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15mm vehicle figure comparisons

I was made aware of some comments made on a blog about our 15mm vehicles. Particularly comments which seemed “exaggerated” and that the vehicles were only suitable for 10mm. There is a lot that can be said about partisan commentaries but it is better to let pictures show the facts and let others make up their own minds.

It should always be borne in mind that when taking comparison photos and for reviewing models, they should always be taken at the level of the figures and never from isometric/oblique angles, with figures in the close foreground and vehicle in the mid or background. It is far too easy to provide misleading images by poor use of the camera. I am, as these photos show, no genius, or even barely competent with a camera (and especially lighting at the study at home!), but a simple size chart and a few figures right up against a model  is really both all that is needed and the only true benchmark of “good fit” and for comparisons. Other shots, odd angles, look-downs and isometric views are great, sexy looking shots, but naff-all use in showing true dimensions and “good fit” against figures.

The guide itself shows the mm ranges, relevant scale (based on a 5’8″ person, with eye-height at 5’3″), the change to a total base height of 3mm (the most common thickness of basing) and finally the change this then requires for “best fit” scenery and un-based vehicles.

Firstly some images of the figures to show their sizes. I don’t know what ranges these are from but they are 15mm from the base of the foot to the eye, up to 17mm from the base of the foot to the eye. The base thickness varies from 1mm to almost 2mm, generally though it is just a tad over 1mm which, as the size/scale guide shows, pushes their total height up by the same amount over the “15mm to the eye” guide line.




Next up the Hunchback APC: this is a 1-crew vehicle capable of carrying 8 troops max, 4 comfortably.

 

Next vehicle is the Zebu Land Cruiser. This is not an MRAP, it is a thin-skinned land cruiser, a police/patrol style militarised civilian road vehicle. Can seat 4 max. (if you want an MRAP, take a look at the Warthog).


Then the Kabardin APC (holds 8 + 2 crew)

 

And the Skarpion Light Tank (2 crew)

I just want to return to the Hunchback and say a brief bit about how we make our vehicles at Antenociti’s Workshop.

When we design a sci-fi vehicle we always “test” the vehicle to make sure that it can do the job that it is supposed to do. We do this is a number of ways starting from the initial conception sizing – for example if we wanted to make an APC like the Stryker we would take a “real life” APC and import the model into our 3D package at Full Size so say: length 6.95m, width 2.72m and height 2.64m. The vehicle is then removed leaving us a rectangular block that the total volume size of the Stryker. We then make our own APC out of that block, thereby ensuring that our major dimensions are all correct and resulting in a “Life size” APC.  We then simply reduce the size of the APC by the appropriate scale amount, 1/100, 1/56, 1/285 or whatever is required.

Having done that we then take some “dollies” (Simplified anatomically pose able humans) and put them into the model to ensure that we can, indeed, get the appropriate number of people inside them, plus the crew and any room for other things such as Ammo, weapons, control, engine and environmental.

In the case of the Hunchback we managed to fit-in a total of 12 passengers as the X-ray wire-frame below shows. In practicality we reduced this to a maximum of 8 soldiers with kit at a squeeze and just 4 with plenty of legroom, kit and a full load of ammo, environmental and so forth. As we know that we can get this many people in “In real life” and as all we do is re-scale to the appropriate wargames sizes, the amounts of people it can hold never changes – the humans re-scale at the same rate as the vehicles does (obviously!).

Now in the case of the Hunchback it is 73mm long, 3.5 wide and 22mm tall, giving us a 1/100 equivalent against the Stryker of:

Height:

Hunchback: 2.2 meters Stryker: 2.72 meters

Width

Hunchback: 3.5 meters Stryker 2.72 meters

Length:

Hunchback: 7.3 meters Stryker: 6.96 meters

So the Hunchback is longer, wider and lower than the Stryker, which seems perfectly fine so far. Some have commented that the hull-shape reduces the overall internal compartment size, and it does. However it does so mainly under the seat area (anti-landmine sloping underside) so the majority of lost “space” is under-seat stowage – there is no lost space at all in terms of how many people can get in it (again see the X-ray below). So in totality we are more than happy with the size of the Hunchback and we know exactly how many it can fit inside it. We also know that its dimensions are “life accurate” and representative, and we know that it is more than valid as a 15mm APC vehicle.

We also know, as I am certain that many wargamers are fully cognizant of, that a lot of 15mm figures are not 15mm. There isn’t much we can do to show that a 15mm vehicle is “too small” for a 18mm to-the-eye figure on top of 3mm of basing. There isn’t much we can say because the actual vehicle scale you need for such a figure is actually 1/76 as you effectively have a 21mm to-the-eye figure.

If you then place that figure out in front of a 15mm vehicle in the mid-background, and take a show from above ground level guess what happens?

Yup, precisely.

 

 

So, in summary, we know that the vehicles are accurate, realistic and capable of the job they are designed for because of how we model them.

Personal preference, and manufacturer preference may mean that you prefer bigger figures and bigger vehicles, which is fine and as it always has been, and probably always will be. Some people use certain 15mm tanks at 25mm and even 28mm as they are ‘so big’. That”s the nature of wargamers and wargaming.

In the meantime we will continue to produce vehicles at various scales in the same fashion knowing that they are scaled appropriately and that they can hold the people they are supposed to: it is a fundamental (and massive) advantage of 3D design that you can do this and it becomes exceptionally difficult to “Prove it ain’t so”, which is why its so darn good to work that way! You know it is correctly sized, even if personal preference of others might prefer a different scale/size. There is no “right & wrong” though, because making a vehicle to fit one manufacturers figures means immediately that it wont fit somebody else’s, that is just the way things are and manufacturers have horrid, awkward decisions to either produce a vehicle they know is “correctly sized for the correct figure height” or to make something so big it can cover everything (and thus be over-sized for many, many other figures).

It would be nice though if certain gamers paused to think before making sweeping statements based on a quick look at a poorly arranged online image; I am, obviously, a hopeless optimist.   🙂