This post come about from an interesting comment made a little while back, and it deserved further space than a humble reply box could give it. I had intended to post this much later down the line, but another comment appeared that showed surprise at me not painting 28mm figures so I thought it was time for the post to be written and appear here.
I had intended to make this a single post but for sake of completeness and to give you a rest as it is rather lengthy it will be a part work.
I have to admit that over the years I have shown contempt for those boxes of 1/72nd figures for one reason or another. Instead preferring my toys in metal. Scale has not been a problem for me in the past, having painted and owned whole collections in 15mm, 20mm and 28mm and bobbing betwixt and between as the mood or need arose. Kevin however has always extolled the virtues of 1/72nd figures and indeed has a fair number of them.
I think my disenchantment with plastic came from those heady days of youth, when boxes of Airfix plastic figures were the only readily available source. The big problem always came in trying to paint them. Priming them was always a chore, the fact you could spend a fair amount of time painting them as they are detailed figures, only to watch all your efforts flake off if the figure so much as bent a mm. The lack of suitable poses for most periods I wanted to play. You name it I pretty much had an excuse not to want to go down this road again.
So what bought about the change? To be perfectly honest a combination of several factors in reality.
This whole change has mainly occurred since we decided as a group to ditch the myriad of rule books and focus our gaming on two sets of rules and their various supplements. Those being Hail Caesar and Black Powder, both have breathed new life into our games, they are simple to play and give us a result in our night of gaming. We did realise though that gaming on Kevins 6 x 5 table with 28mm figures did affect the ability of some games due to the lack of deployment space, most of our games are played with four of us and 28mm Napoleonics take up a heck of a lot of room.
So that triggered some healthy debate about scales, although we remained adamant that our Napoleonic collections were not going to change in scale. This change would be for new periods mainly that we wanted to play. Now was Kevins opportunity to bring 20mm plastics into the foreground, his logic was simple they fit onto smaller bases and are much cheaper. Can't fault that if we were going to build new armies then cost had to come into play and after some research it became obvious they would be much cheaper than even 15mm metals.
The biggest discussions centred around the available table space, and the number of figures we would need to purchase to make up various forces. The ground scale issue was resolved when we studied the rule book and decided to use the unit widths of 15mm figures for our Hail Caesar games and for Black powder we were a bit more radical and decided to rebase everything using a 50% reduction method. Now this is fine for us a we play amongst our own group so it will cause no gaming issues.
As for the number of troops this only really affected armies we were going to create for our Hail Caesar games, once again myself and Kevin sat down with rule books and lists and came up with a way to define not only troop types but also make the different types easily recognisable on the table top. The solution we came up with is a simple one. Heavy Infantry would have 4 figures to a base, Medium Infantry 3 to a base and Light infantry based in twos.
I still had my concerns regards the priming and painting and above all poses, however I did spend an inordinately large proportion of my time on the plastic soldier review website looking at the ranges for armies that I wanted to build. Once I had the information it was then a case of working out my army lists and fitting various figure manufacturers ranges around the games requirements. What was obvious was that a vast majority of the armies were workable, some would require a little bit of figure modification and the like but in the main it was an achievable objective to reach.
In the next part I will deal with the painting and costs in more detail.