Help support TMP

"The ruinous cost of 1/76 versus 1/32" Topic

21 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the WWII Discussion Message Board

Back to the Old School Wargaming Message Board

Back to the WWII Models Review Message Board

Back to the Wargaming in the United Kingdom Message Board

Areas of Interest

World War Two on the Land

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Showcase Article

Stuff It! (In a Box)

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian worries about not losing his rules stuff.

Featured Profile Article

1,502 hits since 8 Aug 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2020 5:48 p.m. PST

Fun fact. Today two Monogram Panzer IVH kits in 1/32 arrived from America. They cost me a shade over £20.00 GBP apiece including delivery from America to God's own postcode, NW11.

Before this I've had M3 Lees, M4 Shermans, and SdKfz 232s for the same money. There's a Lindberg SdKfz 222 that's sometimes labelled as 1/35 but has also been labelled as 1/32 which is what it actually is.

1/32 figures are also maximo cheapo. You can buy job lots of them off the 'bay for about 30p a figure. Even at new prices they're 50p a figure. You try buying equally well sculpted metals for that money.

Last week two Airfix Panzer IVF1/F2s arrived from Amazon. They cost me £9.00 GBP each but to make them into IVHs will cost me either another £9.00 GBP each if I go for the Milicast skirts ( or, if I really want to pimp my rides, I can spend another £36.00 GBP on two of the Dan Taylor Modelworks gig ( plus the jig for fitting the turret skirts.

That's £27.00 GBP for a 1/76 Panzer IVH but £21.00 GBP for a 1/32 Panzer IVH.

I'm starting to think that I have been missing something here. If I bought a bigger house so I could switch to 1/32, the latter would pay for the former.

I don't know why I brought this up. You've been a wonderful audience. I'm here all week.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2020 5:53 p.m. PST

Bravo!! More!

Bill N08 Aug 2020 6:16 p.m. PST

If it is just about cost, for $11.95 USD plus shipping you can acquire 1/285 scale Panzer IV Hs complete with skirts from GHQ. Not only would you have more tanks for the same or less money, they also would take up less space so you would not need a new house.

I enjoyed the veal.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2020 6:20 p.m. PST

House is the easy part.

Just think of all the acreage you'll need for proper terrain to use them in battle. That's the killer.

15mm and 28mm Fanatik08 Aug 2020 7:21 p.m. PST

1/76 has been usurped by the more popular 1/72 in wargaming. If you go 1/72 the kits are cheaper.

Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2020 8:11 p.m. PST

Very True, Fanatik…and the models are often better and easier…with a vastly more varied selection of infantry!
BUT, for a Brit brought up on Airfix, Fujimi and Matchbox…(with some 1/87 Roco Minitanks in the early days!), 1/72 just seem 'a little bit 'off', somehow! LOL!!!
I remember my disappointment with the 'huge' Hasegawa Stuart and Sherman!
Sadly, even Airfix are now going for 1/72 with their new Tiger and Firefly. THEY wont go with my favourite Matchbox British infantry…unless I call THEM Gurkhas! lol.

On a mad impulse the other year, I bought a load of Airfix 1/32, (to supplement the survivors in my old 'Toyboxes', somewhere!, together with Heads, Helmets and weaponry for conversions! Maybe Someday!!! LOL!!!

rmaker08 Aug 2020 8:46 p.m. PST

HH, what you are seeing is Airfix finally realizing that the market for model tanks is wargamers, not OO gauge model railroaders (which was the reason for 1/76 in the first place).

forrester08 Aug 2020 10:57 p.m. PST

Despite my age old 1/76 habit, I made the jump to 1/72 some years ago when I took on board that the cheap 1/76 were limited and the more expensive metal or resin were..more expensive---and I was missing out on the 1/72 fast build kits.

The Airfix Firefly now seems to have been pushed back from summer to autumn. I'll be interested to see that.

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP09 Aug 2020 1:08 a.m. PST

If we're talking 1/32 gaming in the grand style:

deephorse09 Aug 2020 2:26 a.m. PST

I'm starting to think that I have been missing something here.

You are, you're buying the wrong stuff. There are 1/76 Pz IVHs available for a lot less than £27.00 GBP However, you should consider going 1/72 and save yourself a fortune. It's quite possible to mix 72 and 76 on the table, but not in the same unit, of course.

UshCha09 Aug 2020 8:21 a.m. PST

Buy a 3D printer, you could have any scale you want and it would be even cheaper. If you thought on a grand scale you could even print your own house!
YouTube link

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP09 Aug 2020 1:55 p.m. PST

Yebbut I am a nostalgia gamer. I don't want new stuff. I want old stuff…

Garand09 Aug 2020 9:41 p.m. PST

I remember my disappointment with the 'huge' Hasegawa Stuart and Sherman!

What is worse, these models are not even 1/72 as advertised. They are both overscale, closer to 1/70 or 1/69 scale, so the problem was even worse…


Garand09 Aug 2020 9:44 p.m. PST

<Q>HH, what you are seeing is Airfix finally realizing that the market for model tanks is wargamers, not OO gauge model railroaders (which was the reason for 1/76 in the first place).

I don't think wargamers are the factor here. Most small scale armor these days are 1/72, not 1/76. The oldies like Hasegawa & Esci were (allegedly) 1/72 scale. Revell issued all its kits in 1/72 scale, as did Dragon & Trumpeter. I am sure there are others I am missing as well. If Airfix wanted to compete in the scale, the writing was on the wall that 1/76 was obsolete. IIRC Even Fujimi, the other current manufacturer still standing that did 1/76 has been issuing recent kits in 1/72 scale instead.


gisbygeo10 Aug 2020 8:04 a.m. PST

Your comparison isn't very valid either: You compare a stock 1/32 kit with a 1/76 kit that isn't the mark you want, plus an aftermarket kit to convert it, PLUS another kit to 'pimp it out.'

As has been pointed out, just buy the mark you want in 1/72. It'll be as good a model as the Monagram Pz IV, and cheaper.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Aug 2020 2:26 p.m. PST

For whatever it's worth, I see 1:32 as the ideal scale for skirmish gaming, perhaps for any/all periods.

Besides the obvious pleasures of larger, more easily "personalized" figures and details of weapons, etc, such large mini's also preclude the potential dangers of a well liked 1:1 set of rules being overburdened by filling the table with more and more figures.

Not a WW II example, but still relevant is the classic Colonial rules set, "The Sword And The Flame." Though originally played even by its author, the late and sadly missed Larry Brom, in 25mm, and certainly most commonly played in that scale for the last 40+ years, in many ways it is actually ideal to play the game in 1:32.

That is, the secret of the game's success is also the means by which it can fail--it's so bloody much fun, and the subject matter is so broad as far as uniforms, troop types, weapons, etc, the temptation is to keep piling in mini's until the whole system breaks down.

But if the suggested ratios of Empire to Native Troops are observed in 1:32, the table is "full," the figures still gorgeous, and the action fast and furious with no room to overburden the game with too many units.

Almost forty years ago, I played the WW II rules "Behind Enemy Lines," a wonderful and well detailed set of 1:1 rules that allowed for individual characteristics of all soldiers and vehicles involved. And what helped make it work was playing in 1:32 so that no scenario was too big or too unwieldly to finish in a few hours. A single Tiger I was enough "bad news" to encounter without having to field a full company of the Bleeped texts.

So, if 4th Cuirassier is speaking of such small scale games, I think he's spot on!

Otherwise, yeah, he's gonna have to clear an acreage….


Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2020 7:40 p.m. PST

Garand : Yep, but then OO/HO (roughly 1/76) was an experimental market for cheap plastic, (Fairly NEW stuff, then!), military toy soldiers.. and then there were tanks! 'Let There Be Light'…LOL!

4th Cuirassier: Nostalgia: Spot On!

1/32 is an excellent scale for small skirmish…the old plastics are limited and bland…BUT…YOU Convert, Paint.. and make them YOUR OWN troops…with 'personality' even! Problem is scenics and space…but, it's YOUR game, so enjoy the relative ease of MUCH larger figures to work on !:) ! (ANOTHER 'long-term' project for Me , though! :( ).

Thought for all: Painting up an old, cheap 1/32 Airfix fig can give very valuable insight into how smaller scale paint schemes sometimes, might turn out…and easier to see!

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2020 6:10 a.m. PST

Exactly TVAG / HH, the thinking is that in 1/32, you would do games with maybe one or two vehicles per side, and perhaps 30 infantry. The space constraint also allows, indeed forces, asymmetry of force. Instead of evenly matched forces you can have grossly mismatched forces and see how long one side can delay the other. Eg one side has two tanks, the other none. Old Airfix 1/32 figures are preposterously cheap, so although they're limited in range it costs roughly nothing to convert them. Giving a 1/32 German or Russian an anti tank rifle calls for minimal conversion skills.

At the bottom of this though is the reason I got into wargaming in the first place, which was to find a new purpose for my existing stuff. It was never really the idea to start buying more, although if you have Airfix Napoleonics there is no avoiding it. So what I kinda wanna do is build interesting forces in the vintage scales, and it's when you start comparing the cost of 1/32 to 1/76 that you realise how costly this can be.

Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2020 7:41 p.m. PST

If someone has already got Airfix 1/32 WW2 Japanese and U.S /Aussies in their old 'Toy Box', (Who has not?), a 'jungle' war could be ideal for a starter.
In smaller scales, getting hold of sufficient 'jungly' vegetation can be extremely expensive. Now, it might not be 'accurate', but, Fish Tank stuff can serve very well in 1/32 for much less outlay. Rocks can be found rather cheap, too! LOL!!! And you don't need tanks!!!
I ain't done it…BUT, there is a BIG bag of old Airfix Japs and Yanks still there somewhere, if I ever get the bug to use them! ;)

Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2020 8:05 p.m. PST

On 1/32 Napoleonics…when I was in very early Teen years, I was 'tipped the wink' that an aunt was going to give me 'a load' of Napoleonic soldiers as an xmas gift. Thinking 25mm Metal, I couldn't wait! Turned out to be Airfix 1/32…GUTTED…although a lovely gesture, anyway! :)
THEY are still there, somewhere, too…and, although 'Waterloo', could form a base for skirmish games.
If you REALY want him, you can get Sharpie & mates from the 95th in 1/32 plastic, now, as well! lol.

In 1/32 skirmish, you HAVE to use YOUR imagination… You can't have the 'masses' of 10mm/25mm…BUT, War is not always the 'Big Battles'. 'Hold the Ford', or 'Take the ruined building on the hill that will give observation on the Battlefield'…LOADS of scope there! :)

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2020 12:35 p.m. PST

I began the conversion from 25/28mm to 1/32 five years ago. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how reasonable painted 1/32 WW2 vehicles are compared to their smaller cousins. Same with the painted figures I've found on eBay. I've always felt that a good skirmish game can give you the same satisfaction as a game with 100s of figures, more, in fact, as you tend to really feel it when you lose a figure in 54mm. I still have some 15mm collections for big battles and, in the case of the French Adventure in Mexico I have collections in all three scales. Madness!

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.