Scales in Wargames

Friends, it's no secret that we live in a time of innovative technologies. In my childhood, I was fascinated by assembling model planes and tanks. I couldn't have imagined that I would one day have my own mobile phone. It seemed like science fiction. But now? Look around - anyone can buy a 3D printer and create almost anything. From children's toys to prosthetics for humans and animals, everyday devices that make our lives easier. 3D printing has also made its way into our favorite hobby of miniatures. It's scary to think about how much is available on the internet. You can easily download and print various units, models, terrain pieces for almost all gaming universes, whether it's Warhammer, Saga, Cyberpunk, AD&D, Napoleonics, or BattleTech.

However, in tabletop wargames, it's often challenging to match the correct scale. Today, we'll try to help you with this daunting task.

So, let's start with the most basic concept: What is scale?

Models are created in a scale defined as the ratio of any linear size of the model to the equivalent size of the real-world object (called the "prototype"), expressed either as a ratio with a colon (e.g., 1:8 scale) or as a fraction with a slash (e.g., 1/8 scale).

The main scales for us, tabletop wargame fans and modelers, are:

In tabletop wargames, it's often challenging to measure a model's height due to poses, headgear, and other factors. The height of a model is usually measured by the "eye level."

It's worth noting that there's a concept in tabletop wargames called "Heroic Scale." Heroic Scale is a term commonly used in wargames to describe the style of miniature sculpture that emphasizes exaggerated proportions and stylized features. Unlike "realistic" scale miniatures that strive for anatomical accuracy and proportions, heroic scale miniatures often have enlarged heads, hands, and feet, as well as exaggerated muscles and facial features. The key feature of heroic scale is that it doesn't aim for absolute realism but rather focuses on aesthetic appeal and gameplay convenience.

28mm is the classic scale that has been used from the beginning of tabletop gaming history. It means that the height of a human figure is approximately

28 millimeters from feet to eyes. This scale is suitable for those who appreciate the detail and realism of their miniatures and for those who want to combine their collection with other games, such as Warhammer or Lord of the Rings.

32mm is a more modern scale that has become popular in recent years. It means that the height of a human figure is approximately 32 millimeters from feet to eyes. This scale is suitable for those who love large and expressive miniatures and those who want to create an epic and fantastical world for their adventures.

Now, let's briefly go through systems and their scales measured by "eye level," as some headgear can significantly increase a model's height:

120mm (1/16 scale)

75mm (1/24 scale)

57mm (1/32 scale)

54mm (1/35 scale)

42mm (1/43, O) or 40 by the eyes

35mm (1/52) or 32 by the eyes

32mm (1/56) or 28 by the eyes

30mm (1/60) or 28 by the eyes

28mm (1/64, S) or 25 by the eyes

25mm (1/72) or up to the eyes

21mm (1/80, HOj) by the eyes

20mm (1/87, HO) or up to the eyes

18mm (1/100) or 15 by the eyes

15mm (1/120, TT) up to the eyes

12mm (1/152, British N) up to the eyes

11mm (1/160, N) or 10 by the eyes

1/220 (Z gauge)

1/270 or 6mm up to the eyes