Big, Bigger, Biggest?

I’ve been showing off a few of the new Mantic DreadBall and Deadzone figures, but even the biggest of them isn’t that large.

I’ve been writing an article about scale in figures and thought it might be my turn to ask you a question. So today, instead of just admiring the shiny toys, I’d like you to help me out.

What’s the biggest scale you’ve ever gamed in?

I’m not thinking about a single giant in a game of Warhammer or anything like that. What I’m referring to is the scale for normal humans. Was it…

  • 1/48th?
  • 40mm?
  • 54mm?
  • Bigger?

Please let me know in the comments below.

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50 Responses to Big, Bigger, Biggest?

  1. LavaJohn says:

    I played some Inquisitor back when it was released, which was 54mm. Terrain was an issue as was the fact that the game required converting your crew but all the figures were metal. And you ‘needed’ a third player to act as a GM. And the misprint of the damage chart in the rulebook. And having to re-convert your crew every game as people got injured and needed cybernetics etc.

    Man that game was poorly planned… No wonder I only played maybe 3 games for my investment.

    • thomaso says:

      I liked the Inquisitor models, but wasn’t impressed by the rules. Basically they were not suited for the kind of narrative gaming Inquisitor was supposed to stimulate. The scale though, was great, much nicer than 28mm.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Larger scales allow good sculptors and painters to show off their skills properly so they can look amazing.

        • thomaso says:

          Certainly, but I also feel that the larger size in itself (regardless of sculpting quality) adds to the individuality of the miniature. With 28mm I’m far more tempted to do groups (even if it’s just a squad or small gang), while in 54mm I really see each miniature as an individual.

  2. David Smith says:

    Well I did once write rules for using 12″ Action Men, does that count? Used to play a LOT of 54mm / 1/32nd skirmishes with Airfix and Britains models.


    • Quirkworthy says:

      Everything counts ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m just curious about this, and the easiest way to get a straw poll is to ask. Doing so in comments rather than a poll, proper allows people to explain, as you have, which is much more illuminating.

      I started out with Airfix figures so played loads with them. Never had an action man though.

  3. Lines says:

    28mm + Dreadfleet, whatever size that is…

    Now I’d like to ask you to answer some simple questions. Should be done within a minute. I’ll transfer it to the place where it belongs (FAQ):

    Q1: Can a Robot transform in the Sub’s Bench?
    Q2: A Guard Slams a Jack with Running Interference. Tha Jack uses RI to turn its back to the guard. The guard Slams. Is this a Foul?
    Q3: If a game ends with a score of 8:0, 9:0 or 10:0 what is recorded as Strike difference for league play? The real difference or is 7 the maximum a team can score?


    • 1. No
      2. Yes
      3. You can’t get a score of 8,9, or 10. The maximum score is 7 and then it stops counting.

      • Lines says:

        Thanks, Jimmi, but I need official answer from Jake. It’s all being discussed in hhe FAQ section, but unfortunately Jaked stopped reading/answering, so I’m trying here.

        • Lines says:

          1. I also beliebe it’s “No” but like to habe it confirmed.
          2. Rules can be interpreted in both ways. Even you’re asking Jake for an answer in the FAQ section.
          3. Where do you get this answer from?

        • sideofiron says:

          Wow… Lines.
          Jake will get you an answer when he can.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          All answered in the correct FAQ thread.

          I do read all the comments on this blog. When I have the time I reply to those that need it. However, I’m afraid that you will have to be patient because this is done in my (allegedly) spare time and there is never much of that.

  4. hephesto says:

    54mm is pretty much where stuff has stopped for me, save for the odd rpg toy-use gone insane. Did dabble one or twice with a handful of Shadowrun Duels mini, which is probably the biggest individual models I’ve ever used. Those things were absolutely huge and more akin to a toyline than an actual game:

  5. PeterB says:

    Played a few games with the WizKids Shadowrun action figures back in the day, which I believe were about 8″ tall. Someone used to run an Aliens-themed game at one of the US summer cons with similarly scaled Colonial Marines and Aliens and had done an awesome job with their terrain.

  6. killaminis says:

    54mm seems to be about the max for most wargaming applications. Hopefully, in the near future it will be more affordable with plastics and 3D printing technologies. A scale large as that is, allows you to really show off some painting skills and it almost seems worth the effort. Sometimes I find all my hardwork on a small model is easily overlooked by the casual observer. With 54mm, it just screams ” here I am, see me Roar! “.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Absolutely. Bigger scales allow you to showcase your painting skills.

      • thomaso says:

        Sure, but I also find them easier to paint to “decent tabletop standard”. Of course, with bigger scales, people tend to up their expectations, especially those who never actually play with them & who imagine 54mm is REALLY HUGE ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hum_Con says:

    I’ve played a game with 6″ Marvel action figures.

  8. mlhphotology says:

    Shadow run with them huge figs ๐Ÿ™‚ plus the 54mn stuff for inquisitor, currently playing 28mm cowboys and 10mm drop zone I think weapon range is a factor for example gladiator combat at 54mm is fine as its close in, while scifi does well at 15/10 mm or less, 40k always seems designed to be a short fire fight and then a slash and hack !! Due to weapon ranges and scale.

  9. Ben says:

    I think 32mm is the largest scale I’ve played though I’ve seen some supposed 28mm minis that looked a fair bit bigger. Was tempted by the Smog1888 minis which I think are 54mm but never got round to them.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Smog is 54mm ish scale, though there are so many weird mutants that the models vary a great deal in actual dimensions. Beautiful, delicate pieces they are.

  10. maxstyles417 says:

    I tried inquisitor once which is 54mm, but I would not count that. Most of my stuff is in the 28mm heroic scale..

  11. Douglas says:

    I *only* play with 90mm scale figures. I also only play skirmish games, so need less figures on the table, but all my scenery is 3 times the size of the 28mm folks!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You sir, are a rarity. A pure 90mm gamer? Gosh. Scenery is one of the real issues with larger games.

      Do you buy your figures or make them yourself? What about scenery? I know that Pegaso, etc have quite a few 90mm models, but the ranges aren’t huge and what’s available is patchy. very nice, but quite pricey models. I’m intrigued. Any photos?

      • Douglas says:

        I play with pre-painted figures which are essentially toys, most of which are made by French companies Papo and Plastoy, and German companies Revell, Schleich and Bullyland. Schleich also make good scenery in the same scale — trees, fences and castle walls. I use aquarium rocks and things too. It’s all rather basic and my battlefields are small, but I find it tremendous fun using children’s toys as wargaming models. They also have so much more of a presence on the table than 28mm models. I call it “titanic-scale” (as opposed to “heroic-scale”) gaming. I have a blog with some pictures of my Song of Blades and Heroes warbands, but I also use this scale to play The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, Legends of the Old West, Legends of the High Seas, Gladiator, and my next project is actually to upscale your very own Ancient Heroes skirmish game to 90mm over the summer.

        In the meantime, here is my blog, which I try to update weekly:

  12. Matt "Southern Yank" says:

    I’ve only played Warmachine…and I believe thats probably 28mm size.

  13. Rhelyk says:

    Never did play Inquisitor with scale models, only collected and painted a few. Terrain was a big deal, especially as you needed lots of industrial/urban stuff. Did play a Star Wars game with the 3.75″ figures. It was essentially a con game some guy ran at my local store just as a reason for us to play with our toys, but it wasn’t a very good convention game ๐Ÿ˜› I’ve also played a few games with the Gundam model kits, but despite being a few inches tall those were actually 1/144. Done a little bit with 1/35 since it’s such a popular model scale for tanks and there’s quite a lot of premade terrain designed to be used to make dioramas. 1/35 works very well for WW2 & Weird War through Modern/Near Future skirmish games.

    Generally I don’t like to go above heroic 28/32mm for gaming. Going larger means having to make special terrain or stick to pieces that have no scale like hills, water features and some trees. Personally, i like to go DOWN in scale more than up. 15mm and 10mm also require special terrain, but it’s generally cheaper to get and lets you do battle with proper armies. Going larger than 54mm would mean something like a duel or small shootout with a guy or three per side.

    • Rhelyk says:

      I nearly forgot sitting in on a game using large armies made out of those 12″ or 1/6 Napoleonic collectible figures/dolls in a large hall. Yes, another convention game ๐Ÿ˜› Was pretty crazy and I didn’t even make it through a turn. Can’t imagine how much it all cost or why anyone would ever collect enough pieces to do such a thing, but I did roll some dice so I guess it counts.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Again, terrain is the issue.

  14. thomaso says:

    54mm, and loved it.

  15. Shaggy says:

    54mm Inquisitor stuff back in the day, however these days I tend to play smaller stuff 28mm, 15mm, 6mm and 3mm.

  16. Asbjorn says:

    1/48 is my current largest scale.

  17. mesmero says:

    54mm with world of warcraft miniature.

  18. Andy Frazer says:

    54mm with you, playing Smog 1888… although I knocked together a rules system for using 1/400 scale Gundam models for a muck about with the boys at BoW… actually, they were quite good fun. Might be worth fleshing out.

  19. Tony Harwood says:

    I have used 1/32nd (54mm) for a dungeon adventure, they were old Airfix, Timpo and Britains miniatures converted to adventurers with plastecine and white wood glue.

    At the moment I regularly model 40mm gaming miniatures which can range in size from 40mm – 48mm tall for a human.

    I hope this is of interest.


  20. Jon Finn says:

    54mm for me, for Ruination.

  21. Duncan Thompson says:

    Personally I’ve never gamed at larger than 28/32mm and would never wish too either. A few reasons – most of my terrain is either 6mm or 28mm, so another scale means more terrain building; larger models require more gaming space, and gaming space isn’t always easy, I find myself playing more games on 4’x4′ boards and part of me would like to go smaller to coffee table sized games. A last point, whilst sculptors and talented painters gain from larger models, most of the rest of us don’t as the painting of arger models generally requires different techniques to what we’re used to.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Painting isn’t as much of an issue as you might think – though that does depend on your skill and style. Some adapt well to both larger and smaller scales and other people struggle. I’ve read articles explaining how 6mm figures are both nightmarishly hard and devilishly easy to paint. Clearly people’s mileage varies. The same is almost certainly true of larger figures.

      terrain, on the other hand, is almost always an issue when changing scales, especially to bigger ones (as it needs to be more detailed).

  22. Lee says:

    First time poster on here , the question got me thinking about if i had the talent to sculpt etc what size figures would i create , i would say in my own ideal world 54mm sounds good , a chance to paint something up that realy stands out against the normal minis around my house , gaming wise yes scenery would be a problem but imagine something like a self contained boxed game ( dungeon crawler etc ) would be very cool and a chance to put less strain on my ageing eyes , my only down point with dreadball is that the figures are abit too small

  23. Joe says:

    For me the biggest I’ve ever played is 32mm. Even when I played the old GW Inquisitor I used 28mm figs and not the silly 54mm figs. I have no desire to play anything larger as it requires totally different terrain to really work and I don’t have the time or interest to start a new size terrain collection or new size miniatures.

  24. Mark says:

    1:1 scale.

    Fairy Meat. ๐Ÿ™‚

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