Question on Scaling 3D printed ships

  • Hi,
    I’m printing some ships and realized I have a slight scaling delima and would appreciate your input.
    I have a resin printer at work, and have been gleefully printing some WW2 and Modern vehicles to enhance A&A classic. I also wanted to print some ships, and as we all know A&A is all over the place with ship scales. So I tried to follow them. Subs and smaller ships at around 2400 and larger ships like carriers at 4000. So far so good. But then you get to ships like the USS Wasp LHD and the Soviet Kirov and in reality they’re almost the same size. If I print the LHD at carrier scale, it will look fine with the others, but then the Kirov would look like smaller ships I’ve already printed out.
    Right now I’m leaning toward keeping same class ships in the same scale, and deal with the cognitive dissonance that way. What would you do?
    Thank you.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


    There’s no single correct answer because the decision involves the following choice: whether you want the size of a given naval sculpt to reflect a particular A&A general unit type or whether you want it to reflect the actual size of a specific warship relative to other specific warships. Each decision involves a trade-off, so it comes down to individual preferences. If you go with the first option, it simplifies play because each unit type can be identified directly from its size, but at the expense of realism. If you go for realism, it means that you need to rely on shape to identify the unit types. For some naval units this is easy: aircraft carriers, submarines and naval transports are impossible to misinterpret because their shape is so distinctive. The problem units are the surface combatants: battleships, cruisers and destroyers. Naval enthusiasts can usually tell the difference without too much trouble, but not everybody is a naval enthusiast. Pointing out, for example, that most A&A destroyer sculpts have transom sterns will cause some people to say “Ah, that’s what I’ll look for!” and others to say, “Huh?”

    In case this helps your decision, keep in mind that many of the A&A sculpts which represent a given unit type (naval or otherwise), and which have a uniform set of combat values under the game rules, correspond to real-world hardware that varies wildly in its characteristics. For example, the Soviet battleship sculpt is based on the First World War Gangut class, which in real life would have lasted about five minutes in combat against the Second World War Iowa class on which the US battleship sculpt is based. So even the shapes of the naval sculpts, even if you disregard the size, add up to an overall picture that’s, as you called it, dissonant.

  • @cwo-marc
    And when you consider how all the other units, tanks, fighters, bombers, and infantry are all their own scales, having consistency in class seems to make the most sense. At least to me. Even if units are the same size in real life, as you said, its easier for non-historians/enthusiasts to pick up the game if unit type x is scale size x.
    Maybe if this was just a naval game or a land war game, then all units could be the same scale. As 3D printing becomes more common, I was interested in hearing how others approached this.

Suggested Topics

I Will Never Grow Up Games
Axis & Allies Boardgaming Custom Painted Miniatures
Dean's Army Guys