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"Length or girth?" Topic

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22 Jul 2009 11:50 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board
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T Meier02 Mar 2009 8:34 a.m. PST

Here's an idea for a poll based on some recent threads.

What is most important for compatibility, heft, height, size or proportions?


On the photos I've altered the original image to represent the difference between 25mm and 28mm in height. On the figure distorted for proportions I've used a rather restrained version of typical figure proportions, (the head is only 1/6 of height where 1/5.5 or 1/5 is not uncommon).

The poll could rate each aspect from 1-10 for importance.

SMPress02 Mar 2009 8:50 a.m. PST

Wow, that proportion picture is scary, I may not sleep tonight…

John the OFM02 Mar 2009 8:54 a.m. PST

We can talk all we want about "Look at the people in line at the moveis, and you will see a whole range of sizes." However, with figures, that doesn't really apply, particularly with regulars in line.

To me, your "proportion" and "heft" examples would not look out of place in the same uint, while "size" and "height" would.

"Size" and "height" look like putting RAFM and Front Rank FIW miniatures in the same unit. RAFM and Redoubt would look worse.

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2009 8:56 a.m. PST

For me the equipment makes a far bigger difference to compatibility than than anything done to the figure. I would happily mix the proportions of all the men shown in your pictures together if their muskets were the same size.


Arteis02 Mar 2009 8:58 a.m. PST

While the proportion option looks wrong in the photo, I think overall it looks the most satisfying on the table. Closely followed by heft.

Height and size look too slender on the table – though on the other hand they are better to look at in close up (ie for display or photos).

Arteis02 Mar 2009 8:59 a.m. PST

Whoops, sorry, misread that the poll is about compatibility, not preference. In which case i agree with John.

nycjadie02 Mar 2009 9:00 a.m. PST

Have to agree with John.

Boone Doggle02 Mar 2009 9:10 a.m. PST

From the photos, "proportion" makes the most difference.

However, among commonly available ranges, I'm not sure the variation in "proportion" is as much as the variation in "size" and "heft". Thus, in practice, more attention is paid to "size" and "heft".

In 15mm for example, other than the infamous Tin Soldier, which I love dearly, most ranges vary more in "size" and "heft" than in "proportion".

Ditto Tango 2 102 Mar 2009 9:28 a.m. PST

Tom thank you for pointing out why so many 28mm figures just look wrong and why my artist wife's friends admire my collection and then look at the Wargames Illustrated pictures with puzzled looks on their faces.

D6 Junkie02 Mar 2009 10:11 a.m. PST

Height for me.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2009 10:36 a.m. PST

If the pictures were miniatures, the Proportion one is the most appalling to me. You can't even pretend they're just "different body types." The big one is just… grotesque. They do not go together.

Heft is fine. Thin guy, well-fed guy. Works great together.

I don't have that much problem with the Size photo (looks like little guy, big guy) or Height (short guy, tall guy). But then, on a tabletop I suspect the odd heights would stick out the most, even if close up they look reasonably proportional.

Of these examples, if they were figures, I'd most want to mix the Heft ones. But I would reject mixing the proportion ones.

nycjadie02 Mar 2009 11:10 a.m. PST

But the proportion guy looks like most 28mm wargaming miniatures!

PapaSync02 Mar 2009 11:41 a.m. PST

Man this thread title is just wrong. . .


Pizzagrenadier02 Mar 2009 12:41 p.m. PST

What I am wondering is why so many seem to think this issue is restricted to 28mm figures in our hobby.

Tim is one of the more vocal proponents of this particular blindness as if 20mm is devoid of any of these same problems.

I can find ugly, lumpy, out of proportion, "unrealistic", and out of scale minis in any scale you can come up with.

In 20mm, SHQ look like they are skinny 7' tall circus freaks with sticks up their bums while standing next to their plumpy Britannia dwarven cousins.

Until we start equipping and dressing a live model in the actual weapons and uniforms of the period, photographing them and scanning them into a computer, using a program to shrink it down to a mathematically precise scale and and using that to "print" out a mini in plastic injection molding, then we aren't going to have this issue resolved. Even then the elitists will bitch about how the models being used are not the right average height for the period…

Gallowglass02 Mar 2009 12:56 p.m. PST

What Keith said.

T Meier02 Mar 2009 1:31 p.m. PST

"Until we start equipping and dressing a live model…"

I don't think you need go that far. The problem is knowing how to compare figures not requiring them all to be alike.

Why should you care if Warsmuf inc. makes macro cephalic dwarfs and Anorexia Miniatures makes stick insects? Decide what you like and buy it, but it would be nice to know exactly how figures compare and to that end you must have terms to describe the figures and use them precisely.

I came up with this system: link

which gets around a lot of the problems but unfortunately I don't have the time or expertise with 3D programs to develop it.

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2009 1:51 p.m. PST

Come now, gentlemen. You should all know that it's how you use it that counts.

Khazarmac02 Mar 2009 3:41 p.m. PST

I thought heft and height were what sergeants in the British Army said to you to make you march.

the Gorb02 Mar 2009 3:43 p.m. PST

LOL! Most of the comments about the Japanese School Girls we put out were about how "skinny" they looked.

But then that's because we made an effort to keep them close to 'realistic' proportions:

Regards, the Gorb
aka Left Hand Miniatures

Neotacha02 Mar 2009 5:39 p.m. PST

Eeek! Just … eeek! I may never recover from that scarlet uniform.

Proportion just bothers me. I could pretty happily mix the others all together (but I do skirmish or RPG, so they don't need to rank up), but the giant dwarf dude on the right would not find his way onto my table unless I was doing some queer caricature game for which I don't think anyone's yet written the rules. That is, of course, assuming all the others were more or less realistically proportioned. If they're all like that, then he'd be fine.

Heft doesn't bother me. I know even in my family some folks are sticks and others have body. Compared to my brothers, I'm a midget, so height is not an issue. Size (how cliche) doesn't matter unless we're talking mixing a 6mm and a 25mm figure and not calling the six a gnome or pixie, or whatever the really short folk are in your world.

Spectacle02 Mar 2009 8:06 p.m. PST

When it comes to taller figures looking out of place in the ranks, I'd like to point out that real life formations are typically ranked up by height, so that the formation looks tidy.

The tall figures look out of place because they are out of place, put them in the rear were they're supposed to be and the whole thing will look much nicer.

Arteis02 Mar 2009 11:14 p.m. PST

Iron Ivan Keith said: "Until we start equipping and dressing a live model in the actual weapons and uniforms of the period, photographing them and scanning them into a computer, using a program to shrink it down to a mathematically precise scale and and using that to "print" out a mini in plastic injection molding, then we aren't going to have this issue resolved."

… that is if it is an issue for everyone. Which it isn't. I know several people (like myself) who prefer the proportions exaggerated, because the miniature looks better on the table. Looking at the figures in my display case, about a couple of metres from where I'm sitting right now as I type, the exaggerated proportion figures clearly have character. The anatomically correct figures look insipid.

As I get closer, however, then the anatomically correct ones do look indeed very nice, but so do the others.

So, let's not call it an "issue" as if it is a problem. It is merely a preference. In my chosen period, if you want anatomically correct, you can buy them, if you want proportion exaggerated ones, you can buy them. No issue. Just choice.

Barmy Flutterz03 Mar 2009 2:41 a.m. PST

I agree with Arteis all around.

To Paraphrase Attia of the Julii:

"There's something *exciting* about goaty little men"

*edited for polite company*

There's little I am less excited about than 10 or 15mm figures with realistic proportions. It would take something really dull like: 'Condiments of the Hutterites: Volume 6'

T Meier03 Mar 2009 5:05 a.m. PST

"Man this thread title is just wrong. . ."

Honi soit qui mal y pense

Pizzagrenadier03 Mar 2009 6:29 a.m. PST

Arteis: Thank you for saying precisely what I had been dancing around. I should have mentioned that in my own post that yes, this is only a "problem" or "issue" for certain people who can't wrap their brain around the idea that our hobby ISN'T Scale Model Wargaming (though there is room for that style certainly), but simply miniature wargaming. It takes all styles as it always has.

T Meier03 Mar 2009 7:05 a.m. PST

"It takes all styles as it always has."

I don't see anyone asserting the contrary. Some people seem to be very defensive about this for no obvious reason.

What is being discussed is a way to compare figures not a way to compel compliance to some standard. Arguing against this is like saying there shouldn't be yardsticks because then you will be forced to make everything an exact number of yards long.

What I'm trying to determine in this poll is how much different aspects of a figure impress people as making them incompatible. This will help in determining what kind of system of comparison will best serve.

Pizzagrenadier03 Mar 2009 8:47 a.m. PST


Arteis03 Mar 2009 9:11 a.m. PST

Yes, Tom, I agree that the topic has skewed a little towards figure style rather than compatability.

And, yes, I guess I was being defensive, but that was because I saw someone raising the style I liked as being an 'issue' that had to be solved, rather than just as a choice [thanks, Keith, for clarifying that later].

T Meier03 Mar 2009 9:45 a.m. PST

"I saw someone raising the style I liked as being an 'issue' that had to be solved,"

I don't want to solve it but I think it would be a good idea to define and quantify it.

The problem is compatibility, as many people have pointed out there is no way to make figures compatible, nor would this even be desirable. What is quite feasible and useful is a way of better defining and communicating incompatibility.

A system like the Barett scale is inadequate and antiquated. Harnessing the power of the web, digital photography and printing could do a lot towards defining and quantifying figure compatibility. All that's lacking is a bit of will and organization.

aecurtis Fezian03 Mar 2009 2:28 p.m. PST

"There's something *exciting* about goaty little men"

Does "goaty" relate more to length or girth?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Pizzagrenadier03 Mar 2009 2:46 p.m. PST

Both. hehe.

Barmy Flutterz03 Mar 2009 11:28 p.m. PST

It's the dearth of the former and the bounty of the later that makes for 'Goaty' methinks.

Though in Attia's case I think she might have been referring to the guys general 'Man Nymph of Baccus' look.

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