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"Realism in Figures" Topic

19 Posts

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UshCha10 May 2018 1:28 a.m. PST

I have started pronting my own 3D figures in 12mm since getting Simplify 3D software. Having sulpted my own figures when I place them against "commecial figures" how far out and absurd the "commecial" figures are. To say they are out of proportion is an understatement. I have always disliked 12mm metal figures as they look ridiculus against scale model vehicals. I assume ed this was because it was not possible to do something more anotomicaly correct. This was clearly incorrect its just manufacturesr threw out scale for some unfathomable reason.

Attached is a commercial figure pair a Milam Group. The left hand is lead the right is 3D printed. Note, for fun the Milan 3D print is with a 5ft 8" bidy and the left is 5 ft.

3D prints may be the only way we get plausible figures that match the vehicles.


I wounder how bad other figure scales are? 6mm may me the worst but they have an excuse as maufactireing limits are more significant. How bad are the 28 to 32 mm figures are the better?

Oi begsthe question my pronter can resolve to 0.1mm to 14.4 mm real scale. The eye cannot see relief less than about 0.4mm or just over 57mm (2") why would we pit detail in below that scale. To exagerate it much would lead to the current facical minatures.

Durban Gamer10 May 2018 3:22 a.m. PST

Exciting that you are printing your own 12mm. Many 12mm metal figs are very nice. Sometimes a little chunkiness is usefully intentional to give them the strength needed for wargaming, as opposed to just display.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2018 3:34 a.m. PST

Many 1/72 plastic figures are little works of art.

Manufacturers such as Zvesda and Caesar put many metal lines to shame.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP10 May 2018 3:59 a.m. PST

Metal gamig figures are not scale models. After all 12mm is a size not a scale. That is not an accident. Very, very few figures are anatomically or scale correct.

jeffreyw3 Inactive Member10 May 2018 4:11 a.m. PST

Very much like the games we use them in, the figures we paint are not meant to be "simulations," nor would their being so add to my enjoyment of painting them. I have enough trouble painting piping on 28mm figures--trying to paint the piping in scale… grin

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP10 May 2018 5:17 a.m. PST

Ultimately, this is a preference. Wargame rules are nearly orthogonal to the figures you use. And in operation, they are loosely bound, or possibly independent.

But such discussions always make me ponder an old question (in a slightly different way) … What's sculpted under the kilt?

roving bandit10 May 2018 6:42 a.m. PST

To each their own…

I like a bit of chunkiness to my figures. Even my 3d prints are usually sculpted for a game size or two below what I am using them for. Then up sized.

As an example, I print models sculpted for Epic (6mm) at roughly 15mm for sci-fi gaming.

deephorse10 May 2018 6:55 a.m. PST

I don't necessarily want ‘realism' in figures. A bit of exaggeration for effect is fine by me. Those figures on the left look like wargame figures should to my eye, whilst those on the right look like they've been run over by a tank. I would buy the ones on the left. I wouldn't look twice at those on the right. Sometimes things can be taken too far.

UshCha10 May 2018 7:46 a.m. PST

The problem is its not a win win situation. Oversize figures look awful when placed against a propper scale model. No point having daft figures against real scale models. The outcry if manufatures made the same distortions on vehicle models would be deafening, definately shade of two faces. Again a bit of exageration is OK 280mm diameter launch tubes for a hand carried wepon is WAY beyond a bit of exageration!

Extra Crispy, I use 1/144 scale, which is why I can say how big my figures actually represent in real life. For reasons again beyond me folk seem to want to call it 12mm which is a far less accurate term.

Gone Fishing10 May 2018 8:21 a.m. PST

I agree with Deephorse. Some chunkiness, even caricature is appealing to me. So, as an example, I far prefer Britannia's 1/72 WWII to many other companies' offerings that are more realistic in terms of size and proportion; though I admit this may be a minority view. In the end it all comes down to taste, one reason the current abundance of manufacturers is a very good thing!

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2018 8:27 a.m. PST

A perfectly proportioned figure might not cast properly. I complain a lot about Cavalry figures with "realistic proportions". The problem is that the casting snaps off at the very thin ankles. Give me sturdy legs any time, with at least three of them on the ground.

UshCha10 May 2018 8:28 a.m. PST

I wholeheartedly agree plastics are far better models, far closer to the real thing (Revell being a good example), less damage prone and look sensible next to vehicles. I do play some 1/72 and ALWAYS use plastics to avoid Circus Freaks. Playing with Space Marines dressed up in Historic costumes is just not my thing.

UshCha10 May 2018 8:48 a.m. PST

Durban Gamer,
I have just done the drop test, table height drop of a pair of basetex coverd figure. No damage apart from cracking of basetex, but not falling off on one test. I could thicken the base from its current 0,5mm but I think I may try a bit of PVA in the Basetex first. Not having figures on 1 ft or more (real size)Pedestals is again a major advance in the look of things.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP10 May 2018 9:37 a.m. PST

My 10mm metal figures have considerably greater detail than either of the examples you show. I'd look at some well made figures before comparing and choosing. For 12mm look at the figures by Kallistra, far better quality than those you show.

I don't have much issue with figures that have oversized features as it makes them easier to paint. I'd agree that it is overdone in some ranges but often those are older, when alloys didn't have the same flow characteristics as modern ones.

I don't like plastics as there are few available in the small scale I mostly use. For larger figures I tried (once) the soft plastic, the poses were ludicrous and paint didn't stay on very well. I don't like kits much so hard plastic doesn't suit me either. I grew out of Airfix years ago and don't fancy going back.

UshCha10 May 2018 10:45 a.m. PST

Interesting aside – Printing a base of 3 standing figures. It takes 103mm of 1.75mm diameter filament and 9 minutes to print.

I did try printing 6 bases at once. However this did seem to make them weaker. I broke some which I had not done before. Probably need to master the program a bit more so it prints multiple bases, one base at a time.

Marc at work16 May 2018 5:04 a.m. PST

I do like plastics for their realistic proportions, the poses nowadays are realistic and wargame friendly, and the paint seems to stay on fine. I grew back into Airfix and other soft plastic manufacturers years ago and moved away from metal mutants with pumpkin heads and baseball catcher hands.

But each to their own. 3D printing will move everything forward, so interesting to see your experiments

UshCha24 May 2018 7:45 p.m. PST

Finaly a picture I am happy with of a couple of squads of the Plausible infantry.


You could say its a snapshot of the state of the art for the home printer. The Maders, Infantry and hedge are all 3D printed on Hexon 2 terrain.

Frothers Did It And Ran Away24 May 2018 10:57 p.m. PST

It's a good point that gamers wouldn't be so enthusiastic about exaggerated proportions applied to vehicles. I have a soft spot for 1/72 and well proportioned 20mm metals that look like actual little people. However, the downside is they can be really awkward to paint well because the details are so fine. I spent ages trying to get the faces on some of SHQ's greatcoated Russians to look decent – lovely figures sculpted by Mike Broadbent, I believe, but not fun to paint. On the other hand I painted some Crusader Miniatures Anglo-Saxons recently which look very chunky and simplistic on their website but are a breeze to paint because of it.

UshCha25 May 2018 2:07 p.m. PST

Finaly got round to photos while at Partisan.


Marders with plausible crew

Link works I checked :-). Looks so much better when the teams look like they stand a chance of getting in the vehicle.

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