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Old 04-23-2014, 11:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cheap Chinese 1/25 figures in 1/20 rolling stock?

Some while ago, somebody here on MLS noted the existance of some pretty cheap figures available on Evil-Bay. I checked, and it looks like the same importer is still running them. They are advertised as "1/25" scale, and are available as either standing or sitting figures.

But I don't recall anybody doing a 'review' of the product in their hands. I thought I'd get some sitting figures to populate the seats of some 1/20 Jackson-Sharp coaches I'm repainting & detailing. I figure that they could at least populate some of the 'aisle-side' seats, and hopefully, maybe, some window seats if you didn't look too closely?

So has anybody tried this? Do they look okay using the 10-foot rule? Five-foot? Or are they just too 'out of scale'?

Yer' thoughts, please..

-Gary the Garden Rail Hobo-
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Old 04-24-2014, 02:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There are different sets of people in different scales. One offer has 20 random people but there are only 6 different types of which only 3 are sitting. Careful you don't end up with a big coach full of mini clones.
I think anything within 10% of scale works OK but more than that the difference in scale becomes very obvious.

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Old 04-24-2014, 08:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have used these figures myself and are good as a seated figure in a coach. I also use them in my 1/24 cars, but cut off their legs to make them fit properly. They are also closer to 1/29. Regards, Dennis.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I recently bought a set of those of the bay. They are significantly smaller than 1/25... Maybe 1/30 even. Also, they are built like fashion models--very skinny for their height. I'll dig around and see if I can post a pic of them next to a Pessier figure. They're markedly inferior, though fine for inside a car or in the distance.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Here's a comparison

(Edited to correct that these are LGB figures)

This is a LGB figure next to a seated eBay/Chinese figure. I'm not sure if this figure is supposed to represent a seated child/teen or not (it's the only seated pose in the batch I got), but you can see that it's significantly smaller. About 75% of the size.

This is the same LGB figure "seated" next to a standing eBay/Chinese figure.

Here is the whole set. Notice that while the standing eBay/Chinese businessman is somewhat close to correctly proportioned (though clearly not 1/25 scale) the one woman is wildly out of proportion (the one on the left is about 60% toothpick legs) and the other is also very small compared to the LGB figure.

Sorry this is "fuzzy"--my camera doesn't do closeups well. Here you can see from the figures feet, that the Chinese-made figures are significantly "skinnier" and smaller than the LGB ones. Just as a guess, the legs of the businessman--for instance--are about 25% thinner than the LGB figure's legs.

Obviously, you'll have to factor in other things like cost, repainting (the eBay figures look like they were painted by a three-year-old) and the lack of detail. As I said, for inside a passenger car or in the background of your layout, they are probably fine.
Keep in mind that the LGB figures are about $7 each and the eBay/Chinese ones are less than a dollar... but you get what you pay for. For my layout, I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a limited number of LGB/Pressier figures for the foreground/station/yard and put some of these "not to 1:20.5 scale guys" in areas that you can't inspect closely.

Last edited by riderdan; 04-24-2014 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The good thing about figures is people come in all different sizes; most are 5' - 7' (5' being 71% of 7'), and if you are modeling late 1800's to early 1900's then people were even shorter.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have the one that is mentioned as being a small teen (sitting looking to left and wearing gray sweater). After cleaning up the molding lines, and repainting the figure it looks good. I have it in the upper windows of a USA Trains wide vision caboose. If you're not confident in painting figures go to YouTube and watch videos on painting scale figures. There's some talent out there. It helped build my confidence, now I'll paint figures for out in the open.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default re Chinese figures and size for the J&S coach

Hi Gary,
You are coming at the problem from the wrong end: get the width of the seat first - the coaches are late 1800's, and thus really you need figures from the same period - that is small and slim, and almost impossible to find!

1/20th scale will be huge on the seats!

The E bay ones are IF used by the side of modern figures too small, but then the persons from the same period as the seats were just that, small & petite; I cannot show you a photo as my camera has gone and died, and all my railroad stuff is packed in boxes and cannot be got at easily, some my apologies for the lack of proof.

So it back to memory - I have some of the Chinese figures which are slim, BUT I think there is difficulty in fitting a pair onto 1 seat in the J&S coaches! The will be very close and the arms will need some surgery even so. The hands are a bit of a 'so & so' they tend to fly off; fix them into sleeves with a bit of wire.

Some surgery can be done on the quite easily, with some filler to assist in filling the vacant bits, and adding extra (and older style) clothes can be done with either (thickish) paper or metal foil - they will not have to be perfect as they will be inside a coach.

Here are a couple of modified Chinese figures on my horse drawn vehicle the peddlers van has a coat, hat ,an boots added, the other figure shows the modifications being done, the stetson brim is the metal from pop cans bent to shape and a hat added from filler.

I started off making a Surrey from a NENG plan the seats were too narrow: as a result of the vehicle being from the same time as the J&S coaches - the vehicle had to be widened to allow for two figures.

One way of getting round the difficulty of 'not enough space' on the seats is to make some passenger(s) as one (not two) per seat.

Yours Peter.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg frontsmall.jpg (42.2 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg figure2.jpg (49.7 KB, 35 views)

Last edited by peter bunce; 04-24-2014 at 05:32 PM. Reason: extra information, and photos
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Peter, you are forwarding a long standing and untrue myth. Over the last 1/2 millennium people's heights have not changed that much. In the mid eighteenth century the typical soldier was required to be between 5 foot 6 inches and 5 foot 8 inches (167 cm to 173 cm).

Yes people were typically slimmer (a lot), but a modern man would not cause much notice except for being heavier.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have seen those chinese figures unpainted on the Bay, does anybody happen to have any more close ups to see if it is worth buying? i am happy to paint them myself but i want at least models with some detail on them tonstrat with...
Kind regards
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