First, sorry for posting stuff that is unfinished but I just received these in the mail and I wanted to take a few shots and write a few lines about them. If you look above you'll see a 400-man American Civil War regiment, in 3mm, arrayed in line at 1:1 scale. I know I'm as mad as a March hare but I find the look of this amazing. Ever since I've been gaming with miniatures I've always wanted to see 19th century formations as they would have actually been deployed in the field and with these 3mm castings it can effectively be done.
Even on a largish 5x8 table these units will be huge. This regiment in line takes up approximately 45 cm (18"), so a brigade-level action is about the limit, I think. Nonetheless, the good news is that with gaming the American Civil War there were many engagements fought at this lower level.
These 3mm castings are from PicoArmour which I believe sources their stock from Oddzial Osmy in Poland. While barely discernable, these little guys actually do look like ACW infantry, cavalry and artillery. Of course these models are meant to be seen in a mass, not as individuals, and in this I think they are a great success.
When you look at this unit you can really appreciate how hard it must have been to keep any level of command and control over these formations. Just think that this is an 'average-sized' battle-worn regiment. Some of the green Federal formations, fresh from the recruiting depots, would have easily been twice this size. In looking at this I can understand why good NCO's and junior officers were so highly valued as the Colonel would have only a limited effect in the center of these strung-out formations - especially if you compounded the problem with the sound and chaos of battle.
Each 20mm 'strip' has 8 figures and so my 'My Mad Plan' is to set four of them up in two ranks on 20(d) x 40(w) bases. This way a standard-sized ACW regiment of 400 men will require about 12 bases (48 strips). A pack of 15 strips only costs around $4.00 so this project is as cheap as chips. I picked up enough to do (in 1:1 scale) two brigades of infantry, a couple regiments of cavalry, horse holders, officers/flunkies and two artillery batteries. I know, its pretty esoteric but it should look neat on the table. I'll follow-up when I get a unit painted and based. Ah, another project to add to the list...