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Author Topic: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs (with more Dark Alliance goblins)  (Read 1385 times)

Offline Hobgoblin

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1/72 for fantasy RPGs (with more Dark Alliance goblins)
« on: October 17, 2019, 11:59:35 AM »
I wrote a rather long and rambling blog post on this the other day, but I'm planning some RPG games using 1/72 plastics.

In the past, I've run RPGs using 15mm (so that the tabletop provides a bigger space), but recently, the quality of miniatures (and the amount I have) has drawn me back into 28mm. But I think there are some disadvantages of 28s: they're fine for cramped dungeon-crawls, but space gets a little cramped in outdoor scenarios. And they're a pain to transport in large numbers (I'm going to be running a game 300-odd miles from home in a couple of months).

That's led me to 1/72. Plastics in the scale are very lightweight, and when based on pennies or washers, they allow for safe transportation in magnetised boxes. That didn't quite work with 15mm, because metal miniatures in that scale are still sufficiently heavy to fall off the magnetic lining and get bashed about in transit.

Also, 1/72 offers the same 'footprint' as 15mm (i.e. 1p or 2p bases), but with a little bit more visual impact and a lot more consistency in scale. And that's a huge attraction. I don't really like painting humans, so the relative lack of detail in 1/72 is welcome. But even more attractive is the ability to mix in huge numbers of historical miniatures with the growing number of fantasy sets available - perfect for portraying a world with lots of human cultures in the Glorantha/Tekumel mould.

That was something I wanted to do in 15mm, but the unevenness of scale really got in the way. I'm not too fussed about a bit of variation, but 15mm historicals were often dwarfed by goblins and, er, dwarfs in the same scale.

By contrast, 15mm goblins look about right with 1/72 humans:



Here are the first couple of painted-up PCs (or villains, who knows?) - the kind of quick paintjobs that you can get away with at this scale:



While there the Dark Alliance and Caeasar sets provide lots of cheap non-humans, I've noticed that a lot of the Wizkids/D&D range of 28s work well as giants, demons and monsters in 1/72 because they're much more naturally proportioned than (say) GW. For the same reason, they don't work terribly well with most 28s. It helps that, for whatever reason, quite a lot of them seem to be especially heavily armoured on the thighs and knees. Lots of them also have double-bitted axes, which I usually dislike. But for a setting with an ancient-world flavour, the occasional bronze labrys is OK.


« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 03:54:13 PM by Hobgoblin »

Offline manic _miner

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2019, 10:10:45 PM »
 The Dark Alliance range is great.They have four more packs coming out soon.Centaurs,Nomads set 1 & 2 and Steppes warriors.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2019, 10:27:51 PM »
Aha. I wonder what sort of nomads they'll be. Arab-influenced, perhaps, given that the Steppe warriors will presumably be Scythian/Hun/Mongol-esque?

Offline M.P.

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2019, 10:41:46 PM »
Great project :), I'm doing something similar with 1/72 minis in my mordheimesque project with 10mm scale Frog/Toadmen :).
My roleplaying/wargaming blog: barbaricfrontier.blogspot.com

Offline Sunjester

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2019, 10:46:13 PM »
Sounds like a plan, there are a lot of useful 1/72 figures out there. I've been using 1/72 plastic trolls for 28mm and just picked up a box of Caesar goblins to use as imps. 

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2019, 11:01:34 PM »
A lot of old Ral Partha and Grenadier stuff scales nicely with 1/72 as well: Tom Meier and Julie Guthrie dwarfs are a better fit for 1/72 than for 28mm, and it occurs to me that the Tom Meier giant goblins would make decent Gloranthan dark trolls in 1/72 ...

Offline andyskinner

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2019, 04:47:15 PM »
I love those Greek figures.  I always think Runequest.

andy

Offline manic _miner

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Offline manic _miner

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2019, 06:33:36 PM »
Aha. I wonder what sort of nomads they'll be. Arab-influenced, perhaps, given that the Steppe warriors will presumably be Scythian/Hun/Mongol-esque?

 I could imagine them being along the lines of the other Lord of the Rings figures in the range or could be totally new.Will be after them for sure though.

Offline Gibby

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2019, 10:29:02 PM »
Great post! When I was a kid, before I got into Warhammer, I used to buy the odd box of 1/72 soldiers to mess about with. I've often thought of revisiting them as an idea for wargaming, particularly for mass battle games where the individuality of the miniature is much less of a concern. My only hesitation has been in the cleaning up and painting of the softer plastics. Do they take acrylics well? I often heard that paint would crack off them or otherwise not bond well. Also, regarding cleaning up, softer plastics require a precision cutting rather than scraping, which sounds time consuming!

Offline sundayhero

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2019, 09:32:45 AM »
Most good soft plastic minis doens't need much cleaning up, in fact.

For the best bond, personaly I first wash carefully the minis with soap and water, and then I coat them with vallejo premium base coat (or varnish), since it's made for soft plastic and clear plastic (used for RC cars painting). THen, base coat/paint the way you want.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2019, 10:48:05 AM »
Found these sets which i had never seen before.

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/LA010

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/LA014

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/LA021

https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/CMHF109

Thanks for those links! Just ordered the second set of Caesar orcs very cheaply, plus the Dark Alliance Cimmerians and mummies.

Gibby, I've found Pebeo gesso and acrylics work fine with the softer plastic. I painted these Caesar lizardmen that way and haven't even varnished them yet; they've been used in quite a few games (including one in a Glaswegian pub!) and haven't lost any paint:



I think the softer plastic that Caesar uses might be particularly good with acrylics. I've been more careful about varnishing the Zvezda hoplites (gloss then matt - I don't normally bother with the latter) as they're a bit harder and shinier, but they seem fairly robust so far. I've read that most of the bad rep that 1/72 comes from the US of enamels (often over no undercoat).

I'm also thinking about massed battles with these. You get about 40+ figures for eight or nine quid (cheaper, sometimes). So I'm basing some up individually, but will probably put a lot of the others on HotT element bases. I've been working on 15mm HotT armies on 28mm-scaled bases, but I was already using some 1/72 figures in there. The 15mm chaos hordes I'm working on have a lot of large Magister Militum figures that will actually look better against 1/72. And the 15mm orcs are appropriately sized against 1/72 men. It helps that I've based most of the warband elments with a 28mm troll or equivalent in the front rank - so they look like small but fierce creatures led by very big fierce creatures.

The other thing that 1/72 is great for is Lion/Dragon Rampant. The 1p/2p footprint is the same as for 15mm, which gives much more space for manoeuvre on a 3' wide dining-room table.

Also, I'm finding that the Wizkids D&D figures make perfect ogres and giants at this scale. I don't like the range at all for 28mm, as the more realistic proportions just make them look odd against other 28s. But that very thing makes them 'read' well at 1/72:

Offline Gibby

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs (with pig-faced ogre and bear-man)
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2019, 11:07:17 AM »
Yes, those work very well together. I think the consistently realistic proportions and consistent scale is a HUGE advantage for 1/72. 28mm and 15mm can be a minefield of figuring out what figures work together. Even when the scale the same, often the style of sculpt can make them look odd alongside each other.

Might have to give a box of them a go. Is Hannants the best source in the UK?

Offline manic _miner

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs (with pig-faced ogre and bear-man)
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2019, 12:27:16 PM »
 Hannants seem to be one of the best retailers for the 1/72nd miniatures ranges.

 The Dark Alliance Mummies are great pieces.THe Nomads maybe to opposition for the Mummies come to think of it.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: 1/72 for fantasy RPGs (with pig-faced ogre and bear-man)
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2019, 10:59:38 PM »
I think the consistently realistic proportions and consistent scale is a HUGE advantage for 1/72. 28mm and 15mm can be a minefield of figuring out what figures work together. Even when the scale the same, often the style of sculpt can make them look odd alongside each other.

Yes - and then there's price - especially for minor NPCs in role-playing and skirmish games. For example, I picked up this lot for under a fiver (plus postage) yesterday. Once they're based and painted up, they should take care of all crowd scenes in any games with a pseudo-ancient or pseudo-medieval setting. But getting the equivalent in 28mm or even 15mm metal would cost a great deal more (and would require much more effort in painting).

There also seems to be a growing trend in 1/72 towards boxes that mix infantry or cavalry or have few or even no duplicates. And even for those - like the Dark Alliance sets - that have 4 x 10 or 4 x12 figures, they're so much cheaper than the 28mm equivalent even if you're only going to use one set of 12.