31 March 2014

Erasing my plastic prejudice (part 3)

In this final instalment I shall go into the costs in a little more detail to show how this can be a real winning factor on its own but when combined with the previous posts HERE and HERE, becomes a bit of a no brainer if your budget is tight.

Right we all know that I have always had a preference for 28mm metal figures, there is something about the feeling of a bunch of lead that warms the cockles. However that warm feeling comes with an increasing cost in today's economy. With the costs of a single metal foot figure varying from £1.20 to £2.00 depending on who is selling them, large armies require deep pockets.

So having sat with my Hail Caesar rulebooks and worked out a few ancients armies, I had a figure count to work with for each of them. Now I could weigh up the relative costs of doing the projects at different scales. The one thing I knew was any ancients armies were going to involve a fairly high figure count even playing with our adjustments.

I will use my 24 figure Celt warbands as my first example.

28mm Metal figures from Crusader £9.75 for 8 which equals £29.25 per 24 figures
28mm plastic warband from warlord £ 25.00 for 40 plastic figures which equals £15.00 per 24 figures

20mm metal warband from newline £9.50 for 24 figures
1/72 plastic from Hat £5.00 for 48 figures so that equals £2.50 for 24 figures.

Now based on this information the clear winner on cost is the 1/72nd plastics simple maths here shows I could build 6 warbands for the cost of 1 x 28mm plastic one and almost 12 warbands for a single 28mm metal one.

Now that is just a basic example so to increase the effect lets look at my entire Nubian Army.

Now this army is comprised of a few extras so I have stripped those out of the equations. So in total I needed 313 figures to build this.

So I purchased 6 boxes of 48 Hat figures and 1 box of 42 Caesar miniatures for a total of 330 figures , now the Hat sell at £4.25 a box and the Caesar cost £6.00 for a total cost of £31.50.

So using 312 x 28mm metals the Nubians could be purchased at £20.00 per 24 figures making for a total of £260.00 pounds. (One of the command stands can lose a figure without detracting from this example)

That is a massive difference of £228.50, yes I have had to make some compromises on poses and had a little bit of conversion work to do for these but the money I saved cant be argued with and thus makes funding other armies in 1/72 plastic a very tempting proposition.

Now add into the mix, that there are some very good retailers on E Bay of 1/72nd plastic, and you can make even bigger savings as I did purchasing the 6 boxes of Hat Nubians for £2.75 each bringing my actual spend down to £22.50 for the Nubian army.

Even if I have to pay full retail cost for the plastics. I make huge savings that to be honest are hard to knock, if you don't have extensive funds or just want to build a large army for new periods and have fun with it. I am not concerned with resale value as I wont be selling them. I am able to give them a decent paint job as they are larger than 15mm figures and dont need the level of detail of a 28mm figure but above all they work for my Ancients army builds nicely.

So that brings me to the end of this current series of posts on plastics thanks for taking the time out to read them.



  1. Nuff said bud, and bloody lovely they look too

  2. Totally agree with you there Loki but I find painting them a pain. But for Nappys I would agree that plastics, soft plastics is the way to go too

  3. Hola
    Que cantidad,menudo ejercito,pues a mi las de resina últimamente me gustan mas,claro segun de que marcas claro.
    Una cosa me gusta mucho la litografía que as puesto en el enunciado de tu blog,con tu permiso me guardo la foto.
    un slaudo

  4. Cheap figures, they are !
    I'm mainly a 1/72 painter but not a wargamer, and I don't paint very fast and a lot, so one box of plastic figures is for me a "big" box !!
    (I've some half-empty boxes in my shelves!)
    But I buy some expensive metal or resin 1/72 figures...
    I will see with pleasure all of yours !

  5. It is obviously the way for you to go Sir, money talks and all that.

  6. Welcome to my world, Loki! That was the main reason I got into 1/72nd, though the fact that the quality of the sculpting has been getting better and better helps,too.

  7. Plastic rules. Manufacturers take note. Wargamers like plastics. I like 28mm in particular but Loki is making me pay attention to 1/72.

  8. For a wargamer building a huge army plastics make sense. Even the 28mm manufacturers are making the switch to plastic. I tried Reaper BONES and hate, hate, hate them. No crisp detail and they just don't feel right in my hands.

    1. Bought into the bones too, some good some not so good but for some of us it is a cheap way to get some nifty new miniatures to add to the growing pile.

  9. Even out here is Australia, the average box of plastics is around $9-$12 so lets say 5 pounds. If I do the maths like you Loki it is a no brainer. I can spend the money saved on another army and the spray paint cans to speed paint the lot of them. Big Hail Caesar armies are more likely now. Nice work thanks.

  10. Hard to beat the plastics for price!

  11. All this is so true and is obvious once pointed out. One of the issues I have is that in clubs many people already have full armies in set scales (15mm or 28mm even 25 mm for older club members) and are thus reluctant to swap to plastics in 20mm. Consiquntly you have to build at least 2 armies. And even then they complain that you should have built them in a scale already used by the club! It really is like Herding cats sometimes!

    That said I can see plastics as such a viable option I will paint a couple of plastic armies for the next painting challenge. (Well at least that's the plan)

  12. My head hurts now but you can't argue with the quality or the economics these days!

  13. I never had too many reservations about plastic minis coming from a scale modeling background (although my painting is far superior these days).

    You can not argue about the price and the quality is great, too. some companies did minis where the detail is even superior to metals right from the start, others have lean red and are (mostly) getting it right these days. The only big problem for me is that they are so tempting that my lead (read lead and plastic) mountain is growing faster still!


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