There’s no denying that miniature modeling and painting are huge parts of the tabletop wargaming hobby. It’s probably fair to say that many wargaming fans spend a lot more time assembling, converting and painting their miniatures than they do actually playing tabletop wargames.
On the flip side of the coin however, sometimes a wargamer just wants to indulge in some spontaneous tabletop carnage, without all the painstaking prep, maybe even using an off-brand ruleset that he or she doesn’t typically play. For those instances, having a few squads of inexpensive pre-painted miniatures on the shelf can really expedite the gameplay.
We first noticed the Nano Metalfigs (paid link) line of diecast metal figures pop up at our local Walmart last year, around the holidays. But since the figures were mostly DC and Marvel superheroes, we didn’t pay them too much attention. It was a bit later, when the Halo Nano Metalfigs suddenly hit the shelves, that we started to think these diecast metal minis might have some wargaming potential.
Now don’t get us wrong. As wargaming miniatures go, the Halo Nano Metalfigs are far from perfect. These figures are roughly 1.65 inches (or 42 mm) in height, so their scale is a bit wonky. Plus the level of detail and the painting quality is certainly not what you’d call tabletop standard, though personally we kind of dig the polished metal vibe these minis have going.
On the plus side though, manufacturer Jada Toys does offer a dozen different Nano Metalfigs from the Halo universe, as well as a number of DC, Marvel, Disney and Pixar characters that could certainly be used in a science-fiction themed skirmish wargame. And the price is right. Even though the Nano Metalfigs can be significantly more expensive from other sources, the price at our local Walmart was just 97 cents apiece.
Other than their low cost, the big advantage to the Halo Nano Metalfigs is that they’re ready for gameplay, right out of the package. They’re not going to match the visual quality of an exquisitely sculpted, carefully painted and shaded wargaming miniature. But for casual beer and pretzels wargaming with a scifi theme, we think they’re great. Check out the video above and decide for yourself.