Sunday 11 September 2022

New Figure Ranges

It is of course many decades since 6mm figure ranges started being produced, with their advantages of easy storage and large batttles on smaller tables. Recently 3mm and 2mm ranges have also been developed, taking the concept further. Now some new figure ranges from Iron Bollocks Miniatures are making a bit of a splash.

You may have heard elsewhere about IBM's 0mm figures, but I wanted to flag them up here as, for me at least, they seem like a great new concept with many advantages. But first a few photos of some sample figures and models I ordered recently:

From IBM's 0mm Napoleonics range. Imperial Guard infantry with skirmishers in front.

These Roman Legionaries show the incredible detail that IBM
have managed to include in these small figures.

A close up of a Sherman Firefly troop.

Besides the possibility of creating really big battles on a small table, there are many other benefits. Perhaps most significantly, the figures look just as good unpainted as painted, as the photo below shows:

The difference from the fully painted figures is practically unnoticeable at 'wargaming ranges'.

But let me assure you, painting these figures is not the chore that some might have you believe, even if you're one of those with the highest standards. I managed to produce the results you see in the photos in no time at all, using absolutely no paint whatsoever. Picking out the detail really is no problem. That could be quite a significant selling point. 

Basing is also made really simple. Some gamers have actually started using these figures unbased:

A Spartan pike phalanx left unbased - still looking good!

Even if you're a traditionalist and take the time to base these babies up, you'll quickly appreciate another ground-breaking advantage - storage. Storage immediately ceases to be an issue, as the bases can be stacked on top of one another without damaging the figures. Even more interestingly, gamers taking the 'unbased' option have found that no storage space at all is required. Existing cupboards already full of clothes and other household items can be used with ease.

I think the images above also demonstrate that you don't have to always use close-ups to create good photos, as some have claimed. Photographing these models is a breeze. The above are only quick snaps, but they compare well with the professional efforts on the IBM site and recent magazine articles. Another advantage for both bloggers and magazine editors!

Finally, what about the 'big army look' that small scale gamers claim for their models? The photo below gives you an idea of how this can be achieved. Having been impressed by the samples, I decided to splash out on opposing Austrian and Prussian SYW armies, each of about 500 figures. The painting process went by in a flash, and (being a bit lazy), I decided to leave them unbased.  Nevertheless, I was really impressed by the results:

Over a thousand figures on a 3' x 3' table - and still plenty of room for manoeuvre.
Quite a sight!

Personally, I reckon these figures could be something of a revolution in gaming. There are, of course, some stick-in-the-muds who are making much of issues around how to tell units apart at this small scale. Admittedly, it can be tricky to tell a 6pdr anti-tank gun from a ballista without closely inspecting the models, but attaching labels or writing underneath the bases easily solves this. How to measure ranges and moves using unbased figures can be an issue, but as always, good basing is needed anyway to really show off your armies.

Is 0mm the 'one true scale' gamers have been looking for all these years? I guess we'll see how sales go. Certainly something to look out for as the show season gets under way.

'Til next time comrades!


Paul Liddle said...


Norm said...

Nice find - I think these could replace my 1066, Wars of Roses, Naps, ACW and even WWII if they do Shermans and jeeps. In anticipation of my order coming through, I have just thrown away everything I own and am busy, busy ,busy making fields from super fine sand paper. 😁

Jim Walkley said...

Very impressive Keith. I'm glad you have seen the light at last but I don't think these will replace my 2mm figures. Having trouble finding their website though :-)

Steve J. said...

Almost beer mat gaming Keith, but not quite! Really this did make me chuckle, especially after our chat and musings at the show yesterday. I trust these will be on show at the Cotswold Wargaming Day? If so I'll wing an order over to you soon as obviously I want to get in at the start before every Tom, Dick and Harry is playing with them or the 'Big Boys' of the wargaming World muscle in on the action.

Keith Flint said...

Steve, I emphatically deny any connection with our remarks from yesterday.

Stryker said...

Excellent - you should have saved this one for April 1st!

pancerni said...

Clever, very clever. Glad the new figures fit in your budget.

Dave said...

I had to look at the calendar and reassure myself in wasn't April 1st.

ChrisBBB said...

And so much better proportioned than the clumsy 6mm giants I favour!

Great to see you in Newbury, Keith, and thanks for today's hilarious LOL.

A la prochaine!

Jamie said...

Interesting, but I still think red and blue lines of yarn are a good way to represent US Revolutionary war units. I know that is still 0.5mm scale, but bases are not needed and cleanup is a snap.

Keith Flint said...

Thanks guys. Hoped some of my readers would get a laugh from this. Having had the idea, I'm afraid I lacked the patience to wait for April 1st!

Keith Flint said...

Jamie - good thought! But how do you keep the cotton straight?

Jennifer said...

There is a reason I go for theater-of-the-mind and free kriegspiel these days - if only I could get my groups to try it!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely brlillant post - made my day! Thank you so much.
Kind regards