Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Dad's 1/32 Gaming Table

My Family and I have been visiting my parents at Lake George, New York. While I prefer 28mm or 1/72 scale, my dad has always been a fan of 1/32 plastic. When he was a kid he played with the classic Marx playsets. Now he collects reissued Marx figures along with all the new 1/32 plastic manufacturers offerings. (click on photos to enlarge)

When we visited last year we weren't able to see his war table, because it was covered in boxes from his recent move. Now it's all set up for display and fun. Dad's favorite genres are the French and Indian War, American War of Independence, Napoleon's wars, and the American Civil War. He has boxes upon boxes of plastic soldiers, but right now his table is covered with a FIW display. He says he games with unpainted plastic, because the paint would chip off the painted models. I've been trying to introduce him to acrylic varnish (It has a little bendy-ness to it, which is good for plastic).

Above are Montcalm's forces defending Fort Ticonderoga. His fort is vacuform plastic. The figures are a mix of Armies in Plastic's new 7 Years War figs, Marx reissues, Accurate, and Barzso.

His table is two 4 x 9 ft. custom built tables pushed together. They are topped with painted plywood. His old table in Pennsylvania was a sprawling six table wide. He had to leave behind a few when he moved to a place with a smaller basement. This current FIW display is appropriate, because he lives 10 miles from Fort William Henry, and an hour from Fort Ticonderoga.

Here are some of his painted soldiers. He goes for the classic glossy enamel look. Above are: 1.) Black Watch, Regiment of Foot Highlanders (pre 1758). 54mm Barzso; 2.) 48th Regiment of Foot. 54mm Barzso; 3.) Virginia militia, French & Indian War. 54mm Barzso.

Above are: 4.) Queen's Rangers, American War of Independence, 54mm Marx reissue (he cropped off the top of the fur cap to make a ranger cap; 5.) Montcalm's 37th Royal-Roussillon regiment, 54mm Barzso; 6.) French Troupe de la Marine, 54mm Accurate.


CPBelt said...

Looks like fun! Brings back memories. That is how we used to do it when I was younger. I had sets from Marx. A viking/British and Cowboy/Indian set. They were in a metal suitcase that opened to make a castle or a fort. Played many a battle just like on your dad's table.

I enjoy the blog. Keep up the good work.

Thanos said...

We all can see now where you got the 'bug' from!!!

The absolute happiness, playing with figures throughout a lifetime no matter what!! :-)


Greg Sapara said...

You know, in the current wargaming world where people have attacks of apoplexy if you have the buttons painted the wrong color, you can't deny the attraction to the simplicity of your Dad's unpainted plastics.

It makes the kid in me drool to look over his setup!

Well done!


Andrew said...

Yeah, I definitely got the bug from dad. I started out in 1/32 like him. I bought reissued Marx vikings and tried to convert them to ancient Gauls to fight Hat's 1/32 Romans. Then I moved to 1/72, and then moved to 28mm.

His paint style is simple, but my dad does research proper uniform colors and paints accordinly (apart from the yellow paint used for gold buttons).

Tim Gow said...

He has a lot to answer for! I particularly like the fort - do you know where it came from?

Andrew said...

I think he got the star fort from http://toysoldierco.com/

Mannie Gentile said...

Thanks for this post. I've been mulling over the idea of building a table, trying to visualize how big it'd need to be to accommodate 54mm. Now I'm thinking that I might have to take the whole enterprise outdoors.

Regards to your father and best wishes.

Mannie Gentile

Anonymous said...


I just bought a fort just like the one in the photo can you tell me anything about the maker and such/
Thank you