GHQ Sampler Packs: Good things do indeed come in small packages | Print |  E-mail
Written by Don MacVittie   
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
GHQ Sampler Packs: Good Things Do Come In Small Packages

In our quest for the ultimate WWII wargame miniatures and rules, we ordered the GHQ sampler packs for Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The thing that intrigued us about GHQ's product was MicroArmor's scale: You can put a lot more figures on the table at 1:300 than you can at 1:72 or even 1:100.
Even though GHQ is more Internet-savvy than most miniatures makers, sometimes, pictures just cannot do justice to the real thing. This makes choosing what to purchase a challenge. For example, most miniatures companies either don't have pictures online, or the pictures are so well painted that customers can't tell what the model will look like when it's painted by a mere mortal.

To resolve this issue, GHQ offers sampler packs for $6.95 (U.S.) that include a tank, a vehicle, and eight to ten figures for you to paint and get a feel for.

One thing is certain about GHQ: It knows how to make models. There's more detail on the samples included with this pack than on some of our 1:36 minis, and yet the models are not as difficult to paint as you would expect for something this tiny. Even with the superbly professional camera setup that Steve Hill, our master photographer, has set us up with, the detail looks like we were actually painting in that scale. This is a tribute to the castings--not to the skill of the painters (in this case, just myself). In short, even though these pieces are so tiny it's difficult to see an infantry figure if you drop it on a carpet, the detail makes even a simple five-step paint job (prime, base coat, drybrush, detailing, clearcoat) look good.

While GHQ makes no promises about what will be included in a given sampler pack, the packaging was such that we suspect they're almost always the same. In our packs we received the following:


A sampling of the infantry poses in the U.S. pack.


German Pack
The Germans came with a Panther, an 88mm AA gun, a communications vehicle, and ten figures that could clearly be identified as Germans by the shape of their helmets and the type of weaponry.


Note the figures are still on the painting boards.

American Pack

The Americans came with a Sherman, an ambulance, a 150mm howitzer, and ten figures that were in what must be considered "classic" American poses.


Complete US Sample pack

British Pack

The British came as a desert force. All the soldiers wore English helmets, the tank was a Crusader, the gun was a 17- or 25-pounder (it's difficult to say at 1:300, but we surmised that it was a 17-pounder) correction - it appears to be a 7.2" Howitzer, and the vehicle was a Kangaroo Ram, for all intents and purposes, an APC (armored personnel carrier). The Kangaroo was first issued (as far as we know) in 1944, so it probably shouldn't be painted desert colors, but hey, we already had the U.S. Sherman painted O.D. green, and the purpose of the sampler pack is to see the pieces in different settings, right?


The British infantry were desert forces, so I painted them all desert.

The Good and the Bad

The figures are miniscule, and difficult to paint without attaching them to something. We like to paint our 15mm figures while holding them in our fingers or with a set of self-closing tweezers. These little things just aren't suited to that kind of handling, and in no time we had them attached to strips of cardboard for painting. Once we broke down and did that, the figures were relatively easy to paint. The diameter of rifle barrels is such that, even if you painted it accurately, you'd never see it in normal use, so we painted only the parts that had a significant mass to them: kit, whole-gun, end of barrels, boots and bayonets. Even so, they came out astounding. We're not expert painters, but we felt proud of the results.

The only real negative, and it's hard to call this a nit because we knew going in that these were pretty darn small, was their tiny size--when painting 1:300 (6mm) figures, some features will just be darn difficult to cover without plastering paint all over the place. No worries though: If something is so small that you cannot adequately paint it, the feature is probably too small to be seen from three feet away on a gaming table (though you will note that in our magnified pictures, minute details show up just fine �)

We also admit to a small amount of annoyance while trying to identify the pieces in the packs. But the Web is your friend, and we were able to identify them all to our satisfaction with just a half hour of research. Not 100% accurately though, we did have some corrections from GHQ fans.

GHQ has a large line of products, and while these sampler packs don't do justice to the entire selection, they do offer a taste of the quality that you'll receive when ordering GHQ, and they do come with a full-color catalog to drool over when you don't have the cash to order more miniatures. While we don't know that they're the "best damn wargames products," as GHQ's marketing literature proclaims, we're definitely going back for a second look. In fact, watch for a future installment where we review its micro-armor rules.


More detail than your eye will ever see.

Vitals:
GHQ Sampler Packs
Source: GHQ (http://www.ghqmodels.com/)
$6.95 (U.S.) each

Last Edited:
- 18 May 07, added note about the actual British gun included.
- 03 Sep 06, fixed Kangaroo to be Ram, not Sherman; changed US Howitzer from 105 to 150mm; changed reference to British helmets to remove "Pith" from the reference.
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