This months topic for the Sprue Cutters Union is: “Scale”
Scale has always been one of those picky subjects for me. When I was but a wee lad, my toys all had to be close to the same scale. I remember vividly having one of those giant dirtbike toys that didn’t match anything else in my toybox and I hated it. HATED. IT.
Anyways, as my hobbying has ebbed and flowed I’ve fluctuated on what I thought of the various scales. As a kid I would build anything, the only requirements were that it struck my fancy and I could afford it.
As I got back into hobbying 5-ish years ago, I kind of started settling. 1/72 for my models and as the only wargame I played was BattleTech, 6 mm (1/285) for it.
As the past few years I’ve seen that evolve a bit.
On the model front I’m mostly going to stick with 1/72—between time and room availability, the scale works for me. Plus, as my friend Edward points out, it’s nice to see everything compared to each other. I particularly look forward to getting my Babylon 5 StarFury done and placed next to some contemporary planes. However, I’m looking to get into 1/35th (or 48th) for Armor. Partly due to my experiences with 40K (see below) but also because a lot of the Armour subjects I find interesting, are going to be tiny. And I really want to build a 1/35th Tasca M4A3E8. Like a lot.
Wargaming has seen me evolve quite a bit, comparatively. BattleTech will always be my first wargaming love, but as my skills have gotten (marginally) better, I’ve wanted to try some new tricks that really don’t translate well to 6mm. Heck, BattleTech minis may not even be 6mm anymore, and while many of them a really well detailed, consistency of scale is something that Iron Wind Metals has been all over the bored with. Which, like the dirtbike above, drives me insane.
I also picked up quite a bit of 6mm GHQ and CinC Soviet minis for a Cold War-Hot! game. The tanks and such are scale consistent (at least within their respective brands) and are insanely detailed, but are tiny and kind of tedious to work on.
Almost two years ago now, I bit the bullet and finally picked up some Imperial Guard miniatures for 40K and haven’t looked back. The tanks and apcs are the perfect size to really show off some advanced techniques (oil washes, chipping, scratch building, etc). The Cadian infantry minis are a different story, but I think I’m getting the hang of painting ‘people’. As most know 40K is what Games Workshop calls: ‘heroic 28mm’, which basically means what ever they want it to be. The scale…weirdness is most noticeable in ranges such as the Cadian and Catachan infantry with over sized hands and weapons way too large for any normal human to carry. That’s also not really mentioning the fact that while supposedly the same scale, Space Marine miniatures, which are supposed to be 7+ feet tall and 500 pound genetically modified humans, are hardly any taller than than a Cadian infantryman miniature.
The tanks are hardly any better in regards to a true scale, the Leman Russ is somewhere about 1/42 using the in-universe size, and the Chimera looks like it would be a sardine can of death if more than half it’s advertised carry capacity actually showed up. But for me, 40K looks OK with 1/48 scale real tanks so that’s where I go if i’m looking for something different.
What about you, what kind of scales do you like?