Wargaming Figure Scales

Here’s an old piece I wrote on wargaming figure scales and the Barrett scale.


Wargaming figures from 2mm to 54mm
Click the above image for a larger picture (300 dpi). From left to
right, here are:

  • 2mm: Irregular horse and musket infantry in two ranks. Barrett scale: 2M.
  • 6mm: Irregular colonial British infantry standing. Barret scale: 7M.
  • 15mm: Peter Pig regular officer in beret. Barrett scale: 15M. Based on half inch diameter washer.
  • 20mm: Esci 1/72 Vietnam War: North Vietnamese. Barrett scale: 22L.
  • 25mm: Ground Zero Games Kra’Vak infantry. Barrett scale: 24H.
  • 28mm: (Scale alternately called 28mm, 25/28mm, 30mm, 32mm,
    and heroic 25mm). Games Workshop Catachan Guard Lieutenant
    (converted). Barrett scale: 26H. Based on GW plastic “slottabase.”

  • 54mm: Tamiya 1/32 U.S. Modern Army Infantry. Barrett scale: 53L. Based on 1 inch diameter washer.

A note on the Barrett scale:The Barrett scale is a less subjective way to rate miniatures size, with terms like 25mm becoming a very vague definition anymore. From the Courier magazine, which uses it in their figure reviews:
“The Courier uses the Tobey Barrett Measurements System (BM) to simplify the comparison of figure sizes one to another. Briefly the number is the height in Millimeters from the bottom of the figure’s foot (top of the base) to it’s eye. The letter refers to the “heft” of the figure: L = Light; M = Medium; and H = Heavy. H will fit well with other H and somewhat with M but not at all with L even in the same scale. thus a 27 M is a larger 25mm figure of Medium Heft.”
Note that the heft portion of the scale is still subjective, but overall the Barrett scale does a pretty decent job of classifying sizes. All my ratings on this page should be considered approximate.
Good info on figure scale:

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