There is a lot of confusion regarding cross-hobby scale names in this band of sizes. Primarily it stems from “scale creepage” in the wargames market and the fact that 1:120 is not a ratio scale supported in the model making and railway model industries.
1:120 is the correct ratio scale for the popular 15mm wargames scale, which has no equivalent rail scale, and very limited support in the plastic kits sector. The scale was originally based on the premise of a barefoot, bare-headed man having a figure height of 15mm. Sloppy and lazy design processes began creeping the scale and in recent years, such oversize manufacturing have justified the creepage with the excuse that 15mm is the scale from sole of feet to eyes, not top of head.
Unfortunately, this then required everything from horses and carried equipment, through vehicles and buildings to be up-scaled to fit with the figures. Thus the wargames industry began moving to 1:100, and converging on a declining popularity of model scale, and a near-dormant railway scale. The size increase around 20% and very noticeable when figures (from the two scales) are placed side by side.
1:100 is the new 15mm wargames scale (reminiscent of New Coke) but models in this size are NOT 15mm wargames scale (they are 18mm). They are however, correct for TT-gauge rail model scale.
1:96 model scale would be 19mm wargames scale, if such a scale were in use. This size makes them about 3% small for 20mm wargaming scale, which is generally an acceptable discrepancy, or around 4% over-size for use with 18mm figures. They are therefore suitable for use with either size for wargames purposes.
(page incomplete – more to follow)