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"What Scale Options WW2 Naval?" Topic

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Deucey Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2021 7:56 a.m. PST

What's available and what are the pros and cons?

I'm interested I Warlords Victory at Sea, but don't like the models. I'd prefer smaller, plus I don't like the thick bases.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 May 2021 8:58 a.m. PST

1:6000 works for me. Thoroughbred has EVERYTHING!

David Manley02 May 2021 9:09 a.m. PST

1/6000 works (Figurehead rather than Thoroughbred I think, unless you want to bring ACW ironclads to the fight :) )

In the UK there's 1/3000 from Navwar (they really do have everything) and the old Skytrex/Davco range

In the US its mainly 1/2400 with the GHQ range being a good example.

Of course other ranges are available.

mikec260 Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2021 10:37 a.m. PST

GHQ in 1/2400 has great detail, but still a little big for me on a 6' X 4' table. If you want a look that represents the vastness on the sea, Figurehead 1/6000, sold by Last Square. I use centimeters instead of inches. I like the look, but ships have very little detail. Check out YouTube for some AAR showing the size. I saw someone shared their experiences. Just a few thoughts. Good luck and happy gaming.

Personal logo McKinstry Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 May 2021 10:44 a.m. PST

1/6000 – Good range of models, cost effective, DD and below very small, available from Last Square

1/4800 – limited range of UK and KM from CinC, better range with less detail from MY Models, extensive range on Shapeways but fairly costly. Generally better detail than 1/6000.

1/3000 – Navwar has a huge range, War Times Journal has some. Davao has some.

1/2400. – Extensive ranges from GHQ, Viking Forge, CinC, Panzerschiffe and I think WTJ. Detail is extensive on GHQ, Good on Viking and CinC, Basic on Panzerschiffe.

All good ranges and manufacturers. Depends on your preferences for table v model scale, cost and model detail.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2021 11:50 a.m. PST

1 what space do you have?
2 if you aim mostly Pacific surfsce, it is mostly by night so close.
3 to look not strangely out of scale, and get pbs (such as having the guns of a destroyer division be too fer from the rear to shoot the same way as the first ones!) The smaller scales ate best.
McKinstry said the rest.
But 1/4800, use mostly shapeways, and I think cinc maybe out of prod.

Ghq are masterpieces but fragile, and need work and skill to do them justice.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 May 2021 1:55 p.m. PST

Thank you Mr Manley

Thresher0102 May 2021 3:06 p.m. PST

1/300th (though I suspect some are even using 1/72nd and 1/144th scale minis/models) – 1/600th scale.

Thresher0102 May 2021 3:08 p.m. PST

I wish Figurehead, Hallmark, CinC/Pfc., or others would make some Modern Chinese and Japanese warships and Coast Guard vessels in 1/6000th scale, along with some civilian vessels too, e.g. cargo ships and tankers.

Perun Gromovnik02 May 2021 3:26 p.m. PST

Interesting site for naval wargaming


Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2021 9:01 p.m. PST

I published a reasonable attempt at a naval miniatures shopping database here: link

I began WWI naval gaming with 1/6000, and have since migrated up to 1/2400 for both WWI and WWII. I still think 1/6000 is a great scale for really large, sprawling battles with dozens or even hundreds of ships, but for actions with up to 2 squadrons per player (and 2-8 players) on real-life tables (max 6'x12') I prefer 1/2400 because my interest in individual vessels begins to outpace my interest in the sweep of fleet maneuvers.

All that said, Mike Hammond very nearly sold me on 1/4800 scale with this thread: TMP link

- Ix

PS: I prefer 1/2400 to 1/3000 because the available models look so much nicer to me. That's a personal prejudice you may not be unlucky enough to suffer. grin

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP03 May 2021 6:33 a.m. PST

Wow. Thanks for all the info from everyone!

hindsTMP Supporting Member of TMP03 May 2021 1:10 p.m. PST

These days I use 1/6000 Figurehead, with occasional fall-back to 1/2400 for small numbers of ships. Images below are of Figurehead 1/6000.

Home Fleet off Norway (Rodney, Valiant, Warspite & 3x J-class DDs removed from bases, all with erase-able chalk wakes showing previous turn's movement:

Scharnhorst & Gneisenau:


Thresher0103 May 2021 8:47 p.m. PST

Yea, I meant 1/6000th at the small end of the ranges.

Martin Rapier03 May 2021 10:11 p.m. PST

These days I use 1/6000 for WW2 and 1/3000 for WW1 and Russo Japanese.

Yesthatphil06 May 2021 3:13 p.m. PST

1:1200 works for me.

Size is all relative on the wargame table (even if you use tiny ships) so it's nice to use classic model kits.


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2021 1:25 p.m. PST

A visitor here, I am.

I should know better than to comment

Not a French 2eme DB tank, a Prussian cavalry trooper from 1815, a VN Marine from Hue, nor a Pearl Harbour (Harbor) model, but I will put in my thoughts anyway.

The black funnel top on the Bismarck tells me it is actually the Tirpitz. I would need to see the AA guns to check that, or the first turret range finders ( I forget the German nomenclature, Dora, Caesar, …..etc) The Yellow turret top is earlier than the Baltic scheme and used by the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.

This is not my field of any expertise!

Yesthatphil07 May 2021 3:50 p.m. PST

I took the colours for Bismarck, deadhead, from an article in the International Naval Research Organisation … specific for Operation Rheinübung. Sorry if you differ (despite your comment, you clearly have some expertise) – the AA guns on the Airfix model might not be sufficiently detailed to help, I'm afraid.

As the thread asks, what scale for you?


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2021 10:38 a.m. PST

There has been so much debate about Bismarck's final colour scheme. What you have shown is the "Baltic" scheme and it is beautifully done on the Prinz Eugen. I would only argue that the funnel top was grey (black was for Tirpitz) and turret tops were carmine. Now before heading out to the Denmark Strait most of this was suppressed. The bow and stern markings were retained but the stripes, by now only on the hull sides anyway as you show, were painted out, along with the swastikas. Photos in Grimstaad Fjord possibly show the crew on the turret tops painting out the distinguishing colour and likely replacing with grey. Certainly the secondary armament is still on the wreck and it looks that way.

Anton turret had no directors on its side on Bismarck. Tirpitz did. Minor differences in the AA mountings also, but truly sister ships. Stress this is not my field and much may be completely wrong!

Your models are beautifully done. I cannot imagine trying to paint the stripes on the Prinz E superstructure.

I did collect many such vessels in 1/700. But never gamed with them.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2021 12:36 p.m. PST

Directors? I meant rangefinders as in my earlier message of course. Apologies

There has long been a suggestion of yellow turret tops applied in her last few days of life, but the whole subject of interpreting from Monochrome photographs is fraught.

A good example is this discussion. It is dated alas and many of the links are lost;


Deucey Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2021 8:12 p.m. PST

Thanks again for all the info.

I'm narrowing it down to either 1/2400 or 1/6000.

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2021 7:20 a.m. PST

Ordered the 1/6000.

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