I’ve got only a handful of 25/28mm miniatures. Most of what I have in my miniature collection are from 1:72 scale plastic sets. I find the plastic figures to be much more affordable than the metal ones–you get a lot for your money. A box of Revell Cowboys might set you back about $11.00 to $15.00. This gives you 48 figures on foot with two mounted figures. Not bad at about .25-.30 cents for each figure and there are other sets to choose from that can help expand your total collection of playable miniatures. Lots of Indian and civilian figures are also available. The chunky looking 25/28mm guys from various manufacturers often run $2.00 to $5.00 a figure. For a good range of playable miniatures you might have to invest over three hundred dollars. The metal figures often require significant flash removal and basing work. You also have to be sure you are getting the right scale as there are many 28mm figures on the market which are slightly bigger than 25mm and look different from similar sets.. One inch, the size of 1:72 scale figures, is about 26mm. The advantage of metal figures however is the vast variety of very unique figures that are available. Everything from Apaches to Wild West Zombies. Here are some 28mm examples from Artizan Designs.
There are downsides to the 1:72 plastic too. They often come with too many of the same poses. The Revell Cowboys, probably the best set to buy, has 48 figures but only 14 different poses. The paint often chips off if the base coat is not done right which becomes a big problem when the miniatures are handled often. They are not very compatible with the 25mm figures either. The 1:72 figures look thin and small compared to the meatier metal figures.
I recently purchased several of the plastic 1:72 scale sets (Revell Cowboys, Atlantic Outlaws & Sheriffs, 7th Cavalry, Apaches, IMEX American Pioneers and some Strelets Boers) and plan to see how many unique playable miniatures I can produce from them. Key word is unique. I want each figure to look completely different from others with the same pose. I plan to use some green stuff to modify many of the figures and use my knife to make some conversions. I’m going to base them on a penny which will make them stand better and look a bit more professional (see picture below of some other 1:72 figures you might recognize). Mounted figures will be based on cut flat plastic. I’ll be sure to post some W.I.P. pictures.