I am not in love, but I’m open to persuasion. I guess that best sums up my attitude to plastic figures. I can most certainly state that there is nothing about the weight of plastic figures which upsets me, all of my ACW armies have the superb Perry plastics for their rank and file and I’ve been using them for some years now. The bit that does frustrate me is when the contents of a box of infantry look like they are designed by Tamiya for a devoted military modeller, as opposed to a “get the bloody things on the table” approach which better sums up yours truly.
To illustrate this very personal relationship breakdown between plastic figures and me, I recently abandoned a whole Japanese stater army after spending an hour sticking three figures together. Metal, I decided, may be more expensive, but when it came to costing my time it would actually be cheaper, and less likely to cause a heart attack! So, accepting this as the case, why did I buy a box of Warlord US Rangers at Partizan2 the other week? Well, the answer is that I needed some supports which I just couldn’t get in metal, in particular the Engineer teams for mine clearance, obstacle clearance and flamethrower. All of which were available in this box. Or, more to the point, the bits were available.
I decided that the two bangalore torpedoes would be great for the demolition team. Rather than assemble a whole plastic figures, I looked through my spares box to find a couple of suitable metal figures to take the left arms which were attacked to the said explosive charges. I found one from Artizan and one from Crusader who, after a quick snip with a pair of toenail clippers and a zap with a small file, fitted the role perfectly. A third figure in the team is equipped with a carbine, but I also added some of the metal parts from the Rangers box, equipping him with an axe and some other demolition kit on his belt. This is how they ended up.
Next was the mine-clearance team. Here I assembled two kneeling plastic figures, one with a knife for probing the ground, the other removing a sign saying “minen”. The third was a carbine armed metal Crusader figure pointing as if to say “I found one!”. It’s a shame that no mine detector was present, but I am not unhappy with the look of these. They certainly have a “hands on” feel to them.
Next we have the flamethrower team. This was a bit tricky to build, but I went with a complete plastic figure to which I added the metal cast flamethrower. I had a bit of a job working out which were the best parts for this, but the figure is fine when various bits of kit are added. His two mates are metal figures by crusader who I have also given lots of wire cutting tools on their belts. They can double up for that purpose if required.
After that it was two metal figure teams, also from Warlord; the 0.50 cal Browning and another 60mm mortar. These figures are nicely sculpted and well posed. None of the weirdo looks I found with some of their Russians was evident here. I really like them. Warlord also do single figures of the bloke with the ammo boxes. As Chain of Command teams are often five men rather than the very odd wargame standard three men (how did that ever become the standard?!) this is a very welcome optional purchase to beef up teams.
So, the Warlord boxed set proved to be a great purchase as a specific “spares box” for the US forces. Any gaps in their ranks can now be filled with these. Indeed I am about to crew my Utility Cars with them. I got some very reasonably prices Solido models on eBay and have tarted these up with what are largely Tamiya 1:48th clutter. I want to add some more bits in Milliput or Green Stuff, but the plastic figures should work brilliantly. Here’s a snap before I get started on them.
If you’re at Derby next weekend you should see the finished models in our game along with the rest of the 29th Infantry Division figures.
Apologies for some of the shoddy photos, I am adding this early in the morning before heading up to York so they are not great, but hopefully sufficient to show what I’ve been up to. I’ll try to replace them when I can get better light.
When we began work on Dawns & Departures, it became clear that the Generic Support Options in the main rules were ideal for one-off games, but that we needed to add a few new ones for the campaign system. Three of these were the message options: the carrier pigeon, the brazier for the warning beacons