Monday, February 13, 2012

A Matter of Scale... (Part 2)

In the last post I talked a little bit about scale of 40k miniatures, and I used the calculated scale (1/57) to scratchbuild a rudimentary M1 Abrams tank.  But how does this hold up to the scale of the miniatures themselves?

Well, here we go.  A picture of the Abrams next to a guardsman doesn't look too bad.

But then, when you see a picture like this, showing the real tank and some crewmen next to it, my model looks a bit too small, and the guardsman too big.

So let's put it side by side with a Leman Russ.

First thought:  Holy crap!  Leman Russes are HUGE!  Second thought:  That Abrams is way too small.  The guardsman just looks too big next to it, and the guardsman's base just makes it worse.

So a 1/57 scale Abrams just isn't going to stand up to a Leman Russ.  Let's delve into this a little further and see what scale might work better.

Here's a picture of an M1 Abrams, with the commander and loader standing up in their hatches.
I did some photoshopping and here's a similar view of my tank with two guardsmen photoshopped into the crew positions at the right scale.

My first thought here is that the crewman, although the right height...seems too big somehow. Certainly too "bulky."  It almost looks like they're riding a toy rather than a tank.

Here are the two images side by side for comparison:

So I decided I need to rethink this.  Warhammer 40,000 miniatures are a "heroic" scale, so I think my M1 Abrams needs to be "heroic" in scale as well!

The second time around, I decided to start with parts that are used for the Leman Russ and other vehicles, and scale the M1 around them.  A perfect starting point is the crew hatch, since it's a standard size across 40k vehicles.

Here are two hatches from the Leman Russ kit, placed side by side on my Abrams model.
They look ridiculously big.  Or maybe it's the Abrams that ridiculously small.  But what happens if I scale up the Abrams to fit the scale of the hatches?

Here's a crude photoshopping of my crewman with the Abrams photo, upscaled to match the hatches.  We've jumped from 1/57 scale to 1/42 scale.  Now the crewmen, if anything look a little too small.  But on the other hand, the Abrams looks very large, and definitely fits the bill of the "heroic" scale of 40k vehicles. 

Here is the real Abrams with my two photoshopped tank images side by side.
I think each scale possibility has its tradeoffs.  But I think 1/42 is the way to go.  The tank will be huge, but it's supposed to be huge.  Also, at 1/42 scale, the track wheels of the Abrams scales exactly to fit 1/2" CPVC pipe, which will make the modelling much easier.

Design decisions made, now I have to just get started and build the thing!

1 comment:

Ron Saikowski said...

1/42nd huh?
Seems good enough for me with all the work you've put into this. It's kinds cool to see how you went through trying to get things to "match up."

Thanks for sharing this.
Ron, FTW