The last thing I needed was another scale, especially for things that I already had in 28mm. Oh well, life happens while you are making other plans!
Going back a few years, I wanted to run a series of Star Wars games on Hoth. The emergence of the Wizards of the Coast Stars Wars Miniatures game resulted in lots of cheap minis for Hoth. Initially missing from the mix were the Alliance Laser Turrets and Laser Batteries. About the same time, the “Star Wars Unleashed” line of 1/32nd (54mm) figurines were released including a box set with both the Laser Turret and Laser Battery used on Hoth. I bought them and they were too large for 28mm, but very nice (OBTW, WOTC then released 28mm Laser Turrets and Laser Batteries – heavy sigh).
Having fallen for the 54mm things, I then bought a few sets of Snowtroopers, Alliance Hoth Troopers, a pair of T-47 Snowspeeders, and various characters. These pretty much stayed in box until Christmas 2013 and then made their debut for a fun Santa game.
Unfortunately, the bug got me and I decided I must have more. This led me to look around and discover that much more eventually was released beyond the Hoth setting. The lists below are mostly from Hasbro – Star Wars Unleashed / Clone Wars Unleashed lines; however, I have noted others that will serve as approximate scale proxies.
HASBRO Star Wars Unleashed – 1/32nd scale painted plastic figures in dynamic poses. Many have one or two moveable arms, some have moveable heads which enables you to swap heads with some effort. The bases are thematic. All the minis are scaled well within each blister, but I noticed the Hoth minis are definitely larger than the rest. Most have good paint jobs with full facial features detailed. Only downside is that some are balance challenged (we played one game where the mini died if he fell over after you moved him).
What is nice about the Star Wars Unleashed line are their dynamic poses, here are some Bounty Hunters in action.
You can find a very comprehensive set of minis for Episodes II, III, IV, and V (including Battle Droids, Super Battle Droids, Destroyer Droids, Utapaun Warriors, Clone Troopers and Commanders, Jedis, Siths, Tusken Raiders, Jawas, Droids, Stormtroopers, Sandtroopers, Snowtroopers, Imperial Troopers, Imperial Officers, Rebel Troopers, Rebel Officers, Hoth Troopers, Pilots, Wookies, Bounty Hunters, and almost all the characters of note). So you could easily do battle on space ships, Tatooine desert, Deathstar, Hoth, Kashyyk, and most of the Clone Wars. Missing are the Gungans and Naboo Guard (no Jar Jar and his floppy eared friends), Mos Eisly cantina, Bespin Guards, and Jabba’s palace (although Greedo is available), and Endor.
Search for “Star Wars Battle Packs Unleashed”.
DeAgostini Star Wars Collection – These are Very nice, lifelike 54mm pewter sculpts. Slightly smaller than the Unleashed line, but definitely close enough. Compared to the “unleashed” line, these figurines are not as dynamically posed, but are more realistically painted with full facial features detailed.
The figures include most of the usual suspects for Episode I and VI (but still not Endor unless you count one Ewok). These figurines were accompanied by a very nice 24 page Stars Wars magazine with a themed article on the miniature and other things. These are definitely more pricey, but are a good way to fill in the gaps – especially if you want Jabba’s court.Applause You may want to use some of the Cake Toppers made by Applause. These painted PVC minis are intended as decorations. These are fairly cheap with a large diversity in scale since they are nominally 3 inches tall; however, some of the minis are sufficiently smaller to meet the needs. The sculptures and paint jobs are less desirable, but 54mm gamers cannot necessarily be choosy. The line includes Vader, Luke in black clothing, the Emperor, Han, Chewie, Leia, Lando, Wedge Antilles, Yoda, Jar-Jar Binks (if you must), C3PO, R2D2, Boba Fet, Greedo, Jabba, Admiral Ackbar, and a Stormtrooper.
Valiant Miniatures – These are 54mm pewter miniatures including several aliens that fit right into the Star Wars universe. Nice miniatures that require assembly and painting. I found that some of their barbarian type women are undressed appropriately for Jabba’s court.
Star Wars Command – These are brand new for 2014. They minis are soft plastic army mini that are scaled smaller than 1/32nd or 1/35th, but are cheap and plentiful.
Airfix Space Infantry – I have not seen these in person – these are retro 1/32nd sci-fi minis that may work.
ArtMasters – These are 1/35th solid plastic minis from Russia. They come in packs of 4 to 6 and are all a bit short compared to the Unleashed line. They are also sculpted in a Sci-Fi Gothic style with wide stances, large feet, large hands, and huge weapons. They will do in a pinch, but definitely are stylistically different. The line includes neo-Soviet arctic troops, insurgents, Cyborgs (with helmets stylistically similar to Vader), and others.
Others – I have found various one-off 54mm Sci-Fi minis that could be used, but they are very expensive. I also found some very cheap 1/32nd “army men” style police, swat, firemen, etc. that can be used for guards, etc.
You may balk a bit at the prices since most of these are OOP; however, in general terms these figures run for about $3 to $5 each for the Unleashed line and upwards of $15 for the DeAgostini characters. Since these are painted and ready for war, that is probably not out of line with the cost of painted 28mm minis. In fact it may even be cheaper than some other minis from movie franchises.
What about vehicles? Good question.
Imperial power is epitomized by the ground-pounding AT-AT. I bought one of the newish 30th Anniversary Imperial AT-AT and it really fits the bill. Although it is for the large action figures, the 54mm minis look great in the cockpit and in the assault troop compartments. It makes great sounds and is definitely close enough to 1/32nd scale at 24 inches tall, 28 inches long, and 12 inches wide. That scales out to 70 feet tall, 75 feet long, and 32 feet wide compared to 73 feet high on the official StarWars.com database (which is full of cool sci-fi factoids: http://www.starwars.com/databank/at-at-walker). On top of that it makes very cool Star Wars battle sounds. (OBTW, I see that is now OOP and mistaken for gold by on-line sellers at present. I suspect that with a little checking around you can find one for around $100 to $150.)
Of course, what is needed next is an AT-ST. From the same database, an AT-ST is 8.6 meters (28 feet tall or would scale out around 10.6 inches tall in 1/32nd scale) and others cite 7 meters (23 feet tall or around 8.6 inches tall in 1/32nd scale). So an AT-ST in the 8 to 11 inch range would be best. However, so far the ones I have found are either too short or too tall (send me a pointer if you find one that would do.) So I have opted for a pair of inexpensive, under-sized 6.25 inch AT-ST from MPC that would top out as 5.1 meter vehicles. I plan to mount them on rocky bases to help with the size issue, but that will have to do for now.
You can even get 74-Z Scout Speeders from the slot car company Scalextric which are advertised as 1/32nd. They have one with an Ewok, one with Luke in Endor gear, and one with a Scout Trooper.
Nothing says “scruffy looking” like the Millennium Falcon. Assuming you only need it for a prop (i.e. no interior battles) the new DISNEY “Star Wars Rebels Millennium Falcon Vehicle” will probably meet your needs. WARNING – this is not a playset – it is more of a big hollow display piece. This toy has lots of detail – especially topside, but the side detail is mostly stickers (as well as the various off-white mis-colored panels) and the landing gear is molded on as blocks. All that said, it is pretty cheap and at 27 inches is really 1/50th scale, but beggars cannot be choosers and it will also work great with my 30mm WOTC Star Wars collection.
The OOP WizKids MechWarrior AURORA DropShip makes a very nice Assault Boat for either 54mm or a nice size DropShip for 28mm.
You may wonder about the sanity of playing a 54mm game in terms of how much space it requires. It turns out that a 4’x4’ or a 4’x6’ board is sufficient for a rollicking skirmish game. In fact, I have used the same 1” grid spaceport terrain to good effect. You can actually put about as minis 54mm minis in the same amount of space as 28mm figures on 25mm bases. For the terrain filled skirmish games I enjoy, I just stuck with typical ranges used in 28mm Sci-Fi games.
The net is there are plenty of options to run a 54mm Star Wars a game on a starship, city, Tatooine, or Hoth (especially Hoth) setting. Endor is a no-go unless you want to proxy the rebel troops and substitute wooks for ewoks. If you want to do a RPGish cantina style game, you may find yourself short on the civilian side and definitely would have a hard time coming up with player character minis beyond the Star Wars mainline characters unless you are good at mini conversions. With all that said, I am all in!
So here is what I have found that may interest you if you catch the virus. The minis is from Star Wars Unleashed unless noted.
- Rebel Fleet Troopers – four variants (Rebel Blockade Troopers)
- Captain Raymus Antilles
- X-Wing Pilot
- A-Wing Pilot
- Luke Skywalker in Tatooine kit with Rifle; in Stormtrooper Armor
- Ben Kenobi (Obi-Won) two variants – one in Jedi Robes with Light Saber
- Han Solo two variants – one with Pistol; the other in Stormtrooper Armor
- Chewbacca with Bowcaster
- Princess Leia
- Wedge Antilles in pilot gear (DeAgostini)
- Wickett the Ewok (DeAgostini)
- Wookie – four variants
- Admiral Ackbar (DeAgostini)
- Scout Speeder (Scalextric) with Luke or Ewok (Scalextric)
- Four Stormtrooper variants
- Two Stormtrooper varaints with Helmets or Luke / Han heads
- Four Sandtrooper variants
- Two Imperial Officer variants (black)
- Two Imperial Trooper variants (black)
- Death Star Gunner
- Tie Fighter Pilot
- Darth Vader two variants
- Emporer Palpatine (black robed variant with Sith lightening; red robed variant with light saber)
- Shadow Guards
- Royal Guards
- Scout Speeder Scout Trooper (Scalextric)
- Boba Fett
- Dengar (DeAgostini)
- Zuckuss (DeAgostini)
- Zam Wesell (DeAgostini)
- Jabba (DeAgostini or Applause)
- Bib Fortuna (DeAgostini)
- Oola (DeAgostini)
- Max Rebo (DeAgostini)
- Gamorrean Guard (DeAgostini)
- Boush [Leah] (DeAgostini)
- Lando Calrissian (DeAgostini)
- Lobat (DeAgostini)
- Jawa – five variants
- Tusken Raider – four variants
- Wookie – four variants
- Rebel Alliance Troopers – four variants
- Repeating Blaster Cannon with Rebel Alliance Trooper gunner
- Luke Skywalker in Hoth kit with Light Saber
- Luke Skywalker in Pilot kit with Light Saber
- Han Solo in Hoth kit with Pistol – both foot and mounted on Taun-Taun
- Chewbacca with Bowcaster
- Princess Leia in Hoth kit
- T-47 Snowspeeder
- Snowtrooper -four variants
- e-Web Heavy Repeating Blaster with Snowtrooper gunner
- Viper Probe Droid
- General Maximillian Veers
- AT-AT Driver
- Darth Vader
- AT-AT (~1/32nd scale HASBRO 2010 Power of the Force for 3.5” action figures)
- Leia in Endor kit (Applause)
- Lando in Endor kit (Applause)
- Oragarian Assault Vehicle Officer (Valiant)
- Omegian Combat Infantry (Valiant)
- What is missing in the scale:
- Various bar minions
- Bith band
- Bespin Guards
- Regular folk
- Endor Rebel Troopers
- Clone Wars – pretty much everything you can imagine is available for Clone versus Droid battles in Episode II and III:
- Clone Commanders Cody, Rex, Gree
- Clone Troopers
- Clone Commandos
- Clone Pilots
- Clone Scouts
- Clone ARC troopers
- Battle Droids
- Super Battle Droids
- Destroyer Droid
- Spider Droid
- Magna Guard
- Most of the Jedi Council, Jedi Masters, Jedi Knights, and apprentices
o Sith Lords Palpatine, Dooku, Anakin, Maul, General Grievous and apprentice