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"why are miniatures always right-handed?" Topic


48 Posts

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28 Dec 2018 1:35 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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1,361 hits since 15 Dec 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

atommmm15 Dec 2018 2:13 a.m. PST

Hello
I understand that for plastic miniatures it's easier but for lead miniatures it's still not difficult to make a left-handed one from time to time? who has an explanation about it?

Best
Thomas :)

Giles the Zog15 Dec 2018 3:07 a.m. PST

The majority of the population is right handed, and for many centuries those of the sinister dexter were encouraged to swap to being right handed.

I do have several miniatures that are left handed. (white metal)

advocate15 Dec 2018 3:10 a.m. PST

Military drill assumes rightghandedness.

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 3:10 a.m. PST

Thomas,
My guess is two reasons:
First 90% of the world today is right handed (in the past people were often taught it was wrong to use the left hand for many things),
Second most militaries like uniformity. So every one has a shield on the same side, all rifles have controls on the same side etc.

atommmm15 Dec 2018 3:23 a.m. PST

thanks, ok so uniformity, convenience & ease.

14Bore15 Dec 2018 4:33 a.m. PST

Because its a right handed world, its just run by left handed people. Many world leaders were left handed.

Brennus15 Dec 2018 4:41 a.m. PST

I remember reading somewhere that left handed swordsmen had an advantage when attacking up a spiral staircase. I wonder would they have been sought after by commanders when storming castles?

Lee John Ayre15 Dec 2018 5:07 a.m. PST

I seem to see quite a few left handed archers, mostly fantasy. It galls me when most of the archers in a range are this way but all the other troops are right handers !!

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 5:40 a.m. PST

A left handed swordsmen has a advantage in 1 on 1 fighting but is almost useless in unit combat.

Personal logo jhancock Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 6:22 a.m. PST

It's a conspiracy to isolate and victimize lefties! Down with the righties!

khanscom15 Dec 2018 6:45 a.m. PST

Ral Partha made a left- handed Gallic swordsman-- adds some variety to the warbands.

Vigilant15 Dec 2018 7:27 a.m. PST

Something to do with how the brain operates. Dominant right side of the brain tends to go with left handed people and is associated with creative/artistic people hence the number of left handed actors and therefore left handed gunmen on film and TV.

Winston Smith15 Dec 2018 7:48 a.m. PST

Imagine the expense of manufacturing left handed muskets to accommodate 10% of your conscripted army.
I don't think so.
Might I hazard a guess that catering to the sinister and gauche of the world is a recent phenomenon? grin

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 8:27 a.m. PST

Not all miniatures are right handed. Old Glory even offers an entire unit of left handed miniatures: link

Aethelflaeda was framed15 Dec 2018 8:43 a.m. PST

I have a old foundry or GW Viking bondi swordsman that is a leftie. The only one I have ever seen

willthepiper15 Dec 2018 9:17 a.m. PST

The GW Theoden is a southpaw, because they copied Bernard Hill's left-handed performance in The Two Towers

picture

whitphoto Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 1:40 p.m. PST

Left handed people are just a myth

Martin Rapier15 Dec 2018 1:46 p.m. PST

My Dad is a leftie, but he had to fire his Bren and Lee Enfield right handed or the sergeant got very, very cross.

Hard to fire either left handed anyway due to the arrangement of the sights on the former and the bolt on the latter.

JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 2:51 p.m. PST

IIRC a high percentage of the Israeli army are (were?) lefties. So much so that when designing the Galil assault weapon they made the conversion from right to left handed firing weapons a fairly speedy conversion for a field armourer.
I think they also fitted it with a bottle opener, due to the high incidence of troops damaging the feed 'lips' on their magazines removing coke bottle tops.

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 2:59 p.m. PST

Additionally for musket and rifles etc, shooters should more focus on dominant eye rather than dominant hand. So between drill sergeants and both hand and eye dominant issues, very few left handed firers.

alan L15 Dec 2018 3:38 p.m. PST

Just on this topic, have any sculptors actually ever ridden a motorcycle?

It drives me crazy to see riders wielding a weapon in their right hand which, of course, is the hand that controls the throttle. Very quickly the machine will lose speed and you fall off.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP15 Dec 2018 5:10 p.m. PST

The bolt on a bolt action rifle is operated with the right hand and ejects the spent shell to the right. A left handed shooter needs to reach over the rifle to operate the bolt.
The sniper in Saving Private Ryan does this.

A flintlock musket also fires on the right a leftie would run the risk of powder burns if firing one of these.

coopman15 Dec 2018 5:15 p.m. PST

Because everyone in their right mind is right-handed.
:^)

Dn Jackson15 Dec 2018 5:27 p.m. PST

"Additionally for musket and rifles etc, shooters should more focus on dominant eye rather than dominant hand. So between drill sergeants and both hand and eye dominant issues, very few left handed firers."

Which is kind of funny to me. I'm cross eye dominant, right handed but left eye dominant. So I shoot a rifle right handed but use me left eye when shooting a pistol.

Grimmnar15 Dec 2018 6:35 p.m. PST

And not all minis are right handed.

Grimm

khanscom15 Dec 2018 7:22 p.m. PST

"The bolt on a bolt action rifle is operated with the right hand and ejects the spent shell to the right. A left handed shooter needs to reach over the rifle to operate the bolt."

Not necessarily so; with the rifle shouldered on the left shoulder (aiming with the left eye), and the left hand at the trigger, the shooter can use the right hand (especially if the fore- end is rested) to operate the bolt normally. With the left hand already at the trigger, a more rapid fire can be managed. Rumor has it that Lee Harvey Oswald fired in just this fashion at target ranges, e.g. A rightie would have to remove his right hand from the trigger to operate the bolt, thereby slowing his fire.

mumbasa15 Dec 2018 10:52 p.m. PST

When I was a Vice President of Stone Mountain Miniatures in the early 1980s, we commissioned a sculptor to do 5 Boxer Rebellion Chinese for us. Three of them were left handed. We learned later that the sculptor was left handed. Needless to say we never did any thing with them.
John

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Dec 2018 2:49 a.m. PST

Sinister

mildbill16 Dec 2018 5:54 a.m. PST

Scots have a higher incidence of left handedness. At a dig of a medieval battle, I forget which one, 40% of the Scots in the burial grave they dug up were left handed.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Dec 2018 6:58 a.m. PST

I do tons of left handed figures. Well .. about 10%, but 10% of all my cra… er … stuff is still tons.

But, WRT too many right handed minis, it's the same reason my American manufactured miniatures drive British cars on the wrong side. People use the gear the way it was designed to be used. Lots of left handed guitarists, but not many of them play left handed.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP16 Dec 2018 12:48 p.m. PST

I have a left-handed medieval foot knight figure. He's painted and I named him "Baron Levka" (or Baron "Lefty").

Jim

Aethelflaeda was framed16 Dec 2018 3:03 p.m. PST

I hated shooting my M16 due to hot brass in my face because I shot left handed. I hate scissors too.

Wherethestreetshavnoname16 Dec 2018 3:10 p.m. PST

<<<<<<<<Scots have a higher incidence of left handedness. At a dig of a medieval battle, I forget which one, 40% of the Scots in the burial grave they dug up were left handed.>>>>>>>>>>

How was it apparent from the skeletons that they were left handed?

Bowman16 Dec 2018 4:31 p.m. PST

How was it apparent from the skeletons that they were left handed?

"Human hand preferences develop in early childhood and the bones of the arm on the preferred or dominant side are subjected to consistent greater loading and tend to grow slightly more in length during childhood and adolescence."

I would assume that training with and using the heavy medieval weaponry would make these differences more noticeable.

PDF link

In the modern world, the highest rates for left handedness in populations is about 12%. It's doubtful that left handed medieval Scots were much greater than that.

A Telegraph article showing left handedness is on the rise:

link

This seems to mean that modern countries are not forcing lefties to be righties.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Dec 2018 6:12 p.m. PST

At a dig of a medieval battle, I forget which one, 40% of the Scots in the burial grave they dug up were left handed.

Of course, this ends up being a biased sample. Assuming, that is, that the Scots only buried the people who died in the battle and not a random sample of their population.

dapeters17 Dec 2018 10:51 a.m. PST

Or being left hand meant you were more likely to die in battle?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Dec 2018 3:07 p.m. PST

Or being left hand meant you were more likely to die in battle?

That's quite possible. But there are several non-IID (if we want to throw math terms in) processes:

- Choosing the warrior profession
- Being in that particular unit
- Being in that battle at that time
- Dying in that battle

And others, as well as interactions among those and variants within. F'r'ex, maybe lefties were considered to be inferior warriors. Leftie warriors got inferior training because training was so geared to being right handed. So they were left behind while the righties went on to glory, but this battle came up in the interim, resulting in a proportion of lefties in the casualties of that battle that did not reflect the general population.

Or possibly, this unit came from an area with a large number of people related to a famous left-handed warrior, so because handedness is mildly, but significantly related to genetics and there was a warrior clan, a disproportionate number of lefties took up the sword, and thus died.

And so on. That's why "I have a theory that fits this data." is a really scientifically uninteresting claim. Based on Gödelian uncertainty, there are an infinite number of theories that will fit any data set.

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2018 12:32 a.m. PST

There was apparently one Scottish clan, the Kerr Clan, who trained their warriors to fight left handed. They also built the spiral staircase in the castle opposite of every other castle to take advantage of their left handed warriors. Not sure if those were the fighters described above – 40% casualties seem way off the charts.

Paint it Pink18 Dec 2018 10:02 a.m. PST

Dream Pod 9 make, IMNSHO, far too many left-handed troopers, which drives me crazy. Just saying you can have too much of a thing, and left-handed troops should be a rarity. The exception,rather than the rule.

atommmm18 Dec 2018 9:09 p.m. PST

I think that the proportion of left-handed people will increase considerably, as has been the case for several generations now. We live in a world where the left no longer represents evil (as in India even now).
About the miniatures, I understood well your different arguments and thank you for it I find that it represents well the reality of the lack of representation of left-handed people in the history in general. No problem with that off course :)
About the painting of miniatures as in many other activities everything is done to complicate the task for us left-handed people, it is normal in fact that right-handed people do not even think about it. It allows us in the end to still have this obstacle more to have to cross to be at the same level…
a life habit of thinking and about seeing and doing things.

minorities often do not even perceive themselves as discriminated against and this also explains the long time it takes for change.

things seem natural, normal, logical, coherent, statistical, irreversible and sustainable, but in fact? thinks change…
:)

Bowman20 Dec 2018 7:48 a.m. PST

About the painting of miniatures as in many other activities everything is done to complicate the task for us left-handed people, it is normal in fact that right-handed people do not even think about it.

You lost me here.

wargamingUSA28 Dec 2018 4:28 p.m. PST

Probably the same evil doers who have German MG34 and American BAR gunners carrying their weapons as only the British did or in a manner that came to be favored many years after WWII.

Grumble8710629 Dec 2018 9:42 p.m. PST

According to ESCI, most German paratroopers were left-handed, or at least fired their rifles left-handed.

link

There are some other reasons, too, that I have purged these figures from my collection. Especially the guy with his MG 42 muzzle-down in the dirt.

Zephyr130 Dec 2018 3:20 p.m. PST

Firing a Soviet-era RPG left-handed will cull out the lefties in your army in no time (as apparently it sends out a jet of flame on the right side when fired…)

Grumble8710631 Dec 2018 6:54 a.m. PST

Firing a Soviet-era RPG left-handed will cull out the lefties in your army in no time (as apparently it sends out a jet of flame on the right side when fired…)

I didn't know the Soviets had any role-playing games that fired jets of flame.

;-)

Sorry, I'll crawl back in my hole now and wait for Groundhog Day.

Zephyr131 Dec 2018 3:32 p.m. PST

No, you're fine. ;-)

"In Soviet Union, RPG play you!"

;-)

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 8:43 a.m. PST

"Just on this topic, have any sculptors actually ever ridden a motorcycle?

It drives me crazy to see riders wielding a weapon in their right hand which, of course, is the hand that controls the throttle. Very quickly the machine will lose speed and you fall off."

Worth watching these to see how it can be done
YouTube link
YouTube link

capncarp17 Jan 2019 8:35 a.m. PST

"In Soviet Union, RPG play you!"

Nikita's Corollary:
"In Soviet Union, dice roll you!"

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