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"1/48 vs 1/56 but what about buildings?" Topic


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680 hits since 12 Oct 2017
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YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 12:38 p.m. PST

I have read numerous threads and blogs about the 1/48 vs 1/56 vehicles debate for WW2, but one issue I never see mentioned is those vehicles compared to the scenery and especially buildings we use.

I personally am in the "1/48 is more accurate" camp, BUT it has occurred to me that while the 1/48 scale vehicles may seem more accurate compared to the standard 28mm figure on a base, those same 1/48 scale vehicles will look too large on a tabletop next to our standard MBA or 4Ground buildings. Has anyone thought about this issue? It is not just the infantry we have to worry about when we get picky on scale.

MajorB13 Oct 2017 12:45 p.m. PST

Unless you are playing rules where 1 figure is 1 man, then all buildings will be too large anyway. I usually follow the rule of thumb of "one size down" so in your case that would be 20mm buildings with 28mm figures.

SBminisguy13 Oct 2017 12:54 p.m. PST

I disagree, MajorB. 20mm buildings do not look good when used with 28mm figures. I've found no issue using "28mm" and O-scale buildings mixed together, they look fine.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 12:59 p.m. PST

There just is no perfect solution to the scale problem. If your building matches your figs, then it is hugely over sized, unless you play the same horizontal scale as vertical. My issue with that is then even a 6x8 table represents a piddly 150 yards by 240.

Like Major B I always play with buildings smaller than figures to fit my terrain scale.

Oberlindes Sol LIC13 Oct 2017 1:32 p.m. PST

I agree with Extra Crispy's observation about the lack of a perfect solution to the scale problem.

When I make buildings for science fiction games, I make doors and windows that look plausible with my 25mm figures, as if the buildings were of the same 1in to about 6ft scale. The buildings just turn out to be bigger inside than they appear. It's sort of a Tardis effect.

SeattleGamer13 Oct 2017 1:40 p.m. PST

I look for buildings where the doors could almost fit a standard foot trooper (if you ignore the base he is mounted on). At that point, I am good to go.

Buildings are basically a smaller stand-in for the real thing. Something to occupy. Something you are forced to go around, and an obstruction to line of sight. But unless you are talking about very small, rural farm houses, they are just not going to be "to scale" on a standard table size.

And I use 1/56 scale vehicles.

Personal logo sillypoint Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 1:42 p.m. PST

WARNING : Some readers may find the contents unsettling.
As war gamers we tend to be "on the spectrum" ✌🏻️😜
I'm with Extra on the vertical front, our hills in scale are low mounds, and I have seen tanks parked near trees that tower way above it.
I tend to use planes smaller than my scale…to represent the plane- kinda being way up there.

Building scales are compressed anyway, if you try to imagine the interior layout of a building, the rooms, hallway, doors etc. it does not fit.

As much as we pretend to be adults, there is a bit of pew-pew-pew and rat-a-tat-tat (imagination) in our Wargames.😬

bsrlee14 Oct 2017 12:54 a.m. PST

Quite a few older plastic model railway building kits that are still marketed as 'O' or 1:48 scale are actually 1:64 or there about, were intended for use with O27 toy trains, which had 1:64 scale bodies but ran on 'O' track. Similar to HO/OO scale with the scales being 1:96 and 1:76 or 1:72 running on a common track.

MajorB14 Oct 2017 5:11 a.m. PST

Similar to HO/OO scale with the scales being 1:96 and 1:76 or 1:72 running on a common track.

HO is 1/87 (for American and European outline). OO is 1/76 (for British outline). Both run on the same 16.5mm gauge track. 1/96 and 1/72 are not model railway scales.

ordinarybass Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2017 5:54 a.m. PST

"Building scales are compressed anyway, if you try to imagine the interior layout of a building, the rooms, hallway, doors etc. it does not fit."

This is the truth.
In "28mm" I play with a wide variety of buildings, and in general, a bit of variance doesn't bother me as long as buildings with drastically different door sizes aren't placed right next to each other. I realize that even my larger buildings are still generally quite compressed in scale. What at first glance looks like an apartment block is proably more like a duplex and so-on.

Even "accurate" railway buildings usually have a much smaller footprint than a true scaled model would.

thosmoss14 Oct 2017 6:38 a.m. PST

A huge problem I have is that I base my figures on 25mm circles. This means each guy needs a 6' diameter hula-hoop around him. Try walking through a door with your arms extended. Try stacking four guys like this around a window. Try bellying up to the bar, or joining a poker game around a small table.

I look at the four hobbits getting a room at Bree, and suddenly I need a building that will take up half my table just to make the Prancing Pony look like a happening place.

Buildings usually simply represent LOS blockers … getting the dimensions right is pretty low on my priorities.

Fred Cartwright14 Oct 2017 8:12 a.m. PST

I tend to use planes smaller than my scale…to represent the plane- kinda being way up there.

Shoudn't That be the other way round? You are looking down on the table. The planes should be big and the troops smaller.

MajorB14 Oct 2017 10:42 a.m. PST

I tend to use planes smaller than my scale…to represent the plane- kinda being way up there.

Shoudn't That be the other way round? You are looking down on the table. The planes should be big and the troops smaller.

Funnily enough, no. It's a mental image thing. We are all used to seeing planes in the sky where they appear to be tiny because of the distance. So having smaller model aircraft over a wargames table actually looks right.

ordinarybass Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2017 5:57 p.m. PST

I agree with the Major.
Planes of almost any type can be quite a bit smaller. I think that Warlord even sells 1/72 planes to be used with Bolt Action in the air or as terrain.

The other factor is that planes often quite huge. Bombers or transport craft on the ground can take up massive amounts of the table. One of the best looking planes I ever saw as wargame terrain was a Disney "Planes" transport that had been repainted. In most of the details it was quite accurate as well as in height and door and window size. However as a toy for kdis it had been compressed in length and width by at least 30% or more so it didn't take up an inordinate amount of play space.

Lion in the Stars14 Oct 2017 8:52 p.m. PST

Buildings are huge.

Personally, I scratchbuild to 1/60 scale. Classic D&D map scale. The house I grew up in has a lot that is ~85x115 feet: 17x23 inches. For the yard around a single house! House itself is about 60x30, IIRC, so the building is ~12x6 inches.

christot14 Oct 2017 10:41 p.m. PST

I've always been in the "smaller is better" camp, however, a few days ago we were playing a 20mm game and I realised some (admittedly small scratchbuilt) 28mm buildings had crept onto the table and they looked great.
So I'm confused now(

uglyfatbloke Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2017 10:00 a.m. PST

We made the transition from 20mm to 28mm for figures but kept the buildings. It looks OK in the main since mostly they are ruins.
I expect we'll move over to 28mm structures in due course. I'm not that keen on the look of a lot of MDF buildings and I 'm a useless modeller so all the little studs would be rather obvious.

UshCha Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2017 11:41 a.m. PST

As said its always a compromise. Ours is to use buildings that have the right height and door size (perhaps 10% smaller than real) but they are always represent a very small building. I am being idle so here is a link to a picture.

link

At a glance the scale is OK its a 25mm tank. The houses are way to narrow (about 20 ft so not typical). However it lets you get a lot in a small area so it has some properties of a real built up area. However room to room fighting would be wildly in error but we don't go down that far, so to us its no loss.

The elimination of gardens means that you can get about the right road layout at ground scale, with just the houses which is something we consider important.

Perfectly correctly you could say our houses are 25 times to few. However experience says that taking the first 10 or so houses in a village is interesting and tactically demanding. After that its a slog, demanding but not interesting and the side with the most troops wins.

MajorB23 Oct 2017 10:40 a.m. PST

The houses are way to narrow (about 20 ft so not typical).

Depends what type of house and where you are talking about. The house I live in is less than 20ft wide.

christot23 Oct 2017 12:02 p.m. PST

"The house I live in is less than 20ft wide."

Quite.
I would even go so far as to say that the majority of houses in BUA's in Europe in the first half of the 20th century were

UshCha Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2017 5:53 a.m. PST

Yes but not 3 story ones like in the pictures.

Our smallest house is about 90% scale but no chimney. Even my house is wider than 20 ft about 24 ft, a big percentage difference.

MajorB24 Oct 2017 10:19 a.m. PST

Yes but not 3 story ones like in the pictures.

The house I live in is not only less than 20ft wide, but it has 3 storeys. Just take a look at pictures of houses in most European cities and you'll find they are just as narrow. For example:

picture

christot24 Oct 2017 11:32 a.m. PST

Yep, my house was built in about 1870, 3 stories, 12 foot wide.
Ok, so that's London, but "everyday " houses in cities all over the rest of Europe are pretty much the same. Different in the suburbs and the country side.
By US standards most European houses are tiny. You wouldn't let your dog live in such small spaces…it's one reason why we don't all have capacious Wargames rooms, sadly.

UshCha Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2017 12:30 p.m. PST

Sorry I got this wrong big time. I meant depth looking at the other way. Perhaps I should have said deep. But perhaps the houses you show are indeed very narrow in both dimensions. Certainly the windows are quite small and the front of the house very small. Perhaps I did better than I thought.

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