Help support TMP


"What scale are 18mm figures?" Topic


67 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the Scratchbuilding Message Board

Back to the Scale Message Board

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board



2,372 hits since 29 Apr 2016
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pages: 1 2 

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2016 8:16 a.m. PST

Apologies for a daft question, which I was sure an Internet Search would sort out in seconds. What "scale" are 18mm figures? Yes, I do know that manufacturers vary in their idea of what that means, anything from 15 to 18mm and figures measured to eye level or top of a tall bearskin hat! I know that for buildings it can be loosely judged, but let us say for a vehicle. Let us say for AB figures especially as I gather they are well regarded (I do not yet possess one and have never actually seen a figure in this scale in the flesh!). I have seen guesstimates ranging from 1:100 to 1:120………..

I do know this has been discussed before but any advice appreciated.

MajorB30 Apr 2016 8:35 a.m. PST

About 1/87.
TMP link

dragon630 Apr 2016 8:36 a.m. PST

First a TMP meme, 18mm isn't a scale

With that out of the way a 5'10" guy would be 1/99 if he was actually 18mm tall. Depends on how you measure, is the figure standing straight?

Really just go with what looks good next to the figures

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2016 8:58 a.m. PST

Thanks so much to both. Illustrates my problem.

Absolutely 18mm is not a scale and, as I said, I fully accept that it must depend on what you are measuring on the miniature and how tall your "average soldier" was meant to be, that is being modelled. As for how he is standing, well he could be sitting on a horse or a limber, but he is still an 18mm "scale" figure, they tell us. My scratch-built projects for 28mm figs have been to 1:56 scale…right or wrong. Goes well with Perry, Front Rank and Westfalia.

1:87 or 1:99 is a wide range……as with the figures of course, depending on the maker. The snag is that I do not yet have any AB figures (on order)………and I want to start now on my projects…….impatience is like that.

I should be doing the 28mm Gringos Tartars of the Guard that are sitting staring at me, I know

Anthony Barton30 Apr 2016 9:18 a.m. PST

Think of them as 1/100, and you won't be far out.
When I started making " bigger 15s " it was really because the smaller size was very difficult for me to work down to, but I was very comfortable making them a bit bigger : there was no other ulterior motive. On reflection they started to come out near to 1/100 , so that's what I use if I have to measure things. But it's not a very strict scale .
If you think of a 5'8" man ( a fair size in 1800 ) that comes out at 17.2mm as a figure, in his socks and not counting the hat. I think mine pan out near to that, but they are not all the same height, like real people.
Just to prove to myself that I'm not talking nonsense, I just went and measured some recent figures, and they are between 17 and 18mm ignoring the headgear.

Reactionary Inactive Member30 Apr 2016 9:33 a.m. PST

And that, as they say, is direct from the horses mouth!

raylev330 Apr 2016 9:34 a.m. PST

1/100 is the standard understanding for the size of 18mm

Martin Rapier30 Apr 2016 9:48 a.m. PST

If 15mm is 1:100, then surely 18mm is somewhat bigger (purely on the size ratio, more like 1:80).

15mm vehicles used to be 1:106 (roughly) but for many years now have been 1:100.

RittervonBek30 Apr 2016 10:07 a.m. PST

Perhaps we should consider 1:100 as the hardware scale and 15 or 18 mm as a description of relative size of humans. After all we do vary in real life enough that 15 or 18 mm size models reflect us quite accurately.

MajorB30 Apr 2016 10:17 a.m. PST

and 15 or 18 mm as a description of relative size of humans.

18mm is 20% BIGGER than 15mm!!

RittervonBek30 Apr 2016 10:30 a.m. PST

I am 15% taller than my mother and we are neither of us at the extreme ends of normal height variance. 5foot vs 6 foot?

MajorB30 Apr 2016 10:32 a.m. PST

I am 15% taller than my mother and we are neither of us at the extreme ends of normal height variance. 5foot vs 6 foot?

That may well be true, but if you and your mother were both carrying rifles, would they be the same size or would yours be 15% bigger?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2016 10:37 a.m. PST

Great help and beginning to realise the question is not that daft. I have gone back through the "Scale" Forum and this debate has clearly gone on for ages.

So 1:100 was the scale for 15mm, but MajorB is right in his calculation, that 18mm should be 20% bigger, provided you are measuring the same thing. So I may end making a carriage too small for Boney to physically get into in 18mm. I wonder what scale are the caissons and artillery in AB……there , the debate should be resolved!

Does anyone have a cannon or a caisson made by AB? Measure its length in mms. I have drawings of the originals! My mistake has been to think of the figures. I should have gone for the inanimate stuff………problem solved, if any kind soul can help.

normsmith Inactive Member30 Apr 2016 10:52 a.m. PST

All figures are scaled one way or another I wish we could get rid of this size Vs scale crap that always pops up every time there is one of these threads.

happily the plastic Soldier review site (1/72nd plastics) rates each individual set by their millimetre height, so that we can all then understand what that particular 1/72 interpretation means in that instance :-)

Compare these two links that give the mm height of two different sets of 1/72

link

link

I quite like figures that are scaled heroically :-)

For 18mm, MajorB's 1/87 response seems as good as any.

HammerHead Inactive Member30 Apr 2016 11:13 a.m. PST

But is bigger better… Dragon6 the question didn't ask if 18mm was a scale, he asked what scale was 18mm, read the question

MajorB30 Apr 2016 11:32 a.m. PST

Dragon6 the question didn't ask if 18mm was a scale, he asked what scale was 18mm, read the question

Q. what scale was 18mm?
A. it isn't. That's why I said about 1/87

FABET01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2016 11:47 a.m. PST

To determine scale divide 1800 by the size. So 18mm comes to figure out to be 1/100th as AB miniature points out.

1800 is the height of a 6ft man in mm. Argue or disagree all you want but when the plastic model industry began making kits decades ago, they decided the baseline (and you have to establish one) would be a 6ft man. That's why 1/72 was so common a scale (72 inch to a 6ft man).

Don't say men's height vary from this height to that height. That's not a scale, that a range. You HAVE to establish a base line.

25mm became a standard size because there are approximate 25mm to an inch. So early 25mm figures were theoretically compatible with 1/72 figure kits.

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member30 Apr 2016 12:00 p.m. PST

somewhere between heroic 15s and runtish 20s.
HO might be a close match as to scale.
ymmv,

Mako11 Inactive Member30 Apr 2016 12:06 p.m. PST

1/100th, or 15mm, of course, based upon product marketing ads……

Yea, 1/87th is probably closer to the truth though (or 1/76th), especially when you consider that many people measure 15mm and 18mm to the figs eyes, so you need to add about 10% more height to get to the tops of their heads, so 15mm is REALLY 16.5mm, and 18mm is really 20mm.

Of course, that doesn't include true 15mm figs, which are 15mm high, from the soles of their feet to the tops of their heads.

People used to be a bit shorter too, on average, e.g. 5'5" – 5'-6" for men, and even less for women. Now, that's the height of an average woman, while men were supposedly about 5'10" last time I checked.

Confused yet?

MajorB30 Apr 2016 12:28 p.m. PST

Yea, 1/87th is probably closer to the truth though (or 1/76th),

1/76 is nearer to 20mm.

MajorB30 Apr 2016 12:30 p.m. PST

25mm became a standard size because there are approximate 25mm to an inch. So early 25mm figures were theoretically compatible with 1/72 figure kits.

Except that early 1/72 figure kits were actually 1/76 …

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2016 12:54 p.m. PST

My head hurts….

FABET01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2016 1:03 p.m. PST

25mm became a standard size because there are approximate 25mm to an inch. So early 25mm figures were theoretically compatible with 1/72 figure kits.

Except that early 1/72 figure kits were actually 1/76

Not exclusively. The majority were 1/72 which was introduced in the 30's.

MajorB30 Apr 2016 1:20 p.m. PST

Not exclusively. The majority were 1/72 which was introduced in the 30's.

I don't know what figure kits you are referring to that were introduced in th 1930s. I was referring to early Airfix figures that were 1/76.

GarrisonMiniatures Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Apr 2016 1:52 p.m. PST

Going back in time, Minifigs virtually started the 25mm scale and defined 25mm as 6' (ie, 72").

Therefore 25mm represents 1/72nd scale.

On that basis, 18mm represents 25/18 x 72 = 1/100th scale.

15mm represents 25/15 x 72 = 1/120th scale.

20mm work out as 1/90th, pretty close to 1/87th.

Early Airfix figures were basically about 1/76th. At that time there were a few Japanese models around that were very expensive – these were 1/72nd and were definitely bigger than Airfix.

Timmo uk30 Apr 2016 3:00 p.m. PST

The OP asked specifically about AB figures and Tony Barton himself has written that he works to 1:100. I'd go with that.

18mm in 1/87 scale is the equivalent of a little over 5'.

Sho Boki30 Apr 2016 3:09 p.m. PST

Both 15mm and 18mm are 1:100.

15mm = 160cm, voltigeurs, hussars, austrians, russians.
16mm = 170cm, average height, French infantry.
17mm = 180cm, grenadiers, guards.
18mm = 190cm, tall personalities, like Murat.

FABET01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2016 3:18 p.m. PST

Not exclusively. The majority were 1/72 which was introduced in the 30's.

I don't know what figure kits you are referring to that were introduced in th 1930s. I was referring to early Airfix figures that were 1/76.

Airfix was only one of many companies making model kits. There were also Revell, Aurora, AMT, Monogram among others. Mostly 1/72.

Frog introduced 1/72 plastics in the 1930. Hawk made them in the 40's

Mako11 Inactive Member30 Apr 2016 10:39 p.m. PST

18mm (to the eyes) is 20mm……..

Rapier Miniatures Inactive Member01 May 2016 12:24 a.m. PST

go 1/100

the problem with exact scale against size is that they are 1/100 in height but 1/76th or 1/64th in width in many cases…

Martin Rapier01 May 2016 12:37 a.m. PST

This feels like a novel by Kafka.

So, we have just re defined 1:100 scale as 18mm. Really?

As ever, the reference to the PSR size comparison pages above is useful, as is the history of plastic figure sizes.

Those of sufficient age will recall using Airfix figures with Roco vehicles, although like all manufacturers, the Airfix figures went through their own programme of bloat, with later sets towering above their earlier comrades.

Rapier Miniatures Inactive Member01 May 2016 12:51 a.m. PST

Could be worse, it could be Magritte, we have just redefined 18mm as a Dahlia.

Tuudawgs01 May 2016 2:58 a.m. PST

For what it's worth I just went with 3mm (18mm/6ft) is about an 1/8 an inch which works out to 1/96th.

MajorB01 May 2016 3:35 a.m. PST

Both 15mm and 18mm are 1:100.

15mm = 160cm, voltigeurs, hussars, austrians, russians.
16mm = 170cm, average height, French infantry.
17mm = 180cm, grenadiers, guards.
18mm = 190cm, tall personalities, like Murat.

But that ONLY works if all their weapons are the same size.

Show me two manufactueres one of 15m figures and one of 18mm figures where their weapons are the same size.

MajorB01 May 2016 3:36 a.m. PST

Frog introduced 1/72 plastics in the 1930. Hawk made them in the 40's

Please tell me what figure kits were made by Frog and Hawk in the 30s and 40s?

Sho Boki01 May 2016 3:51 a.m. PST

MajorB
AB have 1:100 weapons. I have 1:100 weapons.
All 15mm producers probably have 1:100 weapons, as natural size, by default, I suppose?

MajorB01 May 2016 3:59 a.m. PST

AB have 1:100 weapons. I have 1:100 weapons.

How big are your figures?

All 15mm producers probably have 1:100 weapons, as natural size, by default, I suppose?

Maybe they do, maybe they don't… But what about the 18mm producers?

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2016 4:17 a.m. PST

Go by the length of the musket.

Rapier Miniatures Inactive Member01 May 2016 4:21 a.m. PST

People always lie about the length of their muskets…

Sho Boki01 May 2016 4:26 a.m. PST

15(18)mm is pure AB format, others only copied.

I copied this too and my first sets are little oversized, comparing to 1:100 scale.
But now I started to make figures in 1:100 scale, so they are 15mm, 16mm and mostly 17mm (to compare with AB). Next sets will have figures with all this sizes. Almost all Dolls for this are ready.

Sho Boki01 May 2016 4:30 a.m. PST

In 1:100 Charleville muskets have length 15mm + 3mm for bayonet.
Easily measureable.

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2016 4:33 a.m. PST

Sorry to say but a lot of the discussion above is not addressing what everyone has seen and knows.

The height of the figure (to eyes or top of head) and length of the musket are only a small part of the issue.

The "bulk" of the figure, the size of the head, and the body proportions are really more important.

If the figures were ONLY viewed from the same plane as the figure's feet were standing on, then the "height" would be the most important parameter. However, people who actually play wargames, are viewing the figures from a 30 degree to 45 degree to 60 degree angle, so they see a lot of the figure's head and less of the lower body.

So a smaller figure with a big head can fit in with a taller figure because from the high angle, they look the same size. (remember all the jokes about "gnome-like" figures? Try looking at figures from directly overhead) Also, people's brains process the information that their eye's deliver. You "see" more of the face details and height (Up or down to the head) when you look at a person- but not the colour of the shoes. Likewise with a minature- you get an impression of the details of the head and the overall bulk of the figure and less information about the height. Want to discuss different body proportions? That's another universe of differences.

If you really want to see a humongeous difference compare the horses of different manufacturers and also those of different figure-manufacturer eras. Everything from men mounted on minature ponies to a tiny kid riding a hippopotamus!

MajorB01 May 2016 4:45 a.m. PST

15(18)mm is pure AB format, others only copied.

Not sure what you mean by "15(18)mm"? Also I don't see what "others only copied" has got to do with it. I believe the first ever 15mm were manufactured by Peter Laing, so you could say all the other 15mm manufacturers copied him.

I copied this too and my first sets are little oversized, comparing to 1:100 scale.
But now I started to make figures in 1:100 scale, so they are 15mm, 16mm and mostly 17mm (to compare with AB).

No 18mm then?

Sho Boki01 May 2016 4:50 a.m. PST

I am alone on my country in this hobby, so "bird view" on table don't concern me. More important are eye level photographed views (Fog of War) for games through internet, so right proportions are important.

MajorB01 May 2016 4:53 a.m. PST

I am alone on my country in this hobby,

Are you really sure there are no other Estonian wargamers?

Sho Boki01 May 2016 5:13 a.m. PST

MajorB
Old Guard from AB and other majority first AB sets are 17mm. But his later sets growed up to 18mm. So all sizes between 15mm and 18mm belongs to AB 15(18)mm height standard.
I wanted to say (and maybe, thanks to my clumsiness, I say it wrong again), that this 15(18)mm size is popular mostly thanks to AB perfect miniatures, not by size himself.

I do pure 18mm too of cource, but in 1:100 these are 190cm tall men, so very rare in Napoleonic era.

Sho Boki01 May 2016 5:20 a.m. PST

"Are you really sure there are no other Estonian wargamers?"

Never met or heard about any Napoleonic wargamers. Only Warhammer ones played somewhere.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2016 7:02 a.m. PST

Let me start with an apology for a daft question.

Let me follow by saying what a fascinating discussion has resulted.

Scale creep……….. I know from Airfix plastic figure days. The WWI Germans were massive folk (sorry, volk), their British and US opposition tiny. The French in between.

Even those paragons (The Perrys) can produce early DB HA that really could not stand next to Imperial Guard artillery. Their Brunswickers ditto…

But back to the point. What I should have asked is this. What scale of vehicle/equipment goes with AB's 18 mm range? (and you do have to be that specific…I was not). A caisson is not open to interpretation. It measures this in La Musee de l'Armee, so it should be reduced by 1:87 or 1:100 or even 1:120 for the figures? 1:100 seems agreed!

Some very good points about even the best figures, when trying to work out scale. They are generally wider than they are tall, in scale sense. Their heads are bigger, than real humans' are…they have huge hands….as for bayonets' thickness..

Heck, I am still learning. I see things as perfect reduction of the real thing still and forget that does not work. Odd, that. I spent years working on model ships of WWII and learnt that Hood, in the Denmark Strait grey paint, APC with some numbers I still recall , even if you could find a tin, would be wrong in 1:700, however "right" in full size.

There is an art to reproducing miniatures…to scale…not just size, but colour and appearance. I am still learning and thanks to all for a most interesting input. There is more to scale than division of dimensions….it is something about what happens to shades of colour, highlights, proportions etc…

Thanks all. Really brilliant

MajorB01 May 2016 7:43 a.m. PST

So all sizes between 15mm and 18mm belongs to AB 15(18)mm height standard.

I really don't understand this concept of a "height standard". From the way you describe it, it is anything but a standard! AB figures are very nice but they do not have any claim to be a standard of any description.

They are many manufacturers of wargame figures in what they would describe as 15mm. I believe some of them have been in business a lot longer than AB …

Richard Humm01 May 2016 8:47 a.m. PST

15 mm was, according to Peter Laing in his earliest adverts, intended to be 1/120 scale. Mike's Models agreed with this around 1980, when they said that their fantasy range was the right scale for D&D (the dungeon, 1" = 10' scale, not the outdoor 1" = 10 yards).

Pages: 1 2