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Author Topic: Back to reality  (Read 324 times)

martin goddard

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Back to reality
« on: August 27, 2020, 04:53:42 PM »
I am observing that some figure makers are dropping the "18mm" and "15/18mm" tag ;reverting to 15mm.
I think this is a good thing for the15mm wargaming part of the hobby.
Gamers have more choice of where to source their armies from.


Now is the time for PP to become 16mm. Players will want that extra 1mm as a status statement.

martin :)

Mike6t3

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2020, 06:54:27 PM »
Why they couldn't have just kept to 15mm in the first place and made their figures that size is beyond me.
If they wanted to produce larger figures why not go for 20mm ?
Here endeth my rant for today 😁

Mike

Andoreth

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2020, 08:12:26 PM »
Sizes as described by manufacturers have never been consistent anyway; Blue Moon AWI were, and may still be, described as 18mm but the native Americans in that range are 15mm, and Old Glory 15mm AWI figures are virtually the same size as Blue Moon. Possibly the most consistent producer is Eureka where the 18mm figures are always visibly larger than the ranges described as 15mm. Even within Martin's excellent ranges there is some variation and I much prefer his slightly bulkier AK47 and re-modelled SCW figures to say his  Vikings. It is one of the reasons that shows are so important to the hobby since they allow the buyer to see the actual size and decide whether to buy or not.

martin goddard

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2020, 09:11:42 PM »
The reason for the "18mm" thing was to create a a market that excluded existing 15mm makers.

It worked when foundry said "28mm" and all the 25mm makers instantly claimed to be "28mm".

I think (at this time) that the 18mm marketing "trick" has not worked financially for them.

Part of the problem for 18mm is that it would make the 1/100th tanks etc look too small. This would preclude 18mm from being used with post 1900 armies.

My guess (just a guess) is that some of the 18mm companies will remain with the title 18mm.
Some will start using 15/18mm as a size (non logical but worth a try I am sure).
Others might just go 15mm.

Don't know where this will go. But then i wouldn't have thought 18mmm was a sensible idea anyway.

I chose 15mm as  the  PP  stated size back in 1983. This is because i liked using P Laing and Minifigs strips for historical battles. The size felt good for battles ( i am not much of a skirmish gamer).  In addition I only have access to a reasonable sized table. 
My interest is in games wherein I can reach across the battlefield, sit down, store figures and scenery easily etc...  Hence 15mm.

Having said that, the actual size of PP figures has certainly grown a bit over that time, but it is still stated as 15mm.

Some companies will follow whatever trend that they perceive leads to more sales in the short term.


martin  ::)

Sean Clark

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 12:01:33 AM »
So long as I stick to Peter Pig for my 15mm figures then the size of other companies doesn't matter.

If Peter Pig don't make it, I don't need it, is my motto. It's worked fine so far.  ;D

martin goddard

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2020, 06:32:36 AM »
Righteous Sean.


martin :)

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2020, 08:21:36 AM »
That is a good philosophy, Sean!

Maybe Martin and Julie will adopt your  "If Peter Pig don't make it, I don't need it" strapline for the PP website :) ?

Simon

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2020, 10:04:47 AM »
Even back in the day 15mm was never 15mm. Heritage Napoleonettes towered over Peter Laing, and in turn were towered over by Jacobite. Now Napoleonettes are deemed true 15mm, which tally nicely with Naismith and Peter Pig. Minifigs are a bit hit and miss, some match heightwise yet others are much taller (even in the same range). Essex, another range championed as true 15mm are usually a head taller. Matchlock match heightwise but are very definitely buying their clothes XXXXL sized. There is a new ECW range (via Kickstarter) which are using true 15mm sizing that look to be the slightly shorter than PP. Nice to see that true 15mm is alive and well and not just the preserve of PP and a few older ranges still in production.

At least when a manufacturer uses 15/18 you know they are going to be big. (Don't get me started on the nonsense often trotted out that people are different heights - yes they are but a musket/AK-47 etc is always musket/AK-47 sized). There is at least one Estonian sculptor who makes different heights in his range, they look pretty convincing in close up; how good this looks at a metre viewing distance who knows? I only really know about Napoleonics and ECW, how do WW2 and ancients fare with 15mm having any relationship with 15 of these millimetres stacked on top of one another?

As for 18mm I do wonder why? Okay it really is down to marketing and making the purchaser only buy from you, but why 18mm? Is it an actual scale as opposed to a nice rounded height in mm? Does it tally with a railway scale? Or is it 18mm for the sake of 18mm and the need to be unique? At least 10mm is a nice round mm measurement, isn't 12mm N gauge? 15mm is a nice round mm measurement and is roughly TT gauge (which came first - 15mm or TT?)



If it was a case of following 25mm growing to 28mm, why hasn't it continued and gone up another step (like 28mm is now often 32mm)?

Martin Smith

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2020, 11:44:50 AM »
At least if it says ‘18mm’ I know to avoid - bought an Ashanti colonial army from Lancashire Games, listed as ‘18mm’. They were ‘normous, more like 20-22 mm, and made my PP and Essex look like dwarven folk. Painted, then sold at the bring n buy.

Pity, cos it was a rare find. The only maker of Ashanti I’d located.

Brian Cameron

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2020, 12:23:22 PM »
While there's definitely a commercial aspect to figures sizes (they're not scales) - "your army will have to be all my figures as they don't match most other ranges" - my understanding is that figures have become larger because they are easier to sculpt at a larger size and could include more detail.

My main gripe is how little most sculptors seem to understand about the proportions of the human body.  Its pretty straightforward stuff - a person is 7.5 'heads' tall, legs are about 3.5 'heads', etc.  And hands / fingers are NOT about the 12" long they need to be to grasp most 28mm muskets...  To my mind, one of the most pleasing aspects about PP figures is that they have good proportions.  I think one of the things that put me off 15mm in the early days (apart from my liking of 6mm figures for depicting large battles) was the poor proportions - often big heads and very short legs.  Certainly in a survey that was in the old Battlegames magazine showed that most 15mm aren't 15mm tall - PP was, I think, the honourable exception.

One of the difficulties about figures sizes is how to measure figures.  It always used to be to the top of the head but now seems commonly thought of in wargaming circles to the level of the eyes, supposedly because most figures have a hat on, as if the top of the head could't be worked out.  I'm always glad that on my frequent visits to hospital that they measure my height to the top of my head, not by poking me in the eye.

Scales are thus difficult enough to work out but always seem to be based on the height of a person being 6 feet.  Evidence seems to suggest that the average about 1200 was about 177cm.  Average height then declined and then increased again to about 173cm in the early 1600s.  Average height then fell, at the end of the 1800s being about 169cm.  Then rising to about 177cm a century later.  Note that 6' is almost 183cm.

Wearing my railway modeller hat, TT (for Table Top) started in 1957 so definitely came first.  In the Uk the scale is 3mm = 1 foot, in Europe 2.5mm = 1 foot.  Yes, railway modellers are no better at scales, particularly the mess which is OO 'scale', the most popular in the UK.

Brian

martin goddard

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2020, 06:55:15 PM »
Good notes chaps.
Cogent and not mixing subjective with objective.
Lucky this forum is populated with pleasant folk.


Thanks for the input


martin :)

Brian Cameron

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2020, 04:21:23 PM »
"At least if it says ‘18mm’ I know to avoid - bought an Ashanti colonial army from Lancashire Games, listed as ‘18mm’. They were ‘normous, more like 20-22 mm, and made my PP and Essex look like dwarven folk. Painted, then sold at the bring n buy."

That makes me wonder what the reaction would be if I bought something like that and then said "These aren't 18mm, I want to return them for a full refund."  For several years not I've sent bad castings back - or sent a photo to show the problem - and asked for replacements.  In every case I've had replacements (or a refund in the case of a well-known manufaturer who realised that he needed to remake the master).  I suspect the sometimes appalling quality of castings is because we don't complain enough.  Another reason I like PP is that the quality of the castings is always very high.  If get a "sometimes these things happen" response (which goes down badly with me given I sent many year driving product quality improvement) I ask how is it that I've bought hundreds of PP figures and the quality is always good.  The real answer to that question is that they don't care because they can get away with poor quality.

Brian

Leslie BT

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Re: Back to reality
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2020, 04:52:24 PM »
Stick with PP models then Brian!!