Help support TMP

"28mm and Model Ship Scale" Topic

12 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 Scale Message Board

6,213 hits since 22 Feb 2006
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Ob1norm Inactive Member22 Feb 2006 3:00 p.m. PST

OK, here is my question. What scale of model ship would be proportionate with 28mm figures? I am trying to make a diorama with pirate figures and a ship. I have seen some posts that say 28mm is 1/48. I just wanted to see if someone knew if that 1/48 transferred from figure to ship.

Thanks in advance.

Tommy2022 Feb 2006 3:31 p.m. PST

For something as big as a pirate ship, you're going to want to compress the scale quite a bit. I'm sure someone with real ship modelling experience will chime in, but I would suspect you won't want to go any larger than 1:72.

jpattern Inactive Member22 Feb 2006 3:47 p.m. PST

I wouldn't go with 1/72 – in that scale, all the ship fittings will look too puny compared to the figures. And 1/48 will probably look too big. I think most gamers have settled on a scale between 1/50 and 1/60 as looking best with 28mm minis (which usually aren't realistically proportioned anyway, but that's beside the point for your diorama).

Most wargamers compress the scale of their ships, as Flintloque noted. However, that doesn't mean go to a smaller scale; it means pick and choose what you want to model on the ship. That's because, for wargaming, you don't need to depict all the details of a sailing ship, you just want it to have the right feel. So some gamers might model the deck, the sides of the ship, and the masts and bowsprit, and be done with it. Other gamers might add a ship's wheel, some deck grates, and a cannon or two. Very few gamers will model every detail, though. Even on a small ship, that would quickly get out of hand. For example, here are the Flagship Games ships – you can see how simple the ships are:


On the other hand, if you want to construct a realistic diorama of a pirate ship, complete with belaying pins, blocks, ratlines, ship's compass, water butt, and all the other details, you have your work cut out for you.

Paintbeast Inactive Member22 Feb 2006 3:58 p.m. PST

I usually shoot for 1:60 and this works well for me.

geudens Inactive Member22 Feb 2006 4:05 p.m. PST

I use "waterlined" wooden mantlepiece models (repainted). Big advantage is they have (rather sturdy) masts, sails and rigging ready-made



Detailed Casting Products Inactive Member22 Feb 2006 4:40 p.m. PST

Ob1norm, 28mm should translate to 1/65 or railroad "S" scale (1/64). A six-foot man being 72" is 1828.8mm. Dividing 1828.8 by 28mm is a 1/65 ratio. Of course, some say figure scale is from the ground to the level of the figure's eyes, and that would change it. Also, some "scale creep" in the figures is happening as well. I collected a series of collectable cars for urban combat in 1/64 scale, and they are too small next to my 28mm soldiers, so I'm going to shoot for 1/50. But that brings us back to 1/48 scale, so there you go grin.

Cosmic Reset Inactive Member22 Feb 2006 5:24 p.m. PST

I use 1/60th scale for my steel 18th century gunboats. I've also done some sailing ships in this scale for use with 28mm figs. If you assume that the scale represents a modern 50th percentile western male at between 5'-8" and 5'-9", you will end up with a scale a little bigger than 1/60, but 5 feet per inch is a nice round number to work with. Depending on what you use as your average height of the dude, you can come out with a scale of anything from about 1/56th to 1/64th for 28mm, so again, 1/60th is kind of a safe scale to go with.

Chronofus Inactive Member22 Feb 2006 6:01 p.m. PST

1/60 is too small for my tastes if the minitaures are on any sized decent base. I have 2 x 1/60 commercial galleon kits neither of which look big compared to the men sitting on them.

For a diorama as mentioned it would work, but for intricate messy gaming it is too small to do much manouvering on. 1/50 ships are available but it depends on how you feel about proportions being in scale to the figure itself including base, and if you can justify their costs and construction time, as the ones I am familiar with are wooden kits. I am not sure how simlpe they would be to water line for the diorama.

artslave Inactive Member23 Feb 2006 12:21 a.m. PST

What about creating a sense of "forced perspective" by an intentional difference of scale? A small ship would look far in the background, safely at anchor, off shore.

reddrabs Inactive Member23 Feb 2006 5:35 a.m. PST

1. Wooden ships were a lot smaller than you'd expect.
2. Pirates tended to use smaller vessels.
3. The "…." bases get in the way.

28mm is c. 1/64th scale (S) but a lot of figures now are 30mm. This brings us to c 1/55th scale-ish… nt easy to get pieces for.
Because of the bases and that most people expect sailing ships to be bigger (Hollywood effect) – 1/48th – pieces and you still can have a brig or schooner or such.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2006 8:11 a.m. PST

Here is a 28mm scale, ship model, PDF: link

You buy the PDF, then print out as many ships as you want. Take a look at the video, and then visit the forum, and do a search on, "The Maiden." You will be amazed at how good this card stock model is. Cheers!

Col Stone Inactive Member25 Sep 2006 10:14 p.m. PST

Heres one by gary chalk, it's pretty easy to put together.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.