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"Establish a Common Miniatures Scale?" Topic


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Jeremy Sutcliffe03 Feb 2009 2:16 a.m. PST

It wouldn't work

streetline03 Feb 2009 2:18 a.m. PST

What he said.

14th Brooklyn03 Feb 2009 2:49 a.m. PST

Is it still not worth a try? Even if 10% of manufacturers adhered to a common scale it would be an improvement.

Look at any news item regarding minis we have. We always get the question "What scale are they?" Once someone comes up with an answer someone else asks "How do they compare scale wise do company (X)?" Then you have some fan boy chiming in with either "Oh, they fit perfcetly!" or "Why would you even want to buy something else!"

Would it not be nice to skip that? I have bought minis about a dozen times over the past few years that were advertised as something they were not, just because the manufacturer insisted in measuring from some strange point to another.

Cheers,

Burkhard

P.S.: Is "It would not work!" what they said about man being able to fly a little more then 100 years ago?

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2009 3:17 a.m. PST

I voted yes but I don't think it has a snowball's chance of coming to pass

But there's no harm in trying !

Palafox03 Feb 2009 3:34 a.m. PST

"Is "It would not work!" what they said about man being able to fly a little more then 100 years ago?"

Coincidentally it's also was they said to the alchemists when they tried to turn lead to gold, a feat only achieved until today by Games Workshop. evil grin

Personally I do not support the idea of a scale the manufacturers should adhere to. First; most will not like it ("who are these people from this or that website to tell me in which scale I should sculpt?"). Second, if any adhere to it, it would probably affect the good quality of their sculptures. Third; how do you plan to implement it?, sending them emails requesting to adhere to TMPISO 9000?.

But I support the idea of using a comparison scale in reviews of miniatures in TMP like the ones showed in DeepHappyfriedmice (or whatever is written) or in "The adventures of the red shadow". Those reviews of figures and scales sure are helpful.

Martin Rapier03 Feb 2009 3:50 a.m. PST

I don't think there is any harm in proposing a common definition of what '15mm' etc means for size comparison purposes.

14th Brooklyn03 Feb 2009 3:54 a.m. PST

Personally I do not support the idea of a scale the manufacturers should adhere to.

Palafox,

you are getting me wrong there. I am not saying that a manufacturer should change his sculpts or anything.
I am just saying, that he should give his "scale" by common standarts.
If he is sculpting 28mm and he does define that as being from the bottom of the tab to the top of the headgear hae can still go on doing so. But if he posts a news article here on TMP and the TMP scale was to be (lets say) from soles to eyes, his minis might just be 20mms.

For example the news item could read:

"We have now added our finest new War of Jenkins Ear cattle drummers in 28mm (20mm TMP-Scale) to our website."

Would that hurt?

Cheers,

Burkhard

Cheers,

Burkhard

Gallowglass03 Feb 2009 4:09 a.m. PST

No, I do not support this proposal.

Palafox03 Feb 2009 4:15 a.m. PST

Now I understand you better, I got confused when you claimed it's the manufacturers who should adhere to a common scale.

But I can still think of problems with the idea. Like having figures of similar height does not mean they are compatible and that this would mean two measuring systems for the same thing, and I still don't think manufacturers would like this.

I think what you want could be more easily solved by having comparison charts with reviews of different manufacturers, (in the end a manufacturer very, very rarely changes from 28mm base to eye to 28mm base to head), but this is something not possible to have in the boards and should require programming from the webmaster.

14th Brooklyn03 Feb 2009 4:21 a.m. PST

Well there were some ideas regarding the other aspects when this was on the poll suggestions board:

TMP link

Cheers,

Burkhard

pigbear03 Feb 2009 4:28 a.m. PST

Standards are good. Let the manufacturers accurately describe their products. I suppose the Barrett scale is a good starting point.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2009 6:24 a.m. PST

Hard to actually establish a common scale in the absence of regulatory or commercial authority, but Pigbear is right, an accurate description is very important – plus, for those manufacturers who still don't have pics on their websites, a picture is worth the proverbial thousand words

streetline03 Feb 2009 6:49 a.m. PST

It wouldn't work because, in part, there is no convenient way of measuring "bulk". I've got a lot of 15mm figures where height-wise, they match perfectly, but the sheer bulk of the figures makes it look wrong – currently I'm painting some Falcon Tarascans, and while they're only very slightly taller than the Aztecs, they've been eating steroid loaded fish to get to that size arms and legs. Neither figures are "right" or "wrong" but they are different, in a way that's difficult to put a scale to.

Lentulus03 Feb 2009 6:52 a.m. PST

I think it would be a really neat idea, but sufficiently impractical to not be worth the effort. To completely quantify minis, you would have to measure them up like a tailor measuring for a suit, hat, and shoes. Could anyone really compare the resulting numbers from line to line?

nazrat03 Feb 2009 7:24 a.m. PST

The only problem with this is that even if models are the same exact height they still may not mix well together because of style and general chunkiness differences. So I can't imagine this being terribly helpful to the issue at hand.

Nice try, though.

dapeters03 Feb 2009 7:55 a.m. PST

I think this is long over due especially for historical figures. If only there was an organization that was interested in Historical Miniature Games, they might establish some sort of measure.

Saxondog03 Feb 2009 8:08 a.m. PST

There are a number of miniature lines out there that look interesting but I refuse to buy since I can't be sure of how they compare to others I own. Yeah, for some I can get reviews but those aren't always reliable either and some are on very small figure lines where few people have them. A common scale would help to some degree. The chunk factor….. well, can't fix everything.

John the OFM03 Feb 2009 8:10 a.m. PST

Herding cats.
You could notbgetthemanufacturers to go along with it.

Connard Sage03 Feb 2009 8:24 a.m. PST

Except that, as I keep pointing out, 2/5/10/15/20/25/28mm are sizes not scales. Does anyone listen? Do they Bleeped texty.

Wail against it all you wish, it doesn't make it any less true

It wouldn't work because, in part, there is no convenient way of measuring "bulk".

There you go, a perfect misunderstanding of scale v size. Scale, gentlemen, exists in three dimensions. Not just 'up'


I wouldn't want to leave you lot alone with any proper scale modellers for more than five minutes, even more than 30 seconds with railway modellers would require armed intervention I reckon.

Palafox03 Feb 2009 8:56 a.m. PST

"Except that, as I keep pointing out, 2/5/10/15/20/25/28mm are sizes not scales."

Technically scales would be 1/144, 1/100, 1/72, 1/56, etc. But from some time in the past the figures are stated just in size and we trust and expect the sculptor to have the correct proportions. I think we'd have the same issues if we talk about 1/56 instead 28mm.

nazrat03 Feb 2009 8:56 a.m. PST

Why would we want to hang out with scale modelers anyway? Do they like playing with 15mm scale? 8)=

John the OFM03 Feb 2009 8:59 a.m. PST

That's right. Let the model railroaders conform to US!

Warbeads03 Feb 2009 9:01 a.m. PST

20thmaine said it for me.

Gracias,

Glenn

Palafox03 Feb 2009 9:06 a.m. PST

BTW, Now that you talk about rail modellers I think to remember some of the older airfix kits and plastic figures used for wargaming were sold as HO-OO, is it right?.

Andrew Walters03 Feb 2009 9:24 a.m. PST

Today's word is "quixotic."

I think responsible mini reviews or descriptions need to start out, "These new 15mm Lithuanian light infantry from the War of Polish Succession are 18mm from foot to crown and…"

Another, even better alternative, would be for everyone to switch to proportional scale nomenclature. So 25mm=1/72, 28mm=1/64.3, 15mm=1/120, 6mm=1/300, etc. This removes the question of "how long is the carbine of the British Household Cavalry at Eylau in 25mm?" You simply look up the length and divide. This does not solve the problem of all the "15mm" figures I have that are 18mm and all the "28mm" figures I have that are 32mm.

I will support any attempt to restore reason to this tragically muddled aspect of our hobby, but optimism in this area is not at my command.

Andrew

sneakgun03 Feb 2009 9:26 a.m. PST

Wasn't there a Barret's Scale by which miniatures were compared back in the Dark Ages? I saw it used in the Courier magazine for figure reviews.

RavenscraftCybernetics03 Feb 2009 9:31 a.m. PST

consider this, Im 5'10" tall.
I am not 6' tall.
my co-worker is 6' 4" tall.
he is not 6' tall.
Your attention please…..
We are in scale to one another.
please let this one die.

Connard Sage03 Feb 2009 9:34 a.m. PST

Technically scales would be 1/144, 1/100, 1/72, 1/56, etc.

Yes, I understand that. Working with scales is part of my job.

But from some time in the past the figures are stated just in size and we trust and expect the sculptor to have the correct proportions.

Except that they don't

Railway modeller "what scale are your figures?"

Wargamer "this one is 28mm scale"

RM "well I just measured it and it's 29.5mm high, but what scale is it?"

WG "it's 28mm scale"

RM "I just remembered an urgent appointment, must dash"

Without wanting be a smartarse, take a look at Dixons' pumpkin heads, or Foundry's shovel hands and get back to me about 'proportionality'. We won't even mention Essex' 15mm gnomes…

These are 1:87 scale figures. No massive hands or heads, you'll notice

link

BTW, Now that you talk about rail modellers I think to remember some of the older airfix kits and plastic figures used for wargaming were sold as HO-OO, is it right?.

Yes, but they were aimed at the toy end of the market

Connard Sage03 Feb 2009 9:45 a.m. PST

consider this, Im 5'10" tall.
I am not 6' tall.
my co-worker is 6' 4" tall.
he is not 6' tall.
Your attention please…..
We are in scale to one another.
please let this one die.

If the figures we bought were naked and completely unequipped (that sounds a bit unfortunate!), you might just have a point. However if you and your co-worker were given a Brown Bess each, it would be the same 'scale' Brown Bess.

When 25mm can mean 'from 24 to 29mm' that isn't the case. You could rationalise the different heights of your troops all you like, but they would have different sized Brown Besses. Do you see?

Palafox03 Feb 2009 9:45 a.m. PST

"Except that they don't"

I knew that, I was just pointing to the conventions and assumptions we normally use and that in our niche of miniaturism having a common scale is nearly impossible. This is why I was trying to say that comparisson charts or reviews would be the way to go to mix figures from different manufacturers.

"Yes, but they were aimed at the toy end of the market"

We, when we were younger and without rules, dices and tapes.

Connard Sage03 Feb 2009 9:51 a.m. PST

It's getting a bit heated,. Sorry, the scale/size thing is a pet peeve. The two aren't interchangeable

I'll butt out, before things become uncivil


We, when we were younger and without rules, dices and tapes.

Happy days :)

Fifty403 Feb 2009 10:04 a.m. PST

I agree this would be a hard one to arrange. What might be easier is the "Compatible With Chart" -- which, I think, is the whole point of this anyway?

Instead of seeing 27 posts each day with somebody asking "Is x a good fit with y" – just have everyone go to a common database in which they can cross-reference ranges/manufacturers with others.

So you look at Wargames Factory Caesarean Romans and see that they are a good fit with Companion Miniatures and Mark Copplestone's Foundry Caesareans. Or that Artizan Vikings and Crusader Saxons are a good match. Or that you can't mix Perry ECW with Renegade ECW, etc.

To me, that would be a useful thing. Now who wants to go build it? ;-)

Tony

Tony Reidy
Wargames Factory
wargamesfactory.com

streetline03 Feb 2009 10:09 a.m. PST

RM "I just remembered an urgent appointment, must dash"

Excellent, that part of the plan is working then.

There you go, a perfect misunderstanding of scale v size.

A perfect understanding of the actual question, however.

The Monstrous Jake03 Feb 2009 10:19 a.m. PST

The Barrett Scale concept did just that. It was introduced, if I remember correctly, in the early 1990's in the Courier magazine, and was intended to provide some sort of baseline so figures from different manufacturers could be compared.

It did what it was supposed to do, but it didn't catch on. I think some people didn't like the concept because it measured base-of-foot-to-eye-level instead of their own personal favoured method. Mostly I think most people didn't use the Barrett Scale simply because they'd never heard of it.

I still think the basic idea is a sound one, but without widespread acceptance, there's not much point in it.

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2009 11:01 a.m. PST

The 'Barrett' scale wasn't invented in the 1990s by Mr. Barrett. I recall getting a lecture in how to measure the height of a mini (bottom of feet/top of base to the eyes) at Willie Suren's shop in London during the 1970s. It made sense then, and it still does.

However, establishing a 'common' anything amongst wargamers is a lost cause. herding cats would be easier.

The Monstrous Jake03 Feb 2009 11:41 a.m. PST

Another reason a consistent indicator of scale/size isn't likely to gain widespread acceptance is because, while it might be very good for the consumer, it may not be in the best interest of some manufacturers.

Think about it: would you support a new suggestion for a comparison system if the system in question makes all the miniatures you've been casting for the past 30 years look bad?

"I've been making true 23mm figures since 1975! Just because my figures are a head and a half shorter than every other 23mm figure on the market just proves that everyone else is doing it wrong."

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2009 1:16 p.m. PST

The emerging "Nanny States" should protect us by only allowing figures of 2/6mm, 15mm, and 25mm to be produced. End of problem. I, for one, welcome our new Nanny overlords and ladies.

The Tin Dictator03 Feb 2009 1:29 p.m. PST

I'll be happy to set up the comparison chart.
Everyone send me the figures of your choice and I'll begin measuring and comparing them.

Measurements will be from soles to eyes for height.
And there will be a "Chunky Scale" from 1 (skeleton) through 5 (lard-Bleeped text). With 3 being proportionally "normal".

Now, I realize that 5 would be the "proportionally normal" wargamer. But I'll use a different, less weighty standard of proportionality for the figures.

Sound good ?

Scorpio03 Feb 2009 2:05 p.m. PST

A common scale? Like, millimeters? Seriously, I don't get the point.

Comparison pictures between various lines within the various genres/eras would be infinitely more valuable.

Pat Ripley Fezian03 Feb 2009 3:12 p.m. PST

Coincidentally it's also was they said to the alchemists when they tried to turn lead to gold, a feat only achieved until today by Games Workshop.

their backers are probably wondering if the reverse is true

Henrix03 Feb 2009 3:13 p.m. PST

Yes, please, that would be great!

Sure comparison pictures are better, but hard to use in real life, as you'll basically have to compare all figures with all other figures.

I think that if we here on TMP started to write figures reviews using a coherent system it would be a great step for, uh, miniature gamers!

All it takes is a database and input. A wiki, perhaps?

zapper03 Feb 2009 4:09 p.m. PST

Very little ticks me off more than getting some new minis in the mail that I've been anxious to add to a battle I've hhad in mind only to discover they look downright ridiculous next to the ones I already had because they were advertised as 28 mm but simply don't measure up, or measure up too much.

Boone Doggle03 Feb 2009 5:39 p.m. PST

We don't think we are even getting a 80% success rate of getting manufacturers just to put the nominal scale on news/adverts. So I doubt we'd do much better expecting actual measurements, far less using a specific methodology.

Establishing a "standard" that is not well adhered to could cause more problems and confusion than the current known anarchy.

Last Hussar03 Feb 2009 7:14 p.m. PST

The SIZE of a figure is to the top of its head. Apart from a subset of wargamers NO-ONE measures a human to its eyes (FYI- Eye to crown approx 1/17. 1mm on a 15mm, 1.5mm on a 25mm. How we ended up with 28mm and 30mm…)

Manufacturers should declare SCALE- any thing with a Musket or later would be easy to determine.

I would also like to point out that 10mm isn't 1:144, unless you are doing Warmaster Oz, and are using the Munchkin army list. Its somewhere between 1:160 and 1:180- dependent on period (humans are getting taller)

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2009 10:50 p.m. PST

"The SIZE of a figure is to the top of its head. Apart from a subset of wargamers NO-ONE measures a human to its eyes (FYI- Eye to crown approx 1/17. 1mm on a 15mm, 1.5mm on a 25mm. How we ended up with 28mm and 30mm…)"

The problem with this, of course, is that soldiers have a nasty tendency to wear all sorts of outlandish headgear, which means that it's rather difficult to determine just where the top of the head is. The eyes, however, are pretty much always in evidence, so they make a convenient point of measurement regardless of whether the figure is bareheaded, wearing a helmet, shako, bearskin or mitre cap. Which is why this is the preferred way of measuring – it is *consistent.*

Who asked this joker04 Feb 2009 6:35 a.m. PST

No opinion. It ain't gonna happen. Do, your research and you can find out what their miniatures will mix well with.

Jovian104 Feb 2009 7:59 a.m. PST

It may never happen, as sculptors are notorious for doing what they want to do with their selected medium and lets get this straight, miniatures when first sculpted – even if the end design is as a toy soldier – is a sculpture which is a work of ART. Art does not have a "scale" per se. Now if you go into models they have scales and hopefully the designer of the model is attuned to the scale that they work with. Most metal figures are not produced to a scale, but to a size. The issue has been beaten to death on this forum as the discussion over 15mm figures which are really 18mm, or 25mm figures which are really heroic scale and actually 28mm and now the upstart 30mm size and 40mm sized figures – NONE of which are produced to a scale, but to a size, which is approximate for each figure in the line.

It would be nice to have scale implemented between manufacturers, but then again, that would require standardizations which would preclude the aspect of this hobby which is ART. Models are produced to a scale, because the ART portion of the model, is in the construction and assembly of the model and then in the painting. Sculpting figures is an art in and of itself.

Wargamer4321004 Feb 2009 8:03 a.m. PST

A beautiful thought but knowing creative people this will never work.

The optimist in me still voted yes. grin

SeattleGamer04 Feb 2009 1:02 p.m. PST

Having a "scale" for real-world items of fixed dimensions works great. Since we know exactly how long or tall or whatever something real is, when it's modeled it's pretty easy to figure out exactly what scale it is.

But the unreal have no basis for reality.

Which is why railroads and model cars and tanks and airplanes and the like can be given a scale.

But just how big is an Ogryn? Or a Hellhound? Or an Alien Grey? Or an Elf? Or any one of thousands of other items?

Which is why companies list the "size" (usually in mm's) rather than trying to tell you the scale.

I agree that companies should list their sizes using the same starting and ending points (and for me, that means bottom of the feet to top of where their head might be – the base doesn't matter, nor should any headgear).

But there's just no way to implement any sort of standardized scale for anything not real. Why even try to implement such a thing?

Henrix04 Feb 2009 1:28 p.m. PST

The thing is not to implement a mandatory scale, but to start using a common scale when describing miniatures for reviews and other purposes.

If this then led to the manufacturers using the same description that would be a good thing too, but that's secondary.

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