How Well Do the Samurai Miniatures Scale With Each Other?


Over the last few months painting up Samurai and Ronin and Ashigaru for Test of Honour, I get asked two questions the most often (often amidst the horror-filled looks and gasps over my paint job–amateurish that it is).

  1. “What model is that?”
  2. “How does ‘X’ manufacturer measure up to ‘Y’ manufacturer?”

Well, you’re all in luck! I will be answering both questions in this one post! Dilly, dilly!

A few caveats before we get to it.

First, I avoid manufacturers who sculpt miniatures with bizarre proportions. That is to say, I prefer miniatures that look, well, human.  I don’t want to field an army of Hobbit Samurai or Samurai with impractical poses. I know there is a group in the community who love them and hey, if that is your thing, awesome. But it isn’t mine; so I won’t be featuring any of those miniatures. Sorry!

Secondly–and of course this probably goes without saying–I only picked out a handful of my miniatures to demonstrate scaling. I figured just under a dozen or so is plenty and beyond that is a little overkill.

Now, here you go, all the main manufacturers (as of right now) lined up so you can see how they scale with each other.

Manufacturers from left to right: North Star, Reaper, Zenit (Kensei), Perry, Reaper, Hero Forge, Warlord, Perry, Reaper, Dark Sword,  GCT Studios (Bushido)

Here are two close-ups (follow the links in the captions if you want to pick them up for yourself):

Again, the order here is: North Star, Reaper, Zenit, Perry, Reaper, Hero Forge
…(Hero Forge), Warlord, Perry, Reaper, Dark Sword, GCT Studios

Despite the fact that some of the manufacturers label their miniatures as 28mm and others at 32mm, they all scale well, in my opinion, with only two exceptions and these are important.

The first exception is the Hero Forge miniature. For those who don’t know, Hero Forge is a fantastic service that allows you to design your own unique miniature using a special creation tool (much like a character creation tool for an MMORPG). The company 3-D prints the miniature and you get it in about a month after ordering, give or take a week. They can get a little pricey (be sure to pick up the Premium Plastic option–trust me), but they are worth it (and I’ll write up a better review in the future). The exception here is due to the fact that you can adjust the size and height of the miniature. So whereas the miniature on display here is slightly taller than the Warlord model to the right of him, if you adjusted the slider down, he would match up perfectly.

The second exception is the Dark Sword miniature. Now it may not look it upon first glance, but this model is actually the same height as the others. The culprit is the base, which is actually a sculpted ‘hill’. So you essentially get an illusion where the model looks insanely taller, but that is only due to the base upon which she is set.

That is all for now. I will try to update this post as new manufacturers become available (*cough, cough* War Banner *cough*).

I hope this helps!

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