Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Slottas & Stuff

It's been a while since I last had a rant and rather than show my latest MegaMini civilians I've decided to have a general comment about some of my news and views.

Hot off the press comes the news that I've won a competition, nothing major but rather a friendly competition run by Irqan over on his blog-site Plastic Zombie. (http://lrqan.blogspot.co.uk/). Briefly, the competition was to guess which of four people on a photograph was the man himself and the tie-breaker  was a film quote.  If you want to know the quote that i won it with, then head on over to his site, you'll be more than welcome I'm sure. (Also look for his exciting zombie bat-reps - they're set in a prohibition style 1920's and are very entertaining!)
I've ordered and received another e-book: "The Infection" by Craig DiLouie (on the strength of his book "Tooth and Nail" - Highly recommended) from Amazon, I don't think I'll be disappointed.  Whilst in the process of ordering, it was brought to my attention that the third book in Mira Grant's "Newsflesh Trilogy" was due for release (7th June)

The third book in the trilogy is entitled "Blackout" and it's been on my want list ever since I read the first two in the series last year.  What makes Mira Grant's zombie infected world is its believability and even though it is set some twenty years after the apocalypse the zombie threat is still a reality.

I doubt very much if I'll be disappointed  with this third book of the Trilogy and I can't recommend the first book "Feed" highly enough.  If you don't read any other zombie novels, then read "Feed" (and "Tooth and Nail".

A comment was made on  a fellow bloggers blog about the size of a figure compared to a vehicle.
The vehicle in question was the Mystery machine I showed a while ago and the figure was a "Copplestone".

I've used two identical Foundry figures in attempt to show the crux of the matter.
Left hand picture, the figure has a washer base, whilst the right hand figure has a slotta base.
I think the photos illustrate perfectly one of the reasons why I hate slotta bases.
To illustrate the point further, how many gamers mount their vehicles on bases ? The photo on the left shows a more accurate representation of the comparative heights of the vehicle and figure, with the vehicle raised on slottas, whilst the photo on the right shows the two figures, with and without a slotta base, side by side.
I know which figure I prefer, but each to their own. As to scale - 28mm is not a scale ! - It really does annoy me that it is reffered to as a scale.  I ask you, who measures their height from their feet to their eyes ?  I take it that 28mm figures are roughly 1/60th scale, i.e. approximately 5mm to 1 foot (Only the Brits can mix and match Imperial and Metric measurements without blushing). If the average height of a man these days is say 6 foot (180cm) then the figure Mac Taylor from Foundry's "Juno's Crew" is over 7 foot tall! (probably along with many of the other "larger than life figures). I don't mind the differences in height that much, although a "28mm" figure  that is 36mm tall is pushing the boundaries a bit.
I understand the many uses slottas can have; that nice rim on the bottom can be used to paint on names, or be colour coded (for instant recognition of rank or whatever) and I use it for squad numbers on my "Blood Bowl" teams and squad identification on my "Space Hulk" terminators. The difference however is that the actual base is black as befits a piece/token for a board game.  I made no attempt to represent grass, rubble or space-ship detritus as there seems to be no point when you have that black rim glaring at you.
My preferred basing materials are shown above left, pennies and washers.  The pennies are slightly thicker than the washers(nearly double) but are cheaper.  The washers I got for £2 a hundred, making them double the cost, but  that hole in the middle allows you to mount figures designed for slotta bases, with a bit of judicious filing. Word of warning: If you're thinking of buying washers, avoid buying them from the chain-store DIY shops a pack of 10 M10 washers (like those above) can cost well over £3 ! Search out local hardware stores that sell them by weight instead.
 Rant Over.

 This week's has been a bit of a ramble and I haven't managed to even show my latest MegaMini civilians and "Bureau" that I've finished (for bureau, read Men in Black), so that will at least give me material for my next blog.
I purposely didn't say next week's blog as I'm attending a family affair over the entire next week-end - it's not just HRH that is celebrating a Diamond anniversary - so my blog may be at best delayed and at worst postponed.

Once more, thanks for taking a look; all comments, rants etc. are of course welcome and if I haven't already welcomed you to my blog then "Welcome and I hope you find something here you like".


  1. I couldn't agree with you more about 28mm not being a scale. It bugs me so much when people say "28m scale". I work to a 5mm = 1ft, so 28mm is a measurement and not a scale. On my miniatures website I state on the main page that it's roughly a 1/60 scale :) Cool blog!

    1. Thanks Rovanite, I'm so pleased I'm not the only one that "moans" about this; I've been saying this for years.

  2. I must admit that when slottabases were first introduced I hated them with a passion and I avoided using them whenever I could. I slowly began to soften towards them when Games Workshop brought out Necromunda, a game I still love to this day, and I used them to base all of my gangs. Eventually, I came round to thinking if every figure is raised off the ground by the same amount, does it matter? After deciding it didn't matter I then went about sticking any new figure and lots of my old ones on slottabases. Deep down, I wish that slottabases weren't as thick as they are, say just a third as thick. My problem is that with the amount of figures I have already stuck on to slottabases it would take far too much time and effort to rebase them all. It looks like I'm stuck with them! Don't get me started on slottabases with curved sides. They are the spawn of the devil!

    By the way, I totally agree with 28mm not being a scale. The trouble is that it is so well ingrained in most collector's brains that it is virtually impossible to change people's opinions. I know I am just as guilty as the next person for saying 28mm scale. If that causes anyone offence, I apologise.

    1. I think gamers were conned (again)by slottas and many fell under the evil influence of big corporations (not naming anyone in particular) and for you, like many others, it's far too late in the day to be changing.

      A problem I see with manufacturers saying 1/60th scale rather than "28mm scale" is that their figures can be shown to be not in scale. The figure I mention above, "Mac Taylor" has an unbelievable hand measuremnt of 8 inches (or 24cm) across the four fingers of his left hand !(in 1/60th scale) In "28mm scale" however it's perfect !

  3. I can see your point. Washers are the best, but I have a hard time giving up on my slottabases. And having played several different games....Not many have been in true scale 28 mm.

    1. LS, I doubt if anyone would want to give up what they're used to, nor would I advocate them doing so - each to their own.
      My last word would be that whatever you use, it's the enjoyment of the game that's the most important thing.

    2. Absolutely correct!!!! The joy of the game is paramount to me!

  4. I like slotta bases and I when I started whole zombie project, I decided to roll with them. I prefer those lipped, but those are 30mm around and that just takes too much space. I considered washers but strangely, those low minies just don't seem right to me. Surely it makes all the sense to keep them as low as possible, but...well, it just doesn't seem right. I could never get myself to use coins for basing. Again, I understand how cheap it really is and how practical they are, but money is still a money and I think it is just wrong to do it.

    I understand how calling 28mm a scale can bug you, but honestly, I've heard so much scales to equal 28mm, that I just call them 28mm figures and my problem is solved, hehe. Still, can't say 28mm is a scale, but it indeed is a height :)

    1. You're right about 28mm being a height, but its probably not the height of your figures- hehee.
      One good thing about sticking with your slottas is that it gives you something to get ahold of without having to touch your figures. I fiond they are a little on the large size though.

  5. Good rant.

    I would point out that the height distorting effect of slottabases can be used for good too.

    Years ago I did an in-depth study of figure scale vs toy/model cars. Because most wargames figures tend to be chunkier than is anatomically correct, you can't just go by figure height. On that basis, a 28mm figure should match well with 1/60 to 1/55 cars (since "Matchbox/Hot Wheels" cars are scaled to fit the packaging, their versions of smaller-in-the-real-world cars tend to be about this scale). But if you compare a modern 28mm figure with a vehicle in that scale, it looks almost impossible that the figure could fit into the driving seat, and a car crammed full of four or five figures is unthinkable.

    Which is why a lot of people use 1/48 or 1/43 scale vehicles with 28mm figures. But now you run into the absurd situation of a figure barely able to fire over the bonnet/hood of a typical car, never mind the roof. Big off-roaders and vertically challenged drivers aside, most people will be head and shoulders higher than the roof of their car and easily able to fire over the roof.

    The solution I found was the extra 5mm of the slottabase. It boosts the figure vertically enough that a figure in a firing pose can fire over normal cars. The same applies to 20mm figures (nominally 1/72) and bigger cars (like 70s muscle cars, which work out at between 1/64 and 1/80) in the Hot Wheels "scale".

    So now I base all my modern/near future/zombie figures on slottas, 25mm rounds for 28mm figures, or 20mm square. It's not visually perfect, as you describe, but it stops a game using 1/43 cars from looking like a battle between armed toddlers.

    My historical/VSF figures, on the other hand, I continue to base on pennies, for basically the same reasons you outline in your post.

    1. You are absolutely right about the various scales of vehicles that are used with and that the larger scales (1/43, 1/48)fit in better with various "28mm" figures. I think I saw a very well presented argument of the Lead Adventurers forum about that very thing. Only problem I would still have is the diameter of the bases themselves, 25mm or even worse 30mm, take up far to much space.
      I doubt I've ever seen historical figures on anything akin to slottas either.

    2. I think EM4 do some 20mm round slottas. Gisby at the Combat Zone Chronicles swears by 'em.

    3. Thanks for that Dr.V, I would have expected some firm or other to have made 20mm slottas. If I were using slootas then I think I'd go for 20mm.

  6. I use both slottas and washers for my figs. Sometimes a fig needs that extra bit of height to make it fit in with the rest. or it needs to be shorter so it goes on a washer.

    I get what your saying but like it or not, calling 28mm a scale is here and part of our vernacular, like many other oxymorons we spew on a regular basis. The only scale reference we get to use as gamers is "heroic" scale.
    Ok how about this: you and your followers (us) come up with a scale reference "names" for all figure sizes that are used to represent a humanoid in a game system. 6, 15, 20, 25, 28, 32, 54mm are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Then we pimp the heck out of it and see if it will take hold.

  7. Lol Papa S, great idea about scales though I would prefer 1/300, 1/120, 1/87, 1/72, 1/60, 1/32 etc.

    You're right of course, 28mm scale figures are here to stay.

  8. The slotta bases never worked for me but only due to personal reasons, I'm more a coin of very small denominations sort of guy!

    1. I'm with you AL, the price of the slottas is a good enough reason not to use them imo.