I have seen frequent requests on news groups regarding
scales. There is a fairly easy way to figure scales. This allows you to
figure out which scale of buildings or vehicles are suitable for which
range of figures. To calculate a fractional scale such as 1/285 it is necessary
to adopt a height that is usual for a man. Most figures available seem
to fall into the description of taller slimmer figure. Few manufactures
make short, fat riflemen for example. The figure I have settled on is 5'10"
as being an average height for a soldier.
Because figure height are given in millimeters
we have to convert this 5'10" to millimeters. Many figures are measured
as height to top of head, some to eye level. It is best to measure an actual
figure to head height (just figure where the top of the head is if he's
wearing a hat). All manufacturers will send you a sample if you haven't
bought anything yet.
5'10" is 1776. 1776 mm is the conversion figure.
If you feel your figures are taller than 5'10" you should use a bigger
number such as 6' or 1828 mm. (The figure is arrived at by multiplying
the height in inches by 25.4)
If you consider that 5'10" is an average and accept
a variance of 2" either side then the results can also be in this range
(+ or - 3%). As far as buildings and vehicles are concerned I personally
feel that + or - 10% does not look bad on the table.
What you do to get a fractional scale is divide
your conversion figure by the figure height. So, looking at one of my Britannia
20 mm GI's he is 23 mm tall, allowing for the fact he is crouching a little.
So 1776 /23 is 77 and a little bit. So that means his fractional scale
is 1/77. That is why he looks proportional to all those 1/76 th scale tanks
I have for him.
Now this works both ways. I found a 1/60 th scale
model of a Rolls Royce car and was wondering if it would look out of place
outside my British Embassy in Morocco for the Red Shadow's Desert Fantasy
So 1776 / 60 is 29 . That means a 5'10" dude would
be 29 mm at 1/60 th scale. My French Foreign Legion are 28 mm tall, so
that's within may acceptable range.
All you've got to do is remember 1776
1776 divided by figure height gives you a fractional
1776 divided by the fractional scale gives
you a figure height.
Doing some conversions from figures from my collection
we end up with
6 mm 1/296 th
9 mm 1/197 th
10 mm 1/178 th
15 mm 1/118 th
18 mm 1/99 th
20 mm 1/89 th
23 mm 1/77 th
25 mm 1/71 th
28 mm 1/63 rd
54 mm 1/33 rd
As you can see, most of these figures fall within
a few percent of commonly available models. Most 15 mm W.W.II figure are
actually nearer 18 mm in figure height so are also referred to as 1/100
th These do not look out of place with HO scale buildings (1/87th scale).
20 mm W.W.II figures are usually around 23 mm (1/77 th) and don't look
out of place with British Rail Road scale OO scale buildings (1/76). My
Skytrex action 200 tanks (1/200 th) look fine with Z Scale buildings (1/220)
The smaller the scale greater the tolerance that looks OK)
are Libyan occupation Italians from Frontier (25 mm or about 1/72), next
to a Corgi model toy car in 1/60th scale (about 28 mm). This difference
in scale looks OK to me and is about a 10% difference.
Anyway, just remember 1776.