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"Does size matter? A brief look at figure Compatability." Topic

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1,381 hits since 12 Jan 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Arcane Steve12 Jan 2018 4:50 a.m. PST

my latest blog article where I take a not too serious look at how compatible some 28mm figures are with each other. I hope that you find it useful!



rustymusket12 Jan 2018 5:23 a.m. PST

It somewhat depends on context. If you use the same pose from different manufactures such as all marching, smaller scale figures may look odd rather than just smaller men. There are ways and times that I can see mixing differing size figs, but I am too much of a perfectionist to even allow myself to do it.

Black Hat Miniatures12 Jan 2018 6:23 a.m. PST

I think that most figures look fine on the table viewed from above,as they are most of the time, It is when you start photographing figures as display models that the sizes become more obvious and bother people….

I am fairly relaxed about mixing manufacturers but my toy soldiers are for gaming with…


Lord Ashram12 Jan 2018 6:24 a.m. PST

Its generally not the size of the men that is the issue… it's the size and look of the equipment. Men can be of different shapes and sizes, but belts and muskets and shakos should match regardless.

I generally cannot mix manufacturers unless they are VERY close.

22ndFoot12 Jan 2018 7:06 a.m. PST

What Milord Ashram said.

4th Cuirassier12 Jan 2018 7:18 a.m. PST

Viewed from a distance and in groups, everyone looks the same height. Nobody's vision is acute enough to distinguish someone with size 12 feet from size 7 feet at 300 yards' distance.

Who's tallest in this picture?

If you see differences in figure height at tabletop viewing distances, your figures are severely mismatched – pygmies and giants.

Marc at work12 Jan 2018 7:40 a.m. PST

Good points. Me, I'm not too squeamish in mixing units on the tabletop, but have seen some excellent work in mixing figures within a unit. Key to that appeared to be swapping shakes so all looked the same

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2018 7:53 a.m. PST

Should have used captions. I can't tell which manufactures produced which figure.

Schogun12 Jan 2018 9:30 a.m. PST

Height and bulk will vary a lot. And it doesn't help when a manufacturer lists their figs as 28mm but doesn't have a comparison photo of their figs with "standard" others, like Perry, Front Rank, etc.

When the Search function is back, search for posts by me/Schogun. You'll find one where I tried to group various figs by height and bulk. You are welcome to add other mfgs to the list.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2018 10:39 a.m. PST

Doesn't bother me too much. I do, however, use different scales on purpose. I game fantasy, and I try to follow the 1977 AD&D Monster Manual's [MM] sizes for figures. For example, I use 1/72 Elf figures because they are shorter than 28mm Humans, as they should be, according to the MM.

I also use 54mm Cave Men figures for my Hill Giants, because they match up perfectly, with the size differences specified in the MM, where a Human is 25mm tall/to eyes, whatever. Frost Giants should be 60mm tall, per the MM, so I use 60mm Vikings. Hard to find other figures in the correct sizes, relative to 25mm Humans, but I try.

The reason I started doing this, was to see the sizes relative to one another, between Humans, and the other creatures. It helps me get inside the game designer's mind. I also play mass battles with said figures, going back to D&D's wargaming roots. Getting things in proper sizes helps put it all into proper perspective.

I really don't care that my figures might be smaller/larger by a bit. My 50+ year old eyes can't make out much difference at arm's length anyway, so it really doesn't matter that much. As long as they're within a few millimeters, say, +/- 4mm, I'm OK with it. YMMV. Cheers!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2018 10:41 a.m. PST

In skirmish mode with individual basing, I'll put up with a lot. but with massed units, I have limits. Some horses are bigger than others, yes--but they shouldn't look like a squadrons of Percherons next to one of Shetland ponies. And I've seen infantry almost at bad--all nominally the same scale. As for guns and tanks, I try to single-source any given item when I can. There is admittedly some variance in people, but Gribeauval 8's and Panzer IVGs not so much.

marshalGreg12 Jan 2018 11:02 a.m. PST

There is a limit, even in the view of the table top.
I use that view to make such a decision.
I just not able to mix my 10mm GG ACW firing or marching with any of my charging of the GG or MM firing or vice versa of the same scale.
The same goes with many of the battle Honors NAP trooper/horses with AB, even though suppose to be same unit/ pose ( as RR indicates…. the Percherons-shetland ponies result).


Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jan 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

I think the height is often the primary thing everyone considers when we should also be looking at girth, sculpting styles, etc ??

Russ Dunaway

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2018 12:59 p.m. PST

All I know is that I wish we had more of such postings.

You can mix and match but have to choose your particular figures. For Adam's Brigade, I have combined, with much planning as to their placing, Perry plastics (anatomically the best), with Perry Metals (chunkier chaps and more work to prep for painting), with Brigade (shorter chaps, much slimmer but still fit in). Front Rank……(wonderful figures/castings/mouldings but need to go on their own)

Lambert Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2018 1:25 p.m. PST

Agreed. Provided the shakos, muskets etc are similar size it doesn't matter what body size and shape the figures are. It would be really helpful to know which figure ranges have compatible equipment.

14Bore12 Jan 2018 3:01 p.m. PST

Most muskets in 15mm figures seem way to short to me ( I have a Brown Bess short land pattern and its up to my neck in length). Working right now adding a few Blue Moon figures to my mostly MiniFig battalions and the Blue Moon's are a few millimeters higher but as they are mostly command its just their are some tall officers and flag barrier. On the other hand swapped a Heritage officer to a MiniFig battalion and he is shorter, maybe just a 16 year old young noble.

Durban Gamer13 Jan 2018 3:42 a.m. PST

If only manufacturers would group together and standardize.
To encourage this buyers should stick to their originals and resist scale creep.

Edwulf Inactive Member13 Jan 2018 5:02 a.m. PST

In terms of size then most figures should be able to mix… the problem occurs with things that then do not look right. Muskets. Bayonets. Hats. Horses. Which should be the same regardless.

That said. I mix old foundry, new Perry, victrix and the odd Front Ranker here and there.

14Bore13 Jan 2018 5:33 a.m. PST

I am convinced now my Napoleonic Prussians have KAR 98K's and my Russians Mosan Nagants

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2018 7:01 a.m. PST

The compatible equipment thing is a good point but only for industrial eras. Before then, everything was hand made!

Dark Ages figures, for example, can be happily mixed and matched…



HappyHiker Inactive Member14 Jan 2018 1:50 p.m. PST

I've mixed plastic figures from perry warlord and victrix and all look good. You get a lot of command figures from victrix, but warlord are stingy, so a lot of mixing goes on there. But even victrix old guard (great coat) mix with warlord great coats to good effect. Maybe the plastics are closer in scale. Backpacks and heads don't transfer between brands well though.

1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2018 3:04 p.m. PST

I have always felt that figures should be made with different height soldiers- just like the real world. Using different figure company figures doesn't work, because all the gear is also scaled. The length of the musket should be the same.

4th Cuirassier17 Jan 2018 1:14 a.m. PST

Differences in human height are invisible at normal viewing distances. At a football game, can you tell from the stands which player is tallest? Do their feet look different sizes? Not really.

Custor Inactive Member17 Jan 2018 2:10 a.m. PST

Painting syle to me makes a bigger difference. Once all these different manufactures figures are painted by the same person they look the same. I'm often stuck on the table to work out which unit is which, even though in the lead, they have very marked differences in style and height.

Jabba Miles17 Jan 2018 4:37 a.m. PST

Have a mix of Perry, Victrix, Warlord and Front Rank in my British units. No problems with how they fit in. Casting Room Miniatures Portuguese cacadores look a bit small and slight compared to the Warlord line though.

John Edmundson17 Jan 2018 12:18 p.m. PST

The comparison to footballers prompted me to do a bit of a google.



When our troops are lined up shoulder to shoulder perhaps we should see significant variation.


Markconz17 Jan 2018 2:12 p.m. PST

Agree with the other comments, that this is a great post, many thanks.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2018 2:35 p.m. PST

Its not so much the height and girth of the figure than it the equipment/kit. No matter the size of the person the equipment is going to be the same. That more than anything else affects compatibility.

Lion in the Stars17 Jan 2018 3:49 p.m. PST

Equipment size and sculpting style is what I keep track of. But for Napoleonics, I chose to go with AB, Eureka 18s, and the other big guys.

The digitally-sculpted Infinity minis drive me up the wall, since the females are scaled down as an entire model. Including their weapons! *grrrrrrrrrrrrrr*

John Edmundson17 Jan 2018 4:22 p.m. PST

If the difference between the heights of two 28mm figures is 2mm, that's 1/14th. Would the difference in strap width be that obvious at that scale – enough that it couldn't be:

1 accommodated by sleight of hand with the paintbrush and/or
2 explained as due to inconsistent production methods in this era, as mentioned above?

Obvious differences in muskets, packs etc are a bigger problem. Otherwise I think style/pose incompatibility is a more significant issue.


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