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The kind of photos shown above get used nearly every time somebody mentions scale differences. I think it's worthwhile to note that those kinds of really noticeable height differences are uncommon in daily life (which is why we remember those pictures). If you do an image search on (for instance) "Military Unit Photos", you'll see much smaller size differences. And more importantly, the character of those differences will generally be different than a difference in scale.

 

Normally, tall people and short people are not just people of ordinary proportions who have been scaled up or scaled down. Height changes at a different rate than girth, leg lengths change at different rates than thigh circumference, whatever.

 

Using figures sculpted at noticeably different scales (28mm Heroic - sometimes a 35mm figure vs. real 25mm figures, for instance), will never look right. You can disguise the effect somewhat as noted above, especially if you hide the different figures in the middle of an army. You can also keep figures in different scales in different units in army games, which will be less noticeable.

 

Of course, it isn't just overall scaling that can be a problem. E.g.: Dixon Miniatures makes a range of samurai figures that have absurdly large heads for their bodies. If you put them next to other figures of the same height, they will look grotesquely disfigured. (To really see the effect, put a Dixon samurai next to a Ral Partha samurai.)

 

If these kinds of scaling issues don't bother you, great. Some people are less concerned about that kind of thing in their little metal dollies than other people. But that doesn't mean there isn't an issue.

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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31 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

If you do an image search on (for instance) "Military Unit Photos", you'll see much smaller size differences.

Important to note that in many official Military Unit Photos, height discrepancies are deliberately disguised by the use of height lines - members of the unit are generally placed in order by height, which gives a more uniform look - but the height discrepancies are still there. 

 

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1 minute ago, kristof65 said:

Important to note that in many official Military Unit Photos, height discrepancies are deliberately disguised by the use of height lines - members of the unit are generally placed in order by height, which gives a more uniform look - but the height discrepancies are still there. 

 

 

Absolutely. "Form up by height."

 

Historically, there have also been units chosen specifically for the heights of their members. (Frederick the Great's guards, the so-called Potsdam Giants, were so chosen.)

 

But there's still not normally anything like the differences in height or build shown in the photos above.

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46 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

If you do an image search on (for instance) "Military Unit Photos", you'll see much smaller size differences. 

Here are the first two images I found with that search phrase on Google:

Screenshot_20190429-085810_Chrome.thumb.jpg.524a3fd74af67e323e4977617967b5f4.jpg

 

Screenshot_20190429-085838_Chrome.thumb.jpg.9786371d0df40f8b80c2d1ef305f2e46.jpg

 

The guy in the middle of the second image isnt even up to the tallest guy's shoulder.

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4 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

But there's still not normally anything like the differences in height or build shown in the photos above.

Generally true, but every time someone says that, I can't help but think of Blaze and Piggy, or Terri and Cap, people I served in the Navy with.  Two different units, but each with a set of people who were at the opposite ends of the size spectrum.

I generally don't worry about the size of the minis, just the style and equipment scale.  If two minis are supposed to be carrying the same gun, then their guns had better be the same size, even if the miniatures are different sizes.   

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9 minutes ago, Talae said:

Here are the first two images I found with that search phrase on Google:

 

...

 

The guy in the middle of the second image isnt even up to the tallest guy's shoulder.

 

And the vast majority of people in both images are within a few inches of the same height, even though the second unit is mixed sex. This isn't surprising, since the standard deviation of male height in the US (a genetically relatively diverse population, which will increase standard deviation, btw) is 2.66" (approx. 7cm). This means that something like 95% of males will be within 5" of 5'9" tall.

 

Further, if you look at the tall people here, they're not just scaled up short people,. And that's even though these are groups of fit people, so with less body-type variation than would be seen in a general population.

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5 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

Further, if you look at the tall people here, they're not just scaled up short people,. And that's even though these are groups of fit people, so with less body-type variation than would be seen in a general population.

I am disagreeing with this. Scaled up short people definitely look different than taller people.

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1 minute ago, ttuckerman said:

Don't most militaries also dosome weeding out for height? I know they do in subs and pilots.

Yes - I know when I served, the US Navy had minimum and maximums, as did the Royal Australian Navy at the joint command I was at.   And as Doug pointed out, there are units within militaries that may have further restrictions, as well as certain jobs.  

My shipmates Blaze and Piggy were at the opposite end of those requirements - Blaze was a tiny woman who barely met minimum height and weight, while Piggy was a huge beast of a man.  They ended up getting married, so the difference between them was very noticeable, because they were always together.  And, IIRC, neither of them actually qualified for sub duty - Piggy was too big, and Blaze was both too short, and a woman. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Talae said:

I am disagreeing with this. Scaled up short people definitely look different than taller people.

 

From context, I assume that you left out a "not" there.

 

(I've done the same kind of thing more recently than I would prefer. In this thread, in fact. :rolleyes:)

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On 4/17/2019 at 2:08 AM, Darsc Zacal said:

Those are good examples, but this is my favourite:

 

30E20FF7-1DE9-4968-A703-19DEAB831A7C.thumb.jpeg.e163149ff0b595ca27da76ea9d313a6a.jpeg


Looking at this again, I realized something else to consider is "what are you using the miniatures for?"

If you're putting a bunch of models on the table to represent a military unit, yes, you need some uniformity - not just in height, but in equipment, and when you get to painting them, in color choices, too. 

But if you're putting together the typical D&D adventuring party, these sorts of size discrepancies are to be expected - especially when you have a mix of elves, dwarves, humans, halflings, gnomes, etc. 

Another thought I had is that Sir Forscale, as beloved as he is, is actually a poor representation of a "normal" human.   Inside that armor, he's a beanpole with abnormally large hands. 

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24 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

Inside that armor, he's a beanpole with abnormally large hands. 

 

Abnormally large hands and heads (especially eyes) are very common in miniatures. People like to have eyes large enough to paint and hands with details large enough to see. This is common enough that when the proportions are vaguely anatomically correct, many people complain about "tiny eyes" and the like.

 

NB: Abnormally large heads are also very common in actors and news readers on TV.

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2 hours ago, Corsair said:

I will argue with you on that. Some of the toughest cops I have ever known were smaller guys who were absolutely fearless. I would take them with me into ANY situation.

 

I'm kinda short myself, and having red hair in my youth ( Nowadays I shave it all off and it would be grey now) I learned to fight pretty quick.

Took up martial arts, I have fought Kickboxing and Kung Fu matches against many taller and bulkier guys.

I'm still standing...

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59 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Abnormally large hands and heads (especially eyes) are very common in miniatures.

Honestly, I think that's the basis of most 'scale' complaints. 

Different sculptors/lines have different styles and preferences in those exaggerations, and is what can make two different miniatures look off when placed together. 

Another common thing on miniatures is under-emphasizing the bulk that armor, helmets and shoes can add to someone's frame. 

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3 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

From context, I assume that you left out a "not" there.

 

(I've done the same kind of thing more recently than I would prefer. In this thread, in fact. :rolleyes:)

Guilty. That is what I get for posting at work. 

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