Monday, June 30, 2008

On ground scale, and buildings

I believe I already mentioned I exclusively collect and paint miniatures in 15mm scale. The reasons why will be explained in the next couple of days, as I am planning to write a longer post about the logic behind that decision.
[That said, when Stokes a.k.a. the Grand-Duke of Stollen and Jeff pointed me in the direction of the 25mm RSM miniatures, I felt my knees weaken... yes, Jeff: I do want to paint some tricornes...]

Back on topic. Since most of my colonial games are semi-tactical in nature, I do not have a problem in having, on the table, buildings that are in true 15mm scale. But I have that problem for my napoleonic battles. These games are grand-tactical, and, keep in mind, are played on a 6'x4' table. True 15mm scale buildings are completely out of proportion, vertically AND horizontally. Just think: the recent release by Paperterrain is the S.te Mere Eglise Church, which is 15mm scale is 18" x 12" x 10"! As somebody pointed ut in the discussion at TMP, in most rules the length of the building would exceed rifle range! Of course, in my case, I might opt for the shortcut and claim that one building is really representing a whole village... but let's face it: that sucks. One building all alone in the tabletop is not a village: it's lame. I need at least two, three even better, building to realistically state: "that's a village."

I guess my question to my attentive readers is: how do you deal with this situation? The solution I want to explore: scaling down building. Which means: 10/12mms building to match my 15mm miniatures. I would be even tempted to go one notch further down. Paperterrain offers a European village pack in 5mm/6mm scale. As long as the top of the building roof is taller that the tip of a grenadier plume, I would feel comfortable to deploy smaller scale terrain in my 15mm grand-tactical battles.

Which of course only leads to the next question: where do I get a 6mm Valmy windmill??? :-)


Bluebear Jeff said...

I should point out that I too pointed you at RSMs.

As for buildings, I tend to like "small footprint" buildings. I then tend to cut out a felt section to represent the town and put a few buildings on it . . . but they are only representative.

Remember that each of our figures represents dozens of actual soldiers . . . cannot our buildings do the same?

I treat the actual buildings as removable . . . but the entire felt cutout as "built-up area".

That all being said, I think that 6mm buildings may well be too small. 10mm buildings would be better, I think.

And, if you are using "paper buildings" that you download or have on CD, you can instruct your printer to print them a smaller size.

-- Jeff

Snickering Corpses said...

Personally, I'm collecting 15mm buildings to go with my 25-30mm troops, as they're much cheaper than 28mm buildings and I found a manufacturer I like. I've been tempted to go the 6mm route, myself. I think one of the keys is to use a cluster of more buildings the smaller you go. A cluster of 6mm buildings can almost give you the effect of viewing a classical map.

Der Alte Fritz said...

I have seen John Hill and Dean West create some incredibly realistic ACW terrain using 10mm buildings with their 15mm figures. Dean does the same in his Final Argument of Kings games for the SYW. So I'd recommend going down just one scale to 10mm.