Scale - why so ?

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by Boris, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. Boris

    Boris Member

    Hi Guys!
    There's one little thing that interests me . The paper model scales are somewhat weird (i.e 1:25 1:33 ) I do understand where the 1:24 1:48 1:72 scale was taken from (or at least I guess - ratios between feet and inches ) Even 1:8 1:16 1:32 scales are understandable ( powers of 2 used in flying models and replicas) .Does anyone have a clue why there's 1:25 and 1:33 scales only in paper modelling (there are 1:24 1:32(Modelart models only) 1:48 and 1:72 paper models as far as I know) ?
  2. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Scale: That which the modeler can see. Depends mostly on when the individual last filled his prescription for glasses. The more nearsighted the modeler the larger the scale required to see it adequately.

    Really small models don't avail to detail and really large ones are hard to find a place to display being hard to see without standing outside your abode to see the whole thing. That leaves 1:24/25, 1:32/33 and 1:50 as a compromise. Some modelers revel in doing what others do not..., trying to be different for sake of being different.

    If you're in business trying to sell card models you have to cater to what sells...., notice that most card models are 1:33 for airplanes and 1:200/250 for ships. Both meet the above criteria. Airplanes are fairly achievable whereas ship models require dedication for a much longer period. The seller doesn't have any control over whether the model is built or not just that it sells creating the self correcting market in scale card models.

    Remember that all the great painters in the impressionist movement were nearsighted and painted without their glasses on.

    Best regards, Gil

    P.S. A card model can be scaled up or down (within limits) so restrictions on scale is fairly non-existent for card models making them very attractive to those with scale sensitivities.
  3. silverw

    silverw Member

    hEY gUYS

    I didn't realize that there were scales which are specific to paper models. :shock:

    I have about three models on the go right now; one is at 1:12, because it had to be that big so that I could make the smallest parts work. Another is at 1:50, because the largest part fits nicely on the size of paper that I'm using. The third is 1:250, scaled up from 1:700, because it is required for a contest.

    So, I quess like has been mentioned right way, just whatever works 8)

  4. The pelethora (sp?) of scales in the modeling world has always been a puzzle to me. If the scales were all dedrived from the metric system we would most likely have scales that were expressed in a percentage format. 1/20th being 5%. Look at the world of model trains. HO is ussually just said to be 1/87th when from what I recall it is actually 3.5mm to the foot. If that isn't a bastard measurement I don't know what is. Plus HO was sold as being 1/2 of O Gauge. Half of O Gauge is 1/96th. But wait that was already claimed as OO IIRC. This is too confusing. I either need an asprin or a drink. :? :? :? :?
  5. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    I generally don't know what I am talking about when it comes to scale and all. I try to print my soft-kits out to 1:100 and come close, but as for the variety? Well, I once thought, and this is only a thought I had and still have, that the differences in scale were related to the size of available paper of suitable thickness to produce a kit which would turn into a model of the largest possible size. As the cardstock became more available, the sizes became more standardized. Its only a to go back to trying to figure out the next Mt. St. Helens eruption. 8v)
  6. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    ... and British OO (dublo) is 4mm to the foot, except it uses HO gauge track, which is 16.5mm between the rails, which is 1:87 if the real gauge is 4ft 8 1/4 inches. The track should be 18.83mm guage for 4mm/foot, (1:76.2), but the rails are too big in section anyway. And all the steam and diesel locos run on electricity. Except that new Hornby Live Steam Mallard I mentioned a few weeks ago. Oooo, I'm getting all lustful again!!

    Brunel was right all along with broad gauge; we'd have had 140mph trains in the 1920's; but that is another matter!

    Stick to digital paper models. You can print them out to whatever scale you want!

    Tim P
  7. rkelterer

    rkelterer Member


    the scales 1:25 (1:50 1:33 ...) are metric scales. in contrary to the inch scales (with 12 as common divisor) these scales are based on 'cm' to 'm' proportion. the main factor so is 1:100 (1 cm -> 1 m) as card models has a long tradition in europe ( Tito Livio Burattini used 'meter' in the year 1675 , 1889 it was standardized) furthermore the meter is one of the seven fundamental units of the SI measurement system (conversion based on powers of 10)

    greetings from austria
  8. jleslie48

    jleslie48 Member

    in the early days plastic model companies would talk about "box" scale. What this meant was some cardboard company overran a production of cardboard boxes and had a bunch left over. The model company would buy the boxes, and build the model to fit the box, hence "box scale". My bet is quite by accident there was a particularly large number of boxes available, and a particularly popular model that was produced, whose box scale (computed as an after thought) was one of these weird scales, HO, 1/25, 1,33, etc. The consumers then wanted matching models as so a scale standard is born.
  9. Boris

    Boris Member

    Hi Guys
    I see that again I couldn't explain myself
    Actually I wanted to know why there is 1:32 in plastic and 1:33 in paper (and so on- 1:48 vs 1:50 1:25 vs 1:24 ) Any idea ?
    This is an important issue . I have some drawings that I'd like to recalculate to the scale
  10. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    actually in paper, all the scales you mention are common.

    and i think it is because depending on the area you are from, you use the common measurement system.

    Everywhere but the US, Metric, in the US, Imperial

    but that is just my take

  11. DN

    DN Member

    That's pretty much it. The most puzzling is probably metric 1:33 - it is a scale that produces model three times bigger than somewhat basic metric scale 1:100.
    Imperial 1:32 is simply a progression from 1:2, 1:4, 1:8, 1:16......
  12. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    United States , Imperial. Hm, two concepts that somehow do not seem to sit happily next to each other....

    Here in the UK of course, we are now Metric. Except distances between towns, thats still in measured in miles. And the beer is sold in pints. And we drive on the left. And we despise the beaurocrats in Brussels who tell us how straight our bananas have to be.

    Can one view ones Imperial past through rose-tinted spectacles?

    Oh yes....

    Tim P (sighs whistfully)
  13. The thing I could never figure out is just why there are so many scales in approxiamately the same range. N Gauge and 1/144th. HO bookended by 1/72nd and 1/96th. The only two of the railroad scales that match up are O at 1/48th and S at 1/64th. The larger scales such as G and #1 I am not really familiar with so I won't pretend to know. I think that drink I mentioned beckons :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
  14. rkelterer

    rkelterer Member

    perhaps there are so much scales because there are so many people :D . in medieval times there were a lot of measures for length. now we have the meter (with some exceptions) the greater a community grows, the more things had to be standardized (to be comparable), let's look into the future :roll: at least everything is relative .....

  15. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    And the real problem with standards is, there are so many of them!!

    Tim P
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Member

    Here's something I have absolutly no idea about.
    In practice in kits
    is 1/33 exactly 1/33
    or is it 1/(one third of one hundred), ie 1/33.333 recurring.

    The latter would seem logical if the scale is a true metric one.
    Not that logic necessarily has anything to do with model scales.
    Anyone have any views ?

  17. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Nor do even the designers. One probably divides by 33 another by 33.333333. In the end no one measures things to see if they're true to scale unless it's a contest of some sort that verifies such things. 0.33333333 out of 33 represents 1 part in 100 so it's difficult to see by just eyeballing it. It does make a difference if the scales are intermingled in a design making close torlerance part fits a torture.

    33 and a third, Gil
  18. Boris

    Boris Member

    Well , thanks to all of you guys . I think that third of 1:100 is reasonable explanation I belive that I can play with this

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