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25mm/28mm Figures for Modern Conflicts

I have recently been working on a set of rules for doing modern-era conflicts, and had a fairly hard time finding figures for the game. I game moderns and post-War in 15mm, but I wanted the larger figures for smaller-scale games: 25mm, or, preferably, some really nice big 28mm figures. I am happy to report that there are several sources of figures, and quite a good selection. The bad news is that finding a good range of tanks and vehicles is much, much more difficult. It is possible, however.

Infantry Figures

There are several ranges available (and this may not be a complete list - if you make these figures, and you're not here - please let me know!). I am not going to review the figures, but will try to characterize what they offer.

Vehicles

I should point out up front that I don't make plastic models from kits, so I am not going to talk about whatever may be available in that form. What I will focus on are die-cast collector miniatures, an idea which I (not-so) cleverly picked up from the Old Glory website, where they sell some of the really excellent Corgi models in 1:50 and 1:43rd scale to go with the West Wind Vietnam range. The scales for collectible vehicle miniatures are pretty variable. I have found that anything advertised as 1:43, 1:48, or 1:50 works fine on the tabletop. Sadly, 1:64 is too small (more like a largish 20mm).

I will not give an exhaustive list, but I will provide some of the better websites for these collectible models. It is easy to find soft-skinned vehicles, some APCs, some tanks, and helicopters. While there are also some aircraft models, these tend to be very expensive (around $80 US). Overall, these models are not cheap ($20 to over $100 US), but there's a catch: they come painted (many are very beautiful), and at an average cost of around $30, they're not much more expensive than the unpainted metal and resin models available explicitly for wargames use.

There is a lot of US equipment out there: M-48s, Mutt jeeps, M-35 trucks, ACAVs, M106s, and similar US equipment from the Vietnam era. These can all be useful, depending on the conflict you are gaming. There is also a lot of French equipment out there: AMX 30s, AML 90s, VABs, etc. This is because many of the major manufacturers for these collectibles are French. There is a company called Sun Star, from China, which makes HUMMVs, but they are hard to find. [Note: An Italian company called WEMI has picked up these models.] Corgi has good Vietnam and Korea lines, including a line of "clean" and "field" vehicles - the "clean" vehicles have very few markings, which means you can modify them to suit your own purposes. If you are looking for Soviet equipment, it is difficult to find. There are beginning to be some Iraq war collectibles, including T-72s, M1A1/2 Abrams, and M2 Bradleys, but because they are new they are very expensive ($80 US).

I suppose it is the nature of collectible die-cast models that they are both expensive, and available for only a short time. This is really too bad, but there it is. Below are listed a few useful sites:

I kind of like the fact that you can't get vehicles in this scale very easily. It reminds me of the days when it was incredibly hard to find any figures at all, and none of my Airfix plastics would hold paint for more than about two games. It's exciting when you do find something you can use, and it makes spending the money a bit less painful. At least the die-cast models are beautiful, and they're ready to go the minute the package arrives at your door.


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