Scale for figurines?

Tchklinxa's picture
January 8, 2014 - 6:10am
Okay so I was thinking that I can use counters but I could also make some little paper monsters and people or go with some homemade wire and fimo/sculptey people. Which then got me wondering about the scale actually used on the few critter/people figurines made for SF. Has anyone measured them?

I tried researching it and frankly I came up bust on the net. TSR figures apparently range from 25mm to 30mm. Though I do not remember any old TSR figures I had as a kid being as huge as 30mm for PCs. I also realize there where different measuring techniques used on the critter/people miniatures.

Also what scales have you all found useful for the people? How have you all handled it? 

I know if I was doing armies smaller is better in my opinion I would tend toward small scales, but if I try and make individual little people I will need to go larger I think because of my skill level... my fimo people will probably look like stick people anyhow (Lol... Kindergarden level art ability). 


 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
January 8, 2014 - 7:27am
Typical RPG figures have been 25/28mm scale and this has become more popular in wargaming with more skirmish level games coming out all the time. The Old TSR miniatures were 25mm scale.

However, all of the maps in the box sets are scaled to the 1/4 inch die cut counters. which makes them tough to use with 25mm scale figures which are usually based on a 1 inch base (I use 7/8" fender washers as bases which look like a 1 inch base but the 1/8" space savings helps a lot in narrow terrain)
Its a shame to have such nice poster maps and not be able to use them with miniatures.

I've long debated buying up a bunch of sci fi miniatures in 15mm scale and basing them on 1/4" washers which would be totally work with the poster maps. My problem is I have quite the extensive collection in 25/28mm scale. Another positive is that 15mm figs are rather easy to paint and require a lot less detail which can appeal to a non painter. The game Monsterpocalypse has some vehciles that can be rebased for use on the Port Loren map. I would generally shoot for car wars counter scales here: 1/4" X 1/4" for cycles 1/4" X 1/2" for cars. The Monsterpocalypse vehicles will need to be 1" X 1" but they are distinctly military so that wont really break things as a miliatary vehicle can be chalked up as being bigger than civilian stuff. In addition going this route lets you press the maps/playing board from the Monsterpocalypse game into use for star frontiers and using their neat building miniatures which fit their maps.

As to using Fimo, sculpty or any other bakable clay I'm not in favor of it. Miniatures for making a production mold are typically molded with Green Stuff, Procreate, or Milliput resins- each has different properties- like the brown milliput is good for sculpting hard sharp edges but most sculptors prefer Green Stuff or Procreate for general sculpting thus you'll see an early picture of a sculpt with body in green and weapons and some armor in brown or even thin brass rod for say a spear shaft.

Fimo isn't going to give you good definition in the figure though if you are sculpting the creatures from Awful Green Things game Fimo might be the right medium to do that as it lends itself to the whimsical feel of that game. Also working with Green stuff and Procreate lets you mix in bits and pieces from metal miniatures- metal weapons from a Reaper Miniatures weapon's pack (their Chronoscope line).

This company has some 15mm sci fi minis (if you cant find 28mm sci fi minis you haven't looked)

This company has some 6mm scale stuff which I would consider getting the vehicles for use on the Port loren map

Splintered lights added some Sci fi minis since I last toured their site, armed and unarmed spacers both look good as this company is known for good sculpt jobs. and the post apocalyptic line looks good too.

Just bought these gray aliens from 15mm UK and plan to use the heads and torso for my 15mm vrusk project. Weapons look chunky but and may need some trimming or removing but the forward part of the vrusk face should be easy enough to sculpt with green stuff.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
January 8, 2014 - 1:27pm
Found this interesting new item in the Monsterpocalypse line:

I've bought 8 of them and will play around at convering them to being vrusk (ignoring the fact that they have 6 legs instead of 8). I'm hoping I can locate a suitably sized sci fi torso and slice the head off of this figure. the end result might be a little big for 15 mm but the goal will is to be able to use the maps from the box sets with miniatures so if a few things are out of scale but fit on a 1/4" X 1/4" base then I think its all good. I'll run a thread on the modelling when the time comes and put together a tutorial. Now to locate that torso.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

bossmoss's picture
January 8, 2014 - 1:57pm
About 10 years ago I discovered Heroclix, and have begun using them as figurines.  There is more detail than the old metal figures, and you can get a variety of normal or futuristic people.

OnceFarOff's picture
January 8, 2014 - 3:50pm
Back in the day I used to use minis - I even cast some of my own out of lead. When I got back into the hobby recently after getting rid of my stuff I couldn't find a reasonable way to handle minis so I decided to go the Virtual Table Top (VTT) route with a free program called MapTool. Instead of a washable battle map, I use my macbook with a space computer monitor I already had. I've found a lot or art online so the cost was pretty much free. My kids and I love it.

rattraveller's picture
January 8, 2014 - 4:48pm
For those of us on more limited time and budget you can try:

Find the ones you like, copy them to a power point slide (this allows you change the size to fit your scale), Print them on to cardstock paper (I use 110 wieght but plain paper works to), cut out what you want, fold them where needed and play away.

For a game board (if you use one) I draw simple out lines on poster board (for cheater like me use the ones with the faintly drawn squares)

Props can also be found on other sites and I generally pay for other paper figures at drivethrurpg. (I also donate 5 pounds a year to help out the above site, this year it turned out to $8.43)
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Tchklinxa's picture
January 8, 2014 - 6:49pm
jedion357 Thanks for all the info and that bug you found is cool looking. I can't wait to see the finnished version.

The resource ideas are great everybody! I am checking them all out. I will probably do some paper minis and try and make a few of my own. I forsee Mr. Bob in space and a 8 legged Gumby (not too sure about my skill level on sculpting but what the heck). 

OnceForAll that is a great idea with the MapTool.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
January 11, 2014 - 5:09pm
Update: I got the bug alien from Monsterpocalypse and I should have considered the fact that it was on a 1 inch base while deciding to buy it for a 15mm figure as its too big for that. instead it will sculpte nicely into a 25 mm (and I mean 25 not 28mm) figure. Now that I see the head up close and personal I think I'll be cutting it off to re-attach to the torso as it alreadly looks very vursk. As figure the final sculpt falls between the two sizes of TSR vrusk: one as smaller scale (20 mm) than the rest of the TSR figures and the other was quite large but probably closer to scale with the rest of the minis.

The two vehicles I bought are significantly smaller than the tanks I already possessed for that game and are more appropriate for 6mm scale but I intend to rebase them for the port loren map anyway- a 15mm scale sci fi figure will just look heroic next to them and I dont think that's a bad thing.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!