This is mainly a heads-up for U.K. residents, as while the magazine is available internationally you may have to take pot luck on what you get.
While in my local branch of W H Smith the other day I noted Issue 427 (July 2023) of the magazine Wargames Illustrated had hit the shelves (it may have been there a while, I don’t get out much). Bagged with each magazine was a frame from the “Cruel Seas” game which contained a couple of 1:300th scale plastic Coastal Forces vessels in plastic kit form. The frame could be any one of three, British MTBs, U.S. PT Boats, or German S-Boats (see below), the two vessels on each frame are not identical but variants within the class. The advantage of going to the shop is you get to see what’s available and if you’re lucky choose your favourite. Now these frames are available from Warlord Games at £9.99 plus P&P, but the magazine only costs £5.99 so you’re getting the boats at a 40% discount plus a free magazine to do with as you will (but note it is shiny paper).
Hmmm…two models per kit for around CAN 16 - 17$? That’s not bad, even though it’s not a main scale, although 1/350 railings would be OK. The S Boat definitely looks better than the Bronco/Trumpeter release.
It’s not from a scale modeller’s viewpoint, but Warlord Games came to “Cruel Seas” from a gaming background where 1:300th is long established (over half a century). It’s a simple ratio, 1mm equates to 1 foot, hence it is often referred to amongst games as 6mm scale, that being the height of an upright individual figure. However, on your side of the pond 6mm is often taken as referring to the somewhat better detailed 1:285th scale models. This is because 1:300th was originally devised as a way of getting WW2 and Modern AFV combat onto a reasonably sized table. Unfortunately, the Wargames Research Group “Rules for Armour and Infantry 1950 to 1975” (1974) found their way into the hands of the U.S. Military, who realised they were not merely a game but actually a pretty good simulation of then current land warfare, and could be used as a training aid. This resulted in the bulk purchase of the best quality 1:285th models, for which the manufacturer raised their prices to a level suitable to a supplier of the U.S. Military, not exactly in the “$37 Screw” range but enough to make the average gamer blink. This has never really gone away, a 1:300th M1 Abrams will still set you back $1.09, the 1:285th equivalent is about $2.80 although the latter has more refined detail.
Thank you for that very interesting war game information!
Assuming I did the math correctly, 1mm=1ft actually works out to 1/304.8 scale. I wonder what scale they actually are. In my experience, now very dated, a lot of game companies play fast and loose with scale.
I still have some GHQ miniatures floating around. I think they were supposed to be 1/285 scale.
If I were still into war games, I would fire up my 3D printer and make the vehicles en masse for pennies.
You are correct, but it’s a bit hard to work to those margins when all the stuff back then was mastered by hand. It can also be approximated as 1 inch represents 25ft (model scale, the on-table distances are much more compressed) for those of us brought up on strange old systems of measurements.
Correct again, they’re still in production and keeping up to date for mainstream stuff (e.g. Ajax) but have yet to catch up with some of the oddities seen in Ukraine.