Monday, January 27, 2014

Free Sample Peel-and-Stick Naval Miniature

Here is a nice free deal I discovered this afternoon while browsing around. Topside Minis is offering a free sample of one of their peel-and-stick naval wargame "miniatures." These look nifty. They're not miniatures but more like boardgame counters that you cut out and then stick to wooden bases. You can then use them with any miniatures rules.

Currently, they have WWII Coral Sea battle set of 131 units (79 ships and 52 aircraft) for $60, a  Midway battle set of 208 units (83 ships and 125 aircraft) for for $100, and a new WWI 1914 Falklands set of 16 ships or $5.60. The also sell ship and planes individually.

I'm a bit confused, however, if the sets come with the wooden bases or if we must buy them from Litko? They really don't say on their website. I'll drop them a line and report back, unless someone already knows and can post the info in the comments section below.

This looks like a nice way to play some miniature-sized naval games without having to spend the time painting all the ships, unless one enjoys painting miniature ships, of course. When you think about it, a miniature is nothing more than a 3D counter. I posted some photos from website, but you should look at their website, which has a lot more information. They also have links to the various WWII naval rules available.

When I get my promo sample, I'll give a hands-on report. If I like what I see, I'd like to get the WWI Falklands set. I'm not into the large Pacific battles, but I do like the smaller WWII naval engagements that don't involve skies full of planes. (I have a thing for scenarios featuring patrols and protecting merchant convoys, no matter if sci-fi or 20th century it seems.) I'm not sure on the WWI rules I'd use. Something easy and fun with a bit of crunch, preferably inexpensive. I already own Mongoose's Victory at Sea rules, but those are for WWII. I don't own Mongoose's WWI rules.

So check out Topside Minis for your free sample. And if you have used any of their miniatures, let us know in the comments section.

Update 1-27-14
I got the free sample today. The post office literally destroyed the envelope, having to put the entire thing in a "We Care" baggie, which I find a bit ironic because if they really cared they would not have allowed their "dogs" to maul the envelope in the first place! Sigh.

The good news is that the ship came out just fine, which amazed me. I need to take a photo of the envelope.The ship also comes with its own 3mm laser cut plywood base along the lines of Litko bases. A good deal.

I just have to paint the base and stick on the ship drawing. I'm not sure what color to paint the edges, though. I doubt I can match the blue water on the counter. So probably better to go with something more contrasting? I don't know. I'm open to suggestions. This week looks to be a bit busy and nerve wracking, so it might take some time until I get to it.

Take care,
BobW (aka CPBelt)


  1. I've been looking at this stuff for awhile and contemplating taking the plunge. Perhaps this summer. Good to hear they do samples I'll have to request one.

  2. Thanks for the comment Lord of Excess. BTW I love the name!

    I don't think you'll be disappointed. The counters look really sharp. I like them so much that I ordered the WWI Falklands set this weekend. I hope they expand the series. I'll report back on the set. Now to find some rules!

    BTW I haven't been able to take any photos or anything due to a massive reorganization of the game room and closet the past month. Almost done. :-)

  3. Bob,

    First, thanks for including the comparison photo. My sons and I are WWII addicts; we settled on "All At Sea", but have yet to play it. That's because we're trying to find ships we can use and afford. The TSM sets look nice - I thought initially they were way over-priced, but now that I see the scale they're using and amount of detail, plus the fact that you're basically buying a theater- specific, comprehensive set, it's a reasonable alternative to $7 - $13 per model collections (and most of those are unpainted)

    Second, my suggestion for the bases is to try them unpainted for a while. You might like them with their natural look. Baring that, think about how many sides you want to seriously represent and choose a color for each. For example, if you just wanted to represent Axis vs Allies (I know, you like WW I) you could go with red vs blue... if you wanted to do an accurate depiction of the WW I Atlantic, each country could have a color unto itself.

    I'm assuming there are only the edges to paint (by the images I've seen. Haven't gotten my sample yet), buy my experience tells me that two coats of gloss enamel (the first seals and arrests further absorption by the wood) can have a striking effect. You'd have to seriously think about your representation scheme as you'll be in bed with it pretty much permanently. Also, you can get 3mm ply at a hobby shop and experiment first - another reason to leave them just wood at first.

    Love to see pics of what you ultimately decide to go with.

  4. Thanks for the great tips, Charles. I'm going to take your advice. I'll post what I wind up doing.

    I do like WWII naval and will eventually get some of those. I've always been a fan of Coral Sea. I just have to get someone to play against. :-)