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Author Topic: The problem with scale?  (Read 65 times)

zak

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The problem with scale?
« on: November 20, 2020, 07:59:18 AM »
While modelling various vehicles of different scales I notice that there is a great discrepancy between figures that are supposed to be the same scale.
I accept that we all differ in size and stature, it never fails to amaze me how they can be so different.
While modelling 1:48 scale for the Battle of Britain, the size difference between the Airfix bruisers and those of other manufacturers cannot fail to be noticed.
I again saw the same in 1/35 figures from different manufacturers, and also in 1:56.
I can only presume that this applies to all scales and genres.

So after some digging and searching, the following emerges:
All figures are based on a supposed human size?
This size is generally taken as 5ft 3in - why, I don't know.
Where is this measured to?
The top of the head or eye level?
Some use one, some the other.
This may be where the problem arises.

In wargaming the scale size (1:72 and so on) is not really used, they use 28mm and so on, and this refers to the figure size.
In converting from one to the other, scale are never whole numbers and so, another discrepancy.

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Bob C

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2020, 08:20:12 AM »
I’ve noticed this even from the same manufacturer, some look like they’ve been to the gym and are on steroids while others look normal whatever that is.

Bob c

zak

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2020, 08:44:39 AM »
More ramblings.
So 28mm, if you take this as the height of a 5ft 3in(1610mm) man then, this scales out as 1:57.5, but if this is to the top of the head, then to the eyes leads to a different answer.
Going the other way 1:56 becomes 28.75 mm. and so it goes on.

Even with the same manufacturer the prototypes will have been made by different modellers and it will depend on what they consider the datum to be.

We need to have some definite standard, there may be, perhaps more research is needed.
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MSea

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2020, 09:50:43 AM »
I look at it as some of the figures have eaten all the pies - but agree with all the above comments.
It makes no difference to my models as the size of figures is the smallest problem with them - hohohohho.

Bigkev

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 09:56:15 AM »
Hi Zak,

Yes, I agree that there is a wide variation In figures across the manufacturer's, but I can't work out why the same manufacturer can have different sized figures in its models.
I suppose it is down to who created the master and their interpretation of size of a person.
For me, I am a happy size, though I don't warrant a model of me.
Cheers
Bigkev

zak

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 10:18:36 AM »
Hi Zak,

Yes, I agree that there is a wide variation In figures across the manufacturer's, but I can't work out why the same manufacturer can have different sized figures in its models.
I suppose it is down to who created the master and their interpretation of size of a person.
For me, I am a happy size, though I don't warrant a model of me.
Cheers
Bigkev
I'm not sure I have enough modelling putty!
Grumpy by name and nature

cph64

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2020, 05:10:37 PM »
A 'classic' example of discrepancy is the Frog Gloster Whittle's crew. The sitting pilot looks like he's the child of the standing one!!!

meremodeller

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2020, 11:28:24 AM »
There are several issues here;
1. The sculpting of the Master Figures, the most recent Airfix 1/48th figures leaves a lot to be desired, they are of questionable proportions and the poses are over emphasised. The best sculptor who worked for Airfix was Ron Cameron who was responsible for many figures including the Multi-Pose series. His figures have a natural stance and are in proportion.
2. Scale, this is open to interpretation and not all sets of figures keep to the same standards, resulting in some figures being either much smaller or larger than might be expected even allowing for the variations in height of the Human figure. I have always assumed that scale is measured from ground to top of head.
One issue with injection moulded figures is that in turning the original master into the metal moulds then this is where errors creep in both with the straight forward setting to the correct scale on the pantograph/CAD copy and also the allowances made for plastic shrinkage.
3. Fitting the figure to the model. If the figure is aircrew it's pretty straightforward modelling the 'Master' standing and then flight suits etc just hang naturally. However if the figure has to fit into a cockpit then in real life this is tight fit so any kit the crew member would be wearing is distorted out of shape.  I'm sure the same can be said for figures in armoured vehicles and manning guns etc. I think sometimes the manufacturer doesn't like the figures to look too misshapen and creates a figure that looks as though they are just sitting on a Park Bench.
4. It's just a last, and not important part of the kit as far as the manufacturer is concerned so they just go with what is easiest to provide.

As an aside I have read that perhaps Airfix could use LIDAR scanning of re-enactor's for their figures. Not sure about that, as many I've seen are not really representative of the younger, slimmer real life aircrew and soldiers they are trying to portray!!

zak

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 12:43:03 PM »
Thanks Bill, some really valid points.
The height of a figure can be measured in the two ways as I mentioned according to one source.
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Bigkev

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2020, 04:35:36 PM »
Hi Zak,

Yes, I agree that there is a wide variation In figures across the manufacturer's, but I can't work out why the same manufacturer can have different sized figures in its models.
I suppose it is down to who created the master and their interpretation of size of a person.
For me, I am a happy size, though I don't warrant a model of me.
Cheers
Bigkev
I'm not sure I have enough modelling putty!

Hi Zak,
thanks for that.
I think you can get catering sizes of filler, for cases like me.....1
Cheek.
Bigkev

zak

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2020, 05:31:55 PM »
An absolute pleasure Kevin, what comes round goes around -ooops, what have I let myself in for.
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Wizzel

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Re: The problem with scale?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2020, 08:12:20 PM »
I found this to be an issue when trying to crew up aircraft with figures from the spares box.  Matchbox seemed to be able to produce the more eloquent figures, though the poses were a little limited.  I often wondered whether it was the kit itself that was under scale but this thread has made the penny drop.  As long as the crew actually fit in the seats, even at 1/72 scale things like lifejackets can be bodged with tissue and white glue and approximations of goggles with tiny slivers of carefully placed stretched sprue can do the trick.  Some of the smaller scale railway people (is it HO???) don't look too out of place either.