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"Scratch building scale question" Topic

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nnascati Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2021 10:43 a.m. PST

Okay, I admit it, math is definitely not my strong point! Especially when it comes to modelling scales. I want to do a couple of riverine ironclads in 10mm. How am I measuring?

JimDuncanUK10 Jan 2021 11:04 a.m. PST

10mm is the smaller of two popular compromise wargaming scales, for land battles, and is equivalent to 1:185 ratio-scale. It is often considered to be 1:200 scale, but that provides slightly smaller models.

Dividing by 200 seems to be the easy option.

Then again you might want to make them a bit bigger for conveniences sake.

You could browse this chaps blog for inspiration.


nnascati Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2021 11:13 a.m. PST

So divide by 200, and the answer is the length etc. in inches?

Steamingdave210 Jan 2021 11:20 a.m. PST

Most popular commercial 10mm models are in the 1/150 to 1/160 scale range, (incidentally 1/160 is also the scale of US and Continental N gauge railway models). If you intend to use commercial figures as crew, I would suggest you go for 1/150.
Conventionally, the "10mm" is reckoned to be the height of an average man from feet to eye-level. Using the 1/185 scale means your "average man" is about 6 feet two inches, using the 1/200 would make him nearer 7 feet tall.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2021 11:22 a.m. PST

So again, being math deficient, how do I arrive at the dimensions of the models I want to build?

lloydthegamer Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2021 11:47 a.m. PST

Yup, divide the length by the scale of choice. 100 feet in a 1/100 scale should be 1 foot.

MajorB10 Jan 2021 11:53 a.m. PST

So divide by 200, and the answer is the length etc. in inches?

Actual length in inches divided by 200 = model length in inches.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2021 12:28 p.m. PST

Thanks to all for the comments and advice.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2021 12:37 p.m. PST

I know, it's un-American, but you could also do it metrically, since most American rulers have metric on one edge and metric data is often available. USS Lexington was 54.13 meters long (according to Wikipedia), so dividing by 200 gives you a model that is .27065 meters long. That's a touch over 27 centimeters. Looking over at the other edge of the ruler, it's also about 10 and 11/16th inches.

Brushing off his beret and eating a croissant

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2021 12:37 p.m. PST

So a city class ironclad 175ft long would be around a foot long in 10mm?

cfielitz10 Jan 2021 1:09 p.m. PST

Whether you use English or metric systems just make sure you keep your units the same…as Major B posted.

MajorB10 Jan 2021 2:36 p.m. PST

So a city class ironclad 175ft long would be around a foot long in 10mm?

Not quite. It would be
175 x 12 / 200 = 10.5 inches

boggler10 Jan 2021 4:28 p.m. PST

You can use an online scale converter to do the maths. I suggest scaling your ironclads to your chosen figure range..just ask the company for the ratio they use.


boggler10 Jan 2021 4:29 p.m. PST

And stick to metric..much easier.

I have used the length and width to get the right dimensions, then used a plan view to get the hull shape right and all the superstructure, turrets etc on the right places.

I'm used to doing this in 1/2400th so it should be easier in 1/200th or whatever ratio you decide to use.


Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2021 8:28 p.m. PST

Here is an easier way:

6 feet of measurement = 1800mm

Divide the denominator of the scale you want into 1800. The result is the mm scale. 1/72 scale = 25mm (1800 divided by 72= 25)

Want the fractional scale from mm? Divide 1800 by the mm and result is the fractional scale denominator. 10mm = 1/180th scale (1800 divided by 10=180 )

Number's don't lie.

HMS Exeter10 Jan 2021 9:44 p.m. PST

Try reaching out to Jim Brokaw.

He makes high quality 10mm resin ACW waterline ship models suitable for gaming. He doesn't seem to have an ongoing internet website. Every once in a while he'll post in here that he's going to be doing some pouring and will invite people to place orders.

He was last pouring in mid 2018.

Respond with your email address and I'll send you the catalog and image attachments he sent me back them.

The ironclad roofs come off.

boggler11 Jan 2021 4:00 a.m. PST

There are also plenty of card kits in 1/200 available


HMS Exeter11 Jan 2021 5:57 a.m. PST

Be careful of Verlinden leftovers. Excellect models but the casemate lids don't come off

Murvihill11 Jan 2021 7:22 a.m. PST

1/72 isn't 25mm. the millimeter scales were created to eye level because of all the silly hats military people wore throughout the ages, ratio scales were created for model builders (and engineers, I think). If you buy 1/72 plastic figures and metal 25mm figures the difference is apparent. 1/72 is 20mm. As a rule of thumb figure the mm scale is based on 5'9" (6' minus 3" from the eye to the pate), not 6'.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2021 8:22 a.m. PST

You basic problem with ships is ground scale to figure scale.

Naval wargamers for the Civil war tend to favor 1/600 or 1/1200 scale. That's 1" = 50 feet and 1" =100 feet.

Lets take a typical ground sale for the table 1" = 75 yards which means you're model should be 1/4500 scale.

Now let's take the USS Cairo is typical ship at 175" feet in length. So your model should be about 3/4 of an inch long to match the ground scale.

No 10mm is about 1/150 scale. I prefer using 'Z' scale building with mine which are 1/220.

Now if you want your ironclad to be proportional to a 10mm figure, your model is going to be 11.5" long to match the figure scale.

Some compromise is going to be required.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2021 9:58 a.m. PST

I already have a couple dozen scratch built ironclads and other vessels in roughly 1/1200th scale. What I'm looking to do is make a couple models close in scale to the GHQ figures I'm painting up for land actions.

boggler11 Jan 2021 2:59 p.m. PST

I'd just get a figure and use it as scale guide. Or just keep it simple and use a 2mm to the foot ratio. If it looks right it is right.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2021 11:38 p.m. PST

Metric is frequently the easiest method for determining lots of scale dimensions.

Murvihill12 Jan 2021 4:52 a.m. PST

GHQ says on their website their Civil War minis are 1:160. So divide feet by 160 and multiply by 12 to get inches.

(And just to give you a headache, remember that your figures will be on bases and that will make them look taller if you put them on the ship.)

Pyrate Captain13 Jan 2021 7:13 a.m. PST

Length (or beam) of vessel x 12 scale (150; 200; etc.) = length (or beam) of model in inches.

Examples: USS Comanche = 200 feet long

(Ex1) 200 x 12 = 2400 150 = 16 inches
(Ex2) 200 x 12 = 2400 1200 = 2 inches

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2021 8:10 p.m. PST

Murvihill 1/72 is 25mm. If you re-read, I said a length of measurement of 6 feet is 25mm in 1/72 scale. I did not say a person was, did I. As we all know, each sculptor uses their own artistic license to measure to the the top of the head (with or without headgear; to across the eyes, with or without the base, etc. So if a person is 6 feet tall in 1/72nd scale (that is from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head- without thickness of base he is cast on and has no headgear, he should be 25mm (1 inch) tall is standing erect.

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