Re: "figure scale" (25mm) vs. "model scale" (1/72)

Allan Wright (
Fri, 20 Oct 1995 16:01:26 -0400 (EDT)

> At 11:08 AM 10/20/95 -0500, Matt Bitner wrote:
> Okay, this brings up a point I am always confused by. How do you convert a
> figure scale (like 25mm) into a model scale (like 1/72)?

Here's the 'real' answer and some more information (from someone who
builds models and wargames with figures). The MM scale considers the
height of a figure TO THE EYEBALLS in order to nullify the effect of
helmets, hats, etc. Here's the conversion chart:

The size of a miniature, relative to what it is a replica of, is known as the scale of the figure. For no
particularly good reason, two different systems are used to rate scale.

Some scales are given as a ratio, variously written as either a ratio (i.e., 1:300 or 1.300) or a fraction
(i.e., 1/300). The number on the right of the pair indicates how many units (inches or centimeters) on
the original are equivalent to one unit on the replica. For example, with a 1:300 scale miniature, if
the miniature is 1" long, then the original was 300" in length. In spoken English, you would say
1/300 as "one [pause] three hundred scale."

Other scales are simply listed as a certain height, such as 15mm or 54mm. This height represents
(depending upon whom you talk to) the height of an average man in this scale, or the height of a
man's eyes in this scale. So, roughly speaking, in 15mm scale most soldiers will be about 15mm tall
(not counting headgear).

To convert ratio scales into height scales, divide 1717 by the scale. For example, 1/285 figures
(microarmor) are the same scale as

1717 / 285 = 6.02

6mm figures.

The reverse is also true: to get ratio scale, divide 1717 by the height scale. Thus, 25mm figures are
equivalent to

1717 / 25 = 68.68

1/69 scale (which is close to 1/72 scale, a common scale).

Listed in size order from small to large, these are the scales used in military wargaming:

1/6000 -- Some naval miniatures come in this scale.
1/4800 -- Certain naval miniatures are available in this scale.
1/3000 -- European manufacturers produce naval miniatures in this scale, just slightly
smaller than 1/2400 scale.
1/2400 -- Commonly used for naval miniatures (WWI, WWII, modern).
1/1200 -- Also used for naval miniatures, especially for pre-20th century ships. (In the
modern periods, most gamers now use 1/2400 scale due to price and playing area size.)
2mm -- At this scale, each miniature actually represents an entire unit (a group of men,
squadron of cavalry, battery of artillery). Recommended for those who want to depict large,
epic battles in a limited table space.
1/700 -- One manufacturer offers rules in this scale, to be used for the paper ship kits he
produces. A large range of plastic ships are also available from several manufacturers in this
1/300 -- European manufacturers offer microarmor in this scale, slightly smaller than 1/285
1/285 -- The popular scale for "microarmor" (modern combat, often involving armored
vehicles). Periods include WWI, WWII, and contemporary. Aircraft miniatures are also
available in this scale.
6mm -- Equivalent to 1/285 scale. Historical miniatures in this scale have the advantage of
being inexpensive. The small size also means there is less visible detail to paint.
1/200 -- Another scale in which 20th Century armored vehicles are available.
10mm -- Some historical soldiers are available in this scale, including a new American Civil
War line from a major manufacturer.
1/144 -- Plastic aircraft kits are available in this scale.
1/100 -- Plastic kits of mechs (robotic fighting machines) are available in this scale.
15mm -- The most popular scale for pre-20th Century wargaming. Also used for 20th
Century "skirmish-level" games.
20mm -- Becoming popular for skirmish-level 20th Century wargaming.
1/87 -- Same as 20mm. Several popular lines of pre- assembled and painted armored
vehicles are available in this scale.
1/76 -- Plastic miniatures and kits are available in this scale for aircraft, ground vehicles, and
1/72 -- As above, though a slight bit larger.
25mm -- Traditionally popular for pre-20th Century wargaming, though most gamers have
now switched to 15mm. Continues to be popular for fantasy wargaming, historical
skirmish-level games, and for use with role-playing games.
30mm -- Another scale used for pre-20th Century miniatures.
54mm -- Traditional "toy soldier" scale, no longer a common scale in miniature wargaming.
80mm -- These and larger scales are not used for wargaming miniatures, but instead are
figures which are painted and displayed as a hobby unto themselves.

The above info stolen from the miniatures page.