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"Which Scale is Declining in Popularity?" Topic

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25 Jul 2017 5:29 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

1,970 hits since 31 Dec 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian31 Dec 2016 11:08 p.m. PST

Which figure scale do you see becoming less popular?

Northern Monkey31 Dec 2016 11:36 p.m. PST

In the U.K. It is definitely 15mm.

Ivan DBA01 Jan 2017 12:05 a.m. PST

15mm seems down to me, just because both FOG and FOW dropped in popularity. Also all the skirmish rules coming out tend to encourage users by 28mm figures.

listlurker01 Jan 2017 2:37 a.m. PST

I think there is a perception of what is popular also. For sure, the 28mm manufacturers and groups are more willing to advertise both in media and shows.. but in club an competition gaming it still mostly 15mm as I see it.

John Treadaway01 Jan 2017 2:42 a.m. PST

It depends on period. In SF, for example, 15mm is huge (pun intended).

And before anyone states the obvious, I'm not counting 30k/40k as SF.

John T

acatcalledelvis01 Jan 2017 3:02 a.m. PST

I think it is 25mm – dug out all my 25mm Minifigs Napoleonics yesterday………….wouldn't go back to that scale

Ney Ney01 Jan 2017 3:10 a.m. PST

Anything that is not 28mm

Project Vehemence01 Jan 2017 3:20 a.m. PST

If my commissions for the last year are anything to go by then, –

15mm > down
6mm > up

compared with recent years.

Old Peculiar01 Jan 2017 3:40 a.m. PST

15mm are less popular, but AB collectors are loyal to the brand. I agree with Ivan DBA, the growth of skirmish type games and the popularity of Black Powder and the introduction of plastic high quality models has boosted 28mm as the prefered option.

Paint it Pink01 Jan 2017 3:53 a.m. PST

None of them.

This is the age of expansion with more available than at any other time.

It only looks like one scale is less popular because no one scale totally dominates.

So everything from 3mm to 54mm is played with, and manufacturers keep producing stuff to sell.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 4:24 a.m. PST

The "true" scales that are being replaced by their "heroic" cousins.
25mm is almost dead, replaced by 28mm.
My own current collecting is 50% Flames of War. I have some "true 15mm" battle Honors ANZAC figures and they are tiny compared to my more robust Battlefront, Peter Pig and even Command Decision. I suspect the latter are no longer 15mm, or perhaps Battle Honors are smaller. Whatever.
But most of the New Kids I see in that scale niche in other periods are advertised as 18mm.

Buff Orpington Inactive Member01 Jan 2017 4:57 a.m. PST

I think it's mainly a perception issue. 25mm probably is all but dead but for the rest it's more a case of "What aren't you buying?
Let's not split hairs over what is and what isn't 15mm. If FoW sales are tailing off Team Yankee is probably filling a lot of the gap.

Anyway 15mm is a size, not a scale :)

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 6:26 a.m. PST

Anyway 15mm is a size, not a scale :)

Someone had to say it. You had to be That Guy. And I like splitting hairs. This is tmp after all.

hurrahbro01 Jan 2017 7:34 a.m. PST

Round here?
20mm WW2 (possibly the best bangs per buck scale other then 6mm/10mm/n guage).

But everyone is going 15mm (false god for 20th century games) and 28mm/heroic (though with plenty of plastics coming out, is more affordable, but as a gamer of "the other nations" it is no longer affordable for me as they are not covered by the plastics)

Recovered 1AO Inactive Member01 Jan 2017 8:05 a.m. PST

Things cycle through popularity. Does it matter?

"True" 25mm for me are Dwarf and Goblin Fantasy and they seem right, especially when on the table fighting each other.

More relevant to an individual might be what am I buying less (28mm/25mm) versus what am I buying the same (3mm aircraft and future combined arms) versus what I am buying more of (15/18mm 'everything') but I do not think any of the sizes (or scales) is decling relative to others.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member01 Jan 2017 8:21 a.m. PST

Based on what new releases I see, maybe 20mm or "true 25" ?

I'm sure they'll be back though.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 8:55 a.m. PST

I would have to say that 15mm seems less popular compared to where it was say 10 years ago

Mostly because 10mm and 28mm seem to have surged ahead

genew49 Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

I have to respectively disagree about 20mm being in decline. I believe there is a slight uptick in popularity. Take a look at the December "20mm Models Review Board" for example. AB, Early War Miniatures and SGT Mess continue to bring out new products. There are numerous 20mm producers such as FAA, CP Models,SHQ, Elheim, Britannia, Platoon 20, Under Fire Miniatures and others in metal. I won't even begin with 1/72 plastics.

nazrat01 Jan 2017 9:17 a.m. PST

None of them.

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 9:39 a.m. PST

I'm with Nazrat.

wrgmr101 Jan 2017 10:23 a.m. PST

25mm seems to be going out of style

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member01 Jan 2017 10:38 a.m. PST

Good call Genew49.

I guess there's also the question of whether a scale is declining if its remaining the same but others are getting more stuff :)

Personal logo PatrickWR Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 11:12 a.m. PST

I just remember a few years ago when everyone was in a breathless lather over 15mm sci-fi. Haven't heard much locally since then.

14th NJ Vol Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 12:39 p.m. PST

We play 6mm, 15mm, 20mm, and 28mm. I see less & less 10mm at cons. So I'd say 10mm is fading? Too bad too, 10mm armor looks like a perfect scale.

steamingdave4701 Jan 2017 12:53 p.m. PST

14th NJ Vol- my group are playing 75% of our games with 10mm figures, including those fantastic 10mm tanks. Just goes to show how difficult it is to generalise from small samples.

Jakar Nilson01 Jan 2017 1:06 p.m. PST

28mm. Every new figs out are at least in the 30mm category…

Personal logo Dale Hurtt Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member01 Jan 2017 1:06 p.m. PST

True 25mm and true 15mm seem long in decline, being replaced by 28mm and 18mm.

For me, all sizes and scales are in decline save 6mm, as I am now making all of my figures for anything larger than 6.

marmont1814 Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 1:11 p.m. PST

all scales seem to be on the rise, 15mm remains the most popular but there is massive growth in other scales, I think you have to say the growth in skirmish gaming has allowed more to play 28mm at clubs and on small tables at home and 10mm has allowed restricted space to play bigger battles.
But the hobby is changing clubs are less relevant as more gamers play at home, its the same with shows the decline in shows is because peoples buying pattern has changed. Thus what you see is convenient gaming at clubs, generally small size re number of figures because limited playing time a well as set up and put away.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 3:43 p.m. PST


Personal logo herkybird Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 6:00 p.m. PST

I see less 6mm, 10mm seems to be the new micro scale!

Early morning writer Inactive Member01 Jan 2017 7:33 p.m. PST

Heroic scale 28 mm – I'd like to see real numbers of figures sold in comparison to other scales. I suspect the number would be remarkably small in comparison to any other scale except the larger ones (40 and 54 – though even that might not ring true). Sure, part of this is in relation to the 'apparent' popularity with skirmish gaming. But if skirmish gaming were dominating I think there'd be a lot fewer manufacturers staying afloat.

We hear a lot about skirmish gaming but it doesn't take very many people to make a lot of noise – but it would take a huge number of skirmish gamers to buy enough figures to really challenge the big collections. My own collection would need about 300 people to buy figures at 100 figures per person to match up. Yes, I am an unusual exception in having so many figures but the point remains the same. And, yes, I know one person might have several different skirmish collections. Still doesn't change the point. Even someone who only has one thousand figures is requires 10:1 to answer at the 100 figures number.

My personal preference has always been for 15/18 mm figures from jump. That doesn't tell me my scale is most popular. But at least one highly significant manufacturer says it way outsells their own ranges of other scales and that is why I say 15 mm is the dominant scale – and has been for a long while. I do agree that 10 mm is the most likely challenge to that predominance because it is the perfect balance between figures large enough to identify across a table but small enough to allow the table "to grow nicely".

The ultimate reality is that all scales have their niche – that's why they exist.

Now – if I could sell my 15s for enough money to buy some ready painted 10 mm armies to satisfy me, I might go that route. I know my wife wouldn't mind getting more storage for her never ending shopping sprees.

thorr666 Inactive Member01 Jan 2017 7:48 p.m. PST

I've never seen anyone play anything other than 28mm. I wouldn't even know anything else existed if not for the Internet

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2017 9:39 p.m. PST

25mm, essentially long gone.

Recovered 1AO Inactive Member02 Jan 2017 4:30 a.m. PST

Who makes "new" 25mm figures currently? Say, 2016 to today? Last figures I saw were additional 25mm colonials from Great Endeavour I believe to match the older figures.

Royal Marine Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2017 5:37 a.m. PST

The Perry's continue to knock out 25/28mm for Warlord, they seem to remain prolific.

Sharpe5202 Jan 2017 7:23 a.m. PST

Looking at new products launched on market in the last months it seems like 15/18mm are decreasing in popularity while 28mm is growing.
Probably this is due to the number of new "skirmish rules" coming out recently.
DBX and FOW maybe are less actractive nowadays.
Besides, I wouldn't split 15mm and 18mm or 25mm and 28mm as four separate scales because IMHO they are natural development for getting better detail in the figure sculpting.

coopman Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2017 7:59 a.m. PST

I haven't bought a 15mm figure in years. Been buying Perry 28mm plastics for the WOTR and ACW lately.

peterx Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2017 8:04 a.m. PST

At HMGS conventions, I see all kinds of scales being used and sold. I personally have been buying, painting and playing 20mm and 28mm scales as I have for many years.

The G Dog Fezian Inactive Member02 Jan 2017 9:26 a.m. PST

Based on what I see for sale in stores…1/285 – 1/300. None of the local stores carry it.

(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member02 Jan 2017 9:47 a.m. PST

18mm seems rare these days.

Mister Tibbles02 Jan 2017 11:23 a.m. PST

Based on quality of sets, number of sets, and the size of sets being released the past few year I would say plastic 1/72. :-(

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2017 12:43 p.m. PST

I don't see the new skirmish rules= more sales for 28mm. I might live in a bobble. But 99% of those I see doing 28mm do it in the grand style with full battles. And this includes every period from ancients to ACW.

Yes. I do see some SAGA projects. But they are downed out by full scale battles projects.

I think the rise in 28mm is:
1 the plastics
2. Lots of new high quality metal ranges for all periods
3. The are more photogenic.

I notice those that link to blogs or post photos on Facebook with 28mm usually get a lot more comments then those posting 15mm/10mm/6mm. If you want comments and likes on social media 28mm is your safest bet.
I'm vein enough to admit that part of the reason I don't do the smaller scale is the lack of feedback(even from the wife)

I don't game. I have no reason to paint up a gameable army fast. I paint and take part in the online community. If I'd gamed regularly with friends I might have done 15mm or 10mm. But I don't. So I paint and post pictures. And so comments and feedback is therefore a big part of the hobby for me.

raylev302 Jan 2017 2:25 p.m. PST

I think it depends on where you live, the games you play, and the group you game with. Being an American who lived in the UK for eight years, it would appear that, oddly enough, 28mm is more popular in the UK and 15mm in the US. Plus the people I play with over the years go through phases where we focus on 15mm or 28mm, with 1/285 WW2 and moderns thrown in.

bruntonboy03 Jan 2017 10:20 a.m. PST

There has certainly been a move towards more 28mm figures- probably down to the cheaper plastic sets. After saying this, speaking to several manufacturers at shows- including some that make both 28 and 15mm they report no change in their sales of 15mmm versus 28mm.

I think lots of the 2change" is simple that show games and magazine articles use 28mm whilst many "real" gamers actually use the smaller scales.

Scorpio Inactive Member06 Jan 2017 9:27 a.m. PST

25mm, easily.

Personal logo DWilliams Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Jan 2017 11:00 a.m. PST

I think there is a direct correlation between the aging of the majority of miniature gamers, and the decline of 15mm. When younger, we could actually see the details, and they were fun to paint and display on the table. As you get older, these details are no longer appreciated and even a source of frustration. Hence the shift to larger 28mm figures.

The contrary surge in popularity for 6mm is attributable to the fact thatmany of these same people (with bad eyesight) have no expectations that these tiny figures need to be 'seen' since details are almost indistinguishable on the table top.

Early morning writer Inactive Member07 Jan 2017 10:29 p.m. PST

Respectfully disagree with DWilliams. Now, maybe he paints a lot of detail on 15 mm. But a important part of the appeal of 15 mm is they don't NEED the detail to be effective on the table – they just don't. Sure, can be added, most serious work I saw was from a local guy who detail painted the flags on the hats of drummers in 15 mm. That was serious effort and beautiful work. But basic paint jobs fight just as well on the gaming table. And that detail can't be seen or appreciated in battle.

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