Historical Tanks in 40k
I’m going to begin this by mentioning that if you use a non games workshop product ‘counting as’ a model, you won’t be able to play in most tournaments. I’ve heard rumors that GW isn’t going to be supporting tournaments anymore, so who knows. Usually folks will want your stuff WYSIWYG, but I’ve never seen anyone complain too hard outside of a tournament environment that somebody was proxying models, especially if they looked right for their army (though I’ve grumbled about folks using ‘coke can’ drop pods or just playing with bases before.) I’d also like to mention that Games Workshop doesn’t seem to like folks telling other folks that you don’t have to use their miniatures to play their game, so I’ll get this out of the way.
Disclaimer: All of this information is speculative and for curious people only. Everything in this article is hypothetical. You should only buy GW products if you want to play their games. Use anything else and you risk the possibility that your dice will stop working.
Now onto the good stuff. Depending on who you ask, 40k tanks are either 1/48th scale or 1/35th scale. In fact, neither is quite accurate.
Above is the US M113, the tank that the Rhino is based on. Cool, right? A rhino is about 4.5 inches long, 3 inches wide and 2 inches tall. A 1/35 scale US M113 is about 5.5 inches long, a hair over 3 inches wide and 2.7 inches tall. At 1/48th scale, the US M113 becomes 4 inches long, 2.2 inches wide and 2 inches tall. Here’s a chart of more tank scales compared to 40k. For the sake of ease, I’d say that 1/35th scale is suitable for tabletop usage, but you may encounter minor differences in size, but they shouldn’t affect play too much and won’t really look out of place with your army. Conveniently, 1/35th scale is the most popular scale for tank miniatures.