Scale and mini comparison
One thing that really is great about all historical wargaming is the fact that you can mix miniatures from different lines if the scale is right. The downside of most historical mini providers is that they rarely show what they sell! You sometimes get the feeling, they just did not want to sell too much...
In VaS you can use what ever scale you like. The game is recommended for ships of 1/2000 to 1/6000 scale. The established scales are 1/2400, 1/3000 and 1/6000. The following list of providers may not be complete, but are the ones I know:
GHQ - IMO the best 1/2400 company, expensive but you get real detail. Be prepare for some assembling, but the result will please you.
C&C - A little bit cheaper as GHQ and nearly as good. The metal is bit softer and you did not get as much detailing parts (cranes, airplanes or boats), otherwise just as good as GHQ.
Panzerschiffe - cheap and it shows (see also the Hyperdetailing section). Also the only manufacture that casts in resin. But if you are looking for some rare to find ships (German Z-Plan etc.) or some cheap models, they are your company.
Vikingforge - again, I have not seen any of their models so I can not say anything about them.
Navwar - again, I have not seen any of their models so I can not say anything about them. Some people say they are similar to Skytrex - which means IMO that the minis must be bad.
Skytrex - DAVCO - Very cheap and very bad. IMO not worth it. See the comparison of the GHQ Graf Spee to the Skytrex version. But as always - it is also a matter of taste. If you want a lot of minis and are not concerned about detail...
The above picture shows a 1/24000 GHQ Graf Spee, a 1/3000 Skytrex/DAVCO and the 1/6000 Figurehead counterpart. Movable main turrets and individual secondary weapons on the GHQ model, 1 piece cast on guns on the Skytrex model. Note also that there are no barrels on the secondary weapons, no rescue boats, no planes, no anchor chains etc. on the smaller models. The detail level on the 1/3000 and the 1/6000 ships are however the same!
Magister Militum - I like them a lot. If you want big fleet engagements and a better feel for the ranges involved in Naval wargaming go for 1/6000. Magister Militum (for the US customers - this is the Nobleminis Figurehead range) also provides the BEST range of unfinished or planned ships. The entire German Z-Plan Navy is there! I can only say it again: The details are as good as the 1/3000 ships I have seen.
The above picture shows a 1/24000 GHQ Gneisenau and the 1/6000 Magister Militum counterpart.
The detail shot of the 2 ships shows clearly how good the detail of the 1/6000 ship is.
The bottom line for me is:
- If you want the best detail and are not afraid of some assembling and a bit higher price - go for GHQ. After that try CinC.
- If you are more for big fleet engagements - go for 1/6000 magister Militum.