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"Have you ever had different scales in the same army?" Topic

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John the OFM08 Apr 2021 8:33 p.m. PST

Way back in the last century, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth at Penn State, I was in the semi-official Penn State Wargaming something or other.
We were an offshoot of the Science Fiction club. Maybe. Beer was involved and we didn't care all that much about valid organizations. But at least we got to use campus rooms.

I was a 25mm (no stinking 28mm back then!) WRG Ancients player. One of the guys showed up with a white box D&D. Again, no stinking "Advanced"! No Sur. The DMs did their own scenarios, and even combined to amalgamate and combine their various "universes". So if John couldn't run a game, we ran in Fred's. Or Rob's. Remarkably compatible.

We used whatever 25mm figures we could scrounge up, and this was actually a year or so before manufacturers noticed D&D.
My armies played a big part, and so did other players' armies.
One guy got a bunch of Minifigs ECW 15mm strips and made a Hobbit phalanx. Since we were using WRG rules for Big Battles, those guys kicked ass.

Now, in today's climate (we were in the 70s) there would be adjustments. But pikemen on a 10mm frontage? Great!

Now, dragons and Ents are scale-irrelevant. They're line trees.
But have you ever mixed scales in an army?

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP08 Apr 2021 8:49 p.m. PST

Not different scales within an army. I do have 25/28mm colonials with 2mm counterparts for map movement.

Bashytubits08 Apr 2021 9:44 p.m. PST

I used to use airfix Ancient Britons with my Ral Partha Gauls in my Gallic forces and my opponent did the same with his Roman forces. They were not in the same units though. This was in the late 1970s.

Glengarry508 Apr 2021 9:52 p.m. PST

Does mixing 28MM figures with "heroic" 28MM figures (more like 32MM) count?

timurilank08 Apr 2021 10:01 p.m. PST

The restored Orc-Goblin (GW) collection are 25s.
The Snotlings, now Goblins, match well with my 15mm medieval collection.
Other figures pass as their larger types bringing everything into perspective.

Jeffers08 Apr 2021 10:26 p.m. PST

Back in the late 80s my Warrior/Revo/Minifigs/Esci Austrians would often take on Airfix/Esci/Rose French.

Huscarle08 Apr 2021 10:51 p.m. PST

Although mainly 25/28mm, my forces can also have 30/32mm miniatures in them.

D6Craig09 Apr 2021 12:03 a.m. PST

Not yet, but this year I'm planning various fantasy units for HOTT style battles, primarily using 20mm plastics. I'm looking at larger 28/30mm figures as heroes/giants etc for them. I am considering using PSC's Gothic infantry as possible proxies for dwarves instead of using the Alliance ones, and giving them a couple of GW Blood Bowl Dwarf Linesmen as Behemoths. I may also add a Halfling force using my collection of Essex Miniatures 15mm Drak Ages Welsh.

David Manley09 Apr 2021 12:31 a.m. PST

I use 1/700 aircraft on stands with my 1/3000 WW2 naval fleets

UshCha09 Apr 2021 1:04 a.m. PST

We have used out of scale items where it is considered an enhancement. Certainly aircraft have often been used at smaller scale. Trucks are also an issue, somtimes we have used smaller trucks to represent larger ones, very large trucks at 1/144 take up to much real estate at groundscle to be sensible. Similarly bridges are at reduces scale at least length wise foir the same reason.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 1:22 a.m. PST

I've used 20mm figures as giant types in 15mm armies both fantasy & sci-fi. Also used mechs in small scale (not sure of scale Star wars plastics from some game) as robots in 15mm sci-fi.

Arjuna09 Apr 2021 1:30 a.m. PST

Yes, I've got a ghost/skeleton army somewhere between 54mm for ghostly giants and 6mm for hobbit and children skeletons.
Officially its a 15mm fantasy army, but I just press into service what leftovers I couldn't be bothered to paint more than just white highlights and grey shades on green/yellow base colour.

And I couldn't care less for scale with most of my space ships.

And let's not talk about my slaanesh-nurgly Warp Entities.
I don't think the term 'scale' is even applicable.
I know no shame.

Of course everything has its limits.
You won't find many historical gamers that accept much differing scales on the table.
At least not with miniatures.
Strangely they're not that picky with terrain and grotesquely malformed sculpted miniatures.
Think all those 15mm bobble head balloon hands walking through 1/87 model train terrain on green, blue and brown felt mats and totally wrong flora for the theater they pretend to imitate.

Practical arguments grounded in the rules, like basing, put aside of course.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 1:58 a.m. PST

Hmmm. In SF, I've been known to use scale creep to my advantage. Use West End Games Star Wars figures for humans, Micromachine Ewoks and Jawas and later 28mm Wookiees, and you get a size range Lucas couldn't accomplish using humans in costumes.

Decebalus09 Apr 2021 3:05 a.m. PST

The boardgames/wargames of Zvezda use a mixture of 1/72 infantry and 1/100 tanks.

Myself, i only mix 15mm ww2 with 1/200 Wings of Glory airplanes.

Personal logo PzGeneral Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 3:59 a.m. PST

I have Pendraken 10mm Orcs that I use as 15mm Goblins.

'cause I wanna….

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 6:02 a.m. PST

Yes. We equated the plastic Airfix figures not regarded as 20mm with 25mm Scruby's, Ralfs Partha, and 1st generation Minifigs when we started gaming Napoleonics in the lates 1960s. Although those plastics are long gone, the metal figiures are still in our armies, alongside many other, larger figures. (Yes, I have several regiments of Ral Partha Napoleonic figures. I got them from the Rusty Scabbard group in Kentucky back in the day. As far as I know, they were never released commercially.)

Older gamers may remember how large the 2nd generation Minifigs seemed when they first appeared, or how tall HInchcliffe figures were in comparison to Minifigs. They all take their place in my games alongside Front Rank and Perry figures today.

Since we never anticipated the amount of scale creep, our biggest misstate was downsizing Fred Vietmeyer's CLS 30mm base sizes for 25mm figures. We should have stuck with his original bases.


Dagwood09 Apr 2021 6:55 a.m. PST

My Gauls mix 28 and (mostly) 25mm in the front ranks, with Airfix "20mm" in the back ranks. They look fine.

(The "25mm" figures include 3 generations of Minifigs, all different heights, and 2 generations of Hinchcliffe, ditto.)

I am currently painting some 28mm plastic Normans and Saxons (Conquest and Gripping Beast), but these are really too tall to be mixed with my 25mm Minifigs Saxons…

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 7:09 a.m. PST

I've got 15mm Giant Bats, 12mm Dwarf Gyrocopters, and a mix of GW's "10mm" Warmaster and GW's "10mm" Bo5A, neither of which are truly in scale to the others, plus some 15mm Ents ("Wood Trolls"). Close enough is close enough, and somethings are nebulous anyway (how big is an "ogre?").

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 7:14 a.m. PST

I have 30's in my ACW 28's and 18's in my Nap 15's.

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 7:52 a.m. PST

Yes, 25mm and 28mm.

advocate09 Apr 2021 7:56 a.m. PST

Hordes of the things armies. I had 10mm Vikings as dwarves in a 15mm Nibelungenlied army;come to think of it, the conductor was a 28mm figure.

kehanubaal09 Apr 2021 8:17 a.m. PST

I thought you would get burned at the stake only for thinking such an heresy :D

Rudysnelson09 Apr 2021 8:47 a.m. PST

25 and 28 or 15 and 18, no

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 9:27 a.m. PST

I have Schleich Komodo dragons as Megalania (pre-historic Australian reptile 4-5 times the size of a modern Komodo dragon) with howdahs for my swamp army. Does that count?


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 9:57 a.m. PST

Sure – use a lot of 10mm houses for 15mm gaming, for example

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 10:04 a.m. PST

I mix so-called 20mm, or 1/72 scale, mini's with my 25-28 mm figures for fantasy. I painted up some not-Uruk Hai Pikemen (1/72) as Hobgoblins, standing them alongside of my 25mm Hobgoblins -- I did not notice the size difference until they were on table. I played with them anyway.

I game with 54mm Army Men figures, alongside of 40mm Tanks, Trucks, and Jeeps. Some of my Army Men figures are 48-60mm, and I mix them freely. I prefer to paint them, for games, but I also play with bare plastic figures -- Oh! The horror!!! The shame! I do, however, put every single man figure on a 50mm base, decorated with brown and shades of green, sand, to dress them up, considerably.

I love mini's gaming, and such differences are minor. I do, however, strive in my fantasy games to use as many figures in proper scale to what Gary Gygax specified within his 1977 1e AD&D Monster Manual, so that I can see the creatures in proper size to one another. That has proven to be a real eye opener, worthy of my time, and money, to see it the way Gary specified it. I despise the new sizes eschewed for monsters in the 2e Monstrous Manual, even though I only play the 2e AD&D rules at my games, normally.

Life is too short for me to be bothered with absolutes within my gaming hobbies. I am all about having fun. I will flex to make it fun for others, but only so far. Cheers!

Perris070709 Apr 2021 11:46 a.m. PST

I have some old Hinchliffe and Irregular 25mm figures in with my 28mm Gripping Beast, Crusader, Old Glory, Essex, etc figures in my Muslim and Crusader armies. I don't lose any sleep over it. I like variety.

rmaker09 Apr 2021 12:48 p.m. PST

Yes. My (old) 25mm Napoleonic Bavarians include the Cadet Battalion, using 15mm figures.

14Bore09 Apr 2021 12:59 p.m. PST

I do mix 15mm and 18mm Napoleonic troops, try to keep in different units. Pondered one 1/72 but was a bit to big.

Gear Pilot09 Apr 2021 1:42 p.m. PST

I'm using repainted 28mm AT-43 combat suits as Mechs with my 15mm WWII Soviets.

I'm mixing 1/3125 and Attack Wing box scale star ships with my !/3900 and 1/3788 Star Trek ships. How many different sizes did the Klingon BOP come in over the various iterations of Trek?

1/144 scale planes frequently strafe and bomb my 15mm WWII soldiers.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 1:52 p.m. PST

Historical gamers do tend to try and match up scales. In 6mm this means genrerally that Baccus and Adler can go together, while H&R and Irregular go together. Not on the same base usually. Otherwise, it just does not look right. The military is based on uniformity for the most part, so we want to see that quality in our armies, I think.

Buildings and scenics tend to be on the small side of scale in 6mm, so as not to overwhelm the table. Its all in the eye of the beholder. I like to keep scales close, but I am not as fussy as some.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 2:53 p.m. PST

I am currently using Star Wars Legion scale models alongside Imperial Assault, mostly with no problem…

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 4:21 p.m. PST

This question requires me to do more thinking and analysis than I'm up for during Friday happy hour.

But generally my answer would be no.

Happy weekends to all!

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2021 5:29 p.m. PST

In about 1963 I started buying Airfix 1/72nd scale figures and Roco HO scale Minitanks. I still use 1/72nd scale figures and HO scale vehicles. And HO scale figures, and sometimes 15mm, and once in a while a 28 or 25mm figure. And Matchbox cars and trucks in 1/64th scale. I do what looks good not what some random box tells me is right.

You can't please everyone so you gotta please yourself.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

KSmyth09 Apr 2021 6:27 p.m. PST

We use 1/300 scale aircraft with 1/700 and 1/600 scale ships. The ships are usually just targets.

Prince Alberts Revenge10 Apr 2021 4:52 a.m. PST

I used a larger scale warrior (true 25mm I think) to represent Goliath in a 15mm Phillistine army years ago. Nic Wright, the author of Irregular Wars and several other fantastic rulesets, included a 15mm warrior among his 10mm dark ages Irish to represent a giant from their folk lore. It looked outstanding on the element base for Dux Bellorum. I will probably copy that idea when I ultimately finish my DB project.

Yesthatphil10 Apr 2021 5:26 a.m. PST

I have Early Imperial Romans in 10, 15, 20mm, and 30mm flats, Hoplites in 10, 15, 20, 25mm and 30mm flats, Celts in 15 and 25mm, WotR in 15, 28 and 54mm,New Kingdom Egyptians and enemies in 15s and flats, colonials in 6mm and 54mm … quite a lot of duplication, really – but these collections are for wargames of different types and styles.

But I don't think there is one ideal scale (and if there is, it is probably 10mm!) so a new conception for a game might mean a new set of figures (and they might duplicate figures I already have in a diferent scale for a diferent game).

I am happy with all that, and am pleased with how my collection is shaping up after the first 50 years of collecting.


John the Greater10 Apr 2021 9:02 a.m. PST

When I first started in the 1960's (when men were men and giants strode the earth) we made due with whatever we could find. We used Airfix 1/72nd scale, Scruby 20mm, Roco Minitanks (about HO scale) and we weren't too worried about period; Romans and US Marines often shared the battlefield.

Life was simpler then.

von Schwartz ver 210 Apr 2021 3:19 p.m. PST

Y'mean on purpose? Happened once when I kept mistaking my 12 year old single malt for my rinse water(did I mention I point my brushes with my mouth?).

huron725 Supporting Member of TMP10 Apr 2021 3:32 p.m. PST


AND… don't be putting yer unpainted miniatures on this nice table either. Go home go to your room and you will NOT be getting dinner tonight. Never do that again!!

Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP10 Apr 2021 5:02 p.m. PST

I have Napoleonic, AWI, and ACW figures acquired over a 40 year span so, yes, I do have mixed scales. I simply try to avoid mixing such figures in the same unit and try to keep brigades (or whatever) with similarly sized figures. I even do this with the Blue Moon 18mm figures in my 15mm ACW forces as they are noticeably larger than the "Confederette" and Stone Mountain figures that are predominate in those forces. For 25mm AWI, I have some early figures that are closer to 1/72 (22mm) than 25mm and that look like kids compared to the Hinchcliffe figures from the same era. I mounted those smaller figures on very thick bases so they were of a similar height as the Hinchcliffe and that helped.

khanscom10 Apr 2021 6:28 p.m. PST

Decades (…many decades) ago, a gaming buddy used 15mm Romans and 54mm figures to game a "Gulliver's Travels" battle with the 15mm figs representing Lilliputians.

14th NJ Vol11 Apr 2021 11:41 a.m. PST

1/144th scale aircraft & 15mm WW2 infantry/armor. Or we use 1/100 or 1/72 scale aircraft with 28mm skirmish games.

custosarmorum Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2021 2:35 p.m. PST

Back in the mid-1970s I mixes Airfix, Scruby, Der Kreigspielers, and eventually Minifigs Napoleonic figures together and I was happy enough at the time -- I eventually moved to 15mm and was probably happier with the result the scall match (mostly Minifigs 2nd Gen and Napoleonettes).

Since then, I have tried to not mix figures but I do mix manufacturers (usually keeping different manufacturers in separate units) and than can mean mixing scales to some extent (for example, for AWI I have Fife & Drum, Perry, and Front Rank).

John the OFM -- I was at Penn State from 1977-1981. Was the gaming club/group active then? I was fortunate enough to have a group of friends to game with on the floor of our apartment, and when we went home on occasion (we all were from the same hometown) in a friends basement, but never heard or a group. We did a lot of WRG Ancients and Fire & Steel for 15mm Napoleonics.

The Last Conformist12 Apr 2021 2:11 a.m. PST

Technically yes, I guess.

My Medieval Germans are 15mm figures, which is something like 1:100 scale (or would be, if the figures were consistently scaled without oversize hands etc.), but their ships are something like 1:900 scale.

Also, I've got a 28mm Confused General (sculpted after the DBA cover) that joins my 15mm Romans as a God when they take the field as a HOTT army.

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