Toy soldiers and O gauge

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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.
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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

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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.  

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.  

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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

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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.

 

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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

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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..."

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Posted by UncleRicky on Monday, December 30, 2019 9:41 PM

Hi Bogaziddy,

I am in the process of painting up 25 mm and 28 mm soldiers to add to my layout. (I was thinking about the Russians invading Lionelville circa 1950s or a monster attacking the layout with the National Guard defending the city.)  Unfortunately, I am not savy enough to know how to post photos--and yes I know there are instructions, but if I ever do figure it out, I'll post some photos. 

Anyway, the 25-28mm figures that are meant for table top wargaming.  You can find figures from ancient times to modern times.    There are some 1/48 kits too in plastic, a couple by Tamiya, but these are a bit involved in assembling the bodies. 

I prefer the metal figures.  They may take a little sanding and should be primed before painting.  You can decide how detailed you want to paint them.  

Here are a couple of vendors:

WWI US Infantry  https://www.oldgloryminiatures.com/products.asp?cat=308

USA and CSA  https://www.oldgloryminiatures.com/products.asp?cat=248

WWII US Infantry  https://store.warlordgames.com/collections/us-army

They can be pricey, but it's very hard to find figures near O scale.   You can check Noble Knight Games or Ebay.  Sometimes there are smaller sets or used sets available.  There are also other vendors, including those from the UK.

Good luck!

Rick from Minneapolis.

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Posted by phrankenstign on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 1:35 AM

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

 

The way I see it, it doesn't really matter if you run Lionel traditionally-sized trains.  As long as they are no bigger than 6" tall, any other size will do.

 

I have a handcar with the Warner Brothers cartoon characters Sylvester and Tweety.  Sylvester is about 3" tall.  In the cartoons, he is about 2/3 the size of Granny.  She appears to be 5' - 5 1/2' compared to other human characters.  That would make Sylvester about 3 1/2' tall.  A person who is 6' tall would be just over 5".

Any soldiers that are just over 5" would be in scale with Lionel's Sylvester and Tweey handcar.  In real life, some soldiers are over 6' tall.  That means a soldier could be up to 7' tall or 6" (compared to Sylvester).  I don't know if Lionel has any bigger figures, but I know they have smaller figures also.  The Gateman is probably one of the biggest of the human figures.  The men on the Maintenance Cars, Gang Cars, TV cars, and Poultry Dispatch cars are a bit smaller.

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Posted by lionelsoni on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 8:52 AM

A 6-inch-tall model corresponds to a 24-foot-tall person in 1/48 O scale.  That's quite a bit too tall.

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Posted by phrankenstign on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 2:56 PM

lionelsoni
A 6-inch-tall model corresponds to a 24-foot-tall person in 1/48 O scale.  That's quite a bit too tall.

....but he'd be in scale with the Sylvester and Tweety handcar!

 

In Lionel Traditional scale, there's a whole lot of flexibility.  If you can accept Thomas and his friends, the Gateman, and the elves on a handcar, just about anything is possible!

After all......THEY'RE TOYS!!!

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Posted by 8ntruck on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 5:52 PM

My wife used to put up her collection of Department 56 Dicken's village buildings every year durting the holiday season. 

Our youngest son would place 'invadors' in the display and wait to see how long before she would discover them.  He started this using his plastic army men.  Other years, he used Lego people, dinosaurs, cowboys & Indians, winter (all white) plastic army men, etc.  He did this starting in jr. high, and continued through college.

Upshot being, the figure size doesn't really matter.  As long as it looks right to you.

Have fun.

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Posted by lionelsoni on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 6:58 PM

Okay, I've got it now.  I couldn't figure out what you were trying to do there.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by JonEddy on Friday, January 3, 2020 1:05 PM

Penny Trains
I like them because they're inexpensive and fun to customize. 

Is that a madman in a box? Big Smile Your setup looks awesome and fun!

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Posted by palallin on Friday, January 10, 2020 11:42 AM
Marx sold a number of figures in a nominal 30mm - 35mm size (including soldiers) which seem pretty good for O scale use. Bandai once marketed an extensive line of 1/48 military kits, including figures. Aurora sold a number of vehicle kits, but the figure selection was minimal. Tamiya has done an extensive line much more recently. Both are usually to be found on the great @Bay Auction site. Assembly/painting required, but the quality of the figures will be MUCH better than almost any others on the layout.

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