Comparison of Weapons
Of course, I guess I could have left it at just the visual comparison. But no, I had to add another little twist.
It's not so much the actual size differences of the figures that is a problem, it's the different sizes of weapons and equipment supplied that causes them to look "odd" when viewed together. After all, a Mauser Kar-98k is the same size, no matter how big the actual soldier is, right? The same holds true, of course, for any other weapon or equipment you care to mention. Soooo, what does this mean? Well, in simple terms, the actual yardstick should be the weapons and equipment... not the figures.
Despite the wide disparity in height of these two German soldiers in the left picture or girth of the two soldiers in the right picture, note that the belts are the same width and the buckles are the same size, as they should be on our figures. As with weapons and other gear, such standard uniform items, including buttons and insignia, were not tailored to the heights of individual soldiers.
Again, note the wide disparity in height and size of these two British "paratroopers". Note that the visible webbing and belts are the same width, as they should be on our figures. As with weapons and other gear, such standard uniform items, including buttons and insignia, were not tailored to the heights of individual soldiers.
I've taken my data from the web, mainly from the Modern Firearms site. I have divided the actual size by 56 (since the scale for 28mm is apparently supposed to be 1:56th), and rounded to the nearest ½mm.
The ranges that are the most compatible are thus ones which have the same weapons (or near ones that are near enough the same dimensions so as not to make a difference).
Mike Owen at Artizan and Mark Sims at Crusader have collaborated on several weapons and the equipment the troops carry, which means that the earlier ranges of these two manufacturers are pretty close, although there are still differences in the actual sculpting style of the men and their clothing. The newer ranges do seem to be diverging a little again.
Artizan and Bolt Action Miniatures have also collaborated on weapons and equipment more recently, a sterling example of this being the Italians produced by the two companies.
Another weapon and equipment collaboration is between Bolt Action Miniatures and Warmacre.
This will obviously mean that the ranges using the exchanged items are totally compatible, barring the slight differences in sculpting style- specifically, for example, poses and the creases in clothing. A lot of this is "invisible" once the figures are painted in a unified scheme and painting style.
The tables below list the length of the weapons in real life, along with a calculated length. The entries in each table then show that weapon as represented in that manufacturer's range. The weapon closest in dimension to the real one is highlighted in red. Just to make sure we're always talking about the same weapon, I have also placed a picture of the weapons in the tables below each table. The pictures have all been resized to make sure that the weapons are shown at the correct relative scale.
|Mauser Kar-98k||Erma MP-38/MP-40 (folded)||MG-34||MG-42|
|Actual size (mm)||1101||629||1219||1220|
|Calculated 1:56 size (mm)||20||11||21||21|
|Black Tree Designs||24½||-||-||-|
|Bolt Action Miniatures||21||11||22||22½|
|Force of Arms||23||-||-||-|
|Outpost Wargames Services||19.5||-||-||-|
|Victory Force Miniatures||24||15½||-||28|
|West Wind Productions||18½||10½||-||-|
Metall und Lackierwarenfabrik Johannes Grossfuß AG MG-42
|Actual size (mm)||1129||762||1156|
|Calculated 1:56 size (mm)||20||13½||20|
|Bolt Action Miniatures||20½||14||22|
|Force of Arms||22½||-||-|
|The Assault Group||21||-||-|
|West Wind Productions||20||-||-|
Lee Enfield SMLE No4 Mk1
Sten Mk 2
Bren LMG Mk 2
|M1 Garand||M1 Carbine||M1A1 Thompson||BAR|
|Actual size (mm)||1103||904||811||1214|
|Calculated 1:56 size (mm)||19||16||15||21|
|Bolt Action Miniatures||21||19½||17||20|
|The Assault Group||-||17½||-||-|
|West Wind Productions||20½||-||16½|
|Moisin-Nagant M38 Carbine||PPSh||DP|
|Actual size (mm)||1020||843||1266|
|Calculated 1:56 size (mm)||18||15||22½|
|Bolt Action Miniatures||21||16||21|
|The Assault Group||-||18||-|