Sunday, March 25, 2012

A question of Scale

I'm considering issues of scale.  My favorite scale is 28mm.  I love the balance between detail and size.  There are a lot of manufacturers out there for all periods/genres.  The only real drawback, from my standpoint, is cost.  Other than that, this is the sweet spot for me.

The two other scales I'm willing to consider are 20mm and 15mm.  There are a ton of minis for all historical periods as well as fantasy and sci/fi, available in both.  Honestly, I'm not even looking for fantasy in anything but 28mm.  It's when looking at historicals and sci/fi that I have to give this some thought.

The largest WWII mini game is played in 15mm.  I think, for my purposes, WWII will be 15mm and 28mm.  I'll have to decide if I'm actually going to play Flames of War before I buy any more 15mm stuff.  There are several promising sets of rules for platoon or lower combat that would be great with 28mm.

Looking at other historical periods, ancients, medieval, Napoleonic, ACW, I can see the attraction of giant armies in those periods, I'm just left cold by the models.  I have several blogs in my blog roll from players who game in those systems.  I'm trying to find the attraction for them but I just am not seeing it yet.

So, where does 20mm come in?  Modern and Sci/fi.  There a ton of nice model makers out there working in 20mm.  Nice vehicles, good infantry, nice terrain.

Here's the thing.  I don't really care about collecting different scales in and of itself.  That's not the issue.  I have every intention of collecting WWII in both 28mm and 15mm.  It's the terrain that causes me issues.  I love terrain and want my tables to look great.  That means a lot of stuff, because let's face it, people don't normally fight over empty ground.

If I buy the, really tempting, stuff in 20mm, then that is a whole different set of terrain I need to collect as well, and that is what makes me hesitate.  So, if anyone can tell me what they love about 15mm as well as reasons to take the plunge on 20mm, I'd appreciate hearing it.  I'm still early in my collecting so I have not committed myself to anything.


  1. For Science Fiction, I would stick to either 28mm or 15mm, there really isn't any 20mm Sci Fi out there unless you are going to turn Modern vehicle kits into near future stuff. The 15mm range out there is actually incredible if you really look deep. The blog is incredible for this stuff. 28mm is going to cost you an arm and a leg, but has amazingly beautiful sculpts (Not just GW either). I find myself liking a lot of the 15mm, mainly due to the variety of stuff. For WW2... you can do just about any scale. You really aren't limited in any way besides cash. However, with Warlord pumping out Bolt Action figures left and right, you really aren't paying much more for 28mm than you would if you bought into Flames of War. Now if you truly are interested in moderns... I can't say enough about 20mm. 1/72 kits are everywhere, and some of the 20mm sculptors are just down right amazing. It also costs a fraction of 28mm, and is barely more expensive than 15mm. At the end of the day though, it is aesthetics for me. There are just certain periods that I feel look better at different scales. I am not saying individual sculpts, I am saying overall feel. I don't like how modern camouflage paints up on 28mm figures, it doesn't look right to me. I love the look of a giant 2000 point 10mm Ancients army on the table, it just looks like a real army. I do love the size and feel of 28mm WW2 infantry and vehicles. Not sure if that helps, but it is my 2 cents

  2. I appreciate the comments and the sentiments. I think one key thing, for me, with smaller scales is vehicles. I would never dream of 10mm, except if I was doing an all armor game and then it would work. I've found some super nice Sci-Fi stuff in 28mm, so that is probably going to be the main scale for me in that genre. I'm looking at platoon level games for that and it will make even the more expensive models affordable. You make some good points about 20mm for moderns. That also seems to be what most people play, so if I'm going to do that then that seems like the scale to go for.

    Of course, that leaves me with the problem of terrain. All of a sudden I'm looking at three different sizes of terrain, completely leaving out games like Dystopian Wars. If nothing else, that will probably slow down my voyage into different scales.

    Thanks for the comments. That helped.


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