Friday, 18 February 2011

The vinyl chessboards: What do figures look like on them?

It's Friday evening, and I am not long home from work ... and my half-term holiday has begun!

This evening is the first opportunity I have had to have a proper look at the vinyl chessboards I bought recently. They were advertised as having two-inch grid squares, but on closer inspection the grid squares are actually two-and-one-quarter-inch by two-and-one-quarter-inch. This seemingly tiny difference makes a lot of difference when one looks at the overall size of the board. Instead of being sixteen-inches by sixteen-inches, they are eighteen-inches by eighteen inches or – to put it another way – just over twenty five percent larger.

Having unrolled one of the vinyl chessboards, I wanted to see what some wargamer figures would look like on them. The first I tried were some 20mm-scale World War II Russians …

… followed by some 15mm-scale World War I Americans …

… and some 15mm-scale early twentieth century Colonials.

The 20mm-scale figures do not look too bad, but in my opinion, the 15-mm-scale figures look better. Perhaps if there were more figures on each base, and the bases were slightly smaller, the 20mm-scale figures would not look quite so out of place, but as I am probably going to use 15mm-scale figures for my battles, this is something that I do not need to worry about.

Notes on the figures and weapons:
  • Most of 20mm-scale Russian World War II figures are from the range manufactured by Foundry. The 76.2mm Gun is made by Skytrex, and the manufacturer of the SU76 is unknown but it may be an old Denzil Skinner model.
  • The 15mm-scale World War I figures were manufactured by Minifigs.
  • The 15mm-scale early twentieth century Colonial figures are manufactured by Essex Miniatures and the 18-pounder Field Gun is made by Minifigs.
PS. The buff colour of the lighter squares on the chessboard is closer in colour to that shown in the first of the photographs; they appear far too light in the other two images. This is probably due to the use of artificial light used to light my wargames/toy room.


  1. Tradgardmastare,

    Many thanks for your kind wishes.

    Judging from what I read on your blog, you certainly enjoyed yours!

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob,

    Enjoy the break - you have certainly earned it! I am really liking those chess mates and the fact that the squares are bigger than the quoted size is a real bonus. I think the 15mm kit looks the best and certainly if you are using vehicles as well - any 20mm tank would struggle to get on one methinks.

    All the best,


  3. David Crook,

    I hope that you enjoy your forthcoming holiday as well!

    I agree that the 15mm-scale figures look better on the large grid squares of the vinyl chessboard when they are mounted on multi-figure bases, but I am wondering what groups of single figures will look like. However, as you say, most 20mm-scale tanks will still be too big ... but light tanks and tankettes might fit.

    Something to think about, isn't it?

    All the best,