Friday, December 30, 2011

It's hard to do 1/32 scale on a small table.

I picked up a repro MARX limber and cannon set and added a "extra" two horses to make the correct number for a six horse team. It's a nice sturdy "toy" model that's stronger than the 1960s MARX play set version that broke on Christmas morning 50 years ago. (Yes 50!) The thing is 17 1/2 inches long making it hard to add any more to the battery in terms of table space. I'd need 5 more limber teams and six more caisson teams just for the Union side. Too much $$$$ and space are needed.

I looked up a period artillery manual on-line to see what the actual distances between guns and limbers was.

You really need more that a 8 foot by 4 foot standard plywood sheet to hold a 54mm/1/32  battery even without the line of caisson limbers behind the first line on limbers if you set them up in scale.

I'm guessing that a war game scale battery at 28mm could be set up in scale but that might defeat the purpose of war game figures.


  1. Thought provoking !. Scales in wargaming rarely work I think.

  2. Fascinating stuff. Having started in 1/32 this year I am finding that the size of terrain and table needed is challenging.

  3. Trying to do it by actual scale to historical/reality doesn´t work. I tried basing a roman cohort (20mm) as they would have stood with the distance between each man and frontage scaled to reality. The base got huge!!!
    Also, the weapon ranges. A long bow in 1/72nd would have about a 100cm range, a modern sniper rifle!!? I can´t begin to think how big the table would have to be for artillery etc.
    I think that most rules allow for the scale difference (width/distance) etc because we don´t play the games with 1:1 ratio of figs.
    Happy new year

  4. Where do you get the time and all the inspiration ?

  5. Scott,

    We're working on the same project. I'm building a simple 4x 7 1/2 playing table with moveable elements like multi-level hills, boulders, lunettes, streams, etc, all in painted wood of course, with a painted diorama background, similar to the one I have out in the studio, only larger.

    I'm assembling a six-gun battery in 54mm to replicate Battery B, 4th US Artillery, which is our volunteer demonstration group at Antietam. You may have seem my recent blog post of my rehab of a knock-off Swoppet four-horse limber and gun. I just bought a similar set without the limber. I'm fabricating the limber out of oak and mahogany using imex plastic wheels.

    The guns will be the two rehabed fake swoppets, my two new Britains 12 pounders (thanks Santa), and two Britains 3" parrots that are on the way, for a nice multi purpose battery.

    While I'm at it I'm making six more limbers; four to serve the guns in battery and two to tow the caissons that I'm also making.

    In scale this will certainly take more space than I have available, though I try to think like a nine-year-old when playing so everything should fit just fine.

    I hope to make my next blog post about this.

    Keep me posted on your progress as well.


    p.s. when will be next be coming to Antietam?

  6. Thank for all the comments! I don't plan on trying to set up a full battery. I was sitting here with an on-line manual available, a calculator, and on-line scale conversion table and a yard stick plus a number of toy guns. I tried something like this a year and a half ago with a "full strength" 1/32 scale infantry company.

    "A Collector" I have all these items handy, some spare time on weekends or after a 10-11 hour day including commute. I also have a daughter who read a lot 19th century novels and bounces ideas off me. She thinks I should do a "Spring Awakening" play set, with LEMAX Christmas figures, based on the German play and teen angst musical. It's German so children WILL be hurt or die.

  7. BTW I think the CTS limber and Caisson are terrible

  8. "BTW I think the CTS limber and Caisson are terrible"

    As 100% accurate diorama worthy scale models maybe. As sturdy toys (even for adults) the limber and gun fine. The caisson is clunky looking.