Thursday, February 23, 2017

Survivors of the Twilight Part 2 - 20mm Figures

20mm confessedly, is my preferred scale. I really do enjoy it for a variety of reasons not the least of which is, it's bigger than 15s, smaller than 28s and you can do some really nice work with 20mm and a brush (though lately, 15s have been proving me wrong on this).

It was at the time, a question of cost. 20mm was for me when I was younger, as cheap as $7 a box for 50 soft plastic figures. The trouble was, until recently? I had no bloody idea how to get paint to stick to said plastic figures. Thus, I will say that 90% of my collection has been replaced by metal of one form or another. That said? We will discuss plastic as well, because they can, and do fill in niches in armies.

So, without further ado, let's delve into the world of 20mm figures for Twilight:2000


Elhiem Miniatures

Photo taken from Elhiem Miniatures

Matt Hingley over at Elhiem is to me, one of the better folks out there in the 20mm world. His figures are well sculpted, and only get better as time goes on. He does commissions, such as the figures you see in the photo above. I needed some US Cav for my Twilight: 2000 project (nobody made any), I paid him, he took my money and sculpted those above.

But there is more, his non-commissioned lines, such as his "Cold War" lines, or the "Zombies and Urban Survival" lines are nothing short of perfect for Twilight:2000. The Soviet Senior Officer packs have a scenario written all over them (now if Matt would just do a pack of just Traffic Regulators in various poses..). Matt also has lines such as Motorpool and Lamercraft. Some of Matt's figures are just so evocative of the milleau, like his RMP figures with L1A1s found in his British Cold War line, they rather resemble this fellow.  In fact, the conversion would be so simple...I should probably do one...

Prices have gone up recently, due to the British Pound losing some value, but to be fair, Matt held off the price increase as long as he could and his website is a dream to shop from, taking all major credit cards and Paypal. Shipping might be a bear for Americans and the rest of the world, but Matt does his best to keep it under control.

The only downside to his figures is some of the early sculpts are a bit fragile (like SHQ fragile), but the later sculpts have gotten better, much better if you ask me. 

In short, if you're doing Twilight:2000 in 20mm, this is a great place to stop first.


Force 20

Image courtesy of Covert Intervention Games
Force 20 is a line that used to be sold through Ehliem Miniatures, but that is changing, at least for US customers, with the advent of Covert Intervention Games or CIG as they will be referred to here. CIG is now the owner and manufacturer of the Force 20 line.  I had a chance to talk to the proprietor, J Reid "Streak" Denton at Cold Wars recently. He has also emailed, and spoken highly of this blog. I thank him for his kind comments.  He was even kind enough to send some better pictures, one of which I have made use of here

I admit I had not picked up the line previously as I found the subjects too esoteric. How wrong I was. The "Reluctant Heroes" line has some figures that are, with a suitable paintjob, perfect for Twilight: 2000. I have also been informed by Mr. Denton that the "Corrupted Zombie Infection Line" has some good possibilities. 

Another bit of big news? They are going to manufacture the entire Ehliem line in the US in partnership with Matt Hingley of Elhiem. T  That's right, the entire line. So for US fans of Ehliem, this is a big deal (Postage is still a killer, even with the depressed pound). They will ship globally, by the way, so no reason for Canada to hold off?

I have two sample figures, and I am very impressed with the sculpt quality, minimal flash, proportional dimensions and great poses. This is a line worth looking into.  

S & S Models


Photo taken from S & S Models Website

S & S is quite simply, the one stop shop for resin 20mm vehicles (and quite a few 15 and 28mm as well). They have a nice modern line that fills a lot of needs, like MUTTS (because not all National Guard formations are going to have HMMWVs) or Gaz trucks (Great for convoy ambushes). They also have a nice line of figures, including Soviet engineer figures that are well sculpted, and reasonably priced. They were also, until recently, the only source of lead crew figures for the Soviets, Brits, US and others in 20mm Moderns (Ehliem has stepped into that breach recently.)

I have bought one of their ZSU-23-4s and a BTR-80 and have been quite happy with the sculpts, they are clean, free of bubbles or holes, and there was very little cleanup needed to make them ready to paint, now I just have to get around to painting them. I also have one of their MTLBs, a UAZ-469, a BRDM, and a pickup truck. All in all, they do a good job.

Shipping is a bit pricy for this corner of the world, but it's more than worth it.

If you want to go resin for your Twilight:2000 project? This is the place to go.

Enfilade Figures

Photo taken from the Winter of '79 Website


Enfilade is a relatively new company based in Germany, with a prolific Cold War SAS line that looks very good, some of them are pictured above. I have yet to purchase any, but they do look nice, and would work well for a surviving SAS troop.

Their German, insurgent, and female militia lines are also well sculpted, and paint up nice from the looks of their photos on the store website. The female militia alone has some real possibilities for Twilight: 2000.

I can't say much about their webstore, or ease of shopping, but the prices look good, and considering the Euro is equivalent with the dollar right now, it might be a good time to give this company a look.

If anyone does, let me know and tell me what their thoughts were?


Under Fire Miniatures


Taken from the Under Fire Miniatures Webpage

Under Fire Miniatures is the successor company to TQD, which put out some fantastic sculpts on a variety of subjects (I have some of their German WWII Volksturm, some of their WWII Russians, and their Modern Russians, which I helped commission at the time, and I can personally say, these are nice sculpts).

For Twilight: 2000, certain ranges come to mind quite readily, The Riever 2025 range, especially the armed civilians is a good start, the Chechen/Generic militia, as well as selected figures from the Modern Russians also look good for Twilight: 2000.

Cost is comparable to other ranges, and the ordering from the website is quite easy.

The only downside is some of the Modern Russians I got were somewhat brittle, and broke at the ankles, but I managed to fix that.

These are great figures to fill in any blanks, as well as to add some character to an army.

Britannia Miniatures


Taken from the Guild Wargamers Forum

What can I say, I own oodles of Britannia figures. Yes, they are chunky, yes, they are a bit "cartoonish" in their sculpts. But honestly? I think it gives them character, and makes them a darn sight easier to paint (a consideration with my eyes). Now, they do not mix overly well with other lines, except for Liberation/RH, but they have character. I have a ton of their British and Soviet vehicles for Cold War, and a lot of their Cold War British Infantry, they are very workmanlike sculpts that paint up well.

I have not ordered from the Grubby Tanks website, as most of my Britannia purchases were made from Syr Hobbes Wargames in the US, that said, I cannot say enough good about these figures, as much as many may not be nuts about them.

They take paint well, they have character, and have great sculpts, and aren't cursed with "fragile rifle barrel" syndrome (looking at you SHQ). 

Honestly, give these fellas a try, I think you will like what you see.


Liberation/RH Miniatures


Taken from the Cold War Gamer Blog

Liberation Miniatures is without a doubt, the most prolific and complete line for 20mm Cold War figures out there suitable for Twilight: 2000. (Not to mention their Urban Meltdown range is awesome as well, I have some of the Americans for it). But, and here is the but. It is very hard to get.

The proprietor honestly pays little attention to his website, and there are two other websites that I know of, which I cannot get to, mainly because the links I have found thus far are dead (Can anyone fix that issue, please?). Not to mention, he seems to have an issue with Paypal. In this era of identity theft, there is one truism. A secure internet storefront is vital in this day and age, and not to have one is going to hurt your sales, plain and simple. Most of the Liberation figures I own, I purchased from Syr Hobbes Wargames, who broke off their own relationship mainly due to the fact their orders were not getting filled. 

But their sculpts are very nice, and like I said, they have figure lines nobody else does. It is very frustrating the way one has to order from RH Models these days. The vehicle line is also very nice, and I really like their HMMWVs.

If the proprietor is reading this? Please know, there's a lot of folks around the world that like your figures, and want to buy more, a secure internet storefront would make things a lot easier for us. This is not an attack, or a criticism, more a plea. 

But, if you can get some of these figures, sprint, do not walk to get your hands on them.


Stan Johansen Miniatures


Taken from the Stan Johansen Miniatures Website

Stan Johansen has been around since the 1980s, and has been a prolific producer of 20mm, when many in the US have moved on to other scales. He's been a boon to 20mm fans like me, and his figures are affordable and he's always at the HMGS shows ready and willing to sell his wares (now if he would just take credit cards..but that is another matter). The "Jihad" and "Road Warrior" lines have a lot of offer for Twilight:2000 gamers.

An aside, he is also a great painter, as he sold me a TARDIS, one of the Doctor's and a pair of Daleks a couple of Historicons back for my fiance. 

Stan's an honest, fun guy to deal with, and his figures have a little bit of everything to offer. The sculpt quality is I will admit, hit or miss, as it's not the state of the art we see now, but for a serviceable wargame figure for a good price? You cannot go wrong, Also, check out his personality figures for the "Road Warrior" line, those guys alone are a game waiting to happen.

Shopping on the site is a cinch, as it is run through Paypal.

In short, if you're a US 20mm gamer considering Twilight: 2000? Give his website a look. You might like what you find.


Platoon 20

Taken from the Fields of Fire Forum
Platoon 20 is a figure manufacturer that is as old as RH Models or S & S. They have quite the prolific Moderns and Vietnam ranges (of which I have quite a bit) that are useful for Twilight: 2000 (Later Twilight War American troops, especially guys mobilized post-nuke are going to look a lot like those guys pictured above.) There's also a mercenary and civilian range that has some nice stuff as well. I have a ton of these figures either bought second hand, or from the old Ulster Imports distributor.

The figures are a bit chunky, and fit in well with Britannia and RH. While sculpting isn't the state of the art? It's good, workmanlike, and takes to the brush quite well. In short, nothing to complain about from where I stand.

Prices are reasonable, and the website is easy to navigate, and they accept Paypal.

Both figure ranges are extensive, and you should be able to find something for your projects. 


The Twilight: 2000 Miniatures

Taken from the Lost Minis Wiki

The original Twilight:2000 miniatures were produced by Grenadier in 1985, and were meant to be used with the Roco Minitanks line of vehicles (which were still somewhat big here at the time, I had a bunch in the 1990s, but moved on to 1/72 scale AFV as they were easier to come by). The figures are thus, a bit closer to 1/87, but honestly? They mix alright with Ehliem and many of the 1/72 plastic out there.

I am not real sure when the line stopped being produced, noone I have asked seems to know either. It was a shame, because the figures are pretty neat, if sculpted a bit meh by today's standards. However, they encapsulate the "ragged survivor" look of Twilight: 2000. Many of the figures also came with separate arms to allow you to have some variation in your figures, honestly, I don't think that worked as well. I have had to greenstuff more than a few limbs into place.

As for finding them? That's a tough one. I lucked out at a few HMGS cons, not to mention some internet sales, and a few windfalls at Noble Knight Games, but these old figures are just becoming harder and harder to find.  

I do wish Marc Miller would let a modern sculpter resculpt these into true 20mm, I am imagining the magic Matt Hingley could do with them.

Plastic Figures

I won't be talking much about plastic figures, well, because I am a bit chauvinistic. I like my metal. That said, there are oodles of figures out there, at still pretty reasonable prices that can help you fill out an army quick. And, plastic conversion is a simpler affair than metal.

One good place to look for what is out there is Plastic Soldier Review, it has a very comprehensive listing, both the "Cold War" and "Modern" sections are chock full of suitable figures for the world of Twilight:2000. 

In closing, you're only limited by your imagination and materials, next time, we're going to talk more about the look and setting of Twilight: 2000, and how you reflect that on the tabletop.

6 comments:

  1. Oh, dear, I didn't need another source of minis, much less several. Thanks for this, my bank account will be shrinking someday.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good stuff!

    I am enjoying your blog, but one thing: you might reconsider the purple color scheme for teh headers and links. It washes out against the black background and is hard (fior me, anyway) to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good suggestion, I implemented it at once.

      Delete
  3. Ahhh, 20 Mike Mike. Great options out there! I used to own several RH Models (Liberation) and they are great castings. Chunky, animated, sturdy...but 20mm gaming just doesn't fit my storage needs. Great article nonetheless as they are so many great options and terrain to boot!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Some great option, I would also suggest Wartime ranges too, lots of variation

    ReplyDelete
  5. Foundry also did a great line of 20mm Arab Israeli war figs for 1973. The Egyptian models work well for WP infantry, and the Israelis work ok for NATO troops with SLRs

    ReplyDelete

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