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"Mixing 15mm and 1/72 figures" Topic

13 Posts

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731 hits since 14 Feb 2004
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Comments or corrections?

damosan Inactive Member14 Feb 2004 6:07 a.m. PST

Just how out of whack would it be (on the table) combining 1/72 scale and 15mm vehicles. I understand there is a size difference but just how bad is it?

Would my 1/72 tanks look silly next to their 15mm counterparts or is it close enough to get by?

myxemail Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2004 7:05 a.m. PST

As you said, it would be really out of whack.

15mm is somewhere between 1/100 and 1/108 scale, depending on who you're talking to. Comparing 1/72 to 1/87 scale (HO) there is a noticable difference, so the difference is even more noticable with 15mm scale stuff. You're talking about almost a 50% difference is scales.

If you're doing 1/72, then I wouldn't go much further than 1/76 or 1/87 kits, and I wouldn't mix scales on the same type of vehicle, i.e.- keep all your Tiger tanks as 1/72, etc.


Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Feb 2004 9:06 a.m. PST

It would be bad, it would be silly, and it's not close enough to get by; it's like comparing apples to grapes..............

2nd British Bulldog Inactive Member14 Feb 2004 11:24 a.m. PST

Anyone know a link where we can see side by side picture of these two scales?

Cheers NeilT

Squash Inactive Member14 Feb 2004 1:48 p.m. PST

1/72 with 20mm, yes. 1/72 with 15mm, no.

Black Bull14 Feb 2004 2:28 p.m. PST

To give an idea of the difference,

1:100 Peter Pig Sherman I 5.9cm long,2.6 cm wide

1:76 MMS Sherman I Hybrid 7.1cm long,3.5cm wide

figures are approx

It would look daft


Patrick FL Inactive Member14 Feb 2004 4:39 p.m. PST

No, it would just give new meaning to the term Jumbo Sherman.

I have mixed 1/72 scale plastics with 20mm metal without much problem, Vietnam, not WW2.

mrpicky2003 Inactive Member14 Feb 2004 8:20 p.m. PST

It'd look OK if you put the 1/72 scale vehicles at the edge of the table and the 15mm vehicles behind them, then knelt down next to the table and didn't stand up for the duration of the game.


Beagle12 Nov 2017 5:12 p.m. PST

Old post, but just saw it and may still be useful to other folks. Keep in mind 15mm is not a "scale" it is a size. Lots of words on the web about scale, check the TMP thread here: TMP link
And here is a good site for size comparisons:
And here is a good discussion from a model train perspective: and here
Model train companies have long built stuff precisely to scale so that different manufacturers stuff all matches (and will actually run on an HO/TT/N/Z scale track). Toy soldier manufacturers have either never figured this out, never bothered with it, or actually intentionally make their stuff so that it won't mix with a competitor hoping you will buy all your stuff from them!

If the average human is 5' 8.5" tall and 15mm is the distance from bottom of feet to eyes, then 15mm equates to 5'4" = 64" = 1625.6mm so 15mm is 1/108.37 scale. If you say the average height of a human in 50BC is something less than 5' 8.5" tall then 15mm will be something different. So the ever popular 1/100 is only 8% off or thereabouts. I actually use a lot of TT scale model railroad vehicles and buildings for 15mm (that is 1/120 and is an old and increasingly hard to get scale manufactured mostly in the old East Germany – I used to wander into the Soviet Zone in Berlin to buy the stuff, usually in exchange for coffee, chocolate, nylons, or cigarettes back in the day :-) but I digress).

Using the above logic, 1/87 actually works out to 18.69mm, 1/72 is 22.58mm; 1/76 is 21.39mm, and 20mm is 1/81.28 scale. 20mm is noticeably smaller than 1/72 and slightly smaller than 1/76. Thus, 1/87 is 13% smaller

If you compare 1/72 and 1/76 scale, that is a 5.25% difference and yes, if you put two Shermans side by side you can tell the difference. 1/72 to HO (1/87 = lots of Roco stuff) that is a 17% or so difference and very noticeable. 1/72 to 1/100 is about a 25% difference so your 15mm stuff will look that much smaller than 1/72.

To make matters worse, different manufacturers put out different size stuff supposedly in the same scale. And some manufacturers actually change the scale on their box (!) – for example, Airfix put out some old troops originally in 1/76 scale, but when that scale sort of went out of fashion in the 1990s, they started putting those same 1/76 scale figures in a box that said they were 1/72!

As far as mixing scales on the table top I actually do it all the time (hiss, boo, heresy!!). I have a ton of HO buildings I took off my dad's train layout when he passed away and they work fine for either 1/72 or 15mm. With other stuff, the trick is not to mix different scales of the same TYPE vehicle i.e. make all your Shermans 1/72 and your Panzer IVs 15mm and many folks won't tell the difference. Especially true with trucks who can really tell how big a deuce and a half should be next to a Sherman? I know some folks who play Saga using 1/72 figures (the standard scale for Saga is 25mm) and only the purist curmudgeons ever grouse about it (and then only if they lose with their 25s to 72s).

I have even been known to actually mix 1/72, 1/76, 1/87 AND 15mm on the same table at the same time I ran a big North Africa battle with 72 Shermans and 48 Panzers (of varying types) and various scale infantry. It actually looked better when I ran the same troops in Normandy (except for the North Africa camo scheme) because all the trees and buildings broke up the battlefield and didn't make the scale difference so obvious. Nobody complained although some did comment on the scale difference ("Are these different scales??")

So the real question is do you want to have fun pushing toy soldiers across a table top battlefield or are you constructing a diorama for the British Museum? If the former, by all means mix scales. If the latter, you best stick to one scale or don't expect to be paid…

christot Inactive Member13 Nov 2017 12:32 a.m. PST

Great, I'm sure you love the look of your games, good for you.
Just don't complain when someone else tells you they look ridiculous

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 5:28 a.m. PST

Just wouldn't work IMO . If a player had 15mm tanks versus another with 20mm tanks. The fact that the 15mm tanks are smaller means that they will be easier to hide on the table without being spotted and the 20mm guy will be at a disadvantage with his 20mm tanks being much easier to spot. Figures wise its no just the height its the difference in size in weapons and how thick an arm is etc.

As a railway modeller it is an old trick to mix scales for diorama like effects. Placing a small scale building in the background will give you the illusion of distance etc. So for dioramas it can actually work. But for wargames its just not for me.

blank frank13 Nov 2017 9:22 a.m. PST

Oh course back in the 70's mixing Airfix and Rocco minitanks was never a problem. Looking at my minitanks recently they do seem 15mm. Did the scale of these models vary

Anyhow as folks have said for a diorama perspective effect it will work. Towards the end of this one minute Father Ted clip this is explained.

Murvihill13 Nov 2017 10:02 a.m. PST

Mixing vehicles wouldn't look right. If you had based 15mm figures and unbased 1/72 vehicles it might be closer.

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