Saturday, October 17, 2015

Flashback: 20mm Moderns 1983 Style

I've been working a lot lately, and haven't had much oomph to paint or build anything. But, I have been sorting through stuff, trying to reduce my clutter and trying to narrow the number of projects to under a million.

During this adventure, I discovered some old figs that I didn't realize that I still had.  My old 20mm US Vietnam and "Modern" Cold War infantry.  I believe the figures are from the Firefight 20 line from Modelers Mart, and some were probably purchased from the old Breastplate Hobbies in Boardman, Ohio circa 1983-84.

Here are some of the figs:


And yes that is a crude M113 in the background.

The M113 and M2 Bradley were scratch-built out
of Balsa with wire for the guns

I bought a couple of metal jeeps from the line (which I can't find), but as a starving student in college at the time, couldn't afford the larger vehicles, so built my own.  There also used to be a BMP2 (probably the best of the lot), but I haven't found that either.

The figures stand about 22-23mm tall foot to top of hat/helmet, and look rather stiff and clunky compared to more modern figs, but we loved them.  Here are a few pix comparing them to Britannia's 20mm Vietnam figs,


Originally, I started buying the figs to do NATO v. WarPac games, but we had an immediate interest in Vietnam after encountering our first Nam game at a convention at about the same time.  Then, a short time later, we saw the movie "Uncommon Valor" and we knew what we had to do.

I got a couple of Huey models, painted the NVA, and Craig of Gaming Models built the prison camp.

The only photo that I have of Craig's original prison camp model circa 1985.

The camp was based on a three foot square of blue foam, with around 40 individual fence sections that plugged into the foam, and could be pulled and place on their side if and when the fence was breached.  Inside were the camp CO's building, a barracks for the guards, two prisoner buildings and the three watch-towers.  Each tower featured a blown up version, should they suffer any adversity during the game. It was built from bamboo, pine, and balsa.

We ran games at the Convention in Canton, OH in the mid 1980s, and may have taken it to Nowscon in Cleveland around that time (and possibly a couple other cons as well). 

In addition to the US and NVA, I had VC, East Germans and Soviets, about 40 of each, but unfortunately, I sold some off and gave some away, when I switched over to 15mm.

In time, I got back into 20mm Vietnam, first with 20mm FAA figs (nice figs, but limited line), and then Britannia.  Anyway, that's my flashback, I'm feeling better now. Time to start a new project.


  1. Very nice looking minis and vehicles!

  2. Old school cool- really is. The Prison Camp game sounds like it was good too- especially the flourishes in the terrain.



  3. Oh dear, sorry I was never a fan of the FF-20 stuff, loved P20, always thought they were a bit store window mannequin like. They did do some interesting ranges and figures though.


    I also love the Britannia stuff especially their Vietnam range.