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"Advice on HO scale for gaming" Topic

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War Monkey17 Aug 2011 1:15 p.m. PST

Ok so here it is, alot of good stuff to be found in HO scale, but I have never used any of it, so would it be better for 28mm or 15mm, wanting to use it for a PA world setting.
I just want to say thank you for all of your advice before hand

Mako1117 Aug 2011 1:24 p.m. PST


Griefbringer17 Aug 2011 1:30 p.m. PST

18.5 mm according to this TMP reference:

TMP link

CPT Jake17 Aug 2011 1:30 p.m. PST

I use 15mm and HO together.

Here are some HO scale tires and junk I just worked with:

TMP link

An HO truck, some HO dumpsters, and HO jersey barriers:




ordinarybass17 Aug 2011 2:05 p.m. PST

Definitley 15mm. That said, I've used some HO scale stuff in my 28mm. HOwever the scales are way off, and it requires alot of converting or luck.

War Monkey17 Aug 2011 2:10 p.m. PST

Ok! Thank you very much, and thank you for the pics sure help alot.

Dropzonetoe Fezian17 Aug 2011 2:14 p.m. PST

15mm here too…


Pat Ripley Fezian17 Aug 2011 2:26 p.m. PST

to give more help HO is somewhere around 1/87 while many 15mm vehicles are around 1/100 so its pretty close.

Stepman317 Aug 2011 2:32 p.m. PST

My 15mm stuff using HO scale buildings and cars. I think it works great…


infojunky17 Aug 2011 2:46 p.m. PST

Well 15mm… Mind you while HO is a scale lots of manufacturers are way off in their expression of it. So YMMV.

There is also the question of Period, most Train stuff is aimed at the early 20th century in theme, while truly modern stuff exists, it is rarer….

billthecat17 Aug 2011 3:35 p.m. PST

Most modern 15mms are closer to 18mm anyway. 15mm all the way.

ordinarybass17 Aug 2011 3:44 p.m. PST

Interesting though, the buildings in Dropzonetoe's pic could work reasonably well for 28mm too. I just picked up an HO scale Walther's Backshop at a thrift store. Stock picture:


I intend to sci-fi it a bit but keep it relatively scale neutral so I can use it with both 28mm and 10mm figs. It helps that all entrances are train sized.

War Monkey17 Aug 2011 4:02 p.m. PST

Well the whole plan is to use the larger vehicles, pickups, tracker trailers, fuel tankers, construction equipment, fire trucks and emergency vehicles for most part, kit bash them into wrecks or just junk in the roads or what have you,
Found a U-Haul truck that would be great for a shanty for 6 bucks and a road grader too for 6 bucks that could look part stuck and barricaded, just don't know yet

Dropzonetoe Fezian17 Aug 2011 4:22 p.m. PST

It might work if you are careful to remove anything that gives away the scale like the doors. But some converting could do the trick.



sneakgun17 Aug 2011 4:42 p.m. PST

Technically HO is 1:87 and 15mm is 1:100….or so I've been told.

malleman17 Aug 2011 4:58 p.m. PST

Not to change the subject, but DZ your bugs look good. I really like the splat one. Makes me feel like I have bug goo on my shoes.

War Monkey17 Aug 2011 5:15 p.m. PST

I can see from the pic making the doorways taller could very well do the trick

War Monkey17 Aug 2011 5:16 p.m. PST

By the way NICE bugs!

DuckanCover17 Aug 2011 5:27 p.m. PST

Cicada shed skins…? Now there's some improvisation for you.


Dropzonetoe Fezian17 Aug 2011 5:42 p.m. PST

Thanks Cicada shells with a hot glue filling.

Just be careful.. The buildings in the pic are factory ones. If you got something like a 2 story house it's windows would look too small as well.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP17 Aug 2011 6:24 p.m. PST

I use 1/72nd scale plastic figures with HO 1/87 scale vehicles, and have posted about 2,000 photos of them on my blog.

Mike "Bunkermeister" Creek

flintlocklaser17 Aug 2011 7:51 p.m. PST

DZ, I have to agree with everyone above – those cicada minis are awesome! A shame they're mostly gone around here now; guess I'll have to wait 17 years to get some…

evilleMonkeigh17 Aug 2011 10:48 p.m. PST

Cicada minis – who does those? Are they 15 or small 28mm? ;-)

I think the Cicadas derailed this thread…

Cacique Caribe17 Aug 2011 11:16 p.m. PST

More on those DZT Cicada shells:

TMP link


Mako1118 Aug 2011 1:57 a.m. PST

True on the scales, but model railroad manufacturers tend to make their buildings undersized a bit, so they don't take up so much room on the table, so they are almost perfect for 15mm/18mm, in many cases.

ordinarybass18 Aug 2011 4:55 a.m. PST

Thanks for the comparison shot. I figured the doors would have to be replaced and it would clearly only work for large indusrial buildings. The HO scale houses I have are dwarfed by 28mm figs.

The building pictured in my earlier post has doors that tower over a space marine, so I'm pretty excited about the possibilities. I got lucky in that it only cost me 7 bucks at resale. I'd never have paid full price for it.

I was also trying to decide whether to put the glass pieces in behind the pane frames. Seing yours, I'll likely leave them out.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2011 5:33 a.m. PST

I've used them with 20mm to true 25mm.

alien BLOODY HELL surfer18 Aug 2011 8:47 a.m. PST

You can also use N gauge stuff for 15mm (N gauge being around 12mm, but certain buildings work fine for 15mm). HO works great for 1:72nd as mentioned – and 1:72nd is cheap too :-)

Dropzonetoe Fezian18 Aug 2011 4:57 p.m. PST


I am still thinking of adding the widows but I am going to age/break some of them. Kind of like this;


The good thing about the stuff I got is that it is all modular so you can put it together just how you need it.

War Monkey18 Aug 2011 6:03 p.m. PST

Just posted which in the reading of the blog answered a lot for me as well his kid did a lot of real nice work nice info on the glass in the windows too
TMP link

Part time gamer16 Aug 2018 11:32 p.m. PST

Ok right off.. 'GUILTY'
I know I waaay late on commenting. I followed this from a much more recent posting RE: HO/15mm debate.
But when I saw "DZT's" game pic with the Cicada shells, I had a "Total Recall" moment.
I had several of those guys, wow farther than I can seriously remember. Maybe it was the year ALIEN was first released?
To protect them, I gave them a layer of spray varnish (before I discovered Dullcotes & etc). "Hot Glue for filling", wish I had thought of that. Hmmm, plan white glue might have worked.
They were great fighting IIRC, my Airfix 1/72's, my scale of choice at the time.

Great memories of summer w/ grandparents in Fla. most even survived the trips back home to s.e Ga.
Almost wish I still had'm.

Thomas Thomas20 Aug 2018 8:42 a.m. PST

I use 20mm miniatures but with lots of conversions of old mini-tank 1/87 HO models.

15mm as a "scale" tends to move around currently they have settled on 1/100 which is I think closer to 18mm.

SHQ/Blade made one of the best SF lines in the history of gaming in 20mm – still can find a few floating around.


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