Would talking about this be crossing a line?

I’ve done a search for this topic hoping someone else had broached the subject. But I had no luck finding anything on this in my searches.

In the past year or so my 12 year old son has fallen in love with the Rubicon 1/56 scale tanks. We’ve had some disagreements about how they are meant to be gaming pieces and not display models. He doesn’t entirely agree and I’m not sure the 12 year old me would agree with me either. More than a few of the tank models I was building 40 years ago looked more toy like than these kits. Who am I kidding, I probably would’ve loved them. He also pointed out to me that Rubicon has released a royal tiger with a full interior! I can’t imagine why a war gammer would need an interior on his tiger. Perhaps rubicon is trying to appeal to modelers? Honestly, with 1/72 and 1/48 already being so successful, I can’t imagine why Rubicon would bother trying to attract modelers to 1/56. Seems risky to me but I know absolutely squat about the business side of model manufacturing.

Honestly, I’ve actually been surprised by the little tanks in terms of moulding and proportion, they look correct to my eye, I haven’t measured them or anything but they look good except for some of the clunky stuff and molded on or lack of detail. It occurred to me if it would be worth the trouble to try and build one with scratch built parts replacing the clunky details? On the negative side, available AM to enhance them is probably not available, and why would there be, they are not meant for modelers. Besides I have enough 1/35, 1/48, and 1/72 stuff to keep me busy for years to come. I just don’t see the need to get into another scale. Have any of you guys accurized one of these little kits?

I understand my son’s perspective; he can build them faster, they look good to him, he can get right to painting, and with his limited space in his bedroom he can collect more of them to display on his shelve. He even made a small battle of the bulge base back in the the summer featuring a panther covered in snow. It took me back to the days when I would try to recreate Shep Paine dios as a kid. The last thing I want to do is discourage him from the hobby so I’ve tried to be careful and not make him feel bad about liking these kits. A couple of years ago he was really into the zvezda 1/100 kits and he collected a bunch and he still has them and still loves them. I’m hoping he eventually ‘graduates’ to 1/35 at some point so he can help me build my stash;)

But honestly, I’m just happy for the time we spend building models together:)

BTW, I consider myself an experienced modeler with intermediate skills. Some of the new kits coming out today scare me away with the high part counts. I honestly believe that if kits had been that complex when I was starting out, I might’ve never stuck with the hobby.


Everybody has his own preference… If he likes them so much, then let it be. Hopefully it will suck him in to the more detailed larger models in due time. And when not? There are enough adult modellers that do Warhammer or similar (which, though not hard core modelling, rubs enough tot the more in depth work with the elaborate paint schemes to call it so). Everyone his own niche…

:100: that’s all you need.

Seems he is already bitten by the model bug with 1/100 and now 1/56. Soon you will be trying hide your stash of kits from him.

I would build a few 1/56 kits with him and have fun.

Why would 1/56 not be just as acceptable as 1/72 when it comes to armour?
After all, 1/56 is a lot bigger than 1/72 and presents more possibilities when it comes to extra detailing, painting and weathering.
I see absolutely no reason to treat that scale as some unwanted cousin from out in the sticks.

1 Like

“Crossing a line” “Rubicon”? Very witty! Blame the wargamers and “Scale Creep”. In the beginning little plastic soldiers were made in 1:76th scale to utilise all the railway modelling scenery and accessories, as could their “20mm” (1:80th) metal brethren. Then the metal casters (Minifigs) decided to go up to 25mm so they could get more detail in, and this was used for the first Fantasy items. But the fantasy stuff grew for even more detail and finally the producers admitted defeat and called it “28mm”. This in turn was re-defined as “Heroic 28mm” when more realistically proportioned and/or historic miniatures were produced in “True 28mm” (usually by sculptors working for Fantasy firms as their day jobs), especially when these started to be produced as hard plastic injection moulded sets and described as 1:55th or 1:56th scale on the box. But back in the early '70s, just after they came up with 25mm Minifigs had started to produce 15mm figures (this equates to 1:100th scale) which became an established scale too, albeit with some scale creep to 18mm. And it came to pass that these too started to become available in plastic because manufacturers beheld that wargamers bought multiple copies of the same kit, and this was good. Currently the popular “Flames of War” system utilises 15mm/1:100th scale with items produced in metal, resin or plastic as best suits demand, while Warlord Games games have the “Bolt Action” 28mm/1:56th scale system; some of their vehicles are produced for them by Italeri. If your kid still likes 1:100th stuff have a look at the Battlefront Miniatures or Plastic Soldier Company stuff, but research what you’ll get carefully: the bad news is all come as complete wargames units with multiple copies of the same sprues, the good news is many come with multiple options that can be built, e.g.




A common theme you will note in many posts on Kitmaker is the admonishment to “Do what makes you happy.” If he likes 1/56 scale Ruicon, what difference does it make whether it’s called modeling or war-gaming?


Hell I’d even build a wingy-thing to get to build a model with my son!
Don’t ask any questions and cherish every second of this time!
Each year goes by twice as fast as the last one, trust me!

1 Like

Whoa, steady on now. That might be taking it too far … :wink:


My son wanted to build dinosaurs, so Tamiya dino’s it was. Just spending time with him was all that mattered, I didn’t even give him grief if he wanted to paint them crazy colors, I taught him to use the airbrush regardless.

Now he’s a freshman in college and doesn’t want to spend time at the bench right now.

Take whatever you can get and don’t overthink it, it’ll go by faster than you can imagine.


Agree with others enjoy the time spent. As he grows older he may have the desire to either move away from gaming and/or move into more “traditional” modeling. That is if he’s not too distracted by the opposite sex in the years to come.

1 Like

I do have one concern with the 1/56 kits, to me they seem overpriced considering the detail that is included (or missing). On the other hand they do seem to be made from more durable plastic (thicker) and perhaps even a different type of plastic meant to be handled without falling apart. Perhaps that explains some of the extra cost? More expensive materials to withstand gaming needs?

He just ordered their new Tiger ii with interior and zimmerit and wants me to team build it with him when it arrives, but he paid almost $40 for it! I’m accustomed to buying 1/35 scale kits on sale at that price range. Heck, I can buy the brand new tool zvezda sherman for $40 regular price:0 Okay, not with an interior, but still,… perhaps I’ll change my mind once I see the tiger in person. The rest of Rubicon’s kits have no interior and still run for $29-34 depending on the tank.

Whatever the market will tolerate …
The old battlecry of capitalism :grin:

Yeah, I think those prices are pretty crazy for what you get.

On the other hand if you want to spend time customizing them, pretty cool stuff can be done. This guy does some amazing work:


You could be spending $70 bucks for a video game and be out of the picture all together. I tried to get my son intrested in the hobby and he just wasn’t game. Your son wants to spend time with his dad and you’re haggleing over dollar per detail! Brother there may come the day you’d beg him to come visit, cherish the moment, get into his world, maybe he’ll come round to yours.



Enjoy your time with your son, kids grow up faster than we realize. If I could turn back time…


It’s more than a little ironic that in their efforts to include more complexity in their plastic kits that Games Workshop now produce some models which are too delicate for use as gaming pieces (it’s been said some rarely survive the assembly process - a trait of true scale models :grin: ). On the other hand, they look really good in some of the marvelous dioramas that grace the pages of their house magazine (I’m not a subscriber but have friends who are devotees of the cult, I read their magazines and shamelessly loot their bits boxes for possible future projects of an as-yet undefined nature :skull_and_crossbones:). Many of their products can be swiftly clagged together by enthusiastic novices (whose enthusiasm swiftly wanes, thereby providing dedicated gamers who have paint-stripping skills with a source of cheap second-hand items) yet still have the potential for those so inclined to produce really impressive displays of true modelling skills. A well-presented wargames army will spend most of it’s life in a display case, less accomplished one will be relegated to the exile of a carrying case between outings on the table. I am myself a fan (although no longer capable of creating new armies) of a fantasy rule system called “Hordes of the Things” which actually facilitates the production of vignettes for the major playing pieces; back in the day this allowed me to have the satisfaction of exercising creative skills while having produced an item with a purpose beyond merely being nice to look at.



Reminds me of the old saying no combat ready unit ever passed inspection and no inspection ready unit ever passed combat.

Nothing wrong with treating tabletop gaming pieces as “real” scale modeling subjects.

Some of the best figure painters in the world focus on gaming minis, and their work is often astounding. (Just leaf through a couple of issues of White Dwarf magazine sometime if you don’t believe this.) There are large numbers of “gamers” who exhibit figure painting and figure vignettes composed of gaming minis at model figure shows (not to mention some very prestigious figure painting competitions held in conjunction with major gaming conventions around the world). Many of the very best don’t actually “game” at all, but rather concentrate on their painting.

I personally find it more than a bit ironic to see someone spend huge amounts of time and effort “super detailing” a gaming piece rather than simply starting with a more accurate scale model of the same subject, but to each his or her own. If that’s where the modeler finds enjoyment, who am I to criticize? I’ve done enough of my own projects that others might find to be a total waste of their time. However, I enjoyed them, so I really don’t care much what others thought about them.

Scale modeling is, at its core and essence, an art form like all others where the individual is finding and expressing his or her own vision and personal aesthetic. Arguing about what qualifies as “real” scale models misses the fundamental nature of the art of modeling.

I agree. When looking for videos on figure painting I have spent a lot time watching these techniques as they are hyper focused on painting in scale and usually smaller scales then we play in.


I agree. When looking for videos on figure painting I have spent a lot time watching these techniques as they are hyper focused on painting in scale and usually smaller scales then we play in

For anyone who aspires to paint “regular” 1/35 scale figures using hobby acrylics, these are the painters that they need to study for techniques and methods. This is the genre of modeling that is pretty much creating the coda for acrylic figure painting, and by and large, the table top gaming miniature market is who hobby acrylic paint manufacturers are primarily catering to.

Gamers and the gaming market have about 3 decades of seniority over “serious” military modelers when it comes acrylic figure painting. Most of us were still using hobby enamels when gamers started to take hobby acrylics to the next level back in the early '90s.

1 Like