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Scale, OR what's in a Number?

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Scale, OR what's in a Number?
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, May 6, 2022 2:42 PM

Hi, It's Smee Agin!!

          Hey, Ladies and Men, Got that proverbial question again. What Scale do I build in and what do the Aftermarket Companies think is right? I ask this for a reason. I know Armor and Planes get it reasonably right, and Maybe Cars. What's with this though? I am building a Model for a friend. It's supposed to be 1/87 scale)(H.O.). I have to take a well known manufacturer of Architectural and Train model detail Company apart!

           Why? Well there's this. Model is in train Scale (H.O.) Which anybody that deals with those Models knows is 1/87. Right? Well, my friend sent supplies for this model. The Company who shall be named in full right now(PLASTRUCT) sends these parts that are clearly labeled 1/100! Okay, I know we all fudge sometimes. But why do these companies insist on doing this. Isn't the Scale model Market confusing enough?

            I have run into this in Paper too. The Models run the gamut from 1/96 to 1/700 and everything in between, with the three common ones being 1/250, 1/200, and 1/400, and some in 1/700. Okay, we can cheat a wee bit in paper, it's easier. Why should we be expected to do it in Trains or Ships? For instance although 1/100 rails look really nice, when you are dealing with an H.O. Model of a large ship the stanchion distances can be fudged on the ends But not in the middle. So, you wind up with ALL the stanchions being off a scale foot! Try correcting that in RESIN!

           So What? Well if you planned for say 115 stanchions for a 652 ft. ship, you wind up using enough for a 700 footer. That is in todays coin is a lot of wasted money. But I also have found it in regular ship models in the large scales. Why can't the mfgr's just give us 1/200 for our ships instead of 1/196 and or nothing? Yeah, it seemed like right after the 1/200 Arizona came out, all of a sudden the 1/200 P.E. became harder to find? Was it me? No! I went to three Mfgrs. and they clearly stated that 1/200 would no longer be made readily available! In their listings on line!

       I don't obviously don't understand or am missing something here. If a Company invests Millions in Tooling( Well, Hundreds of Thousands) why would the Aftermarket folks not gladly jump on the wagon at the right size? I mean look what you pay for a W.W.11 fit model in 1/200 of the U.S.S.Missouri or Iowa! Then, The Wood decks, Metal Gun barrels Etc.( I don't know about their prices by the way) and the P.E. for everything Total costs, Well over (Three hundred Bucks with Local Taxes) A model is considered a Luxury Item, Tax wise. Then it's converted and called "Sales Tax"

      With that kind of money being spent, shouldn't we be able to expect the parts we want to be in the same scale. Why Not? 


  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Saturday, May 7, 2022 12:18 AM

It's a case of the many different types of scale models (ships, trains, planes, etc), the countries they were developed in (Germany, England, US, Japan, etc), and the measurement system used for them (English inch system, metric system).  For a good article on scale model development, look at the term scale models on Wikipedia.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group


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