A question of scale Part 2

In my last blog, I discussed what the ‘proper’ scale for 28mm miniatures might be. The answer is far from simple, as my last blog revealed, as it depends on what height the ‘average’ man in boots is and what size your 28mm miniatures are. We’ve assumed an average man is 1.75 metres and gone for 31mm tall models, which is the extreme of heroic ‘28mm’ which (conveniently) worked out as approximately 1/56 scale. 

If your infantry are based, why not your tanks?

Let’s look at some average toy soldiers. Let’s take a Perry (28mm tall), a Warlord plastic (29mm tall) and at the other end of the Spectrum, a Black Tree which measures 31.5mm tall. How do they compare with a 1/56 scale tank? The tank is a Warlord Sherman, chosen as its the same type as shown in my previous blog, for comparison purposes.

Perry, Warlord and Blacktree.

The models have been placed so they are on the same level. The sculpting style is quite different for these three models. The Perry model is ‘realistically proportioned while the Black Tree is a good example of the ‘heroic’ model with exaggerated features. The Irregular in issue WSS 58 ‘Where Mickey met Michelangelo’ covers the topic of ‘realistic’ versus ‘heroic’ - there’s interesting arguments on both sides of the debate (something for a future blog perhaps). Most gamers seem to prefer something in between the two styles (I’m avoiding calling them extremes). There’s also the argument that the models need to look like they could fit in the vehicles - anyone who’s been around a AFV will know how tight those hatches really are to get in and out of.  

Basing can change things dramatically.

Now let’s consider the basing. I’m a fan of flat bases, rather than the ‘pedestal’ style Games Workshop bases. However the GW style bases are a great way of raising the height of a miniature. If you’re not basing your tanks and prefer to use larger (1/48 scale) models, the ‘slotta bases’ are a good way to raise the height of a figure. A true 1/48 scale miniature should stand 36.5mm tall and the ‘slotta’ take our 31.5mm Black Tree to just under 36mm.

Basing makes all the difference. 1/50 Scale Sheman HVSS.

In conclusion, scale really comes down to preference. 1/56 is in fact a little too big for 28mm miniatures (doing the ‘math’ 1/60 is a better fit) but it is the best scale that ‘looks right’ for me, particularly with unbased vehicles and given the style of our models. However if you do prefer large 1/48 scale vehicles and are willing to mount your models on ‘slotta’ bases to artificially raise their height, 1/48 will look fine. I speak from experience, as I used to have 1/48 scale vehicles and mounted my models on slotta bases. Now I have moved to 1/56 and flat bases.

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