Thursday 6 December 2018

Topside Minis

My free sample - a 1:1800th scale WW1 German Light Cruiser - SMS Konigsberg

A short while ago I saw an advert for a company called Topside Minis based in the US. After a quick browse of their website I took advantage of their offer to order a free sample so I could see what they are like. Essentially they produce full colour topside views of warships from the Russo Japanese Wars through to WW2. Their range includes ships, aircraft and more recently targets. The images are full colour with the name of the type being represented with its date of launch, the class and also the ensign of the nationality in question. The images are printed on heavy vinyl like self-adhesive paper with the vessels scales at 1:1800th or 1:2400th/1:3000th (the latter smaller sizes being for WW1 only at present). Aircraft are scaled at 1:600th.

The owners of the company are long time fans of Axis and Allies: War at Sea, the miniatures games that used 1:1800th scale ship models hence the range being initially confined to that scale.

Some size comparisons taken from the company website.

There are a couple of things to bear in mind with these. For WW1 it is possible to order 'flotilla' bases for destroyers so a base will have four or so ships (with their names/numbers) on it - very handy when thinking about Jutland for example. Similarly for aircraft one can get individual planes or pairs depending on personal choice. The only thing I would find a little strange to deal with is that the picture, text and ensign are not in the same place I would have them and the ship is facing the other way to my usual standard! A very minor point to be sure because without a doubt these are lovely.

I have to say that I am very impressed at the quality of these and for the price I think they are a great alternative to using models. All one has to do is to cut them out and fix them to a base. These can be ordered from the company but given the numbers required would make shipping from the US very expensive. I am sure though a quick email to those very nice people at Warbases would solve the basing issue.

So, blocks for land wargames and effectively counters for naval games - whatever next?


Jonathan Freitag said...

Whatever next? You will be playing hex and counter wargames before you know it!

The ship counters look superb.

David Crook said...

Hi Jonathan,

Its funny you should say that as I reckon that over the years I have played more board 'hex and counter' war games than with figures for sure. I suppose for me having a set up that is effect a 3D board game is the ideal.

The ships do look nice though and are something I am seriously considering.

All the best,


Charles Litka said...

You might find this article interesting:
It is written by the fellow who oversaw the Axis and Allies miniatures naval game.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

These look really nice!

As good as if not better than minis! (Discuss)
For reasons we won't go into I hope my wife never finds this post ;)
Lets just say "loft space issues"

David Crook said...

Hi Charles,

Many thanks for the link old chap - very interesting indeed!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

I am really taken by these and if I am honest they would save me a whole lot of work for a number of reasons. At present the only downside for me is that the smaller scales of 1:2400 and 1:3000 are only available for WW1.

The bases they supply in the US are plywood but acquiring these would really push up the shipping cost. My thoughts are running along the lines of using them with Warbases.

Watch this space!

All the best,