Tuesday, 27 September 2022

The button box is sorted

I recently wrote about a 'sorting the button box' exercise that I undertook with regard to my collection of Axis and Allies Miniatures.

I have since 'won' a couple of eBay auctions that have increased the size of my collection, which now looks like this (the numbers indicate how many of each I have in my collection):


  • Veteran SMLE Riflemen (Contested Skies; Infantry; Common) 2


  • Canadian Infantrymen (D-Day and 1939–1945; Infantry; Common) 4
  • Eagle-Eyed NCO (D-Day and 1939–1945; Commander; Uncommon) 4
  • Sherman DD (D-Day; Tank; Rare) 1

Nationalist China

  • Kuomintang Machine-Gun Team (Set II; Machine-Gun Team; Uncommon) 3
  • Kuomintang Officer (Set II; Commander; Uncommon) 1
  • Kuomintang Riflemen (Set II; Infantry; Common) 4


  • Finnish Infantry (Eastern Front; Infantry; Common) 1
  • Finnish Machine-Gun Team (Eastern Front; Machine-Gun Team; Uncommon) 1
  • T-26E (Early War 1939–41; Tank; Rare) 3


  • Canon de 75 modele 1897 (Early War 1939–41; Artillery; Common) 1
  • Hotchkiss Machine-Gun Team (Eastern Front; Machine-Gun Team; Uncommon) 3
  • Lebel 86M93 Grenadier (Contested Skies; Infantry; Common) 1
  • MAS 7.5 mm Rifle (Base Set and 1939–1945; Infantry; Common) 22


  • BMW R75 (Contested Skies; Motorcycle; Uncommon) 1
  • Fallschirmjäger (Reserves; Paratrooper; Common) 5
  • Flammenwerfer 35 (Eastern Front; Flamethrower; Uncommon) 1
  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190A (D-Day; Aircraft; Rare) 1
  • Jagdpanther (Base Set and 1939–1945; Tank Destroyer; Rare) 1
  • Jagdpanzer IV/70 (Eastern Front; Tank Destroyer; Rare) 1
  • Luftwaffe Infantrymen (Contested Skies; Infantry; Common) 7
  • Light Mortar (Base Set; Mortar; Common) 10
  • Marder II (D-Day; Tank Destroyer; Uncommon) 9
  • Mauser Kar 98k (Base Set and 1939–1945; Infantry; Common) 23
  • MG 42 Machine-Gun Team (Base Set, 1939–1945 and North Africa; Machine-Gun Team; Uncommon) 12
  • Nebelwerfer 41 (Reserves and Eastern Front; Artillery; Uncommon) 2
  • PaK 35/36 Antitank Gun (Eastern Front; Artillery; Common) 5
  • PaK 40 Antitank Gun (Set II; Artillery; Uncommon) 1
  • Panther Ausf. D (Reserves; Tank; Rare) 1
  • Panzer II Ausf. C (Base Set; Tank; Rare) 1
  • Panzer II Ausf. F (Eastern Front and Early War 1939–41; Tank; Uncommon) 1
  • Panzer III Ausf. F (Set II, 1939–1945 and Early War 1939–41; Tank; Uncommon, Rare) 4
  • Panzer IV Ausf. G (Early) (Eastern Front and Counter Offensive; Tank; Rare) 4
  • Panzerfaust 30 (Base Set and 1939–1945; Infantry Antitank Team; Common) 14
  • Panzerschreck (Contested Skies; Antitank Team; Common) 4
  • Sd Kfz 222 (Base Set; Armoured Car; Uncommon) 1
  • Sd.Kfz. 251 (Base Set, 1939–1945 and North Africa; Half-Track; Uncommon) 1
  • sGrW 34 81mm Mortar (D-Day and Eastern Front; Mortar; Uncommon) 5
  • sIG 33 (Base Set; Assault Gun; Rare) 1
  • SS-Haupsturmführer (Base Set and 1939–1945; Commander; Uncommon) 11
  • SS-Panther Ausf. G (Base Set; Tank; Rare) 2
  • SS-Panzer IV Ausf. F2 (Set II; Tank; Rare) 2
  • SS-Panzergrenadier (Base Set and Eastern Front; Infantry; Common) 7
  • SS Stormtroopers (Contested Skies; Infantry; Common) 7
  • StuG III Ausf. D (Contested Skies and 1939–1945; Assault Gun; Uncommon) 1
  • Tiger I (Base Set, 1939–1945 and Eastern Front; Tank; Rare) 5
  • Veteran Fallschirmjäger (North Africa and Counter Offensive; Paratrooper; Uncommon) 1
  • Volkssturm Infantrymen (Reserves; Infantry; Common) 4
  • Wehrmacht Expert Sniper (Set II; Sniper; Uncommon) 1
  • Wehrmacht Oberleutnant (Set II and Eastern Front; Commander; Uncommon) 2
  • Wehrmacht Veteran Infantrymen (D-Day and North Africa; Infantry; Common) 1
  • Werwolf Partisans (Reserves; Partisan; Common) 4


  • Greek Mountain Infantry (Counter Offensive; Infantry; Common) 1
  • Greek Officer (North Africa; Commander; Uncommon) 1
  • Greek Soldier (North Africa; Infantry; Common) 7


  • 8mm Huzagol 35M (Reserves and Eastern Front; Infantry; Common) 16
  • PzKpfw 38 (t) (Eastern Front; Tank; Rare) 1
  • Turan I (Reserves; Tank; Uncommon) 12
  • 40/43M Zrinyi Assault Howitzer (Counter Offensive; Assault Gun; Rare) 1


  • Blackshirts (Set II; Infantry; Common) 4
  • Brixia M35 45 mm Mortar (Contested Skies and Eastern Front; Artillery; Uncommon) 3
  • Fucile Modello 1891 (Base Set and 1939–1945; Infantry; Common) 9
  • Italian Conscript (North Africa; Infantry; Common) 11
  • L6/40 (Eastern Front; Tank; Uncommon) 1
  • Stalwart Lieutenant (Contested Skies and 1939–1945; Commander; Uncommon) 4


  • Azad Hind Fauj Infantrymen (Reserves; Infantry; Common) 4
  • Type 89 Mortar (Base Set and 1939–1945; Mortar; Common) 4

New Zealand

  • New Zealand Commander (Counter Offensive; Commander; Uncommon) 1
  • New Zealand Infantry (Counter Offensive; Infantry; Common) 2


  • Cavalrymen (Set II; Cavalry; Uncommon) 4
  • Determined Infantrymen (Reserves; Infantry; Common) 5


  • Antitank Grenadier (Set II and Eastern Front; Infantry; Common) 13
  • Bohler 47 mm Antitank Gun (Contested Skies; Artillery; Uncommon) 1
  • R35 (Eastern Front; Tank; Uncommon) 1
  • Romanian Infantry (Eastern Front; Infantry; Common) 1
  • Vigilant Lieutenant (Contested Skies and Eastern Front; Commander; Uncommon) 16

South Africa

  • South African Infantry (Early War 1939–41; Infantry; Common) 1

Slovak Republic

  • Slovakian Infantry (Counter Offensive; Infantry; Common) 3

Soviet Union

  • 82mm PM-37 Mortar (Contested Skies and 1939–1945; Mortar; Common) 13
  • BM-13 Katyusha Rocket Launcher (Contested Skies; Artillery; Rare) 3
  • Commissar (Base Set and 1939–1945; Commander; Uncommon) 3
  • Communist Partisans (Contested Skies; Partisan; Common) 9
  • Cossack Captain (Set II; Commander; Uncommon) 1
  • Cossack Cavalrymen (Contested Skies; Cavalry; Uncommon) 3
  • Degtyarev DP27 (Reserves; Infantry; Common) 2
  • Fanatical Sniper (Set II and Eastern Front; Sniper; Common) 3
  • Hero of the Soviet Union (D-Day; Hero; Uncommon) 1
  • IL-10 Sturmovik (Contested Skies and 1939–1945; Aircraft; Rare) 1
  • IS-2 Model 1944 (Set II and 1939–1945; Tank; Rare) 2
  • KV-1 (Base Set and 1939–1945; Tank; Rare) 1
  • Mosin–Nagant 1891/30 (Base Set and 1939–1945; Infantry; Common) 7
  • PPSh-41 SMG (Set II and Eastern Front; Infantry; Common) 7
  • PTRD-41 Antitank Rifle (Set II and Eastern Front; Antitank; Uncommon) 2
  • Red Army Forward Observer (Contested Skies; Artillery Observer; Common) 3
  • Soviet Grenadiers (Contested Skies; Infantry; Common) 5
  • Soviet-Polish Infantry (Eastern Front; Infantry; Common) 4
  • SU-76M (D-Day; Tank Destroyer; Uncommon) 6
  • T-34/76 (Base Set and 1939–1945; Tank; Rare and Uncommon) 6
  • T-35 (Reserves; Tank; Rare) 1
  • T-70 Model 1942 (Set II, 1939–1945 and Eastern Front; Tank; Uncommon) 3
  • ZIS-2 57mm Model 1943 (Set II and 1939–1945; Anti-tank Gun; Uncommon) 9

United Kingdom

  • 6-Pounder Antitank Gun (Base Set; Antitank Gun; Common) 10
  • 17-Pounder Antitank Gun (Contested Skies; Antitank Gun; Uncommon) 1
  • Archer (Set II; Tank Destroyer; Uncommon) 4
  • Bren Machine Gunner (D-Day and North Africa; Infantry; Common) 2
  • Churchill Crocodile (Base Set; Tank; Rare) 2
  • Cromwell IV (Set II and 1939–1945; Tank; Rare) 5
  • Defiant Paratroopers (D-Day; Paratrooper; Common) 7
  • Entrenched Antitank Gun (Eastern Front; Antitank Gun; Common) 2
  • Gurkha Riflemen (Contested Skies; Infantry; Common) 7
  • Humber Scout Car (Base Set and 1939–1945; Armoured Car; Uncommon) 5
  • Inspiring Lieutenant (Base Set and 1939–1945; Commander; Uncommon) 52
  • M3 Stuart (Base Set and North Africa; Tank; Uncommon) 1
  • Mk.VII Tetrarch (D-Day; Tank; Uncommon) 3
  • PIAT Gunner (Set II; Anti-Tank Team; Uncommon) 1
  • Royal Engineers (Base Set; Engineer; Common) 16
  • Sten Gun (North Africa; Infantry; Common) 4
  • Universal Carrier (Contested Skies and Counter Offensive; Transport; Uncommon) 4
  • Vickers Machine-Gun Team (Base Set and 1939–1945; Machine-Gun Team; Uncommon) 12

United States

  • 3" Gun M5 (Set II; Antitank Gun; Uncommon) 2
  • BAR Gunner (Set II; Infantry; Common) 2
  • Bazooka (Base Set and 1939–1945; Antitank Team; Common) 13
  • Buffalo Soldiers (D-Day; Infantry; Common) 9
  • FO Jeep (Contested Skies; Artillery Observation vehicle; Uncommon) 2
  • Hunting Sniper (Contested Skies; Sniper; Uncommon) 5
  • Jeep (Base Set and Eastern Front; Transport; Common) 4
  • M1 Garand Rifle (Base Set and 1939–1945; Infantry; Common) 12
  • M3 Lee (Base Set; Tank; Rare) 1
  • M4A1 Sherman (Base Set and 1939–1945; Tank; Uncommon) 8
  • M4A3 (105) Sherman (Base Set and 1939–1945; Artillery; Rare) 1
  • M4A3E8 Sherman Easy Eight (Base Set; Tank; Rare) 1
  • M5 Half-Track (Set II, 1939–1945 and North Africa; Half-Track; Uncommon) 3
  • M26 Pershing (Contested Skies and 1939–1945; Tank; Rare) 1
  • M36 MGC (Contested Skies; Tank Destroyer; Rare) 2
  • Marine Riflemen (Contested Skies; Infantry; Common) 11
  • Marines M2-2 Flamethrower (Base Set; Flamethrower; Common) 5
  • Mortar M2 (Base Set; Mortar; Common) 4
  • P-51D Mustang (Contested Skies and 1939–1945; Aircraft; Rare) 1
  • Quad 50 (Contested Skies and 1939–1945; Antiaircraft Gun; Uncommon) 4
  • Red Devil Captain (Base Set and 1939–1945; Commander; Uncommon) 11
  • Resourceful Hero (D-Day; Hero; Uncommon) 1
  • Screaming Eagle Captain (Set II; Paratrooper Commander; Uncommon) 2
  • U.S. Engineer (Eastern Front; Engineer; Uncommon) 1

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

  • Yugoslav Partisan Infantry (Counter Offensive; Infantry; Common) 1

Obstacles and Support Units

  • Barbed Wire (D-Day; Obstacle; Common) 4
  • Headquarters (Reserves; Support; Uncommon) 1
  • Minefield (D-Day; Obstacle; Common) 1
  • Pillbox (D-Day; Obstacle; Uncommon) 3
  • Tank Obstacle (D-Day; Obstacle; Common) 2

It is interesting to note just how uneven the distribution of figures and vehicles are. For example, I have virtually no Japanese stuff ... but also have 52 Inspiring UK Lieutenants and 16 Vigilant Romanian Lieutenants!

Looking at what I now have in my collection, it has become obvious that with a few judicious additional purchases, mainly of figures and artillery, I could quite easily put together several World War 2 Fast Play Portable Wargame armies, so having recently decided to put my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project on the back burner, it might just have eased itself forward just a bit!

As the figures and vehicles are already painted, creating such armies would be relatively quick and simple. Furthermore, they take up a lot less space than my existing 20mm collection and are much lighter to carry about, all of which makes the idea much more attractive in the light of my current medical problems.


  1. Hello there Bob,

    That is a substantial amount and no mistake! There is plenty of potential there for sure and with some judicious acquisitions you should be able to ‘square the circle’ rather handily.

    All the best,


    1. David Crook,

      There was far more than I thought in both the stuff I already had and in the lots that I bought online from eBay. There are a few too many of some things and not enough of others, but by a judicial bit of ‘borrowing’ or ‘fudging’ (e.g. using UK 6-pounders as ordinary artillery and some of my surplus Lieutenants as gun crews) I can put together a number of six-unit ‘armies’ for FP3x3WW2PW.

      All the best,


      PS. I you have any Axis & Allies Miniatures that are in need of a new home, all new ‘recruits’ will be welcome!

  2. Hi Bob,

    It's great that you can use figures lying around your house to make Portable Wargames Fast Play Armies. Good luck using them in future campaign games.

    When I gamed Cowboy Wild West gunfights, I used cheap bags of plastic 54mm cowboy figures. I then scratch built 20 buildings using foam core board and craft sticks.

    I had a lot of fun running games.


    1. Scott,

      I had a few figures from the range produced for the Axis & Allies Miniatures game, and then some years ago someone sent me a load more. I have since acquired a few more via eBay and now the collection is sizeable enough for me to use.

      Your Cowboy games sound very much like sophisticated versions of the games I used to play years ago. Simple, and great fun to take part in.

      All the best,


  3. Fascinating collection! Played Axis & Allies many times. A friend created an extended Pacific version (map painted on boards to over lay his 10x5 feet games table) then used his 20mm figures as the game tokens. So moving in opposite directions!! But I like your idea, and savings on weight and space. Best wishes, Carl, North Yorkshire

    1. Carl,

      I must admit that I have never actually played the game using the rules that came with it, but it sounds as if your friend's Pacific version of the gam board was a sight to see!

      Most of my 20mm figures are metal, and can be quite heavy when I need to carry even a relatively small number of them. These plastic figures are much lighter and easier to store, and if we downsize our house (something that is on the cards) this sort of thing become even more important.

      All the best,


  4. A sizable collection, and if you project your Belle Epoch nations forward in time I think your collection will make for some very interesting armies.

    1. Mark Cordone,

      Funny that you should mention that, but it is something that I have been considering. It would mean that I could - for example - mix and match some quite interesting armies from my collection.

      All the best,


  5. Epic haul and collection .. is there a certain time of life when it happens, or is it periodically wargamers just like to count things

    1. Geordie an Exile FoG,

      It is quite some collection ... and this is not the first time I have had to 'count up' my wargaming stuff as I had to do it some years ago for insurance purposes.

      All the best,



Thank you for leaving a comment. Please note that any comments that are spam or contain phishing messages or that come from Google Accounts that are 'Unknown' will be deleted.