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Made in gb
Twisted Trueborn with Blaster




28mm is *A* scale.

Most of my figures are 28mm. I find it a reasonable compromise for painting and gaming.

My warships are 1:600. I've sold my 6mm, which for me, were TOO small. I have some 15mm and 20mm WW2 vehicles, which are JUST different enough to be irritating.
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






Spoiler:
Mancada100 wrote:
Greetings;

Since I am not a heavily duty wargamer (more like a lurker, buying some miniatures once in a while) my overall experience had been so far with 28mm scale, mostly GW stuff, as I suspect has been the experience of most of the wargaming community.

However, although 28mm was the standard in my personal collection, I always felt like there were some things no OK with this size. The miniatures always seemed kind of too small and fragile and in the case of the most intricated and complex models, sometimes they looked overwhelming and a real pain to paint Furthermore the 28mm "heroic" always looked a bit weird... However, since GW and other big suppliers work mostly with 28mm, I never thought too much on the issue, assuming that things were like that because it was the best available option in practical terms.

But recently I purchased a 35mm wargame and I was blown away…

I mean, the design and the quality of those miniatures are fine, nothing exceptional … but the size; it just feels right! The miniatures seem stronger, more balanced in their body proportions and way easier to paint.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating that 35mm is superior to 28mm. I don’t intend to persuade anybody on what is in many cases a personal preference. But I have seen cases in KS of wargames failing because the miniatures were not 35mm, or fellow gamers refusing to consider a new game because the miniatures were not compatible with 28mm.

Thus, I have been thinking on how comes 28mm is the “standard”, what are the reasons for that, and why it seems there are not other options seriously challenging 28mm as the dominant scale.

- It is “just like it” because wargaming required a standard and 28mm just happened to be around?
- It is because 28mm is the best possible combination for gaming and painting purposes?
- It is because in economic terms is the best option size-cost available?
- It is because GW with its market dominance force-feeding us 28mm "heroic" until it became the standard?
- It is because most of the wargaming community is already used to it and has invested way too much in 28mm to ever consider jumping ships?

Kindly let me know your opinions on this issue.


To give a little background... Because you seem to not know.

Originally, Wargaming scale was large. Like 54mm. Before the war, In Germany and Great Britain, companies were making tin solders, and they came in two sizes. 54mm, and 54 mm. There was no smaller scale. That came later when , after the war, the tin was being reestablished as a toy solder medium. Companies in the states were coming up with Plastic. Later, with the advent of post war prosperity companies like MARX established a standardized scale for their sets, which increased in popularity and were priced reasonably cheaply for anyone to buy. Plastic became more popular for toy solders, and folks like Gygax began coming up with tabletop wargaming , but the larger scale figures were unwieldy for tabletop war in a smaller area, so they continued to shrink the figures to O scale/ 1/25th.

If you see the original figures that were being made by the likes of TSR, they had to use the smaller scale, because of price/ casting/ production.

At that point, wargaming came in different scales, and chits, 6mm, 1/35th, 1/25th, and smaller came from military wargaming and also from Hiistory gamers. they were not as specialized an item as they were in the GB toy soldier days, and you still played on the floor, but not with as rigid a rules set.

Off the top of my head, Wargaming started with a Prussian rules set that was used for military purposes, and then HG Wells evolved it, then later on Avalon Hill and Milton Bradly started mass producing, then there was a couple of Civil War rules sets, and two more that I can't think of that Gygax developed D and D chainmail out of.

The 1/32 scale came along as GW's contribution, and still slightly larger 1/40th scale, that is starting to make it's appearance with Warmachine.

Others can jump in, and they can shore up my rather lost hazy memories. I was there, but it was a long time ago, and the names were changed to protect the guilty, and some of the OG shops I played in.

IIRC, Cowboys and Indians, Romans, and 19th century war were made famous.

I have the honor of still having my old mans toy soldier collection, and he has 2 scales of figures from back in the day- 4 centimeters, and 7 centimeters. Britain, Cast Lead, and a company named Elastolin, which is a German company that you used projectiles, and some sort of rules set that I am still trying to track down.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elastolin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toy_soldier

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britains

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_men

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/11/30 06:15:40




At Games Workshop, we believe that how you behave does matter. We believe this so strongly that we have written it down in the Games Workshop Book. There is a section in the book where we talk about the values we expect all staff to demonstrate in their working lives. These values are Lawyers, Guns and Money. 
   
Made in ch
Been Around the Block




Cananda

There are other reasons for 28mm being standard is that originally sculpting models would require a Master Copy that is massive in comparison to the finished project. This master copy was huge. You can see perry miniatures has a couple of pictures of this on their website.

Now I am guessing here but as I understand this is a standard in larger productions. The Perry brothers are the guys that sculpted a lot of the original GW lines I think don't quote me on that.

Anyways it seems like any larger looks like it would prove to be more difficult to sculpt and manufacture.

Another reason is the dye can only hold so many things. It seems to be more economical to put more on the dye that costs in some cases tens of thousands to produce when you add up tooling, labor, etc.

28mm as rule could fit more models on a dye than 32mm that would increase sales/production.

Another point would be that 28mm seems finger-friendly easy to move around on the table "just the right size" for younger teens and is on average around the same size as a chess piece. This again is a guess but perhaps an educated one.

Here an interesting video on the Birth of wargaming that might give some additional insight into this discussion.






This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/11/30 18:46:25


 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






UK

This is a great question, I've often wondered this. We use 1/72 figs because of their unbelievable cheapness compared to regular wargames figures and the quality is certainly usable, paintable and the spectacle looks good. I've never understood why this scale isn't more widely used.

Skinflint Games- war gaming in the age of austerity

http://www.skinflintgames.co.uk

 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




Lincoln, UK

 Skinflint Games wrote:
This is a great question, I've often wondered this. We use 1/72 figs because of their unbelievable cheapness compared to regular wargames figures and the quality is certainly usable, paintable and the spectacle looks good. I've never understood why this scale isn't more widely used.


Airfix was hugely popular when it came out at first - 60s and 70s wargaming books and magazines are full of Airfix conversions making just about anything out of Robin Hood, astronauts and the marching band!

Polyethylene is injection-moulded like styrene (GW plastic) so there's an initial cost bump to get over before cheap-material production. Easy for high-volume toys, not so easy in the garage scene that was miniature wargames. Wargamers want a million different things too - metal casting in rubber moulds is cheaper to get into, even if the material costs are higher.

The material was also a pain to work with - wouldn't glue or take paint well. Nowadays the companies mix styrene in so the material will take glue and paint, and we have specialist glue that can handle anything, but there were many discussions right up to the 2000s about how to deal with soft plastic figures.

Also, the gun barrels always broke off my model tanks. Now there are... robust... kits for gaming.

I think people feel that 15mm is "right" for them because it presses so many buttons - how much you can put on the table, painting abstraction and speed, manoeuvre space all seem to feel right.

You are right though - gamers who don't know about 1/72 figures are often astonished by the range, quality and low cost.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/12/02 02:06:47


 
   
Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

My big problem with the 1/72 and 1/35 minis I’ve bought is the plastic. It’s difficult to work with, frustrating as hell to glue, and feels weird when primed. I would have expanded my Arcane Legions minis into...legions, but spent all my time frustrated rather than enjoying my hobby. Nuts to that.

   
Made in at
'Jack Scrapper





Austria

glueing PE or PVC can be a problem
yet at least in Germany/Austria you get special glues for that from the hardware/electronic store

the other option that worked well is to use Kneadite/GreenStuff + Super Glue

but now most companies produce in HIPS as well (Zveda, Italeri, Revell)

something intresting here are the Diorama/Battle Sets from Italeri
you get 2 factions and terrain for a specific battle/event for 50-80€ wich makes a perfect starting point for a period or can be kept as stand alone game

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
Made in ch
Been Around the Block




Cananda

 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
My big problem with the 1/72 and 1/35 minis I’ve bought is the plastic. It’s difficult to work with, frustrating as hell to glue, and feels weird when primed. I would have expanded my Arcane Legions minis into...legions, but spent all my time frustrated rather than enjoying my hobby. Nuts to that.


I've never seen 1/72 figures before. Anyone have a size comparison handy?
   
Made in at
'Jack Scrapper





Austria

not my pictures



Spoiler:

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/12/02 10:02:13


Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






UK

 Momotaro wrote:
 Skinflint Games wrote:
This is a great question, I've often wondered this. We use 1/72 figs because of their unbelievable cheapness compared to regular wargames figures and the quality is certainly usable, paintable and the spectacle looks good. I've never understood why this scale isn't more widely used.


Airfix was hugely popular when it came out at first - 60s and 70s wargaming books and magazines are full of Airfix conversions making just about anything out of Robin Hood, astronauts and the marching band!

Polyethylene is injection-moulded like styrene (GW plastic) so there's an initial cost bump to get over before cheap-material production. Easy for high-volume toys, not so easy in the garage scene that was miniature wargames. Wargamers want a million different things too - metal casting in rubber moulds is cheaper to get into, even if the material costs are higher.

The material was also a pain to work with - wouldn't glue or take paint well. Nowadays the companies mix styrene in so the material will take glue and paint, and we have specialist glue that can handle anything, but there were many discussions right up to the 2000s about how to deal with soft plastic figures.

Also, the gun barrels always broke off my model tanks. Now there are... robust... kits for gaming.

I think people feel that 15mm is "right" for them because it presses so many buttons - how much you can put on the table, painting abstraction and speed, manoeuvre space all seem to feel right.

You are right though - gamers who don't know about 1/72 figures are often astonished by the range, quality and low cost.


Tell me about it - here's my Caesar Miniatures 1/72 Skaven army:



That little lot cost less than £40! How many Skaven from GW can you get for that?

Skinflint Games- war gaming in the age of austerity

http://www.skinflintgames.co.uk

 
   
Made in it
Regular Dakkanaut




 kodos wrote:
[…]
Spoiler:

In my humble opinion if you want play a reinforced company size game (200 infantry models with some vehicles and artillery pieces), the best scales are the ones of the miniature number 2 and 3, while if you want play a platoon size game (50 infantry miniatures and few vehicles and artillery pieces), you can use the larger scalesù, for larger games you must adopt the 6 millimeter scale.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/12/02 19:28:59


If the Imperial Truth were right, the Gods of Chaos shouldn't exist, but this means that they shouldn't had been able to corrupt Horus, so his heresy shouldn't had happened. But because the Horus Heresy happened, the Gods exist, then the Emperor of Mankind is truly our God, so he is infallible and this prove that the Imperial Truth is true. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




Part of the reason you don't see much larger scales is when planning, you have to think about the size of the largest model you'd ever expect to make. Practicality and playability doesn't really change that much for infantry at 28mm or 32mm, but monsters like dragons or war machines like super heavy tanks, knights, or titans (which are often on the fuzzy side of scale anyway) become problematic.
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado






Chicago

For the wider industry 28mm is special because GW is/was 28mm and for better or worse they steered the industry for decades. So you have decades of 28mm minis and that's alot of momentum. Simple as that.

Similarly, 28mm is special to me personally because there is 35+ years of great figures in it. For someone who gamed primarily with bargain/used/old figures, the wealth of available figures is in 28mm. I used to do alot of hunting for miniatures to include in my games that were cheap, odd, unusual or just plain cool. There is just so much of that in scales between 25mm and 30mm. It's a treasure hunt that goes on forever.

Practically speaking I enjoy that it is a very effective medium point that offers more detail than smaller scales and is easier and much less expensive than larger scales. I just like the scale and even for a company-size game like KoW (which would be much better in 15mm) I like the look of 28mm on the table.
Much of what attractts me to wargaming is the specacle and 28mm offers about the biggest spectacle you can have and still fit it on a table.

For many folks like me sticking with or near 28mm also comes into play when building terrain. I've got ALOT of 28mm'ish terrain and some 10mm terrain and I really don't need another terrain collection.

Miniatures 35mm and larger seem to be increasingly used for the beneifit of achieving a higher artfullness in painting and allowing the manufacturer to charge a higher price. Thesd are not necessarily bad but I'm not interested in spending more money so that I can spend more time painting.

For the record I'm pretty flexible when it comes to actual scale of miniatures. My collection ranges mostly from 25mm to 32mm (maybe a few 35mm), but they're all in a range whereby they can interact with my terrain collection and with each other. Anything bigger than 35mm has little interest to me.

 Grot 6 wrote:
[

To give a little background... Because you seem to not know.

Originally, Wargaming scale was large. Like 54mm. Before the war, In Germany and Great Britain, companies were making tin solders, and they came in two sizes. 54mm, and 54 mm. There was no smaller scale. That came later when , after the war, the tin was being reestablished as a toy solder medium. Companies in the states were coming up with Plastic. Later, with the advent of post war prosperity companies like MARX established a standardized scale for their sets, which increased in popularity and were priced reasonably cheaply for anyone to buy. Plastic became more popular for toy solders, and folks like Gygax began coming up with tabletop wargaming , but the larger scale figures were unwieldy for tabletop war in a smaller area, so they continued to shrink the figures to O scale/ 1/25th.

If you see the original figures that were being made by the likes of TSR, they had to use the smaller scale, because of price/ casting/ production.

At that point, wargaming came in different scales, and chits, 6mm, 1/35th, 1/25th, and smaller came from military wargaming and also from Hiistory gamers. they were not as specialized an item as they were in the GB toy soldier days, and you still played on the floor, but not with as rigid a rules set.

Off the top of my head, Wargaming started with a Prussian rules set that was used for military purposes, and then HG Wells evolved it, then later on Avalon Hill and Milton Bradly started mass producing, then there was a couple of Civil War rules sets, and two more that I can't think of that Gygax developed D and D chainmail out of.

The 1/32 scale came along as GW's contribution, and still slightly larger 1/40th scale, that is starting to make it's appearance with Warmachine.
to track down.
n


Lots of good historical information here regarding companies, but you've got alot of confused and wrong numbers regarding fractional scales.

For those interested, this old page does a nice job laying out the comparisons between fractional scales and "mm" (height from sole to eyleine) measurements/ http://theminiaturespage.com/ref/scales.html

Corrections:
-GW is NOT 1/32 (50mm). and Warmachine is NOT 1/40 (40mm).

-GW ranges from 28mm to 32mm depending on figure and tends to be between 1/56 and 1/50'ish though of course comparing between strict fractional scales and heroic minis is a frought process.

-Warmachine tends to be around 30mm (1/54) and some a bit larger though I haven't been paying alot of attention

-1/32 is actually very close to 54mm (technically 50mm) folks gaming in 54mm can often pull from 1/32 die cast, 1/35 models, etc.

-O-scale is 1/43 in Europe and 1/48 in the USA .

-1/24th (close to 70mm IIRC) is almost never used as a wargaming scale, though it is common among car model makers and those painting larger display models.


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/12/07 19:18:10


Chicago Skirmish Wargames club. Join us for some fast-play, indie gaming in the windy city.
http://chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/


My Project Log, mostly revolving around custom "Toybashed" terrain.
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/651712.page

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad!
https://chicagovalleyrailroad.blogspot.com 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




Lincoln, UK

A lot of good points Eilif!

I actually gave up on Star Wars Legion because the figures gelt too big compared to my 37 years worth of scenery. In the opposite direction, 15mm buildings are cheap to buy, quick to paint and take up 1/8 the volume of my 28mm scenery.

Natural scenery works with many scales - a 10cm tree is a 5 metre sapling in 28mm, a 10-15 metre mature tree in 15-10mm and a 30 metre ancient in 6mm.

Another thing people forget is that GW bases add 5mm to the height of the mini, and they're effectively moving around the table with a door strapped to their feet. For that reason, 1/48 or 1/43 vehicles have become popular with 1/56 minis. Some 40k tanks are better proxied with 1/35 vehicles.

Fortunately for us, 1/43 is a common scale for diecast cars, and 1/48 is not unusual for model kits. 1/48 kits tended to be more for planes and choppers, but wargames manufacturers have jumped on the scale with enthusiasm.

O-scale railway buildings are also good for 28mm figures - Plasticville, for example.




Automatically Appended Next Post:
Skinflint, love your Skaven!

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/12/07 20:13:52


 
   
Made in us
Seven Year War Afficianado






Chicago

 Momotaro wrote:
A lot of good points Eilif!

I actually gave up on Star Wars Legion because the figures gelt too big compared to my 37 years worth of scenery...

...Another thing people forget is that GW bases add 5mm to the height of the mini, and they're effectively moving around the table with a door strapped to their feet. For that reason, 1/48 or 1/43 vehicles have become popular with 1/56 minis. Some 40k tanks are better proxied with 1/35 vehicles.

Fortunately for us, 1/43 is a common scale for diecast cars, and 1/48 is not unusual for model kits. 1/48 kits tended to be more for planes and choppers, but wargames manufacturers have jumped on the scale with enthusiasm.

O-scale railway buildings are also good for 28mm figures - Plasticville...!


Thanks!
I hear you on Legion. Was tempted but size was a turn off.

GW basses are 3mm but I take your point that those are some very useful mm's when it comes to scenery. Also the bulk/thickness of heroic figures contribute nicely to making them look good alongside vehicles that are technically too big but are affordable and readily available.
https://www.chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/2014/12/chicago-police-from-tactical-miniatures/
We had alot of fun with 1/43 and 1/48 and even some larger die cast.
https://www.chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/2012/05/atomic-highway-little-wars-battle/


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/12/07 21:39:44


Chicago Skirmish Wargames club. Join us for some fast-play, indie gaming in the windy city.
http://chicagoskirmishwargames.com/blog/


My Project Log, mostly revolving around custom "Toybashed" terrain.
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/651712.page

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad!
https://chicagovalleyrailroad.blogspot.com 
   
 
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