled blankets (similar to Russian infantry rolled shelter halves), which I had to paint to disguise them as suspenders.

Another potential I considered, but did not pursue, was to turn to the Baccus 6mm Great War Turkish infantry. You might find their sun helmets more to your tastes, but it will be more difficult to work out the various the weapons (beyond rifles).

Good luck. When you choose your path and get going, post a pic or two!

(aka: Mk 1)

stephen m12 Sep 2022 12:34 p.m. PST


Thank you for the feedback. I have a few figures from the more recent H&R and also am most impressed. I am also taking the same assumptions that new items will continue this. Along with the H&R I have bought quite a bit of GHQ and Irregular. To me the GHQ is a bit all over the place wrt size but excellent detail and life. I am also a big fan of Irregular's minis. Not near the detail but lots of life in the poses. The only real "downside" is they come already based between 3 and 5 figures per base. Yes you can cut them into singles but why bother.

I am not very familiar with the Baccus so will probably pass. I am getting rather anal as frankly all the differences and detail is only accessible when painting using my optivisor with high magnification. Once on the table they could all be detail less lumps of stone when viewed from 2 feet away!

But strive forward with all blindness. Thank you for you informative replies. I have sent an email to Andy at H&R about adding Alpini and Bersaglieri to his Italian forces including their rather unique motorcycle assets. Time will tell.

stephen m17 Sep 2022 11:16 a.m. PST

So emailed Andy at Heroics & Ros and they are working on more WWII Italians. I haven't been given permission to say everything, and some of this is definitely works in progress, but he has heard me wrt what equipment we have been discussing and that is where they are intended to be going. Not until some time next year so don't pester him for release dates. But DO mention that we want Italian motorcycles and tricycles. Also some motorcycles with a single occupant and an lmg mounted to the front forks and especially with two occupants (no sidecars). I mentioned wanting Bersaglieri and he was uninterested as Italians as a whole are not a big seller. I suggested giving them sun helmets so those who are up to it can trim off the cockerel feathers to get Desert troops. Myself I would leave the feathers on but use them as elite forces and regulars as they presently don't make desert troops. There is a contact link on their site so use it to encourage them.

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