Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 10 % Rule; An Acceptible Deviation?

I have preferred to stick to a few set scales, usually 1/32 for figures (sorry; never really got into 1/35), 1/72 for aircraft, 1/144 for spacecraft, etc. The problem arose when a number of older models that fell outside these scales would surface, and inevitably be needed to complete the collection. Whenever that occurred, I would allow for a minor standard for deviations; 10%. This would be both larger and smaller. For instance, when a 1/75 scale Spitfire is sitting near (but not next to) a proper 1/72 model, it looks perfectly fine. It's when the two are brought together that the difference is notable, but that is never the intention.

It is in larger scales that the problem more notably presents itself.

When I was younger, mixing larger scales for armor was very common place. 1/35 scale was just coming into its own, and the Japanese firm of Tamiya was beginning to flood the market. Meanwhile, older models in 1/32 scale were still available, especially with Monogram having made a large number of them (notably their Panzer Mk.IV variants). Most of these kits contained not only armor but figures. Complicating this was Nichimo, which had produced a few kits in 1/30, and likewise some of these kits contained figures.

In due time, it would be relatively easy for a modeller to amass a good many figures. The problem was, of course, that they really varied in size.

Ironically, they still fell within 10% of the median scale, 1/32. A 6' tall human stands 2.25" in 1/32. In 1/35, they stand 2.05", and in 1/30 2.4". In other words, the 2.05" figure would stand 5' 5.6" while the tower over the others at 6' 4.8". Between the extremes is almost a scale foot of difference.

That's not to say that such differences don't occur in nature; they do. But so many other aspects would vary as well; guns, helmets, gear. Ironically, there are actually more figures available in 1/32 (54mm) than in 1/35 (50mm).

The trick is trying to decide how to proceed. Obviously, larger equipment, such as artillery and vehicles, is not so big a deal during play. Even differing scale figures could still be used as long as they were not used together, provided the 10% rule is followed.