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"Skytrex 1/200- a great scale for modern (and WWII)" Topic


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2,381 hits since 6 Nov 2017
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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seneffe06 Nov 2017 3:59 p.m. PST

Disclaimer- I have nothing commercial to do with Skytrex. However, I have bought quite a lot of stuff from them in the last year or so, and can testify that they are very nice folks who will go out of their way to be helpful and to answer queries very quickly- so I thought I would review their range- which I think is a really effective alternative to both micro armour and 15mm.

After a break of 30 years, it felt like time to have another try at cold war period gaming- but what figures and vehicles to use? There is brilliant stuff from many manufactures at all scales now, so hats off to everyone for the toys they produce. But for me- 15mm/20mm is too big, 12/10mm a bit too big, micro-armour too small, pico armour way too small. Totally my personal view but I don't like the ‘tank shoot out across a factory car park' look of some larger scale games, and my middle aged eyes just aren't up to distinguishing a 1/300 (still less 1/600) T64 from a T72 on the games table. So like a wargaming Goldilocks- I was looking for something ‘just right'. Second disclaimer- I don't look like Goldilocks- or break into bears' houses.

I found that Skytrex- one of the big names in UK wargaming from the 1970s to 2000s- is now back in business, and have re-released their 1/200 ‘Action 200' range- both modern and WWII.

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The website for Action 200 is a bit basic and doesn't sell itself that well, but I've added some of my own photos which hopefully shows them to advantage.

1/200 is very roughly 8mm scale- part-way between micro-armour and 15mm, and in my view combine some of the best attributes of both. 50% larger in each dimension than micro-armour, they are about three and a half times the overall volume of the latter- making them significantly larger. Compared to 15mm however they are much smaller- with an overall volume of only one eighth of the larger scale. I think 1/200 vehicles are more distinctive and recognisable on the table than micro or pico armour, but sit more realistically in the ‘landscape' than 15mm vehicles do, whilst still using them en masse.

The Skytrex ranges are very comprehensive for Sovs, US and British cold war, with a good range of Arab-Israeli, Gulf War and Vietnam specials. The West German range has the basics, and there are some new models in the pipeline to address gaps. Dutch, Belgians, Poles, and other smaller nations would all be difficult to do right now. Most of the basic helis and aircraft are also there- Hinds, Cobras, Lynxes, A10s, Harriers etc. Vehicle detail goes from pretty good to excellent- some of the West German stuff is especially good.
As an aside, the WWII range is HUGE and also worth checking out.

The infantry is currently sold in packs of about 10 by the weapon they are using. Detail is quite basic and pose variation is not as great as we now expect, but the figures are anatomically more correct than many newer figures, and mixing in figures from different codes onto an element base gives quite acceptable variation. They paint up well and look nice based as squad elements on the table. Soviet Airborne in berets and BAOR in heavily cammo'd helmets are new additions which may not yet be on the website but they do exist.

All in all- I think that they are well worth a look if you want something between micro armour and 15mm.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 8:32 a.m. PST

Who makes 1/200 terrain? Is 1/200 a railroad scale?

In 6mm, 10mm, or 15mm terrain makers provide everything from telephone poles to strip malls. Where does one source this for 1/200?

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2017 1:04 p.m. PST

1/220th is railroad Z scale.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa07 Nov 2017 2:38 p.m. PST

Way back in the mists of time I had some of the Vietnam range. The vehicles were nice enough, and satisfyingly chunky compared to 1:300/1:285, but the infantry weren't terribly inspiring! Not good when the Viet Cong are almost exclusively infantry. Especially compared to the 10mm offerings around and even some 6mm stuff. Its probably a good 'scale' on the table, but what killed it for me was cost relative to smaller and indeed larger scales (that and its not terribly common). Personally I've gone 1:144 for WW2 and 15mm for sci-fi, though a small collection of GZG and Brigade 6mm stuff has sneaked in relatively recently.

I also remember at one point that a company in Hong Kong, who you could order starter sets off, was casting up at least some of the Action 200 range in a zinc alloy.

…And ssshh, no one tell GW that 8mm figures are an existing wargaming scale because apparently that's the new scale for re-release of Adeptus Titanicus/Epic!

Mind you if GW's 8mm offering does take flight it might awaken some interest in the scale – and skytrex might want to consider selling separate hulls and turrets for certain WII and WI designs if you get my drift…

Lee Metford08 Nov 2017 12:25 a.m. PST

Personally I like Skytrex 200 vehicles along with GHQ modern 1/285th infantry. They appear to be more in scale with them than GHQ's own range of vehicles etc. and their 6mm counterparts.

SpeedCrazedMoron08 Nov 2017 6:01 a.m. PST

Grrr. Nothing gets my goat more than websites trying to sell you stuff… with no photos of the stuff. Looking at you, Heroics and Ros.

Mind, there appear to be more photos of the 1/200th modern Russian kit on the Skytrex site than I remember from before so maybe things are improving.

Or my memory is defintely on the futz. I think I know where my money is on that one.

I definitely thin I'd like to take a look at this scale. Although the snaps of the 100mm AT gun are, er, a bit flaccid and off-putting. Lol.

Senefe, where are the photos 'you've added' that you referenced, there?

seneffe08 Nov 2017 2:05 p.m. PST

link

Had a problem with my photo linking the other day (many thanks for your help Editor in Chief Bill) so the OP lacked eye candy, but here are some photos of the models unpainted and in action on the table which I hope show them well.

Speedcrazed- for clarity I am nothing to do with Skytrex other than a satisfied customer. I wish they would advertise the range a bit better because it is a hidden gem in my opinion- really the best of both worlds size-wise.

Extra Crispy- terrain for 1/200 is no problem at all. As indicated above- it fits with all the Z Scale model rail items- the marked tarmac roads on the table are all Noch Z Scale tape for example- and there are many other items available, including buildings and street furniture. But for our buildings we actually generally use the excellent Timecast range. These are a generous 6mm scale which look very good with the 1/200 figures and don't crowd out the terrain.

RudyNelson08 Nov 2017 3:13 p.m. PST

The 10mm scale is very flexible. We used it for Battletech back in 1985 before minis were available for vehicles and grunts.
For an integrated, infantry and tanks, 10mm is a great scale. Better than 6mm.

seneffe08 Nov 2017 6:12 p.m. PST

Hopefully these links work ok. You shouldn't need a one drive account to view them, but they can take a second or two to open.

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and on the table against Z scale and Timecast 6mm terrain pieces:

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Lee Metford09 Nov 2017 2:51 a.m. PST

Hey seneffe, thanks for the photos! Great looking table layout and excellent models. I was interested in the photo of the Hind photo as I've been thinking of buying some Skytrex helos

Ta v much

EvilBen Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2017 8:25 a.m. PST

I have a bunch of WWII and late 1980s stuff, and most of the vehicles are great. I also like the GHQ infantry with them, especially since I use the infantry based and the vehicles without bases. I haven't had them on the table for a while: maybe I should get them out! (The exception is my KV1s, which have appeared in Epic Armageddon games.)

seneffe09 Nov 2017 2:48 p.m. PST

Thanks Lee- much appreciated.

The Skytrex helis are all nice. They do come complete with clear plastic rotor blade circles which are fine but I tend replace them with the great laser etched ones from Hurlbat/Lazerline, which are available in 1/200 and many other scales-

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The rules we use have a role for wreck markers- mostly vehicles but occasionally aircraft too. With tears in my eyes I took a hacksaw to a Hind kit to produce a couple of burning crash-lands- here's one-

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EvilBen- go for it- we haven't looked back.

EvilBen Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2017 8:31 a.m. PST

Ha! Sold. Thanks very much for those pics: the one with the A-10s in particular is beautiful. If they were to start doing modern French kit I'd really be in trouble…

Marc the plastics fan16 Apr 2018 1:02 p.m. PST

Definitely found the infantry the weak spot – wooden and poorly detailed. So interesting that GHQ work well. Scale creep indeed 😀

Lion in the Stars16 Apr 2018 7:04 p.m. PST

You know, the Wings of War WW2 range is 1/200…

seneffe26 Apr 2018 2:13 p.m. PST

Hi Mark,
I agree that the Skytrex figures are definitely not as detailed as some modern figures, but on the other they are realistically proportioned- don't have heads the scale size of beach balls, and they paint up easily and well.

Pose-wise, they aren't bad either- for eg there are some new 1980s BAOR infantry in the heavily cammo'ed helmets which have seven different poses/weapons available for rifle squad figures, so reasonable variation. They and some new VDV Airborne might not be on the website yet- but should be available if you ask.

Heedless Horseman07 Apr 2019 7:04 p.m. PST

Skytrex WW2 1/200 are an aquired taste..but can be strangely addictive!
Firstly, I must say that service, (in U.K) has always been excellent…very fast delivery on orders. Customer service has been also excellent…queries being dealt with very promptly…and with VERY pleasing results after a couple of errors! (Note: If you want Churchills Mks III to VI, there is a 'lost mold' not on catalogue. (Turrets fair, tho not perfect…but no front mudguards…slightly smaller than VII but stick a fuel tank on back and look great…love them!). Contact Skytrex if interested.
As to the pics, or lack of…well, I don't think there is much consumer interest in 1/200. Certainly, could be bettered. Some vehicles, (at time of posting) show 'Old' moulds, (PZIV F2, KV85 and M10), but you get an 'improved' model. (KV85 needed much work tho).
The Russian vehicles are inferior to the German/US/Brit stuff in several cases with undersized turrets, (avoid the T34C M 1943 as the turret is HUGE!), but add some grab rails and they look ok…if a bit 'retro'. Indeed, the 'Retro' look can be appealing to those who remember wargaming in an earlier age!
Some vehicles (Special Detail) with Tank commanders are a boon, saving a lot of fiddly work. Pics of Halftracks etc. with crew appear to show crew oversized…but they work when you look at them on table.
Many pieces, especially Brit/US benefit greatly from added cammo/stowage. For Cammo, carefully add superglue and sprinkle FINE sand. Stowage…Heroics & Ros 1/300 track/wheels/tarps work great…as do various marking transfers/decals in 1/285 etc.
People question availability of scenics. Many 1/285/6mm building 'appear' huge alongside GHQ vehicles…they work great with 1/200!
Infantry…well, there is little selection from Skytrex…I will use the advancing infantry figs as advancing to contact. Once fire commences, most troop will be on the deck, so 'Mainforce' from Magister Militum do well. Have seen great pics of Adler 6mm with Skytrex vehicles but have not tried them due to ordering process…feel free. IMHO GHQ Inf seem a little small for 1/200 tho they look oversized against their own vehicles!
Overall, Skytrex are a pleasure to buy from. IMHO 1/200 may be a bit of a 'Dinosaur' scale…could have been huge in 1980's but didn't…probably due to the incredible detailing improvements on GHQ 1/285 and US sales. However, there is a great satisfaction in improving/detailing Skytrex 1/200 stuff…MUCH easier than 1/285…and you can buy single vehicles so tailor to YOUR demands!
Apart from the lack of up to date pics on catalogue, I thoroughly recommend Skytrex 1/200.
(There are, with modern tech, 'New Kids on the Block', however…1/200 WW2 may have some new competition.). Hope to post another 1/200 comment at some point.
Very pleased with Skytrex and will continue to order from You!

seneffe08 Apr 2019 5:46 a.m. PST

I think that 1/200 was released at the wrong time- as scale interests in the wider hobby where elsewhere, and it was also marketed badly when first released, as a 'skirmish scale', when it is imho- a great scale for larger battles- with minis large enough to be much more recognisable and physically imposing tham micro-armour, but which sit in the terrain much better than 15mm, and allow for more realistic looking deployment or armour en masse than larger scales.

Miniature Wargames Edition 430 has an article about it as a wargaming scale- including comparative footprint calculations for 1/200 vs 15mm and other scales.

When we take it to shows in the UK, our cold war games attract a fair bit of interest from people who really like the look they create on table. Also, any gaps in Skytrex's huge ranges can incresaingly be filled by 3D prints- Butler Printed Modekls and Shapeways can both offer a lot of what might be missing. Enjoy!

Hopefully 1/200 will achieve some of the popularity it perhaps should have had but somehow missed out upon.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP08 Apr 2019 10:20 a.m. PST

I can vouch for Skytrex (both product quality and service) since I ordered from them quite a few times, but in 1/100.

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