Scale Guide

This chart of scales/sizes has been compiled from various sources and is my attempt to bring some clarity to the subject of scale and more importantly what alternatives are compatible with your chosen scale. There are two measures of scale that seem to get used interchangeably between different manufacturers, groups of gamers and collectors. However where applicable I have also referred to the equivalent Railroad Scale as it is often possible to use buildings and models for tabletop gaming purposes.
  • Ratio or Fraction (i.e. 1:72 or 1/72) – The number on the right shows how many units (Inches, centimetres it doesn’t matter) on the life sized object are equivalent to one on the model. So a 1/100th model that stands 1cm tall represents a real object 100cm tall.
  • Size (i.e. 15mm or 28mm) – This is usually taken as the height of the average male figure and is measured from the sole of the foot to eye level. But this isn’t standard across the industry and a lot of variation has crept in resulting in “scale creep”.
The following table refers to the Ratio/Fraction in the first column and gives the equivalent Size next to it in the second column. This is the size to eye level (a common definition of scale in the wargaming model industry). The third column gives the alternative height as measured to the top of the head. Both sizes are based on the assumption that average height for a man is 5ft 8in (or 5ft 3in to eye level). This of course does not account for differences between ethnic groups, between the genders and over different time periods when average height might be different from modern humans.

FractionSize to EyeSize to ScalpCommon Applications (with Example Manufacturers)
1/2686mm6.5mmEquivalent to 1/285 scale and 1/300 scales. Popular for ‘Micro armour’ games. Timecast call their 6mm buildings 1/260th scale.
1/2207mm7.9mmZ scale model railroad scale where 1.385 mm = 1 foot - Building in this scale can be used with 6mm figures
1/2008mm8.7mm20th Century armoured vehicles and aircraft
1/16110mm10.7mmFantasy, historical and science fiction. (Pendraken Miniatures)
1/16010.06mm10.8mmN scale model railroad scale. Trees in this scale work well with 10-15mm models.
1/14411.2mm12mmOfficial FOW Aircraft scale and a popular scale for Die-Cast Model Airplanes (Battlefront / Revell / Corgi
1/10715mm16.2mmPopular Wargaming scale. Official FOW infantry scale. Figures from Battlefront & Peter Pig are comparible in height but the latter are occasionaly described as 'better proportioned' because they are slimer. (Battlefront / Old Glory / Peter Pig)
1/10016.1mm17.3mmTT Gauge. Alternative for 15mm
1/8718.5mm 19.9mmHO scale. HO Buildings are suitable for 15mm models (Hornby / Airfix / Revell)
1/80.520mm21.5mmSkirmish-level 20th Century Wargaming.
1/7621.2mm22.8mmOO scale. Plastic miniatures and kits are available in this scale for aircraft, ground vehicles, and soldiers. Suitable for use with 20mm figures (Hornby)
1/7222.4mm24mmPopular for die-cast toys and plastic kits. Buildings & vehicles are compatable with 20mm Figures (Revell)
1/6425mm27mmS Gauge. Traditional Wargaming scale. Fantasy Wargaming, historical skirmish-level games, science fiction, and for use with role-playing games.
1/5828mm29.8mmSometimes referred to as "large" 25mm figures. Popular size for roleplaying models. (Games Workshop / Perry Miniatures / Hasslefree)
1/5430mm32mmAnother scale used for pre-20th Century miniatures.(Enigma Miniatures)
1/5032mm34.6mmLoTR’s models (Mithril Miniatures)
1/4833.5mm36mmUS O Gauge which is 0.25 inches to the foot and referred to as "quarter inch scale". Popular for plastic aircraft kits. (Tamiya)
1/43.537mm39.8mmBritish O Gauge based on 7mm to the foot
1/4040mm43.3mmACW & Napoleonic figures (Old Glory / Eureka Miniatures / North Star Figures)
1/3842mm45.5mmRoughly corresponds to old B Range (Irregular Miniatures)
1/3546mm49.4mmPlastic kits of armour. (Tamiya)
1/3250.3mm54.1mmI scale.
1/3054mm57.7mmSometimes called "Toy Soldier" scale

Model gamers should always beware of different companies selling models of the same scale. As already stated there is a lot of assumption involved in determining the right height for a human figure and some variation in model height may be acceptable, even desirable. However items of a fixed size (Weapons for instance) may vary in size dependent on how a particular manufacturer has calculated scale. The best advise I can give is to directly compare models to determin compatability before you purchase.