Monday, 22 June 2015

Gladiator Figures

The box of 1/72 plastic Italeri gladiators
The number of manufacturers now producing miniatures is quite vast and in all sorts of scales, both in plastics and metal.
The plastic figures come from the several firms Pegasus and Italeri in particular are readily available, in 1/72 and 1/32 scales though there are others, such as Marx, Barzso and Atlantic. The latter three though all have problems with availability. There are probably also many more that I'm unaware of.

In metal, there are far more options readily available in metal both in 54mm size and 28mm size (1:32 and goodness knows what - 1:55 ?), Irregular Miniatures 54mm gladiators series in the UK and Black Hat's (formerly Alpha) series of 54mm gladiators in the USA. There are of course others but 54mm Gladiators in metal are expensive !
Pegasus Box 1
In the smaller scales, Wargames Foundry have a huge range of figures and there are great figures available from other manufacturers, Crusader, Brigade Games and Jugula are good examples amongst many others.

My intention was to reproduce a Gladiator game on hexes, reproducing a boardgame with figures rather than a tabletop game with freedom of movement. I wouldn't be representing any large scale gladiator revolt in miniature.

I estimated I'd need about 20-30 gladiator figures to represent most of the different type of gladiator and their fighting styles., so not a lot of figures really.
I dismissed the idea of the smaller 1:72 figures in plastic, almost immediately. as I have difficulty enough painting chunky 28mm figures already.

Pegasus Box 2

The alternatives then were 28mms at about £2 each, which would work out at about £60 for thirty figures or the 54mm plastics which, after a bit of googling for best value-for money buys could yield me the same number of gladiators for about £40. The decision was finalised, mainly thanks to Colin Nash's blog posts about his own venture into this genre with the 54mm plastic figures . (see here too). 
I followed Colin's lead and bought all the sets he'd bought. The two Pegasus packs (14 immediately usable figures) and the Italeri pack with two sprues of 8 figures each on them, including a lion and a bear, so another twelve usable humans and four animals.
Generally speaking the Pegasus packs are fairly easy to get whilst the Italeri one is normally a bit more expensive and harder to find. As in many things it pays to shop around for your purchases.

Next time I'll be posting about the various rule systems that I've looked at.


  1. Blimey Joe!! Inspired by this blog, I'd just watched Spartacus: Blood & Sand again ... inspired by that, I'd just about convinced myself to give up on the 54s and get some 28mm gladiators, when I see this latest post!!

    I am really glad that my posts on the 54mm gladiators were of some help to you, but I've not done anything with them since those posts about 3 years ago!!

    So now I'm stuck (again!) on whether to carry on with the 54s or start with 28s!!

    Curses!! What shall I do?!? I know!! I've decided to be indecisive .... ;)

    1. I meant to include in that post that I am very much looking forward to your post about rules as I've yet to find a set to use :(

    2. The pro's far outweighed the cons with choosing 54mm figures. I've got so many 28mms in the lead pile and the thought of painting even more was probably the final factor
      I'm yet to find a set of rules I'm 100% happy with but there are a couple on the horizon that look very promising (Blood on the sands especially)
      It was indeed your blog of 3 years ago that prompted me to do this too - so thanks once more.