|Tanks on parade - from left, Force of Arms T-55, James Bond T-55M, Kitech T-72|
Like all such posts on TMP, this one elicited a discussion arc that seems to flow the same way - scale is not a size, the differences are slight, no they are not, etc. Just look what happened to this guy when he floated a discussion on 1/56 vs. 1/50 - in short, don't bring it up on TMP unless you want to accumulate stifles and derision.
I'll save my editorial perspective (worthless as that is) for the end. In the meantime, here are some different pics of the different kits that have seen action with us and our 25-28mm modern and ultra-modern gaming. Apologies for the unpainted vehicles...
To help a little with the perspective of a gamer, I added some painted infantry to the shots - a 28mm "Chemical Commie" fro Eureka, a 28mm VDV trooper from Mongrel, and a 40mm Russian Federation infantryman from HLBS (from a line that I believe is no longer available....)
BMP-2s up first....the painted one is 1/56 scale from Sloppy Jalopy, and the unpainted one is 1/48 scale from HLBS*...
|Sloppy Jalopy BMP-2 on left, HLBS BMP-2 on the right|
|Another comparison pic without infantry - no question the HLBS stuff is bulkier/heftier...|
|From left, a Mongrel Miniatures 28mm, a Eureka 28mm and an HLBS 40mm figure in front of the Sloppy Jalopy BMP-2|
|Same troops in front of the HLBS BMP-2 - you can see it fits nicely with the 40mm trooper - look OK with the others, but maybe a little big...|
Now some BTRs....the unpainted BTR is a BTR-80 in 1/50 scale from Imprint, and the painted one is a "Russian die cast" from E-bay, allegedly 1/43 scale...
|BTR-60 on the left - one of the die-cast ones that seem readily available on Ebay; the Imprint BTR-80 is in the black primer....these models are very, very close in size|
|Troops pose with the Imprint BTR-80....the 40mm lad looks a tad large...|
|Die cast BDRM on the right, Sloppy Jalopy BRDM on the left|
|This BRDM seems bulky for the 28mm lads, looks OK with the 40mm chap - the vehicle is allegedly 1/43 scale|
|The Sloppy Jalopy model is very compact compared to the Russian die-cast, but looks fine with the 28mm models - a bit small for the 40mm trooper|
Finally, a little fun with some tanks...the T-55 is 1/56 scale from Force Of Arms, the T-55M (with reactive armour) is actually from a James Bond toy series, and is 1/50 scale, and the T-72 is a Kitech kit, which is (very allegedly) 1/43 scale. The scale of the Kitech kits needs to be taken with an enormous grain of salt, given that ALL Kitech models have an undercarriage of exactly the same size, with the same road wheels!
|Troops in front of a T-55 from Force of Arms models - tank is 1/56 scale|
|This 1/50 scale T-55M is a James Bond toy - from Ebay|
|This T-72 is allegedly 1/43 scale, from Kitech - back in the day when we first went nuts on moderns, we were picking these things up in bulk orders for like $5 a model...|
1/43 scale on the other hand looks fine for the tanks - but then I am basing this on a Kitech kit - who knows how close to "correct" the overall model is, and what scale it really is. But I can't have my Russian infantry ride in 1/56 BMP-2s with 1/43 Kitech tanks on the table - the BMPs look way too small, or the tanks way too big, or both. I will replace my Kitech tanks over time with Imprint T-72, T-80s and T-90s. But you can't beat the price of those old Kitechs when we got them....and we have had some very, very fun games with them. The Kitech tanks are still the only model I have ever used a hammer to assemble.
I have found that 1/50 "looks" the best for me when it comes to 28mm gaming. The HLBS stuff looks awesome, but I suspect it was scaled to match their larger 40mm figures. I don't have Red Star figures, but if they are a little bulkier - i.e. "heroic 28mm" - then they should look great with the 1/43 stuff and OK with the 1/50 stuff.
For all my subjective blather, however, it depends on what is available. You will have your own opinion, and may very likely agree with the majority on TMP who would find my perspective uppity, ignorant and full of delusion (and you may be right). Sloppy Jalopy and others have put a nice 1/56 stuff out there. Meanwhile, Imprint is expanding a range of 1/50 stuff. The HLBS stuff is excellent. too. Take your pick, fill your boots, and roll some dice! Screw the scale.
UPDATE - *Correction - July 11, 2012 - the HLBS models are 1/48 scale, not 1/43 scale as was originally stated in this post. Sorry about that! GB.