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Re: Size doesn't matter, to me.

Hi Bill,

My two favourite French Imperial Guard sets are those produced by Airfix and Zvedza because they are well sculpted and wear Full Dress Uniform. However, you can not line these two sets up side by side or it will look like young boys along side their fathers. This sort of discrepancy in physical bulk is a real shame in our hobby where I think the sales of both would benefit from them being made correctly, in this case Zvedza got it right but I only bought 1 box of them whereas I have a few more of Airfix. At present I use the Airfix casualty figure with my Revell British Line Infantry for the AWI since he is hat less and well sculpted. The Airfix French Line Infantry casualty lying face down with no hat has also been conscripted into the same army.

Best regards,


And hi to you, too, Malcolm! The reason I use so many Airfix Grenadiers is because I got a ton of them early on, back when I was in the Navy on shore leave in Singapore and found a store having a half price sale. You should've seen the checkout girl's face when I brought all those Airfix sets up to the counter. A stack of boxes with legs! I got so many Napoleonic and AWI figures from that one purchase that I'm still painting them thirty-eight years later.

The Grenadiers were some of Airfix's earliest figures, along with their Cuirassiers, done in a smaller scale to match model railroad equipment that was closer to 1/87 scale. Later on Airfix changed to 1/75, hence the range being described as 'HO-OO' on the boxes. Unfortunately while they redid several of their WW2 sets, notably British and German infantry, they never got around to redoing the Grenadiers or Cuirassiers.

I agree, they are beautifully sculpted and nicely detailed. I've also found they actually paint up faster, easier and better than many larger figures. Reportedly they were sculpted by the legendary Ray Lamb, one of the finest designers of 54mm display figures of his time.

Zvezda figures are excellent, the plastic hard enough to take paint readily but especially assembled figures clip together perfectly. Their major drawback is the lugs inside the legs of their horsemen, intended to fit into holes in the horse sides, a retrograde feature I've only seen in very old dime-store toys. They do ensure the riders won't come off--but the stiffness of the plastic mean the pins are more likely to deform before they fit! Fortunately if clipped off completely the riders fit on very well, which reveals another minor drawback: each man is designed to fit best on one particular horse, and which one can only be determined by trial and error(guess who found out all this the hard way?). Once matched up, though, they fit like corks in a bottle.

I buy Zvezdas mainly to fill holes in existing armies. The French Cuirassiers and Grenadiers look very good alongside Airfix or HaT infantry, and fill missing slots in HaT's range.

I've found the casualty figures make good sources of heads, arms and weapons for conversions.One occasion I was short of charging Cuirassiers, but had an excess of ACW cavalry casualties. I took the Airfix man crouching behind a dead horse, cut him off below the cuirass and coat-tails, then matched him up with the ACW legs. A little trimming of the pants, and I had a passable charging pose. Painted to match and lined up with their fellows, the difference is unnoticeable.

Naturally I discovered a couple of extra boxes right after I finished them!


Re: Size matters, so whats the problem?

The bulk of my collection(75000+?) is based on hat,esci,and airfix.So I want figures compatible with those.I was plannig an extensive 18th cenrtury FI,AWI,7yrs but the italeri and revell figures were just to big.

Re: Size matters, so whats the problem?

One of the issues is how to measure the figure.

The old Courier magazine (much missed!) made a smart move when it adopted "Toby Barrett" measure in its reviews. Basically, all figures are measured from the top of the stand (or bottom of the feet) to the eye level. Figures may have headgear of various sizes, but almost all allow the eyes to see out*.

In addition to this, the figure was classed as light, medium or heavy for its bulk.

This standard at least made it easier to compare figures from various sources.

I agree that in a scaled size, such as 1/72, there is no reason that objects such as rifles should not always be the same size.

* some gladiator helms do not have eye slits, but that's Sparticus's problem.

Re: Size matters, so whats the problem?


I agree that in a scaled size, such as 1/72, there is no reason that objects such as rifles should not always be the same size.

Your looking at it from the point of view of a finished piece, not the tool maker...

The figures are pantographed down, now assuming that a exact height is chosen for the master (say 6" for a scale height of 5' 9") and the rifle modelled with the figure is in proportion with this... and the master is reduced in size to its scale height in 1/72 exactly (24.3mm)... then your correct...
But you cannot adjust the length of the weapon seperatly from the figure and the length will depend on whether or not the sculptur has got it in proportion to the original scale of the master.... and the tool maker reduces the master accordingly to a scale height of 5' 9" in 1/72(24mm approx)....

just about anything can cause a variation...if the toolmaker produces a figure of 23mm or 25mm which is still well within the human range, the length of the weapon will be noticably different, though it will be more noticable on longer weapons, if the sculptur makes the weapon to short or too long etc even if the figure is at the correct scale height the weapon will be wrong.... now heres the rub the toolmaker has no knowledge about or any idea of the length of any given weapon....

Now spread these people around the planet and give them limited communication...

Re: Size matters, so whats the problem?

Different perspectives here, everyone is entitled to have his own, this is mine:

I like my figures in 23 mm, Asians smaller.

I won't buy any 26+ mm figures, not matter how well they are sculpted and how dearly I "need" them, because they are not compatible to my collection. Regards, Pat

Re: Size matters, so whats the problem?

I would buy at least one 28mm figure to go with my average joe 1/72 figures and that would be a correctly done character figure of Harald Hardrada(at least according to the Saga)in Emma... and thats being conservative..

A few Figures(pun intended)
BEF would have to be 23.6mm minimum to be accurate for 1914(5ft 7inches tall otherwise you get sent away)
Roman Soldiers official height is 6 Roman feet(5ft 10inches) so 24.7mm in 1/72... but shorter(and taller) men were accepted... largest foot size I know off is size 14uk 15us for a roman military boot.... belonging to a Centurion

Re: Size matters, so whats the problem?

I have not bothered to read the expansive list of responses to this post. However, that said, I have always enjoyed the discrepancies of size believing they add a touch more realism to the craft. Many is the change of command and retirement ceremony, I participated in, where troops lined up from tallest to smallest behind the squad leaders to form the platoon. People are different sizes and piecing these slightly different scales together merely reflects that.

To quote from BLACK ADDER GOES FORTH, "King and Country would have us believe that all British soldiers are strapping 6 footers with muscles the size of Bormoth." (my apologies to those across the pond if misspelled) And the Germans never obtained divisions of their 6 foot, blond haired, blue eyed, ideal soldiers.