Which scale of model vehicle do you use with your 28mm figures?

Which scale vehicles do you use with your 28mm figures?

  • I am struggling a bit on deciding which scale to reference for my WW2 28mm gaming.

    The “heroic scale” of Warlord Games (which I prefer artistically for gaming) compared to the “true scale” of Perry Miniatures (which I see as realistically more accurate) would seem to have an impact on what “looks right” on the table.

    I realize that like most art this matter is subjective to the viewer.

    Here is a blog post that I have found interesting on this topic...


    The attached photo is from that blog and is not my work.

    ... and another interesting blog post on the topic...


    What do you use and why?

    1/48 1/56 scale comparison

  • Hi mate, Being ex trade I got this question asked ao many times. My reply was Si/fi any scale, and make it look right, with correct scale assessories Jerry cans. machine guns. etc. But if its real. 1/56th  or even 1/64th, nothing in my opinion looks worse, than a figure of a police officer, having is car wing come to his shoulder. The sherman on the left above shows that perfectly, also you end up with great scenery and roads with a vehicle that runs on both sides of the road. 

  • This "Dust" 1/48th scale model is a light walker. I cut the turret down put correct size hatches, Machine gun, storage rack, jerry cans and main gun. No good for dust but I got my own 1/56th  scale heavy I really like.

  • @Grumpy Gnome 

    I use 1/48 or 1/50th diecast.  (The difference between 1/48 and 1/50th is minimal).

    Imagine the miniatures in the photo you posted more upright in a natural walking pose.  They should look like this next to the Sherman:

    Note that the tank hull of the Sherman is taller than the tallest man while they are more or less walking naturally.  The 1/56 Sherman is too short.

    The Sherman is a sizable vehicle.  

    Which model from your original post looks right compared to this?  Seven 28mm Soldiers hitching a ride on the 1/56 tank would look like seven drunk golfers piled onto a golf cart.



  • Sam Bellamy was kind enough to post some great comparison shots here:


    I think the comparison favors the 1/48th.

    However, as Yronimos Whateley brought up.... ultimately they are gaming tokens.  So one or the other isn't anything to lose sleep over.

    Maybe the appeal of 1/56 tanks is the nostalgia it brings for everyone who played 2nd Edition 40K and misses mini Rhinos next to their Infantry ;)

    (Sidenote: I'm not hating.  I really miss the old Rhinos.)


  • Does`nt really mater your choice of scale, the only time as I cringe, is when the two scales are used together in a real game. These are from the Rubicon site, note the fantastic scale proportions of the 1/56th scenery, vehicles, and figures. Use a1/48th kit on this board, and you`d have a "Maus"

  • @Grumpy Gnome 

    Had some trouble with your second link.  I think this might work?:


    The comparison photos on that site are really good.

  • @Geoff Maybury 

    That's a beautiful board.  I would love to play on that.  But isn't that a very narrow road?  More of a lane?  It looks like if the machinegunner went prone he would stretch from one side of the road to another.  A real armored vehicle would/should be straddling a man width road.   

  • If you're just asking for historical WW2, I'd say 1/48, or if it matters in the rules whatever scale gives the mini the correct footprint.


    However, for Sci fi gaming if I'm using a model kit or a real vehicle, I tend to go with 1/72 for more near-future vehicles, as it makes them look more advanced or drop-capable.  With 1/48 or 1/56 stowage when I feel motivated.

  • I wonder if you would get different results if the poll read "What scale is best for use with 28mm" or something similar.  I think many use 1/56 because it is what's available.  

  • Part of the issue with comparing vehicle scales to infantry scales is infantry are almost always based, while vehicles are almost always NOT based. 

    If you put the same thickness base under 1/56 sherman it would look closer to "in scale" with the infantry. 

    With that said, if you are using heroic scale infantry the bigger the vehicle the better. 

  • It would seem scale in this application is like other artistic expression, quite subjective. 

    I think I will switch from my current 1/56 to 1/48 since my intended game, Chain of Command from Toofatlardies is infantry rather than vehicle focused. The larger size with emphasize the vehicles and also capture that feeling of “wow, these are larger than I expected” I felt at the museums in Normandy.


    During my research the last couple of days I did see some comments from folks that Warlord Games has championed 1/56 scale models in order to further their own “in house” Bolt Action gaming line. This is a pretty cynical line of thinking, but also the kind of business practice you commonly hear about Games Workshop. Whether it is true about either of those companies is a matter of opinion.

    Now my question will be where WA historical figures fit in relation to Warlord Games and Perry WW2 miniatures. I am keen to get my hands on the WW2 Italians to do a side by side comparison with Warlord plastic WW2 Italians. Although, saying that... comparing the size of the WA French Resistance weapons to both Warlord and Perry WW2 British and American weapons was not conclusive, there being consistency between all of them. I had hoped it would simply be WA was in the middle of bigger Warlord and smaller Perry but that was not always the case.

  • I picked the unmarked fourth option - it's "all of the above" for me:  I think that outside WWII and 40K, we're in a beggars-can't-be-choosers situation for the most part.  I'd be just fine mixing scales within a step or maybe two of each other, especially for sci-fi, however things might start getting crazy if you go very far overboard (1/72 on the same table as 1/48, for example!)

    I'm glad to see @BS Kitbasher giving some love to 1/72 for sci-fi:  I wouldn't normally think of doing that, but the argument that it might work for sci-fi as smaller, more drop-ship friendly futuristic vehicles actually seems sound to me, especially with some trouble taken to disguise the smaller scale with larger hatches, etc.  And, thre are some nice (and affordable!) modern 1/72 vehicle kits out there, so I really ought to give this a second thought.

  • Also, things get even more curious when comparing figures in 1/48 and 28mm (Heroic?) scale to each other:


    If you go by the old sole-to-eye measurement, the 28mm guy is a shorter/smaller 1/56 or 1/50 scale, but he's really not very much shorter than the 1/48 guy - it's well within variation of human height.  But, he's definitely a lot stockier than the 1/48 guy, and his head, feet, hands, ankles, wrists, belt pouches, and weapon are actually significantly bigger, quite exaggerated.

    Along with being mounted on a base, that exaggeration is why 1/48 vehicles can look a lot closer than proper 1/56 scale:  1/48 tank hatches will fit 28mm figures a little better, for example.

    To make things even stranger, 28mm "scale" vehicles - like those made for 40K - are really strange!  Exaggerated gun barrels, hatches and doors that couldn't make sense on a real vehicle (I can think of a couple examples where doors in the side of a vehicle would go right through tank treads and wheels, for example....)

    We're not really dealing with a proper scale in 28mm... it's a "scale" built on "close enough", and thus it is with vehicles - whatever we can find will likewise be more "close enough" than "accurate" :)


    EDIT:  Another picture for comparison of what I assume to be a couple different manufacturers' 28mm figures, next to what looks like the same 1/48 guy as above - "28mm" can vary wildly:

    (From someone else's blog, these aren't my miniatures, and I don't paint this good!)


  • At the end of the day we all must look to our own desires for that which we can buy. I`m in limbo at the moment, since july, I`ve been waiting for Rubicons Nam, and as nearly every thing else as gone. Or is lost in my shed, I can`t illistrate what I mean. I`d like to show my Military. Vehicle. Conservation. Group. (M.V.C.G.} a collection of Rubicon American WW2, in 1/56th and Johny Lightning 1/64th modern cars, vans, and lorries. Figures by Wargames Foundry and Rubicon and a few Perry sprues. Allthough we looked this weekend I`ve still failed to find them. Enjoy your hobby build and buy what you get the pleasure from remember we all paint to our own skills and if you-re happy thats all that maters. @JTam   Not my board or models they are from the Rubicon site I think its more a Tractor Lane nice though. 

  • The next question will likely be... “If WA starts doing vehicles, what scale will they be?”

    As for me, for now, it looks like my Warlord Games 1/56 vehicles will go on eBay in order to be replaced with Tamiya 1/48 vehicles.

  • I switched to 1/48th scale after assemling a miniscule Warlord Games bren carrier -- and seeing other examples of 1/56th scale models (which are really scaled to maybe 22-23mm size). Unfortunately, Tamiya and a small outfit called Bronco Models are the only 1/48th scale plastics manufacturers for WW2 vehicles, and their offerings are pretty slim. Their miniatures that come with their kits are --as pictured above, not compatible with 28mm scale figures.

    Grumpy Gnome, there is a YouTube review of the WA Italians that does a size comparison with Warlord Games Italians (the link is on this WA website). Thankfully, the WA figures are bigger than the terribly under-sized WG version. They're also much better sculpted.

  • I use both 1/48 and 1/56 plus 1/50 and even some stuff that could best be described as “non-scale/other” along with a lot my historical figures for near future sci-fi and fantasy army building.

     Also To be honest heroic scale mins and 1/48 historical vehicle kits do not actually look that good next to each other to me (guns are too thin and small, etc.)  So I actually have to look at sci-fi kits form things like Starwar and Anime shows along with tehnolog and Toon tanks to get a decent looking force in my mind anyways😆.

    Meanwhile the Historical figures look great next 1/56 and 1/48 to me.🙄

    So over all it’s a null point to me and one of several reasons I constantly advocate historical scale proportions over heroic, it looks better next to all the cool cheap plastic historical tank model kits from 1/56-1/48 out there by folks like Tamiya and Rubicon.  

    Anyway if this is purely about the Italian tankettes in the previews I heavily recommend they just go with 1/56 basically because it will look better next to the Italian tanks on the market already that most Wargamers actually know about, which to my knowledge are either only in or mostly in 1/56 scale and WA’s historical figures look good enough next to 1/56 scale for Italian tanks over all thus far.(ie, Italians are small go with 1/56 for thier vehicles, while we are at it same deal with French).

    Not to mention I don’t want WA to have every “everything must be the same scale ” completest in the community asking for new Semovente 75/18 in 1/48 or reinventing the whole carpool of WW2 France in 1/48  when literally anything else on the figure front could be disrupted by it (rather have more 28mm army figures for things  that are not covered yet in plastic then a bunch of 1/48 WW2 tanks Tamiya and Reveille haven’t done yet but Rubicon and Warlord already covers in 1/56).  

    Likewise I find 1/56 a better scale for most light vehicles overall (you may want some huge 1/48 scale tanks, but thing like universals carriers should look small and cute).  

    On the other hand, if this is a “every vehicle for Sci-Fi, History, etc. will be this scale from now on!” type question  then I say skip both 1/56 and 1/48, you should go with 1/50 scale since that a good compromise between the two: it looks okay next both the others scales in historic and gives leeway to do what you want in heroic Sci-Fi (I own some 1/50 Starwars’ separatist tanks that look right at home next to GW and other heroic figures vehicles for example but still look in place next to historical figures and vehicles).

    @Don Williams  Bro, look on Ebay, there are tons of folks that do 1/48 in plastic kits all over the world, particularly for WW2, they just aren't focused on filling out your boltaction list😉. Also if you feel Tamiya's offerings in 1/48 is limited then your probably never going to be satisfied with plastic kit models availble in either scale, so you need a 3D printer or someone doing 3D print of vehicles, unless its something very specific your looking for.


  • @JTam

    Actually I would say it has more to do with what they actually like or what they actually know about because they don’t do the smart thing and shop ebay. As I mentioned in my earlier comment the majority of plastic kits I know of for Italians are 1/56, but for the four big factions for WW2 Europe (Germans, British, Americans, Russians) all have stuff like the popular main tanks and common vehicles in 1/48 from multiple manufactures and Japan has some coverage in 1/48 though it isn’t as decent.

    (Rule 1 of buying wargaming vehicles: shop Ebay, 1/48 scale armor or land model kits is actually a really easy search algorithm to put together on ebay and has lots of stuff beyond Tamiya and that one other 1/48 scale kit maker you know about)

  • @Brian Van De Walker You make some fair points. I dread having to try each individual model to see if it works for me aesthetically or not though. Ugh. Such a headache. But yeah, I can see consistency is an unrealistic dream.

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