Help support TMP

"Is 1/72 WWII getting squeezed out by other scales." Topic

53 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 WWII Discussion Message Board

Back to the Scale Message Board

2,321 hits since 11 May 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pages: 1 2 

normsmith Inactive Member11 May 2016 4:36 a.m. PST

I noticed a hobby store that once stocked 1/72 WWII (PSC kits) now only does 15mm PSC and Warlord 28mm Bolt Action stuff.

I wondered whether those two scales are squeezing sales on the 1/72 scale for this period?

I know historically a lot of 1/72 is around in collections – but what about new buyers?

MajorB11 May 2016 4:46 a.m. PST


McWong7311 May 2016 4:49 a.m. PST

A gaming hobby store I can understand having a lot of 15mm psc, but kost of the plastic kit hobby stores will only carry the 1/72. I think you have the right off it that new buyers are going for 15mm first.

Si Bondy Inactive Member11 May 2016 5:03 a.m. PST

If PSC stop making 1/72 then its all over I think
Most wargamers don't like building kits as far as I know :(

cmdr kevin Inactive Member11 May 2016 5:37 a.m. PST

I got into 1/72 hard plastic figs for compatibility with existing model kits. I ended up not using any of my model kits for gaming, and the selection of figs in the PSC 1/72 kits isn't that great. I have switched over to 15mm with some extra 28mm as well.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2016 5:47 a.m. PST

If I were to start over, I would do 28mm. To large a collection to change now. Same same with ACW, except I went from plastic to metal a few years ago.

PiersBrand11 May 2016 6:25 a.m. PST

I only know 20mm gamers for WW2… and this topic seems to crop up at least once a year for the last few years.

My local games store cant shift its dusty boxes of 28mm and 15mm kits but has a huge turn over in 1/72 kits. It sells to both gamers and modellers. Indeed in the model market 1/72 armour kits are their biggest seller.

Given the wealth of 1/72 kits being constantly released, someone must be buying them (and contrary to popular opinion I don't buy all of them…).

I cant speak for all gamers, only my personal perception based on my local group and those I associate with 'online'. The majority of those use 1/72 or 20mm to game WW2. Of course… Your group may differ radically but I can only comment on my small sphere of the hobby.

So for me, with the likes of AB Figures, Elhiem, Battlefield, Wartime, CP Models, Kellys Heroes, PSC, Dragon, Ace, Italeri, S-Models and many more… 1/72 has never been stronger. The wealth of variety and availability is astounding. Then there are the ready painted diecast vehicles available too…


Frothers Did It And Ran Away11 May 2016 6:31 a.m. PST

In my area WW2 enthusiasts seem to go for 1/72, FoW and Bolt Action enthusiasts go for 15mm and 28mm respectively.

ubercommando Inactive Member11 May 2016 6:33 a.m. PST

I think 1/72 or 20mm still has a lot of traction, especially for 20th century wargames. There are plenty of other manufacturers out there for 1/72nd, not just PSC. Rest easy, the scale is here to stay for some while yet.

Although there are some who think 28mm is going to take over everything, for me 28mm WW2 looks too cartoony and not realistic. Added to that it's more expensive, you can't do big battles unless you have a massive playing area and the range isn't complete yet so I'm sticking with 1/72 – 20mm.

wizbangs11 May 2016 6:47 a.m. PST

I went from micro-armor to 15mm about 2 years ago while a gaming buddy has remained consistently 1/72. I went 15mm because Flames of War made a lot more models available even if they weren't any cheaper.

As a formerly retailer, stocking 1/72 kits was difficult because there is such a large variety & that scale doesn't pin itself to a hot moving game range (like 15mm for FOW or 28mm for Bolt Action). Thus, by going 15mm I was better able to patronize my local store and it was easier to find other people to game with (although, at the time, I hadn't realized how badly the tournament scene had contaminated that pool and there was really no one in it with which to play an enjoyable, historic reenactment, but I digress).

I still love playing my buddy's 1:72 because the models look so much nicer. Although it may not be as "in your face" as the other scales, I agree that it's still out there alive & kicking.

PeterH11 May 2016 6:52 a.m. PST

Agree with Piers and others who believe 1/72 is stronger than ever. I am not a wargamer, mostly a collector, but there are so many new things coming out in 1/72, whether figures, vehicles or terrain. I love the idea of painting 28 mm because it looks so much easier, but I can still do well in 1/72 even with my aging eyes

Who asked this joker11 May 2016 6:57 a.m. PST

Spoiled for choice in 1/72. If you are a retailer, it is a really tough choice and I can't fault you for going with what sells in your area. Direct sales from the various manufacturers via the web is certainly taking it's toll on the brick and mortar stores.

I suspect, most gamers will say "no" while most retailers will say "yes".

Faustnik pt11 May 2016 7:03 a.m. PST

Doing 1:76~1:72 right from 1975, and still doing.

While a lot of 15mm and 28mm gamers out there, die hard 20th Century wargamers do them mostly in 20mm.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2016 7:14 a.m. PST

A retailer would have to pitch in.

I don't think 1/72 is going anywhere but it seems 15mm and 28mm has definitely become the standards.

TMPWargamerabbit11 May 2016 7:37 a.m. PST

1/72, 1/76. 20mm all for this WWII (FOW) gaming rabbit. Been the collection scale since day one…. too many years ago and before 15mm or 28mm were a scale.


Pedrobear Inactive Member11 May 2016 7:38 a.m. PST

"In my area WW2 enthusiasts seem to go for 1/72, FoW and Bolt Action enthusiasts go for 15mm and 28mm respectively."

I see what you did there.

kabrank11 May 2016 8:08 a.m. PST

My club has mostly moved to 10/12mm and some 28mm.

Little 1/72 unless I organise a game with it at present.

28mm Fanatik11 May 2016 8:14 a.m. PST

The problem is that the two most popular WWII games in the market, FOW and BA, push 15mm and 28mm respectively. The most popular system that champions 1/72 is probably Battlegroup which comes a distant third.

I don't think 1/72 will fade away but it just doesn't seem to be as popular as the other scales in gaming. It will always be popular with modelers though.

steamingdave4711 May 2016 8:21 a.m. PST

Personally I think "10mm" is the way to go for WW2 games at anything above platoon level, at least in the UK with our relatively small houses and limited room for games tables. I have lots of 20mm/1/72 figures and vehicles and enjoy playing Chain of Command size games with them, but 10mm allows you to have a much more realistic figure scale to ground scale.

Martin Rapier11 May 2016 8:51 a.m. PST

This is always going to be a fairly personal thing.

At our club we mainly play 6mm and 15mm for WW2, but that is mainly for ease of transport. We've all got large 20mm collections which come out from time to time, and I still top it up with the odd thing.

A few people play 10mm, but it has always been a niche scale, and likely to remain so. Same for 28mm, but our age profile is definitely middling/old, so we don't have many BA players (and the ones that do use 20mm).

wrgmr111 May 2016 8:59 a.m. PST

I just bought a whole bunch of 1/72 scale WW2 figures adding to my collection.

Nice work Piers! I have that OP vehicle myself and wondered what to paint those lines on the side, now I know, Thanks!

donlowry11 May 2016 9:21 a.m. PST

Well, 1:72 apparently killed off 1:76, so it would be only fair -- however, as Piers says, it seems to be going strong.

I do WWII in 20mm, but if I were starting over again, I'd go to something smaller, not larger. Probably 12/10mm. To get more maneuver room out of my table. (I have some 6mm/1:285, but that's TOO small for my taste.)

I'm guessing that 28mm players are mostly doing infantry actions, with maybe 1 or 2 AFVs. I'm more interested in tank vs. tank, so, unless I want to take my models out to the garden, 28mm wouldn't work for me.

28mm Fanatik11 May 2016 10:23 a.m. PST

I'm guessing that 28mm players are mostly doing infantry actions, with maybe 1 or 2 AFVs

Not necessarily…

TMP link

Umpapa11 May 2016 10:44 a.m. PST

There are new company every year.
FirstToFight done excellent 1939 Poles.
Redbox, Orion, Mars and Strelets are gradually improving their moulds.
HaT recently published new sets.

There are 20 mm sci-fi of K-Kraft
and Khurasan Miniateures.

Yes, according to this site
we are observing decline of developing new plastic sets but because there are already sets about mostly everything soldable!

What do You want? 4 sets of Trolls? Amazons on lions? Pulp?
There is everything!
(Other then plastic Mexico Revolutionaries, but thats the different story….)

Skarper11 May 2016 11:03 a.m. PST

My guess is that 1/72 will ebb and flow but never go away.

People flirt with 15mm and 28mm but 1/72 is the best scale for ability to have variation and character in the figures and vehicles without getting stupidly expensive.

15mm has always been neither one thing nor the other. I couldn't see the point.

FOW threw huge amount of marketing into 15mm and have dominated for a while. Now 28mm is gaining momentum with the Warhammer generation already being used to that style and the prices/limitations of the scale. Also I think some older gamers like the bigger toys – goes with their large print books and giant telephone keypad.

Piers nails the sweet spot of 1/72nd every time.

28mm Fanatik11 May 2016 11:40 a.m. PST

15mm and 28mm are popular because the companies that developed the rules (BF and Warlord) also created their own proprietary miniature lines that they spend a lot of dough marketing and distributing. It is a successful practice based on Games Workshop's business model.

Unless 20mm/1:72 has a parallel it will not match, much less surpass the other scales in popularity gaming-wise.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2016 12:58 p.m. PST

Not hardly, there has never been as many figures and models available for 1/72 as right now.

furgie11 May 2016 1:11 p.m. PST

I have been buying a whole load of new 1:72 & 20mm stuff recently – and not just for WW2.

The local hobby shops wouldn't stock it if it didn't sell


Fred Cartwright11 May 2016 1:42 p.m. PST

The interesting thing is that WW2 manages to support so many scales at the moment. 3mm, 5/6mm, 10/12mm, 15mm, 20mm, 28mm and even 54mm! Whatever scale you play there is more and more stuff released each year. When you can buy Norwegians for WW2 in your chosen scale you can be pretty sure it has arrived!

christot Inactive Member11 May 2016 2:15 p.m. PST

"Not hardly,there has never been as many figures and models available for ANY scale as right now"


PiersBrand11 May 2016 3:31 p.m. PST

I can buy Royal Thai infantry in 20mm for WW2…

Not sure I will… Though I do have a couple.

Syr Hobbs Wargames Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member11 May 2016 3:33 p.m. PST

I've always wondered if the 20mm market isn't a bit bigger/ more active across the pond than it is in the states??! But business in 20mm is Going pretty well for me.


Stavka11 May 2016 5:21 p.m. PST

In my area WW2 enthusiasts seem to go for 1/72, FoW and Bolt Action enthusiasts go for 15mm and 28mm respectively.

Hmm, I play Bolt Action in 28mm, and in 1/72. I've also played FoW in 1/72. I often play other rules as well, such as CoC, BKC and Battlegroup Kursk.

I've enjoyed all of these games in their own way, yet as far as I was concerned, I would lump them all under the label WW2 wargaming. Clearly I didn't get the memo informing me of the errors of my ways- not that I care.

I find this kind of snobbery and pigeonholing rather amusing (and quite unnecessary), given that the vast majority of the population sees us as just grown men (and occasionally women) playing with tiny model soldiers anyway.

Simo Hayha11 May 2016 6:10 p.m. PST

I have an enormous 20mm wwii collection. I did at one point consider selling out and going with 15mm for more maneuver room. 1/72/20mm have the best castings in my opinion and have excellent selection. I have however moved far away from plastic figures and have definitely gotten more into resin and metal vehicle kits. 1/72 and 20mm are not going anywhere soon. And my do I hate the 28mm wwii casts. They look extremely goofy to me.

I would have to agree with Syr that 20mm is better supported overseas. All the products I buy are manufactured in europe. US figure companies make garbage castings.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2016 8:10 p.m. PST

I'm still waiting for 15mm scale creep to make 1/87 popular again, then I won't be the only one in town with that scale and battalions of old Roco tanks ^,^

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2016 9:41 p.m. PST

1/87 scale vehicles from Roco and others are the only way to fly. I do use 1/72nd scale figures with them, as I have done for 55 years. I love the big Roco battalions and show them on my blog all the time. I have thousands of Roco.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Martin Rapier11 May 2016 11:07 p.m. PST

I use a fair bit of Roco stuff in my "15mm" armies. Lovely stuff, and I'm not that fussy about sizes.

Lonkka1Actual11 May 2016 11:37 p.m. PST

Our club has been playing with 1/72 and 6mm for years and years.

I do not see this trend changing.
Availability of all scales will improve.

nazrat Inactive Member12 May 2016 6:55 a.m. PST

I dumped all my 28mm for 20 and have never regretted it. The simple existence of AB Miniatures elevates the scale above everything else!

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2016 7:58 a.m. PST

Regarding 1/87th and 1/72nd scale, Preiser has been releasing lots of new figures in those scales, for WWII and Moderns. Last Saturday, I picked up a new Roco catalogue for 2016. The company is alive and well, operating out of Munich. One of my local train stores has a range of exquisitely painted and decalled WWII and modern vehicles in 1/144th and 1/72nd. IIRC, from Pico? (Maybe it's PICO that is distributing it?….)

Am really tempted to go back into 1/87th.

Marc the plastics fan12 May 2016 8:11 a.m. PST


It is not snobbery, more that the two most promoted/hyped (your choice) WW2 games are pushing their own 28mm and 15mm lines.

Me, 1/72 all the way. And then I found Battlegroup Kursk and that made it even nicer.

My local shop has started finally to sell 1/72 PSC stuff, and long may it continue

HidaSeku12 May 2016 9:42 a.m. PST

I do not think 15mm and 28mm are pushing out 20mm/1:72. The hobby stores I have been to here in Southern California will have more 1/72 than 15mm, and little to no 28mm unless it's specifically a small gaming store, in which case they'll have a bunch of Bolt Action (28mm) and not much else.

I don't think 1/72 is going anywhere, either. The price is right, and personally I feel it is the best scale for infantry, as it is the smallest scale with realistic proportions. Smaller than 1/72, you get big head syndrome and stylized hands/weapons/feet, and 28mm has "heroic" proportions that simply don't look right. I don't see this changing, either.

Phrodon Inactive Member12 May 2016 11:56 a.m. PST

Just came back from my local hobby store and picked up a 1/72 Nashorn for my CanGames scenario. Lots of 1/72 in stock and it is always turning over. Someone (besides me) is buying it.

20mm wargamer since 1980. 1/72 kits (and 1/76) all the way!

Like HO scale trains, 20mm "looks right" on the table.

UshCha13 May 2016 12:09 a.m. PST

Where I live you would have no hope of getting much other than a bit out of a shop. Almost all the stuff has to be ordered through the net so shop contents irrelevant. We have gone 1/144 SCALE UK N Gauge. Perfect compromise of playability and model recognition at range. 1/72 has most and can be cheaper than 15 mm or 12mm/1/144 but is too big for good tank action on even an 8 by 6 board. Never understood 15 mm, to close to 1/72 to be worth the money in my opinion.

normsmith Inactive Member13 May 2016 6:54 a.m. PST

15mm never used to be so close to 1/72. :-)

UshCha2 Inactive Member13 May 2016 11:06 a.m. PST

wargames does not hold to normal Physics you should know that! ;-). I have seen "15mm" figures that look large compared to 1/72 figures. Some 1/72 figures could pass as 15mm, especialy some Airfix ones that were renowed for being small (but at least they were cheap).

Fred Cartwright13 May 2016 2:03 p.m. PST

Ushcha2 I have never seen the point of 10/12mm. If you want to do tank actions 6mm is better. Never had problems with model recognition at that size. And while the ready painted 1/144 stuff is nice, although not cheap, some of the white metal models are quite poor IMHO. 15mm is significantly smaller than 20mm. When I sold all my 20mm stuff 20 years ago and moved to 15mm I halved the storage space needed (or doubled the amount of stuff I had!)
Cost arguments I have never bought. First rule of war gaming – your Wargames collection expands to fill the funds available and then some. If you go with smaller scales where individual models are cheaper you just buy more stuff!

Thomas Thomas13 May 2016 2:44 p.m. PST

Most general Hobby stores (such as Hobby town) carry plenty of 20mm but most "game only" stores carry just 15mm for Flames and 28mm for Bolt. So it depends on what type of store your dealing with.

20s have great advantages: price, perfect size, lots of selection, great memories of 20mm Airfix etc and now great quick build kits. But 20s lack a Flames or Bolt to support retail sales. Locally Combat Command is a big draw for WWII gamers and it is definetly aimed at 20mm gamers. So stores carry 20mm to support. Without Combat Command it might be different.

Spread of 20mm oriented games could help convince game stores that 20s are worth the self space. Here's hoping….(and for obvious personal reasons!)


custosarmorum Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2016 6:42 p.m. PST

"I know historically a lot of 1/72 is around in collections but what about new buyers?"

I recently shelved/sold my fairly lager 28mm collection of WWII in order to move to 20mm (1/72) scale. I have mostly AB figures which are, in my opinion, some of the nicest in any scale as well as a variety of plastic, resin, and metal 1/72 vehicles. And the price is right! I can get the lovely ABs for about half of what I would pay for nice 28s and I can get three PSC tanks for less than one in 1/56 scale vehicle.

Not to mention I think they simply make the rules I play (Chain of Command) look like they are more to scale. On a 6x4 table 28mm infantry and vehicles simply look to big to me (especially the 1/48 scale) and the ranges look awkward.

So, yes, I am a new 1/72 scale buyer and a happy one!

dr beard Inactive Member16 May 2016 7:45 a.m. PST

I have a large collection of both true 1/76th and 15mm WW2. Dependant on the theatre I'm collecting I check both of these scales and also 1/72nd to see what's about before deciding what scale to go with.
I would not go up to 28mm, as Perrys aside I don't like the sculpts. My personal opinion is that you can get away with more cartoony sculpts at 15mm but not at anything above and to me quite a lot of the 28mm are horrid!
If starting from scratch I'd go for 1/72nd for every theatre as it's the best of all worlds: greatest choice, a lot of top quality products, not too bulky to store and still large enough to easily recognise the infantry equipment.
I've used a number of rule sets over the years but have pretty much settled on Bolt Action for both scales now.
1/72nd (20mm) will never die.

Pages: 1 2