Too Many Figures

If it was September I’d put it down to Spring cleaning. However, it’s January. I’m madly rebasing figures to get ready for Cancon 2011 so I guess what just happened here is a product of a cup of coffee along with my desire to procrastinate on the rebasing.

I thought, “I must have a look and decide whether I will try and paint a new DBA army for Cancon 2011 or shall I just make one from my existing painted figures”.

I remembered that I had some figures in the other room but could not remember exactly which DBA armies they were. I recall writing something up in my blog several years about the armies that I had but I also knew that I had purchased the odd figure or two since then. I decided to have a quick look.

I started looking in the stock figures box where I have unpainted armies neatly stored in plastic, Tupperware like containers. I grabbed one box of DBA figures then opened a second box to see if there was any DBA figures in there. The figures there were for the Hittite Empire and were a DBM army I had forgotten I had to paint. I decided then that I needed a survey of my painting queue.

My goodness, this is what I found (and remember, this is just what I have here, it doesn’t count the figures I have at my Mum’s still to paint as well – those are mostly fantasy and American Civil War).

DBMM Armies (were for DBM originally)

I had collected many DBM armies when I was living in the UK – being paid in pounds made the purchases relatively inexpensive compared to buying them from Oz. Of course, the plan was to settle in to painting them all but so far I’ve not managed it yet. The figures are from Museum Miniatures, Chariot (now Magister Militum) and Essex Miniatures.

  • I/18 Minoan and Early Mycenaean 1600-1250 BCE
  • I/24 Hittite Empire 1380-1180 BCE
  • I/29 Philistine 1166-600 BCE
  • II/19 Seleucid 320-69 BCE
  • II/20 Ptolemaic 320-30 BCE
  • II/32 Later Carthaginian 275-146 BCE
  • II/33 Polybian Roman 275-105 BCE
  • II/36 Graeco-Bactrian 250-130 BCE

Now, all this may appear a little Book 1 and Book 2 heavy, however, painted I do have a few armies from other DBMM Army List books:

  • I/1 Early Sumerian 3000-2334 BCE and circa 2250 BCE
  • II/67 Greuthingi or Early Ostrogothic, Herul, Sciri or Taifali 200-493 CE
  • II/78 Late Imperial Roman 307-425 CE
  • II/83 Later Visigothic 419-720 CE
  • III/4 Early Byzantine 493-578 CE
  • III/28 Carolingian Frankish 639-888 CE

So far I have avoided book IV armies in DBMM.

DBA Armies

Of course, I can make DBA armies from the all of the above as well. I addition, I have the following armies. These are made up of a mixture of figures, from Xyston Miniatures, Essex Miniatures, Donnington Miniatures, Gladiator Miniatures, Falcon Figures and Alain Touiller Figurines. I think that is all the suppliers I am using. All of these are currently unpainted and therefore on the painting queue. The list numbers in brackets refer to the :

  • I/2b Early Egyptian 1639-1543 BCE
  • I/3 Nubian 3000-1480 BCE
  • I/6 Early Bedouin 1499-1000 BCE
  • I/17b Hyksos 1590-1537 BCE
  • I/59 Tullian Roman 578-400 BCE
  • II/5e Aitolian or Akarnanian (from the Later Hoplite Greek 450-275 BCE list)
  • II/45c Spartacus 74-71 BCE
  • II/76 Koguryo Korean 300-668 CE
  • III/10c Rajputs 747-1300 CE
  • III/20a Sui 581-623 CE
  • III/20b T’ang 618-755 CE
  • III/44 Tribal Mongol 840-1218 CE
  • III/62 (III/63) Early Polish
  • IV/01a Komnenan Byzantine 1071-1149 CE
  • IV/15 Qura-Khitan 1124-1211 CE
  • IV/17 Later Crusader 1128-1303 CE
  • IV/18 Lithuanian or Samogitian 1132-1435 CE
  • IV/22 Serbian Empire 1180-1459 CE
  • IV/28 Prussian 1200-1283 CE
  • IV/30 Teutonic Orders 1201-1522 CE (was list 151 in version 1)
  • IV/35 Mongol Conquest 1206-1266 CE
  • IV/43c Later Hungarian 1397-1526 CE
  • IV/56a Order of St John 1291-1522 CE (Cyprus)
  • IV/66 Later Polish 1335-1510 CE
  • IV/75 Timurid 1360-1506 CE
  • One other collection of figures I can’t identify

Other Items on the Queue

Of course, apart from all the stuff mentioned above, there are also many other items left to paint here including:

  • a number of 1/2400th sailing vessels for the Great Lakes war in 1812
  • a German Aeronef fleet in 1/1200th
  • British and German Land Ironclads and infantry in 2mm scale
  • 6mm Cold War Commander SciFi army (ONESS – from Brigade Models)
  • two 1/3000 space fleets for Full Thrust, also from Brigade Models
  • two 6mm Warmaster Ancients armies (Sassanian and Parthian)
  • three 6mm Napoleonic Armies for Polemos Rules (Late Prussian, Confederation of the Rhine and Polish – figures from Heroics and Ros, Adler Miniatures and Baccus)
  • 1/300th WWII Italians (North Africa) again, Heroics and Ros
  • 1/285th WWII Russians (I also need to get more vehicles for this). These are a mix of GHQ, CinC and Adler Miniatures
  • Bucket loads of 1/3000 ships including those needed for the Battle of Matapan and the Philippine Seas (WWII) and Jutland (WWI) along with then Austrian WWI fleet and some miscellaneous WWII British and German vessels
  • and the French WWI Navy in 1/6000th scale for John in the US.

With the exception of the WWII Russians and the 15mm Campaign DBA sets I’ve started building, I think I will call a hiatus on figure purchases this year, at least until I get to reduce the painting queue a little.

So, too many figures to paint? Nah, you can never have enough.

13 thoughts on “Too Many Figures

  1. Doug 30 November 1999 / 8:00 am

    You are a braver man than I, I don't dare try to enumerate the figures I have… I have also tried to declare a moratorium on new figure purchases, but since I have vouchers, that might be a little hard (already weakened and ordered Essex figures to do a DBMM Sui army.)


  2. ikazuchi01 17 April 2015 / 11:20 pm

    Hello Thomo, I got my GHQ minis in the mail and I’m looking forward to painting and basing them. I really like your rounded rectangular bases in the images above. I have a big concern, however, which doesn’t seem to be covered in many of the rules I am reading very well. I am hoping to play a game like Blitzkrieg commander, Bolt Action, or Micro Squad with 1:1 tank representation and maybe groups of 4-5 infantry on a base. My main question is, does base SHAPE matter? Is movement in the rules I am interested in measured in distance like inches always, or do some games have me move more on “hexes”? I got terrain maker hexes but am I thinking too much like a former D&D player to think those represent movement “squares” or are they just in hex shape to make recombination of different maps possible – with the actual hex shape being irrelevant? I had this idea that the rectangular bases I see people putting 6mm figures on are supposed to be “faced” on a hex in a certain direction…. hence my concern with base shape. Is my concern on shape off-base (pun intended) and is the real reason people do “rebasing” because of the number of units per base? TIA!


    • Thomo the Lost 18 April 2015 / 11:20 am

      Hey mate – the bases I used with the Russians and others are Flames of War standard base sizes. The size of the base doesn’t really matter so we use the ILAR principle (It Looks About Right). Fourto five 6mm infantry figures look about right on the smaller FoW bases. An LMG, MMG, HMG and mortar also look about right. The bases under the tanks are not really necessary other than they make storage and carrying them around easier.

      The only time the basing of the figures may have an effect is with incoming artillery rounds as they cover an area and will likely cause damage on the bases they touch or cover.

      If both sides are using much the same basing techniques it will work out. As for measuring distances, adopt a standard – closest point to closest point; turret to turret; the blond haired guy in the front rank to the other blond haired guy – it doesn’t matter, as long as you are both doing it the same way 🙂

      Shape doesn’t really matter either – the rectangular bases just make for nice neat looking lines 😉

      Bases of figures will be facing the direction the guys are looking in – and apart from Custer’s Last Stand, infantry generally appear to all look in roughly the same direction -the directon the bullets are coming from. Tanks and trucks that need to move forward is fairly obvious from the model. If infantry are all on round bases, for example, it may be hard to sneak up on the back of them because it s not easy to work out where the back is.

      The hexes just make it easy to build the terrain but you could, for example, convert the rules to use the hexes as measures, like a boardgame or D&D.

      I’m presuming you are happy with the way the GHQ vehicles look.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ikazuchi01 18 April 2015 / 12:39 pm

        Hello Thomo thanks for the quick reply! Yes I am very happy with the look of the minis from GHQ. My overseas order from HnR have not come in the mail yet so I can compare.

        Your answers make a lot of sense. I looked around for what looks right and easy for me and found 1/8 in x 1 in fender washers which can base both the tanks and 3-4 infantry with a bit of space between them.

        A key point you mentioned was artillery hitting a spot and doing splash damage that would affect the whole base.

        So I guess that leads me to my last follow-up — what determines how many infantry will be placed on a single base in a game if you are playing 1:1 squad type rules with armor? What are the pros and cons of basing 5 infantry on a single base versus 2 or 1? In Napoleonics it might make sense to have neat lines of soldiers for accuracy, and photos I’ve seen of WW2 soldiers often have them in groups of 2-5, but other than historical accuracy does it affect typical gameplay results if you are playing 1:1 intend to have about 50 infantrymen per side (including members of mortar teams and artillery/machine gunners) and basing many, few, or individually? Obviously some come pre “stuck” together, as in the artillery that might show 3 or 4 men on the gun already. I assume the infantry “die” one by one and you keep track of “damage”, but my thinking may be completely off and influenced by D&D, and computer RTS games like Company of Heroes where your lone mortar team survivor could hold a pistol and return fire even if his 2 comrades are down.

        As you mentioned, I will follow a standard and plan and base both sides myself (Commonwealth and Japanese), so I’m not worried about getting out of sync between the two sides, rather how it affects gameplay to have a certain number of infantry based together (or alone).




      • Thomo the Lost 18 April 2015 / 3:31 pm

        Four or five infantry to a base works and 9 bases generally make up a company or battalion depending on the scale you work to. So that l sets a game unit to be 40 to 50 figures.

        I’ve not played 1:1 scale but given the size of 6mm figures it still makes sense to base. Put 5 on a base and use casualty caps to keep track of dead ‘uns.

        McDonald’s thick shake straws cut up nicely for 6mm casualty caps and have the added advantage of being free.


      • ikazuchi01 18 April 2015 / 9:15 pm

        Excellent, thanks Thomo! This will help me with basing. I have a few artillery pieces that show only 2 or 4 soldiers manning the guns — but despite mostly action poses I have a few commander-looking types just standing straight up like the Queen’s Guard at the end of each sprue, so I could add those behind to make even the 4-men units into 5. Appreciate all the feedback, I think I’m ready to paint and base!


      • Thomo the Lost 18 April 2015 / 10:41 pm

        I base and paint 🙂

        Figures are glued to the base, base is then covered in sand. It is then undercoated (black or brown). The sand is then given some shades with drybrushing, the figures are then painted. Then glue some static grass and varnish the whole shebang and voila!


      • ikazuchi01 18 April 2015 / 10:52 pm

        Even with the 6mm guys on sprues? OK will try that method!


      • Thomo the Lost 23 April 2015 / 12:13 pm

        Yeah – there is enough space around the figures to paint them when they are on the bases – and in some respects it is easier as you can do all the dry brushing of the base area with all the splash that entails before actually painting the figure so it ends up a little easier.


      • ikazuchi01 24 April 2015 / 12:06 am

        Thanks Thomo! I did try this and it is working out well. I will post some photos later on my site. I am using 1-inch round bases with arrangements of units that are more or less based on the groupings in Bolt Action (so 5 infantry with guns advancing, or 3 men on a battalion gun). Hopefully any rules I use will accommodate for the round bases vs. square – I just like the way round bases look on an “organic” map. I suppose I will have to get 1-1/2 inch bases if I ever introduce very large tanks.


  3. ikazuchi01 18 April 2015 / 12:45 pm

    I did find one rule in one of the wargames books I am reading where groups “based” together (or where bases are touching) would fire together and the cumulative effect of the single attack would thus be more powerful/effective than a single infantryman based alone firing at a spot.

    And of course individual basing of 50 soldiers would mean a lot more individual moves and be much more time consuming.


  4. Thomo the Lost 18 May 2015 / 1:32 am

    How’s the painting going and I am presuming that now you can see the qualitative difference between GHQ and H&R. To be fair, the H&R stuff does look OK once painted and the price relative to GHQ is also pleasing. I am thinking of some GHQ moderns though, it occurred to me that I don’t have any. Chinese perhaps!


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