Toy soldiers and O gauge

1328 views
11 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Lemuria ( Mt. Shasta, CA )
  • 132 posts
Toy soldiers and O gauge
Posted by bogaziddy on Monday, July 29, 2019 8:42 PM

Just out of curiosity, what size of toy soldiers are most compatible with O gauge trains?

The High Bogaziddy Mahesh Maserati - Top Ramen  I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kinda' guy I'm preaching to.
  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Austin, TX
  • 9,878 posts
Posted by lionelsoni on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 10:51 AM

It really depends on what scale corresponds to "O gauge" and how tall the soldiers are.  At one extreme, a 5-foot-4 soldier in 1/64 scale is 1 inch high.  And a 6-foot soldier in 1/48 scale is 1 1/2 inches high.  So, lacking any more information about scale and prototype soldier size, perhaps the best answer is about 1 1/4 inches.

Bob Nelson

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 2,279 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 12:32 PM

That's a very good answer from Lionelsoni.

It's a quandary.  O scale is 1/48, but the usual problem is if you go to a hobby shop most model soldiers you find are 1/35.  There are some in 1/48 but they don't seem to be the norm.  

As I understand it HO (1/87) guys modeling the Civil War era threw up their hands years ago and went with 1/72 scale model soldiers, also very common.  Not perfect, but more than close enough.  

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
  • 2,986 posts
Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 6:54 PM

Standard for what most of us think of as toy soldiers is 54mm.  These are recast Boy Scouts made from the old Marx/MPC molds standing on a Lionel diesel horn newstand base:

As you can see, these "kids" are just a bit tall for their age!  (The 2 figures behind them are modified from cowboys and indians figure sets.)

Here are some more scouts in front of a Plasticville cabin:

Firefighters and 1:50 scale pumpers:

Construction workers and a Lionel #2035:

Ther's not much here to reference true scale, but these are ACW soldiers marching alongside Standard Gauge (1:32) sized houses:

They work on a layout like mine because it emphasizes toy charm rather than realism:

The drawback is your pretty much stuck with military or wild west figures to work with.  You'll have to get lucky to find recast Boy Scouts or be prepared to pay if you want Marx originals.  Fire, police and other figures can be found at:

https://www.classictoysoldiers.com/cgi-bin/ctsc6/rtl/prd_d.cgi?category=54mm%20Toy%20Soldiers+Rev%20War%20Figures%20(54mm)

https://www.toysoldiersdepot.com/

https://www.sierratoysoldier.com/ourstore/pc/search.asp

I like them because they're inexpensive and fun to customize.  Though you may not want to do it with an expensive antique!  Wink  But you can have some fun!

Oh, did I mention that female figures in this size are exteremely rare?  That's a bit of a drawback too!  Wink

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: US
  • 82 posts
Posted by artyoung on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 7:08 AM

Good Morning Penny. The figures I like most I've only seen two examples of. They were of English or British manufacture, and called "Jolly Jack and the Maiden" and "The Tar and the Maid". A Victorian-era well-dressed young woman is reading a book while a Brit sailor is behind her and reading over her shoulder. Standard Gauge / Gauge 1 size. Very cute.

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • 6,459 posts
Posted by fifedog on Saturday, August 3, 2019 8:19 AM

I use Britains 54mm metal toy soldiers.  They are fairly proportioned to O-scale.  That being said, the older Britains offerings are smaller than the current ones, which are highly detailed and a bit larger (but not much).

Another nice manufacturer is King and Country.  Very smart looking pieces, and just a skoshe over O-gauge.

Both of these lines are available through Hobby Bunker.

Now, it may take a little searching, but the old K-Line offered military sets, and they are spot-on for O-gauge.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Austin, TX
  • 9,878 posts
Posted by lionelsoni on Saturday, August 3, 2019 11:31 AM

Fifty-four millimeters seems a bit tall to me.  It's 8'6 in 1/48 scale and ranges up to 11'4 in 1/64, for under-scale O-gauge models.

Bob Nelson

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 2,279 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, August 3, 2019 3:50 PM

Found a source for WW2 soldiers and vehicles, if WW2 is what you're looking for.

https://www.tamiyausa.com  

From the home page select "Products," then "Plastic Models," then "Armor" then "1/48 Military Miniatures."  The figures are mixed in with the vehicles.  

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
  • 2,986 posts
Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, August 12, 2019 6:33 PM

I got inspired so I bought some more figures for my layout!  Big Smile

Recast Marx Air Force ground crew:

Here they are with a 1:48 diecast Corsair:

I have a Plasticville Independence Hall so...

Johhny Tremain and the Sons of Liberty seems appropriate.

More powerful than a...

Here's a sampling with the kind of figure that's been associated with O gauge since ?????

Superman is a bit big, but, that's OK he's Superman after all.  Wink  Sam Adams and the guy with the ammo belt are the classic 54mm size.  The man on the far right is from:

Which are better with Standard Gauge:

The 515 is also a recent acquisition.  Wink  On to the paint shop!

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Baltimore, MD
  • 407 posts
Posted by Major on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 5:54 PM

Revell military kits in 1/45 scale have been reissued and those vehicles and figures would be suitable for O scale.

 

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
  • 2,986 posts
Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 6:59 PM

Painted.

Here are some modified versions of the Air Force ground crew figureas:

Employees for my Sinclair gas station.

A farmer emerged once the ammo belts were cut away.

I have a Scout figure with signal flags and an AF officer with a signal lamp facing him accross the town would make a nice scene.

I painted Clark with "cardinal red" and "blue kazoo".  What great names for the colors of Superman's costume!  Big Smile

And last but not least...

The Doctor finally got himself a companion!  Big Smile

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 2,279 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 8:34 AM

Great work Becky, especially the "Johnny Tremaine" figures!  

The American Revolution's always been an interest of mine, with a bit of a frustration that I couldn't do a RevWar train like you can do a Civil War train, 'cause, well, they didn't have 'em back then!

So the closest I've gotten to the same is the Lionel "Spirit of '76" series.  I got very  lucky on that one!  "Right place, right time..."

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month