Saturday, November 7, 2009

A listing of 3mm miniatures blogs and pages

2-3mm is a bit of the bastard child of the wargames hobby. Mention that you play in 1/600 scale and somw wag's sure to quip "Hell, mate, why don't you just play counter boardgames then?"

This bit of gratuitous "hardy-har-har" is really quite slanderous, because the new WWII and Modern stuff that's being sold by companies like O8 is just beautiful. Small it may be, yes. But I can easily distinguish between, say, Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs at arm's length and my 42-year-old eyes are definitely not what they once were.

2-3mm has several advantages to me, the first of which is simply extra storage and playing space. I have the entire Grande ArmeƩ socked away in two cigar boxes, for example, and a few years back I did Leipzig 1813 for my students at UERJ on two medium-sized tables. Using Volley and Bayonet rules at centimeter scale (i.e. a brigade is 3cm x 3cm) a normal-sized 6 foot x 4 foot gaming table gives one 216 square kilometers of battle space, meaning that operational-level battles (such as the entire Waterloo campaign) are quite feasible.

What many people see as 3mm's main drawback - relative lack of manufacturer support - is for me also one of its main selling points. Back when I was a kid, learning to play miniatures with 20mm plastic Airfix figures, we didn't have the miniatures industry that's available today. Back then, odds were that if you wanted something special, you either had to adapt it from something else (say HO railroad kit) or build it yourself and, to me, that was half the fun of the game. 3mm miniatures gaming allows me to recapture that spirit. (But not too much of it, if you catch my drift. A brief look at Pico Armor's website, for example, will show that one can get pretty much everything one needs to play a full-blown game in one-stop shopping through John's excellent mail service.)

The one thing that does annoy me a bit with this scale, however, is the lack of hobby support. By that, I mean the relative lack of other players with whom one can compare notes and from whom one can swipe ideas.

So here're some links to 2-3mm miniatures gaming blogs and pages which have inspired me. Hopefully, they'll do the same for you:

First off, we have the three Yahoo sites. You'll have to subscribe to see these but it's well worth the effort!

2mm · A group for discussing 2mm miniatures is the grand-daddy of them all, concentrating mostly on Irregular Miniatures 2mm stuff. This is the site that got me started on this scale.

Then there's 1-600thMiniatureAircraftWargaming · 1/600th miniature aircraft and rules, a site which focuses principally on Tumbling Dice's aircraft, but which takes side-turns into O8 and TD's ground forces.

Finally, we have my favorite group, 3mm_miniatures · 1/600_miniatures, whose members primarily use O8 stuff.

For blogs and webpages, we have Tony Hugh's Atomic Ancients and Miniature Medievals, which is probably the article/site which has launched more 2mm wargamers than anything else. And there's also Tony's Gildas Facit, another of the great-granddaddy 2mm sites.

Here's an interesting 2mm Sci-Fi post from The Miniatures Page, and another from Lloydian Modeling Tips.

Bloggers who post decent 2-3mm material include Nik Harwood, Ozzie David's The War Depot, The Fighting Fantasist, and Steel on Sand. This last blog has a 2mm Web Resources list much more detailed than anything posted here, so go take a gander, now!

3mm sci-fi. A light dragoon regiment moves through the outskirts of Picoburg.


  1. Hello there!! Thanks for mentioning my Yahoo Group LOL. I would like to point out though that even though it started out for 3mm-1/600 aircraft it has expanded to cover all 3mm-1/600 minis in general :). Not only Tumbling Dice aircraft and ground minis but also Oddzial Osmy (O8) aircraft and ground minis too. With those two in addition to the Skytrex range of aircraft,ground minis and naval craft and JTF600 resin air,ground and naval castings and many others. All eras. Its a great group and I try very hard to promote the scale. Thanks again. Robert

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  3. Thanks for the informative write up !

    Its an interesting scale, and one that you can easily pass by without noticing. However, once you get some 3mm models in front of you on the table .. and do some calculations in your head about the cost of building huge detailed armies, it becomes very addictive.

    Its early days yet, give it another 6 months, and I reckon it will be all the rage once it catches on with players.

    In the meantime, keep fiddling with rules and terrain and army building, and put on some demo games. It wont be everyone's main interest - but as an active side project, it is very attractive because its such a low-maintenance build to get into.

  4. It's kind of ironic that people say "Why not play board games", in that I've been building up some 2mm SYW forces and although there's been some interest from my local gamers, there's not enough for them to start their own armies. What do we normally play? Board games.