Friday, 4 August 2017

3mm minis for Rommel Part 2

Any intentions that I declare in this blog should never be taken too seriously. When it comes to wargaming I often change my mind or fail to pursue things!

Original 60mm x 60mm bases
It occurred to me that the infantry stand shown in the last post had enough Laffly trucks to carry 30 men but only 10 men were depicted on the base! There isn’t room to add another 20 figures, so it would seem sensible to reduce the trucks to just one, thus making the vignette more realistic. This would create an anomaly in that the tanks would be a platoon while the infantry would be only a section. Is that something to lose sleep over though? I also thought of mounting all artillery in pairs so that SPGs could be readily distinguished from tanks (mounted in threes).

40mm x 40mm bases
Before making any final commitment to a particular base size, I thought I’d better revisit 40mm x 40mm basing. This will allow use of a 4” grid or Hexon. It had always been my intention to use Hexon for a game like this. One of the main downsides is the smaller label which might be difficult to read in a dimly-lit wargames hall. I could increase the size of the label but then the base would be more cramped, especially if I start doing later war armies with bigger tanks. A relatively bigger label would also begin to overpower the models.

But there are pluses. A big advantage of a 4” grid rather than a 6” one is that I will need a lot less buildings to depict built up areas. This may be disappointing news for Brigade Models but there you are. I will be able to use my Hexon scenery of which I have quite a bit. I will be able to game at home with models. Bigger battles with models will be easier to accommodate on club nights. Storage will be more compact.

Rather empty 40mm x 40mm bases
The cheapskate option: single models rather than multiples. If the model is just an icon this approach is logical, and it’s what many people will be doing with 6mm models. It’s a possibility but with 3mm models it looks a bit thin. Don't take too much notice of the labels - the content is just filler for layout purposes. More specific identification of the hardware for future reference (not required for the game) will be on the underside of the bases. Thanks to advice on the Pendraken Forum, I would cover the labels with plastic film so the track could be marked off with a water-soluble pen and cleaned afterwards.


  1. Whilst the new option might actually better represent vehicle spacing, I agree the bases look sparse. I'd go with the first one, but move the tanks around a bit (less equilateral triangle) and keep multiple trucks, but break up that squad/section into three. Maybe two trucks up front behind 'squads', one in reserve, or all the 'squads' forming a shallow up-side down triangle and the three trucks behind the lines.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions which are appreciated. I must dig out my books relevant to tactical formations. The bigger bases would obviously provide more options.

  2. Paul

    I had a chance to play with the bases again...

    For the infantry a 'Vee' formation with three squads of five figures (and 3 vehicles behind) looks quite convincing and can still be squeezed onto a 60mm frontage though going up to 75mm/3" might be better.

    I guess tanks could be arranged in a mixture of vee, wedge, left or right flank (echelon), line, column or something more random...

    Thanks again for your advice which is compelling!


  3. My cold war tanks are on 40mm bases (and you can still easily fit 3 tanks on them even though they're way bigger than the WW2 ones; my missile artillery parks have 4-5 vehicles on them and still look good). The cool thing about 3mm is that every base can be a mini diorama - mine have trees and bushes on them, small hillocks, tanks moving down dusty paths etc. I'll try to dig out some photos of them and post to the pendraken or Honour forum if I get chance.

  4. It sounds quite a challenge to get all that on 40mm bases. I'd certainly be interested to see some pictures.

  5. I like the bases with the reduced number of models on the most... once the bases are flocked / textured, they will appear much more interesting and, I imagine, fit in with the landscape. Less is more!

    1. If using only single models I would probably switch to 6mm. The bases will be flocked to match Hexon which means I've really got to get the paint on the vehicles right so they can be seen against the flock. As the flock is quite vibrant, I may have to make the vehicles very light (pastel?) to create contrast.