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TwilightOdyssey
30-07-2006, 02:24
Sorry, the title for this one is a bit obtuse.

My question is:
I know that 40K is a '28mm scale' game. But I've never seen what the actual scale is.

So, for those of you in the know, finish this equation:
28mm = [insert scale here]


(As a side note, a big thank you to all of you who are helping fill in the gaps in my knowledge base. This forum has proven to be a great help!!

starlight
30-07-2006, 02:34
A) GW's *28mm* scale - isn't really.

B) GW's scale has creeped up over the years.

TheSonOfAbbadon
30-07-2006, 02:44
I think that on models only [not gun ranges or movement ranges] it's 28mm = 6-7 foot[ish]. On gun ranges and movement rannges, it's more like 28mm = 10metres [as it was once said that the 6" charge range represents a 50 yard dash towards the enemy].

starlight
30-07-2006, 02:53
A *mm* scale is the distance from the ground to the eyes of a six foot tall male human. All other models are scaled off of that measurement. GW's heads, hands and weapons are *heroically* oversized. Also many models, including Marines do not adhere to the 28mm scale, as they should be quite a bit taller than the IG, who are closer.

scarvet
30-07-2006, 02:59
28mm scale means every standard size miniature in a army is 28mm. Everything else is done for gaming scale, which is differ from one to the other if you read the fantasy rule book.

Messiah
30-07-2006, 03:06
Roughly 1:71

ZigZagMan
30-07-2006, 04:38
The scale is approx. 1/48 when comparing it to other models out there. 40k Is a tad bit bigger due to GW slowly making the models bigger, but I think that is the orginal scale.

Indrid Khold
30-07-2006, 06:52
Stop trying to ruin the magic of it. ;)

ThousandPlateaus
30-07-2006, 09:38
The scale of 28mm = 1:64, otherwise known as S-Scale in Railway/Architectural terms.

Gen.Steiner
30-07-2006, 11:21
1:64, eh?

So 1:56, 1:48 and all the other bizzare concoctions knocking around in the historical mini companies' which make vehicles are wrong? Fair play.

Oh, is 25mm 1:72?

revford
30-07-2006, 11:55
I thought that 1:56 was 28mm, my WWII vehicles are 1:56 and fit nicely with 28mm soldiers.

I thought that 25mm was 1:60?

Of course I can be and am often wrong on these things.

TwilightOdyssey
30-07-2006, 12:17
Thanx for the info!

It's obvious that the scale only pertains to the models, not to distance moved, building scale, or weapons range!

Gen.Steiner
30-07-2006, 12:19
Thanx for the info!

It's obvious that the scale only pertains to the models, not to distance moved, building scale, or weapons range!

Yeah, all those things are heavily abstracted, hence the Amazing Range Reducing Rifles whose range halves when you move... :rolleyes:


Of course I can be and am often wrong on these things.

It doesn't really matter so long as it looks good, though.

TwilightOdyssey
30-07-2006, 12:23
Well, worked out to rough scale ...

A 6" assault charge would be about 40' when measured down to scale, and the average floor:ceiling height in CoD would be 20' high; that sounds about right to me, for rough estimates.

The 12" high ziggurat terrain piece I made would be about 80' high in game scale, which sounds about right, too.

The weapons range is where it gets a bit wacky.

sigur
30-07-2006, 12:24
It's no real scale at all. When using real model kits with 40k minis, just see what fits.

t-tauri
30-07-2006, 14:08
Any real scale comparison is rubbish because GW figures have exaggerrated features-hands and heads are much bigger than in reality as are weapons. It doesn't match any real scale as wargames figures do. A "true" 28mm would be 1/64 but the cartoonish features of a GW figure make that look wrong. You need larger scale items to get a decent match.

If you're looking for compatible kits/scenery then 1/48 or the US O gauge railway scale is about the best match though things like gun barrels will be very tiny in comparison to 40k figures. Other scales can be used. 1/35 light tank hulls are often good but the figures and weapons are very wrong.

The best advice is to hold a figure next to the hull/terrain and see how it looks. Often that doesn't work if you're looking to buy over the net, of course. :)

hellfire
30-07-2006, 14:17
doesn't gw make tanks on a slightly smallert scale to avoid makeing them too impressive
As for exagerating parts there isn't anything wrong with it if you scale something down exactly it looks weird thats why we highlight our models instead of having "natural highlights" things work and look diffrent at such a small scale if you don't beilieve put a guardsmen on a CoD building
Is there anything that seems out of proportion with the guardsmen?
Does It seem weird that a 3 story building is 60-70 feet high?
If there is you're looking to closely

schoon
30-07-2006, 15:58
Even though technically the 1:64 S-Scale is correct for 28mm figures, Games Workshop has been more like 30-32mm for some time now.

...and given the heroic scale of their buildings as well, you may find that 1:48 O-Scale is a better fit.

ThousandPlateaus
30-07-2006, 16:06
1:64, eh?

So 1:56, 1:48 and all the other bizzare concoctions knocking around in the historical mini companies' which make vehicles are wrong? Fair play.

Oh, is 25mm 1:72?

Huh? Not sure I understand about the historical miniatures...
But 25mm should work out at 1:72...

Yeah, the 1:64 scale is just for the troops (and even then is exaggerated by their disproportionate heads/hands/weapons, etc). The tanks and buildings are on a completely different scale and exaggerated for effect - although the CoD buildings being about 20' tall per floor would seem apt; don't forget - they're all Gothic buildings.

Lord knows what scale the tanks are supposed to be...

There's a good German model railway supplier that make scenery that works well in 40k - their name escapes me now... I'l post it later.

ThousandPlateaus
30-07-2006, 16:11
Even though technically the 1:64 S-Scale is correct for 28mm figures, Games Workshop has been more like 30-32mm for some time now.

...and given the heroic scale of their buildings as well, you may find that 1:48 O-Scale is a better fit.

Isn't that just for Marines, though, (32mm) who would be disproportionately large (being 7'+ tall monsterbeasts)?
1:48 works pretty well - I have an architectural model person as a Sage in my WH retinue, and she looks perfectly scaled as a human.

Bork
30-07-2006, 17:38
IIRC 28mm scale means that the distance of a (normal) models eyes from the ground is 28mm.

Shibboleth
30-07-2006, 17:42
I once read an article on creating Genestealer Cult Limousines and the guy (forget his name, a US staffer) recommended 1/43 scale vehicles as the closest match.

starlight
30-07-2006, 17:49
The guy is likely Tim Huckleberry.:D

Shibboleth
30-07-2006, 18:04
That's him. :)

luchog
30-07-2006, 22:17
Oh, is 25mm 1:72?
It depends, really.
Part of the problem is how they're measured. There're multiple standards for measureing models, depending on what part of the world you're in, and which game company you're dealing with. A "28mm scale" model from one company may be larger, or the same size as a "25mm" scale" model from another company.

And with Games Workshop, they don't use a consistent scale anyway, since some larger models, as well as nearly all vehicles, are on a scale completely different from the troops.

Marines aren't necessarily on a different scale, as some have claimed, since they are inhumanly large. Some of the US GW "Battle Bunker" stores have full-size marine figures, built to official "fluff" specs. My local one does, and that things is monstrous.

UnRiggable
31-07-2006, 01:56
they said that 48 inches is the equivalent of 2 kilometers in US wd 297.

TwilightOdyssey
31-07-2006, 02:31
they said that 48 inches is the equivalent of 2 kilometers in US wd 297.
Now, that makes NO logical sense, because then an average CoD level would be about 36' high, if 48" = 2,000 meters!!! I don't see why there should be any difference between vertical scale (going from the ground up) or horizontal scale (going across the table). (I'm not saying that there isn't one, mind you, just that there shouldn't be one!)

Worked in the reverse, with an average of 28mm = 1.092" = 2m, 48" would be about 44 28mm units, or 1.2km. That's roughly half!

starlight
31-07-2006, 02:38
Length and height are measured differently in GW's worlds, just like infantry and vehicles and terrain are all to different scales.

TwilightOdyssey
31-07-2006, 02:44
Length and height are measured differently in GW's worlds, just like infantry and vehicles and terrain are all to different scales.
Wow. My brain just melted! :confused: :eek: :wtf:

pyramid_head
31-07-2006, 03:10
Length and height are measured differently in GW's worlds, just like infantry and vehicles and terrain are all to different scales.

vehicles are in the same scale as infantry they are just really big, refer to imperial armor one for confirmation of the size comparisons

GodofWarTx
31-07-2006, 04:01
Now, that makes NO logical sense, because then an average CoD level would be about 36' high, if 48" = 2,000 meters!!! I don't see why there should be any difference between vertical scale (going from the ground up) or horizontal scale (going across the table). (I'm not saying that there isn't one, mind you, just that there shouldn't be one!)

Worked in the reverse, with an average of 28mm = 1.092" = 2m, 48" would be about 44 28mm units, or 1.2km. That's roughly half!


i dont think you are getting it. The horizontal scale is elastic and is quite seperate from the model representations of buildings, battle tanks, and soldiers.

You cant have anything truely to scale in a wargame. Face it guys. You would have basilisks landing shots to cars out in the parking lot when it comes to long range shots if it was to scale with the size of the minis.

The white dwarf above explains it quite well, where its not quite a linear scale, as you move inward (from, say, 72 inches), each inch represents less and less actual distance, so whereas an inch from 71 inches to 72 inches is 100 meters, an inch from 3 inches to 4 inches is likely only 4 meters in distance.

Make sense? =)

Chem-Dog
31-07-2006, 08:09
...put a guardsmen on a CoD building
Is there anything that seems out of proportion with the guardsmen?
Does It seem weird that a 3 story building is 60-70 feet high?
If there is you're looking to closely

Hmm, given the fact that the stuff in the CoD sets is Imperium Gothic Architecture, this is about right, the Imperium builds it's stuff to be impressive and inspiring.
On a gameplay/practicality slant, there are models much taller than your average IG trooper who might want to stand on the balcony ;).

I always understood the inch of tabletop to be about three foot (roughly 1 metre) in real life, so a Marine (who is about 2" tall) would be about 6' tall (not a bad comparison, considering there are very few marine models who are standing bolt upright).

TwilightOdyssey
31-07-2006, 13:24
i dont think you are getting it.
Oh no, I'm getting it. Just trying to have a civil conversation about it!


The horizontal scale is elastic and is quite seperate from the model representations of buildings, battle tanks, and soldiers.
Obviously.


You cant have anything truely to scale in a wargame.
True.


Make sense? =)
Perfect. Thanx for your input!

Messiah
31-07-2006, 13:34
IIRC 28mm scale means that the distance of a (normal) models eyes from the ground is 28mm.

I was under the impression that 28mm scale implied that 28mm = 2 meters..

ThousandPlateaus
31-07-2006, 13:40
28mm is equivalent to 6' or 1.8m, so nearly, but not exactly.
And, yeah - it's supposed to be to top of head.

Gen.Steiner
31-07-2006, 16:10
Wargames models are measured from the base of the feet to the eyes, hence SHQ's strapline of "20mm High From Foot to Eye".

t-tauri
31-07-2006, 17:24
Wargames models are measured from the base of the feet to the eyes, hence SHQ's strapline of "20mm High From Foot to Eye".
Some are measured sole to top of head, which is why places like TMP are full of threads asking how manufacturer X's 20mm Russians match with manufacturer Y's. Scale is often variable as one manufacturer's 20mm is another's 1/72 or even approaching 25mm.

There's a decent scale article (http://theminiaturespage.com/ref/scales.html) on TMP.

Gen.Steiner
31-07-2006, 17:37
Bah and humbug. :p I prefer the foot-eye method mesel', but hey ho. It is a good and interesting article, tho'.

ThousandPlateaus
31-07-2006, 18:05
But then you'd have guardsmen who were all 6' to eye level - add on forehead and hat/helmet and then you're looking at 6'5" standard troops!

Getz
31-07-2006, 18:07
Truth is, there is no fixed and consistant scale in 40k.

However, I find the best rule of thumb is 1/48 if you intend to use a big tank kit, 1/35 if it's only a little tanks kit and don't even bother with the infantry as even nominally similar scales (such as GW and Rackhams 28mm scuplts) can look so vastly differnt proportionately to make mixing them pointless. Instead take that on a case by case basis...

LonelyPath
12-12-2010, 14:45
IIRC 28mm scale means that the distance of a (normal) models eyes from the ground is 28mm.

This is correct, in fact many manufacturers (like Hasslefree) even mention this in their FAQ's about how scales are measured for miniatures.

@ Shibboleth - that stuff about Stealer Cult Limos was originally mentioned in WD 116 waaaay back in 1989 and recommended usinf 1/43 scale cars to represent them. That staffer was a british guy, can't remember his name though, but he did alot to delved deeper in the habitat and lifestyle of Genestealers at the time (AD 114 - 116).

Lord Damocles
12-12-2010, 14:54
Holy threadomancy Batman! :eek:

AlphariusOmegon20
12-12-2010, 14:59
I think a GW regional manager told me IIRC the scale of the corresponding train Scale that matches Warhammer, and several veterans confirmed it, including one I know does trains also. I remember it was an odd scale , and it's one I had never heard of (I scale sounds right). I'll be damned if I can remember exatly what the scale was though.

For vehicles, 1:35 matches up correctly. 1:32 is close enough to match.

LonelyPath
12-12-2010, 16:31
I think 1/48 works better for regular tanks, 1/35 for large/super heavy sized.

IJW
12-12-2010, 16:39
Holy threadomancy Batman! :eek:
Yeah, four years is going some!

Lord Damocles
12-12-2010, 17:55
Yeah, four years is going some!
You could say, that the SCALE of the threadomancy was rather abnormal.


Scale. Get it? Hurhurhur...

:shifty:

carlisimo
12-12-2010, 19:03
For vehicles, 1:35 matches up correctly. 1:32 is close enough to match.

I can't agree with that. I built military models before getting into 40k, and planes tend to come in 1:32, 1:48, and 1:72. 1:48 are the only ones that come close to fitting in, even though they're slightly large. 1:35 (a common tank size) is too big as well.

Being heroic scale though, larger scales work well for heads, hands, and weapons.

Unfortunately, there are hardly any 1:48 tanks.

adeptusphotographicus
12-12-2010, 19:44
Scale is a reference to keep things proportional. a Space Marine is quite large yes and might look almost like a larger scale person, but that is a false way to approach thigs and will eventually get you all screwed up.
The scale is aprox 1:64th, likely more like 1/60th or so.. these things are difficult to pin down exactly, mainly due to the variations above mentioned.
So "S" scale is correct.
1/72, is far to small, while the large machines might seem about right in size, one can clearly see a 1/72 scale person is smaller and thinner than a snotling.

I have had excellent luck taking 1/35 armor models and shortening them by about 1/3 and a 1/4 thinner.
they look large but well with in reason.

1/48 is the small end of the range of reason. again the real scale is around 1/60th

baphomael
12-12-2010, 19:51
Huh? Not sure I understand about the historical miniatures...
But 25mm should work out at 1:72...

Yeah, the 1:64 scale is just for the troops (and even then is exaggerated by their disproportionate heads/hands/weapons, etc). The tanks and buildings are on a completely different scale and exaggerated for effect - although the CoD buildings being about 20' tall per floor would seem apt; don't forget - they're all Gothic buildings.

Lord knows what scale the tanks are supposed to be...

There's a good German model railway supplier that make scenery that works well in 40k - their name escapes me now... I'l post it later.

Having said that. many 20mm historical miniatures are closer to 1/72

Pontiff
12-12-2010, 20:12
Its all about representation, as simple as that.

A mini of a marine represents a mini of a marine and a guardsman a guardsman, thats why a catachan can be much bigger than a marine. It just represents a warrior on the table but shouldnt be held comparable.

In the same that in BFG a ship model is in imaginative terms 'what you might see on a long range scanner readout' and the real game size of the ship is a pin prick in comparison.

Even an individual figure is all over the place in scale term. Hands and heads (and weirdly *ankles*) are Mahooosive compared to properly scaled models.

Look at Honourable Lead Boliler Companys ultra moderns. 36 mm miniatures that are pretty realistically scaled, weapons look tiny compared to citadel minis but they are slightly taller. Equally their anklles look so think they's snap but are true to scale...

Now they are 36mm but put next to GW scenery look about right :)

Similarly a lot of GW scenery is pushing 1/35 scale (the oil drums that came with 2rd edition 40k and the jerry cans carried by the recent IG tank crew are blatantly 1/35th) but as the minis are the aforementioned 'heroic scale' look 'ok'.

Equally if you look at say Tamiya 1/48th plastics they are about 28mm tall but look like skeletons compared to a 28mm guardsman from GW but weirdly Tamiya 1/35 small arms look about right on 28mm. The telling thing is that really early rogue trader vehicle conversions before there was a decent 40k line *frequently* sported parts from Tamiya 1/35 kit (i know even my much later SM bike squads had 1/35 scale Tamiya brit infantry pouches and packs all over them).

Essentially as someone else said its about what looks cool, its about saying 'that there is a representation of a warrior of race X'. Its a place marker but cant relate to any sort of sensible scaling in much the same way that in many historical systems your 30 British Penisular War infantry represnt a block of 500 men and that the two houses and a shed represent a village. While 40k is very much 'one is one' the idea of 'its a symbol' still carries across.

Personally as an aside I too subscribe to the 'scale' of a model is from foot to eye but its really only a guideline when trying to work out which other lines fit in with what you have.

I do a lot of WWII 20mm (debatably between 1/76th an 1/72) but it does give me benchmark to work out which models look ok mext to each other. With most GW stuff its a moot point as most folk are too blinkered to even consider using other peoples *excellent* minature lines as they are 'not official'.

Our gaming group use modesl as 'counts as' from dozens of companies but you soon work out which ones look 'about right' next to citadel and which ones just dont really fit in.

ForgottenLore
12-12-2010, 22:27
In a discussion of GW scale it is worth mentioning the LotR range, which are about the same height as WHF and 40K figs but look so much smaller because they are more realistically proportioned (and look much better for it).

adeptusphotographicus
13-12-2010, 01:29
Actually GW is quite clear is mentioning the Lord of the Rings range is 25mm scale compared to the rest of the range which is 28mm. so in fact the LoTR are smaller scale, that is why they might appear more normal.
Not to mention the rest of the range is done to look heroic at 3 foot viewing distance, where as the LoTR range is done is the older classic 25mm style.

ForgottenLore
13-12-2010, 03:13
Actually GW is quite clear is mentioning the Lord of the Rings range is 25mm scale

Where have they said that?

A warrior of Minas Tirith is taller than a Cadian guardsman, so if those are 25 mm and the cadians are 28mm (really closer to 30mm) that would make warriors of minas tirith about 7' tall.

chromedog
13-12-2010, 05:04
The ground scale for 40k is not a linear conversion of inches to metres. Never has been. If it was, then the average table size would be a football field.
While the first 6" may only be about 25m 'real distance' (effective pistol range), 12-18" is meant to represent 150m or so (effective 'smg' range), 24"=3-400m (assault rifle 'effective' range). 36"=7-800m, 48"=1.5km, etc. Note these are representative of 'effective' ranges, NOT maximum ranges for these weapon types.
GW once upon a time did make miniatures to scale with the conventional manufacturers (being more of a proper 25mm). Their decision to go large means that it is increasingly harder to find compatible stuff from other makers to use with their stuff. Their plan.

ForgottenLore
13-12-2010, 05:12
GW scale has been creeping up over the years but they have always been noticeably bigger than other manufacturers. I remember back in the '80's avoiding GW figs because they were so much bigger than Ral Partha and Grenadier figs.

Thrax
13-12-2010, 05:13
I believe Shiboleth is correct; the scale is about 1/43. At least I've seen it stated by one of the fellows who designs vehicles...may have been Tim Adcock. Hence all the statements that 1/35 is too big and 1/48th is too small > 1/43 is right between.

IJW
13-12-2010, 08:36
As the threadomancy seems to be continuing regardless... :eyebrows:

The main reason why 1/48th vehicles look too small (apart from oversize hands/feet/guns/heads) is that they get put next to people who are standing on platforms a foot or so high. In the case of some thicker resin bases, more like 18"/45cm.

Take the base off the model or add a base to the vehicle and suddenly 1/48th looks fine, or even the 'bit too big' that it really is in comparison.

Chaos and Evil
13-12-2010, 10:08
GW's "Heroic Scale" that is used for 40k:

- 25mm scale bodies
- 32mm scale heads
- 35mm scale hands and feet
- 45mm scale guns

Gen.Steiner
13-12-2010, 11:30
Where have they said that?

When it was first released. They did it because the license they got stipulated that the LotR game couldn't be compatible with WFB.

Don't forget that the Cadians are all standing legs akimbo, really.

Pontiff
13-12-2010, 11:32
Don't forget that the Cadians are all standing legs akimbo, really.

Isnt nearly *every* GW mini. I think I own *one* space marine made in the 80s that is standing up straight :)

George Dorn
19-12-2010, 12:25
Isnt nearly *every* GW mini. I think I own *one* space marine made in the 80s that is standing up straight :)

Always said that power armour looks a bit of a tight fit...

Pontiff
19-12-2010, 16:25
As said, GW minis represent a warrior of that type, they are not in scale *technically* with each other let alone other ranges.

ForgottenLore
19-12-2010, 16:30
Yet true Line of Sight basically demands things be in scale with each other.

adeptusphotographicus
19-12-2010, 16:37
1/43 cars look about right but the people in scale look like very very thin children in 40K scale. 1/60th is about as close to the 28mm scale as it gets. look at "S" gauge models and figures, they are almost perfect a tiny bit small and they are 1/64th

PS. the remark about LoTR models being the older smaller 25mm scale was in a white Dwarf article about the new range to be released.

Pontiff
19-12-2010, 16:50
Yet true Line of Sight basically demands things be in scale with each other.

Well its reasonably in scale in that a 'human sized figure' is between 25 and 30 odd mm tall but put a catachan plastic next to a space marine... clearly *not* in scale with each other.

Similarly dreadnoughts are 'scaled' to look cool and I'd imagine a 'real' dreadnought to be about the size of a range rover but 'scaled' against a space marine its about the size of a small bedsit.

Again as said the individual components of a *single miniature* are not even in scale with each other (huge hands and heads etc) so what hope do you have of a whole range in scale let alone the whole set of releases.

When i was there the sculptors in the design studio did have a 'usual suspects' type height chart with silhouettes of each race to show maximum heights as a guide but as you can clearly see it doesnt always manifest itself in the models.

adeptusphotographicus
20-12-2010, 00:03
recall scale is just a relative reference. people vary in size, obviously. but say a given thing. say a imperial las pistol. it will look the same on either model no matter if they vary wildly from each other.
that is what scale means. so that when seen near each other our brain does not freak out when we see differences. seeing those similar items assures us all the items belong together.

recall when we were all little..

" one of these things is not like the other..."

same thing.

big squig
20-12-2010, 04:41
I find that 28mm-30mm is really just 25mm with caricatured proportions. It's not supposed to be to scale.

chromedog
24-03-2011, 08:59
Thanx for the info!

It's obvious that the scale only pertains to the models, not to distance moved, building scale, or weapons range!

Yep.
Figure scale, Vehicle scale, ground (movement) scale and weapon range scale are 4 different things.

silensedge
24-03-2011, 17:15
1:48 scale sounds reasonable when on a calculator.. If your guy moves 6 inches on the tabletop, it's the equivalent of moving 24 feet. Seeing as one turn in 40K would be around ten seconds real time (Probably faster, considering a rapid fire weapon only gets two shots off ect.. ) then this sounds quite good.


A 6" assault charge would be about 40' when measured down to scale, and the average floor:ceiling height in CoD would be 20' high; that sounds about right to me, for rough estimates.

This sounds a bit over the top... Floor to ceiling in CoD is two men high at best. They're going to be 6ft tall each. That's a 12' floor to ceiling, not 20'.