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"Beauty Contest! Waterloo Again, In 6 Different Scales" Topic


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536 hits since 9 Jun 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Leftblank09 Jun 2019 2:29 p.m. PST

What is the best scale for Napoleonic wargaming? Looking for perfection, I compared wargame pictures of one famous Napoleonic battle, yes, THAT one, to check what was the most ‘beautiful', ‘realistic' Napoleonic scale. 28-20-15-10-6-2mm (healthier men than me google for nude pics of Hollywood actresses. I search for model soldiers. I'm a sad man.)

I thought I would conclude that my beloved 6mm would finish first. Actually it's not that simple. Check my blog with pictures: link

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2019 3:20 p.m. PST

A good, honest thinking-through, Leftblank. And by and large I agree with it. But I'm increasingly doubtful about a "one size fits all" solution. Depending on circumstances, of course, but I think if the entire range of the Napoleonic Wars interests someone, it's probably worth building small scale forces for grand battles and individually mounted figures in larger scales for those battles where battalion formations make a difference. The trick, of course, is not to have two projects underway and neither one ready for a game.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2019 5:08 p.m. PST

Nothing here but opinions. 25/28's

I think Gilder's had the best inspirational work over the years: link

Marc at work11 Jun 2019 5:28 a.m. PST

As a big fan of 1/72 I was pleased that you noted the anatomical accuracy of them. But I do also agree that bigger units look better, and that is generally only possible in the smaller scales. I stopped 15s when I realised that they took effort to paint yet were too small to see on the table – lovely in internet close up, but on the table at 3 foot – forget it. 2mm – bases too thick. So 1/300 could work, as you noted. But keep the table big, and make bigger units.

Good reading. Thanks for sharing

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 9:33 a.m. PST

I have often wondered about basing smaller figures. My WWII 1/300 was easy, tanks, guns, aircraft and few infantry in small groups, widely scattered.

But how do you securely base the smallest Napoleonic figures en masse, without the base being thicker than the soldiers? Then if you can find a strong enough and thin material, how the heck do you pick it up to move it? Long fingernails I guess?

ConnaughtRanger11 Jun 2019 12:38 p.m. PST

Once I got past the stage of "refighting" 18 June 1815 with the Airfix Waterloo Farm Playset and a few extra boxes of their inspirational figures (all unpainted), I never really understood the urge to try to recreate major Napoleonic battles, even with many hundreds of (beautifully painted) figures. The forthcoming effort at Glasgow University (see elsewhere on these boards) may hopefully be an exception but usually the figures become virtually gaming tokens. As time has passed, my tastes have moved firmly towards the "skirmish" level driven by a desire to achieve slightly more "realism" – and, of course, by the wealth of superb 28km figure ranges available today.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 1:06 p.m. PST

6-10 mm allows for masses and doing the most comprehensively scalewise realistic and good looking terrain. You know where guns don't shoot only ten times their length away and hills could even be higher than flags…
but,
especially if your eyes are not those of a young cat, you do forfeit from a distance most of the pageant of the period. It can do nicely where they are all the same (at a distance) aka ACW even 1870 certainly later, but it is a big loss for 18cty and Napo.
unless you have a lot-lot lot of space and you can afford slopes on higher hills, villages that have more than one house etc.
Not easy.
I long (and somehow still) think 10/12mm is the best compromise for the average us.
But a beautiful 28mm mass is hard to beat for sure. then you hardly have manoeuver space including that much-needed rear.

As a whole for a table, the terrain, bases, and ensemble are more important than the passpoil sur le col…

Glencairn15 Jun 2019 3:07 a.m. PST

To Leftblank; youre not alone in this!!
When I climbed the Lion's mound, I spotted the tiny figure of a girl on horseback riding from the 'French side' towards the 'Allied lines'.
My immediate thought was : SCALE??
Answer: 2 mm.
That said, I find 2mm a bit too small for my taste, and I would happily game a battle this size, in 15mm., giving you the option of vast numbers of troops that are recognisable, after your painting efforts!
Dont worry, its impossibe to game a large battle using every unit present on the day, it just bogs things down and makes it all too 'bitty'. We all consider 'What can I afford , that still looks good?', and you cant go far wrong with 15s.
Cheers, Don

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