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"Scaling figures to vehicles" Topic

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1,306 hits since 23 Jan 2016
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Vigilant23 Jan 2016 12:03 p.m. PST

There are regular postings looking for vehicles to go with 28mm figures, the choice usually being between 1:43 and 1:64 scale die-casts. Neither match, 1:43 is too big and 1:64 is way too small. It occurs to me that the best solution would be for manufacturers of skirmish figures e.g. modern cops and robbers or post-apocalypse ranges to make them the same scale as available model cars. For myself I would prefer 1:43 scale as there is a wide variety of cheap vehicles available from supermarkets and collectors fairs. Any thoughts from gamers or manufacturers out there?

MajorB23 Jan 2016 12:14 p.m. PST

1/56 seems to be the best scale and there are plenty of models available in the scale. But then if it is Sci-Fi how can you really tell the scale of a vehicle?

Lion in the Stars23 Jan 2016 12:18 p.m. PST

Antenociti actually had a huge blog post about this.

The problem is actually the 3mm+ thick base under the mini changing where the car hits the standing model (assuming unbased cars and based people). 3mm in 1/56 scale is 7 inches (168mm), and it makes a 1/56 scale car look too small, even though it's built to the same scale as the infantry.

I use 1/48 and 1/43 scale cars because they hit the based infantry about the right spot on their chest. Usually 1/48 military-type and 1/43 civilian type. I also use 28mm scifi cars (from a couple different makers).

Rick Priestley23 Jan 2016 12:36 p.m. PST

You have to go with what looks right – but it always seems off to me that many manufacturers and gamers insist on making vehicles – especially SF vehicles – proportional to the 28mm infantry models – and it just reminds me of those Weeble toy cars you used to get in the 70s. In real life it isn't so difficult to fit a squad – even a platoon in some cases – into the back of a truck. It is a compromise of course – but always remember – the world record for the number of people who can cram into a Mini is 28. That's 28 people in a very, very small car indeed. Mind you I don't think they'd be driving far – not enough seat belts obviously – but you get the idea!

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member23 Jan 2016 12:39 p.m. PST

most cheap die cast cars are made to "box scale" and are not consistent in size over various models.

Personal logo John Treadaway Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2016 1:41 p.m. PST

Stop putting your figures on 3mm bases?

John T

D A THB23 Jan 2016 2:34 p.m. PST

I found a 1/50th scale A Team van but the only vehicles that I can find to go with it are either 1/64th or 1/43rd scale which looks odd.

I have been thinking about making some correctly scaled cars with a 3d printer. I would have thought that it would be an ideal market opportunity for some-one.

Vigilant23 Jan 2016 3:11 p.m. PST

Obviously I cross posted this wrong, or it has been misread.
I was meaning the sort of games like 7TV where the figures and vehicles are like those in modern or recent past, or in a Mad Max type world where vehicles have been converted, not pure Sci-fi. I disagree that "most" cheap die cast cars are "box scale". The ones that come with magazines are almost always 1:43 and generally cost @ £5.00 GBP to £10.00 GBP Tesco in the UK has a range of modern cars at @ £2.50 GBP each, all at 1:43. I have picked up vehicles from collectors fairs around the UK all at 1:43 regularly for low prices, and even the more expensive ones are cheaper than buying a 1:56 scale tank and come already painted.

My thought was why do wargames manufacturers not make figures to fit the wide range of existing models rather than effectively re-inventing the wheel by trying to produce a much smaller range to fit the figures? If someone made decent skirmish figures to the same scale as the massive range of existing vehicles I would buy them, would an gone else?

Vigilant23 Jan 2016 3:13 p.m. PST

Forgot to mention the A Team van – I've got one too, but beware of the stated scale on that range as all the boxes state 1:50 even when the model clearly isn't, such as their Batman vehicles.

The G Dog Fezian Inactive Member23 Jan 2016 4:32 p.m. PST

I happily use 1:64 cars and don't object to them looking small. Heck I'll even use 1/72 scale tanks and APC's. Does not change the game 1 bit.

Der Krieg Geist Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2016 5:01 p.m. PST

Most might not like my solution but I mount my vehicles on bases of the same thickness it fixes the visual disconnect for me.

D A THB23 Jan 2016 7:54 p.m. PST

Vigilant, seems you have been misread, apologies.

David Johansen23 Jan 2016 8:19 p.m. PST

Personally, the trick is that most figures are significantly beefier than real people. As such, a realistically proportioned vehicle always looks too narrow. On the other hand, wider vehicles look cartoonish.

In Mutant Chronicles I always made a point of having the Brotherhood's limos take up two lanes of traffic and inquisitors always had to slide through doors sideways and be careful that the upsweep on their helmets didn't hook the door frame.

I've played around with making game scale vehicles but I've never found a material that really worked the way I wanted it to.

Lion in the Stars24 Jan 2016 2:49 a.m. PST

My thought was why do wargames manufacturers not make figures to fit the wide range of existing models rather than effectively re-inventing the wheel by trying to produce a much smaller range to fit the figures?

Because originally, 25mm minis were 1/64 scale, and minis sell better when they're cross-compatible between makers.

Then scale creep happened, mostly as a result of sculptor skill levels. Now those 1/64 scale humans are averaging over 5'11" tall (28mmx56=1792mm tall). So the figure scale had to change.

I keep most of my buildings at 1/60 scale because real buildings are huge. I also build with oversized doors for game rules.

1/43 scale is UK O gauge railroad (1/48 for US O gauge, US engines and traincars are bigger then UK counterparts…). Doing some quick math, 40mm tall figures are 1720mm tall in 1/43 scale, and 36mm figures are 1728mm tall in 1/48.

So what I think you want is 40mm modern or post-apocalyptic minis to go with all your 1/43 scale cars.

D A THB24 Jan 2016 3:44 a.m. PST

Some of the cheap plastic box of soldiers would probably be close to 1/43rd scale.

Vigilant24 Jan 2016 7:25 a.m. PST

Looks like I'm going to have to learn to sculpt my own and see if anyone else likes them and convert what I can't sculpt from existing 40mm lines.

Stepman324 Jan 2016 4:49 p.m. PST

I like 1/50…I keep a figure in my truck so if I need to size a car up I can grab it and do a quick eyeball…I base my figures on a washer so its pretty thin…

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2016 8:03 p.m. PST

1/35th works well with 28mm miniatures.

Lion in the Stars25 Jan 2016 9:40 a.m. PST

??? 1/35 works with GW-style oversized guns and tanks, but otherwise 1/35 is 54mm scale!

chironex25 Jan 2016 11:30 p.m. PST

Actually 54mm should be 1/32, but who's counting? 1/35 models need conversion to suit heroic miniatures anyway, as they don't really work when the hatches clearly won't fit Space Marines and WW2 and modern vehicles, at least, look way too much like what they were supposed to be, and so much modification is needed as to mean scratchbuilding half the model anyway. Softskins have next to no chance. 1/43 doesn't really work either, but some gamers just find their eyeballs deforming if a figure is set higher on the base, even though there is no change in scale (really, is Australia the only country that has KERBS? What do you do when the character has climbed up onto a stack of boxes? Suddenly replace all the cars on the tabletop with 1/24 scale cars?)
Really, it's because game manufacturers keep trying to trap us into using only game industry products, not to GW's level where we can only use theirs (though some mini ranges are clearly incompatible with others) but still, collectively, they do try to force the use of only gaming minis and scenery.

MajorB26 Jan 2016 3:47 p.m. PST

really, is Australia the only country that has KERBS?

No, we have them in the UK too. Only we call them curbs.

but still, collectively, they do try to force the use of only gaming minis and scenery.

I don't think there is really any overt intention to do that (well there might be in the case of GW). It's really mostly just a by-product of scale creep.

Darkoath27 Jan 2016 7:04 a.m. PST

I found the most accurate scale to 28mm miniatures is 1:48 scale. Which is O scale for model railroaders. This scale, especially for things done for the model railroaders does tend to be of the same size and not vary as much as other scales.

chironex27 Jan 2016 11:40 p.m. PST

It's not accurate. When you're using buildings that can be played through, it's more practical. It has no accuracy, except in the one dimension (which isn't height) that figures are actually 1/48 scale (they are a different scale in each direction you measure).

MajorB, there was no reason for the scale creep in the first place, so any by-products of scale creep look a mite suspicious.

MajorB28 Jan 2016 3:23 a.m. PST

MajorB, there was no reason for the scale creep in the first place, so any by-products of scale creep look a mite suspicious.

If there was no reason for scale creep, then why does it happen?

chironex28 Jan 2016 3:51 p.m. PST

Political correctness? People keep suing each other for harassment when they get called out on their personal failings so they have to support people who clearly can't sculpt or design to avoid being seen as the Great Enemy.

Some sculptors, of course, are usually sculpting non-humans and forget what they're doing when the order for a human is sent.

chromedog10 Mar 2016 11:06 p.m. PST

Once upon a time, curb had two separate meanings.

1: was the roadside edge of the concrete pathways. (kerb).

2: was a verb meaning to control or limit (most frequently used in reference to toilet training of pets.)

I think we just adopted the US fashion for one, and kept the other for the other meaning.

Lion in the Stars10 Mar 2016 11:34 p.m. PST

Stop putting your figures on 3mm bases?

Even a 20mm to 1" steel washer is about 1.25mm (+-0.25mm) and a thin cast-on base is about 1mm, for a total of at least 2mm and sometimes more than 3mm with a thick cast-on base.

If you're completely removing cast-on bases (and not using slottas), you can get a bit thinner, but 0.050" (or ~1.25mm) is about as good as you can get. Which is still another 2.5" of virtual infantry height compared to an unbased car.

Of course, the real lesson here is to base your vehicles, but I don't like how it looks for anything that doesn't float in the air.

Der Krieg Geist Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2016 3:28 a.m. PST

My solution is to have my vehicles on bases of the same height as my infantry. Smallish 1/35 models like armored cars and light tanks do make good conversion pieces for science fiction troops

chironex15 Mar 2016 5:23 a.m. PST

My solution is to remember that the play area is a glorified map, not a museum diorama display, is a different scale anyway, and therefore means nothing as to whether the things "look right" together, as they are playing pieces and not simply components of an entire diorama.

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