Scale model
Overview
 
A scale model is a physical model
Model (physical)
A physical model is a smaller or larger physical copy of an object...

, a representation or copy of an object that is larger or smaller than the actual size of the object, which seeks to maintain the relative proportions (the scale factor
Scale factor
A scale factor is a number which scales, or multiplies, some quantity. In the equation y=Cx, C is the scale factor for x. C is also the coefficient of x, and may be called the constant of proportionality of y to x...

) of the physical size of the original object. Very often the scale model is used as a guide to making the object in full size. Scale models are built or collected for many reasons.

Professional modelmakers often create models for many professions:
  • Engineers who require scale models to test the likely performance of a particular design at an early stage of development without incurring the full expense of a full-sized prototype.
  • Architects who require architectural models to evaluate and sell the look of a new construction before it is built.
  • Filmmakers who require scale models of objects or sets that cannot be built in full size.
  • Salesmen who require scale models to promote new products such as heavy equipment and automobiles and other vehicles.


Hobbyists or amateur modelmakers make die-cast models, injection molded, model railroads, remote control vehicles, wargaming and fantasy collectibles, model ships and ships in bottles for their own enjoyment.

Scale models can also be objects of art, either being created by artists or being rediscovered and transformed into art by artists.
Some modelers build and collect models made from a certain medium ( Metal, wood, plastic, card, paper, etc.).
Encyclopedia
A scale model is a physical model
Model (physical)
A physical model is a smaller or larger physical copy of an object...

, a representation or copy of an object that is larger or smaller than the actual size of the object, which seeks to maintain the relative proportions (the scale factor
Scale factor
A scale factor is a number which scales, or multiplies, some quantity. In the equation y=Cx, C is the scale factor for x. C is also the coefficient of x, and may be called the constant of proportionality of y to x...

) of the physical size of the original object. Very often the scale model is used as a guide to making the object in full size. Scale models are built or collected for many reasons.

Professional modelmakers often create models for many professions:
  • Engineers who require scale models to test the likely performance of a particular design at an early stage of development without incurring the full expense of a full-sized prototype.
  • Architects who require architectural models to evaluate and sell the look of a new construction before it is built.
  • Filmmakers who require scale models of objects or sets that cannot be built in full size.
  • Salesmen who require scale models to promote new products such as heavy equipment and automobiles and other vehicles.


Hobbyists or amateur modelmakers make die-cast models, injection molded, model railroads, remote control vehicles, wargaming and fantasy collectibles, model ships and ships in bottles for their own enjoyment.

Scale models can also be objects of art, either being created by artists or being rediscovered and transformed into art by artists.

Types of scale models

Some modelers build and collect models made from a certain medium ( Metal, wood, plastic, card, paper, etc.). Others build and collect models based on the types of object being modeled.

Model aircraft

Model aircraft are divided into two main groups: static and flying models.

Static model aircraft

Static model aircraft are commonly built using plastic, but wood, metal, card and paper can also be used. Models are sold painted and assembled, painted but not assembled (snap-fit) or unpainted and not assembled. The most popular types of aircraft to model are commercial airliners and military aircraft. Fewer manufacturers exist today than in the 1970s, but many of the older kits are occasionally available to purchase. Aircraft can be modeled in many "scales". The scale notation is the size of the model compared to the real, full-size aircraft called the "prototype". We'll use 1:8 scale as an example, it is read like this: "1 inch (or whatever measurement) on my model is equal (: means equal) to 8 inches on the real (prototype) airplane". Sometimes the scale notation isn't used...it's simply stated; "my model is one eighth (1/8) scale" meaning; "my model is one eighth the size of the real airplane" or "my model is eight times smaller than the real airplane".
Popular scales are, in order of size, 1:144
1:144 scale
1:144 scale is a scale used for some scale models such as micro/mini armor. 1:144 means that the dimensions of the model are 1/144 the dimensions of the original life-sized object...

, 1:72
1:72 scale
1:72 scale is a scale used for scale models, most commonly model aircraft, corresponding to one sixth of an inch representing one foot . In other words, 72 of a given model placed end to end would represent the length of the real thing. In this scale, a man who is six feet tall would be exactly...

 (the most numerous), 1:48
1:48 scale
1:48 scale is popular among modelers both as diecast models, plastic models made from kits, and construction toys. It is especially popular with manufacturers of model airplanes and model trains...

, 1:32
1:32 scale
1:32 scale is a traditional scale for models and miniatures, in which one unit on the model represents 32 units on the actual object. It is also known as "three-eighths scale", since 3/8-inch represents a foot...

, 1:24
1:24 scale
1:24 is a very popular size for Die-cast toy vehicles, which are collected by children and adults. Primarily automobiles are made in this scale, with a few examples of tractor trailers and other larger equipment. Plastic automobile kits are frequently made in this scale.1:24 is the largest of the...

, 1:16, 1:8 and 1:4. Some European models are available at more metric scales such as 1:50
1:50 scale
1:50 scale is a popular size for diecast models from European manufacturers such as Conrad, Tekno, NZG, WSI and LionToys. Typically they produce scale models of construction vehicles, tower cranes, trucks and buses. These are often the official models distributed by the manufacturers of the real...

. The highest quality models are made from injection-molded
Injection molding
Injection molding is a manufacturing process for producing parts from both thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic materials. Material is fed into a heated barrel, mixed, and forced into a mold cavity where it cools and hardens to the configuration of the cavity...

 plastic or cast resin
Resin casting
Resin casting is a method of plastic casting where a mold is filled with a liquid synthetic resin, which then hardens. It is primarily used for small scale production like industrial prototypes and dentistry...

. Models made from Vacuum formed
Vacuum forming
Vacuum forming, commonly known as vacuuforming, is a simplified version of thermoforming, whereby a sheet of plastic is heated to a forming temperature, stretched onto or into a single-surface mold , and held against the mold by applying vacuum between the mold surface and the sheet.The vacuum...

 plastic are generally for the more skilled builder. More inexpensive models are made from heavy paper
Paper plane
A paper plane, paper aeroplane , paper airplane , paper glider, paper dart or dart is a toy aircraft, usually a glider made out of paper or paperboard; the practice of constructing paper planes is sometimes referred to as aerogami , after origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.-History:The...

 or card stock. Ready-made die-cast metal models are also very popular. As well as the traditional scales, die-cast models are available in 1:200, 1:250, 1:350, 1:400, and 1:600. These scales are usually reserved for civil airliners. Static aircraft scale modeling falls broadly into 3 categories: kit assembly, scratch-building, and collection of ready-made models. Scratch-builders tend to be the top echelon in terms of skill and craftsmanship; they tend to be the most discerning when it comes to accuracy and detail and they spend far more time on far fewer models than a kit assembler. Kit assemblers fall roughly into 2 categories: OOB (Out of Box) and Modified. Out of Box refers to the act of assembling a kit only from what is contained in the box supplied, whereas a Modifier will employ after-market products such as alternative decals, photo-etched metal detail parts, and cast resin detail or conversion parts to enhance or change the model in some way. Collectors are concerned purely with the issue of theme, and are not really interested in personal construction as such. Obviously aircraft modelers will often fall into more than one category as fancy takes them. The overwhelming majority of aircraft modelers concern themselves with depiction of real-life aircraft, but there is a smaller cadre of modelers who derive additional fun by 'bending' history a little by making models of aircraft that either never actually flew or existed, or by painting them in a color scheme that did not actually exist. This is commonly referred to as 'What-if' or 'Alternative' modeling, and the most common theme is 'Luftwaffe 1946' or 'Luftwaffe '46'. This theme stems from idea of modeling German secret projects that never saw the light of day due to the close of World War II. This concept has been extended to include British, Russian, and US experimental projects that never made it into production.

Flying model aircraft

Flying models are usually what is meant by the term aeromodelling. Most flying model aircraft can be placed in one of three groups: free flight
Free flight (model aircraft)
The segment of model aviation known as free flight is the original form of the aeromodeling hobby, extending back centuries.- Description :...

, control line
Control line
Control line is a simple and light way of controlling a flying model aircraft. The aircraft is connected to the operator by a pair of lines, attached to a handle, that work the elevator of the model. This allows the model to be controlled in the pitch axis...

 and radio controlled
Radio-controlled aircraft
A radio-controlled aircraft is controlled remotely by a hand-held transmitter and a receiver within the craft...

. Some flying models are realistic representation of full-sized aircraft, while others are built with no intention of looking like piloted aircraft. Flying models are often constructed like vintage full-sized aircraft. They can be built from scratch
Scratch building
Scratch building is the process of building a scale model "from scratch", ie. from raw materials, rather than building it from a commercial kit, kitbashing or buying it pre-assembled....

 or from kits. Some kits take many hours to put together and some kits are almost ready to fly
Almost Ready to Fly
Almost Ready to Fly is a term used for radio-controlled airplane kits that come partially built, usually just requiring final assembly to complete them. They normally include partially assembled wings, along with a fuselage and stabilizers already pre-covered in plastic film sheeting material such...

 or ready to fly.

Plans-relief

With elements similar to miniature wargaming
Miniature wargaming
Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming that incorporates miniature figures, miniature armor and modeled terrain as the main components of play...

, building model
Building model
Building models are scale models of structures. They are commonly used in model railroading as well as wargaming and diorama making. Architectural models are also made to demonstrate and promote buildings before they are constructed....

s and architectural model
Architectural model
An architectural model is a type of a scale model, tangible representation of a structure built to study aspects of an architectural design or to communicate design ideas to clients, committees, and the general public...

s, a plan-relief is a means of geographical representation in relief as a scale model for military use, in order to visualise building projects on fortifications or campaigns involving fortifications.

Model buildings

Most hobbyist who build models of buildings do so as part of a diorama
Diorama
The word diorama can either refer to a nineteenth century mobile theatre device, or, in modern usage, a three-dimensional full-size or miniature model, sometimes enclosed in a glass showcase for a museum...

 to enhance their other models such as a model railroad or model war machines. As a stand-alone hobby, building models are probably most popular among enthusiasts of construction toys such as Erector, Lego
Lego
Lego is a line of construction toys manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company's flagship product, Lego, consists of colorful interlocking plastic bricks and an accompanying array of gears, minifigures and various other parts...

 and K'nex
K'NEX
K'Nex is a brand name of a construction toy system invented by Joel Glickman, designed and produced by Industries of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, USA. Currently Michael Araten is the president of the organization. The name is, presumably, a phonetic variation of connects, and is pronounced the same way...

. Famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Big Ben and the White House are common subjects. Standard scales have not emerged in this hobby. Model railroaders use railroad scales for their buildings: H0 scale (1:87), OO scale (1:76), N scale
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

 (1:160), and O scale
O scale
O scale is a scale commonly used for toy trains and model railroading. Originally introduced by German toy manufacturer Märklin around 1900, by the 1930s three-rail alternating current O gauge was the most common model railroad scale in the United States and remained so until the early 1960s...

 (1:43). Lego builders use miniland
Legoland
Legoland is a chain of Lego-themed theme parks. They are not fully owned by Lego Group itself; rather they are owned and operated by the British theme park company Merlin Entertainment.The chain currently consists of:* Legoland Billund...

 scale (1:20) and minifig
Minifigure
A Lego minifigure is a small plastic articulated figurine available as part of the construction toy Lego, produced by Danish toy manufacturer the Lego Group. They were first produced in 1978, and have become hugely successful, with over 3.7 billion produced, and the figure appearing in a variety...

 scale (1:48) and micro scale (1:192) Generally, the larger the building, the smaller the scale. Model buildings are commonly made from plastic, foam, balsa wood or paper. Card models are published in the form of a book, and some models are manufactured like 3-D puzzles. Professionally, building models are used by architects and salesmen.

Architectural models

Architecture firms usually employ model makers or contract model making firms to make models of projects to sell their designs to builders and investors. These models are traditionally hand-made, but advances in technology have turned the industry into a very high tech process than can involve Class IV laser cutters, 5-axis CNC machines as well as rapid prototyping or 3D printing. Typical scales are 1:12, 1:24, 1:48, 1:50, 1:100, 1:200, 1:500, etc.

Dollhouses

Contemporary dollhouses have their roots in European baby house display cases from the 17th century. Early dollhouses were all handmade, but following the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, they were increasingly mass produced and became more affordable.

Children's dollhouses during the 20th century have been made from a variety of materials, including metal (tin litho
Tin toy
A tin toy, or tin lithograph toy, is a mechanical toy made out of tinplate and colorfully painted by chromolithography to resemble primarily a character or vehicle.-History:...

), fibreboard, plastic, and wood. Furniture for children's dollhouses has most often been made of plastic. Contemporary kit and fully built houses for adult collectors are typically made of plywood
Plywood
Plywood is a type of manufactured timber made from thin sheets of wood veneer. It is one of the most widely used wood products. It is flexible, inexpensive, workable, re-usable, and can usually be locally manufactured...

 or medium-density fiberboard.

Children's dollhouses are commonly in 1:16 or 1:18 scale (3/4" and 2/3" scale respectively, 1 foot is represented by 3/4 or 2/3 of an inch), while dollhouses for adult collectors are usually in a scale of 1:12 (1 inch equals 1 foot).

House portrait models

Typically found in 1:50 scale
1:50 scale
1:50 scale is a popular size for diecast models from European manufacturers such as Conrad, Tekno, NZG, WSI and LionToys. Typically they produce scale models of construction vehicles, tower cranes, trucks and buses. These are often the official models distributed by the manufacturers of the real...

 and also called Model House, Model Home or Display House. This type of model is usually found in stately homes or specially designed houses. Sometimes this kind of model is commissioned to mark a special date like an anniversary or the completion of the architecture, or these models might be used by salesmen selling homes in a new neighborhood.

Model buses and trucks


Typically found in 1:50 scale
1:50 scale
1:50 scale is a popular size for diecast models from European manufacturers such as Conrad, Tekno, NZG, WSI and LionToys. Typically they produce scale models of construction vehicles, tower cranes, trucks and buses. These are often the official models distributed by the manufacturers of the real...

, most manufacturers of commercial vehicles and heavy equipment will commission scale models made of diecast metal as promotional items to be given to prospective customers. These are also popular children's toys and collectibles. The major manufacturers of these items are Conrad
Conrad (company)
Conrad GmbH is a German manufacturer of diecast scale models primarily in 1:50 scale for use both as toys and promotional models by heavy equipment manufacturers...

 and NZG in Germany. Corgi also makes some 1:50 models, as well as Dutch maker Tekno
Tekno
Tekno is a toy maker from Copenhagen, Denmark, that began manufacturing construction toys in the 1923 and model autos immediately after World War II, selling 1 million a year during its peak...

.

Trucks are also found as diecast models in 1:43 scale
1:43 scale
1:43 scale is an extremely popular size of die-cast model for adult collectors in Europe, Asia and the US. There are many manufacturers in this scale producing everything from customized and accurate race cars to emergency vehicles to family sedans and SUVs, including several making the...

 and injection moulded kits (and children's toys) in 1:24 scale
1:24 scale
1:24 is a very popular size for Die-cast toy vehicles, which are collected by children and adults. Primarily automobiles are made in this scale, with a few examples of tractor trailers and other larger equipment. Plastic automobile kits are frequently made in this scale.1:24 is the largest of the...

. Recently some manufacturers have appeared in 1:64 scale
1:64 scale
1:64 scale is a traditional scale for models and miniatures, in which one unit on the model represents 64 units on the actual object. It is also known as "three-sixteenths scale", since 3/16-inch represents a foot. A man is approximately 1-1/8 inches tall in 1:64 scale...

 like Code 3
Code 3 Collectibles
Code 3 Collectibles is a company based in Woodland Hills, California that creates customized model vehicles. On April 25, 2007, Matrix Holdings Ltd. entered into a multi-million-dollar agreement with Code 3 Collectibles to purchase the company. On August 19, 2011, Code 3 Collectibles announced is...

.

Model cars


Although the British scale for 0 gauge was first used for model car
Model car
A model car or toy car is a miniature representation of an automobile. Other miniature motor vehicles, such as trucks, buses, or even ATVs, etc. are often included in the general category of model cars...

s made of rectilinear and circular parts, it was the origin of the European scale for cast or injection moulded model cars. MOROP's specification of 1:45 scale for European 0 will not alter the series of cars in 1:43 scale
1:43 scale
1:43 scale is an extremely popular size of die-cast model for adult collectors in Europe, Asia and the US. There are many manufacturers in this scale producing everything from customized and accurate race cars to emergency vehicles to family sedans and SUVs, including several making the...

, as it has the widest distribution in the world.

In America, a series of cars was developed from at first cast metal and later styrene models ("promos") offered at new-car dealerships to drum up interest. The firm Monogram
Revell
Revell is the brand name today of two manufacturers of scale plastic models. The original US company merged with another, Monogram, but now trades only under the Revell name. European Revell Germany separated from the US company in 2006.-Early history:...

, and later Tamiya, first produced them in a scale derived from the Architect's scale: 1:24 scale
1:24 scale
1:24 is a very popular size for Die-cast toy vehicles, which are collected by children and adults. Primarily automobiles are made in this scale, with a few examples of tractor trailers and other larger equipment. Plastic automobile kits are frequently made in this scale.1:24 is the largest of the...

, while the firms AMT
Aluminum Metal Toys
Aluminum Model Toys, or AMT for short, was a Troy, Michigan based company that manufactured various pre-assembled plastic promotional models starting in 1948, when attorney West Gallogly, Sr. started it as a side business. Later, a variety of kits became very popular. Most of the company's vehicle...

, Jo-Han
Jo-Han
Jo-Han is a manufacturer of plastic scale model car promotionals and kits originally based in Detroit. The company was founded there in 1947 by tool and die maker John Hanley - a year before West Gallogly's AMT and about the same time as PMC...

, and Revell
Revell
Revell is the brand name today of two manufacturers of scale plastic models. The original US company merged with another, Monogram, but now trades only under the Revell name. European Revell Germany separated from the US company in 2006.-Early history:...

 chose the scale of 1:25. Monogram later switched to this scale after the firm was purchased by Revell. Some cars are also made in 1:32 scale
1:32 scale
1:32 scale is a traditional scale for models and miniatures, in which one unit on the model represents 32 units on the actual object. It is also known as "three-eighths scale", since 3/8-inch represents a foot...

, and rolling toys are often made on the scale 1:64 scale
1:64 scale
1:64 scale is a traditional scale for models and miniatures, in which one unit on the model represents 64 units on the actual object. It is also known as "three-sixteenths scale", since 3/16-inch represents a foot. A man is approximately 1-1/8 inches tall in 1:64 scale...

. Chinese die-cast manufacturers have recently introduced 1/72 scale into their range.The smaller scales are usually die-cast cars and not the in the class as model cars. Except in rare occasions, Johnny Lightning and Ertl made die-cast cars where sold, as model kits to be put together

Model car
Model car
A model car or toy car is a miniature representation of an automobile. Other miniature motor vehicles, such as trucks, buses, or even ATVs, etc. are often included in the general category of model cars...

s are also used in car design.

Handbuilt model cars are a unique market, usually in 1/43rd scale and created by Manufacturers such as Marsh Models, SMTS, Somerville, K&R Replicas etc., these patterns for the relevant subjects are made by skilled Pattern makers in various materials and various scales, see bottom of page for link

Model construction vehicles

A model construction vehicle
Model construction vehicle
A model construction vehicle is a scale model or die-cast toy that represents a construction vehicle such as an excavator, crane, concrete pump, backhoe, etc....

 (or engineering vehicle
Engineering vehicle
Heavy equipment refers to heavy-duty vehicles, specially designed for executing construction tasks, most frequently ones involving earthwork operations. They are also known as, construction equipment, construction plant, earth movers, engineering vehicles, or simply equipment...

) is a scale model or Die-cast toy
Die-cast toy
The term die-cast toy here refers to any toy or collectible model produced by using the die casting method. The toys are made of metal, with plastic, rubber or glass details. Wholly plastic toys are made by a similar process of injection moulding, but the two are rarely confused...

 that represents a construction vehicle such as an excavator, crane, concrete pump, backhoe, etc.

Construction vehicle models are almost always made in 1:50 scale
1:50 scale
1:50 scale is a popular size for diecast models from European manufacturers such as Conrad, Tekno, NZG, WSI and LionToys. Typically they produce scale models of construction vehicles, tower cranes, trucks and buses. These are often the official models distributed by the manufacturers of the real...

, particularly because the cranes at this scale are often three to four feet tall when extended and larger scales would be unsuited for display on a desk or table. These models are popular as children's toys in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. In the US they are commonly sold as promotional models for new construction equipment, commissioned by the manufacturer of the prototype real-world equipment. The major manufacturers in Germany are Conrad and NZG, with some competition from Chinese firms that have been entering the market.

Model railways

Model trains come in a variety of scales, from 1:8 on the large end and 1:450 (T scale
T scale
T scale , a.k.a. T Gauge, is a model railroad scale with a gauge of . It was introduced at the Tokyo Toy Show in 2006 by KK Eishindo of Japan, and went on sale in 2007. It is presently the smallest commercial model train scale in the world...

) on the small. Each scale has its own strengths and weaknesses, and fills a different niche in the hobby. The largest models are as much as 3 meters long, the smallest a few centimeters. The most popular size is H0 scale (1:87) and second is N scale
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

 (1:160).

Model railways originally used the term "gauge
Rail gauge
Track gauge or rail gauge is the distance between the inner sides of the heads of the two load bearing rails that make up a single railway line. Sixty percent of the world's railways use a standard gauge of . Wider gauges are called broad gauge; smaller gauges, narrow gauge. Break-of-gauge refers...

", which refers to the distance between the rail
Rail tracks
The track on a railway or railroad, also known as the permanent way, is the structure consisting of the rails, fasteners, sleepers and ballast , plus the underlying subgrade...

s, just as full-size railways
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 do. Although model railways were also built to different gauges, "standard gauge" in 1:1 scale railroads is
4'8.5." Therefore, a model railway reduces that standard to scale. An H0 scale model railway would have track that is 1/87 of 4'8.5," or about 0.65" from rail to rail. Now it is more typical to refer to the scale of the model, and the term scale
Scale (ratio)
The scale ratio of some sort of model which represents an original proportionally is the ratio of a linear dimension of the model to the same dimension of the original. Examples include a 3-dimensional scale model of a building or the scale drawings of the elevations or plans of a building. In such...

 has replaced "gauge" in most usages. This is despite considerable confusion between countries as to the definition of 0 scale and N scale
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

.

Considerable confusion often arises when referring to "scale" and "gauge", especially as some misinformed individuals tend to use the words interchangeably. The word "scale" only ever refers to the proportional size of the model, the word "gauge" only ever applies to the measurement between the inside faces of the rails. To highlight this difference, consider the various gauges used in H0 scale; A gauge of 16.5 mm is used to represent the "Standard gauge
Standard gauge
The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

" of (H0 scale), a gauge of 12 mm is used to represent gauge (H0m) and the "Cape gauge
Cape gauge
Cape gauge is a track gauge of between the inside of the rail heads and is classified as narrow gauge. It has installations of around .The gauge was first used by Norwegian engineer Carl Abraham Pihl and the first line was opened in 1862.- Nomenclature :...

" of (H0n3-1/2) and a gauge of 9 mm is used to represent a prototype gauge of . It is completely incorrect to refer to the mainstream scales as "H0 gauge", "N gauge" or "Z gauge"

The most popular scale to go with a given gauge was often derived at by the following roundabout process. German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 artisans would take strips of metal of standard metric size to make things to blueprints whose dimensions were in inches: hence "4 mm to the foot" yields the 1:76.2 size of the "00 scale". This British scale is anomalously used on the standard H0/00 scale (16.5 mm gauge from 3.5 mm/foot scale) tracks, however, because early electric motors weren't available commercially in smaller sizes.

The Germans have a more developed terminology, which can explain this a bit better. Baugrösse (English: "building size") is the alphanumeric designation, which is used in place of a numeric scale ratio. It's used for scale, as in "0 scale", "H0 scale", or "Z scale
Z scale
Z scale is one of the smallest commercially available model railway scales with a track gauge of . Z scale trains operate on 0-10 volts direct current and offer the same operating characteristics as all other two-rail, direct-current, analog model railways...

". Maßstab (English: "measure") is the proportion, with a colon, as in the corresponding terms "1:43", "1:87.1", and "1:220". Spurweite (English: "track width") is the distance between the rails, or correspondingly "32mm", "16.5 mm", and "6.5 mm", and again gauge is used for this in English. One might add to these the old use of the term scale, of "7mm to the foot" and "3.5 mm to the foot" for the first two, while the last really isn't expressible in this manner. Early 20th century German mass-produced toys had a measured gauge from rail centre to rail centre of rolled tinplate rail, with much latitude between flange & rail.

There are three different standards for the "0" scale, each of which uses tracks of 32 mm for the standard gauge. The American version continues a dollhouse scale of 1:48. It is sometimes called "quarter-gauge", as in "one-quarter-inch to the foot". The British version continued the pattern of sub-contracting to Germans; so, at 7 mm to the foot, it works out to a scale of 1:43.5. Later, MOROP, the European authority of model railroad firms, declared that the "0" gauge (still 32 mm) must use the scale of 1:45. That is, in Europe the below-chassis dimensions have to be slightly towards 4 ft. 6 inches, to allow wheel/tyre/splasher clearance for smaller than realistic curved sections.

"Live steam
Live steam
Live steam is steam under pressure, obtained by heating water in a boiler. The steam is used to operate stationary or moving equipment.A live steam machine or device is one powered by steam, but the term is usually reserved for those that are replicas, scale models, toys, or otherwise used for...

" railways, that you actually ride on, are built in many scales, such as 1-1/2", 1", and 3/4" to the foot. Common gauges are 7-1/2" (Western US) and 7-1/4" (Eastern US & rest of the world), 5", 4-3/4". Smaller Live Steam gauges do exist, but as the scale gets smaller, the pulling power decreases. One of the smallest gauges on which a live steam engine can pull a passenger is the now almost defunct 2-1/2" gauge.

Model robots

Japanese firms have marketed toys and models of what are often called mecha
Mecha
A mech , is a science fiction term for a large walking bipedal tank or robot, including ones on treads and animal shapes.-Characteristics:...

, nimble humanoid fighting robots. The robots which appear in animated shows, or anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 are often depicted at a size between 15-20m in height, and so scales of 1:100 and 1:144 are common for these subjects, though other scales such as 1:72 are commonly used for robots and related subjects of different size.

The most prolific manufacturer of mecha models is Bandai
Bandai
is a Japanese toy making and video game company, as well as the producer of a large number of plastic model kits. It is the world's third-largest producer of toys . Some ex-Bandai group companies produce anime and tokusatsu programs...

, whose Gundam kit lines were a strong influence in the genre in the 1980s. Even today, Gundam kits are the most numerous in the mecha modeling genre, usually with dozens of new releases every year. The features of modern Gundam kits, such as color molding and snap-fit construction, have become the standard expectations for other mecha model kits.

Due to the fantasy nature of most anime robots, and the necessary simplicity of cel-animated designs, mecha models lend themselves well to stylized work, improvisations, and simple scratchbuilds. One of Gundam's
Gundam
The is a metaseries of anime created by Sunrise studios that features giant robots called "Mobile Suits" ; usually the protagonist's MS will carry the name Gundam....

 contributions to the genre was the use of a gritty wartime backstory as a part of the fantasy, and so it is almost equally fashionable to build the robots in a weathered, beaten style, as would often be expected for AFV
Armoured fighting vehicle
An armoured fighting vehicle is a combat vehicle, protected by strong armour and armed with weapons. AFVs can be wheeled or tracked....

 kits as to build them in a more stylish, pristine manner.

Model rockets and spacecraft

Model rocket
Model rocket
A model rocket is a small rocket that is commonly advertised as being able to be launched by anybody, to, in general, low altitudes and recovered by a variety of means....

 kits began as a development of model aircraft kits, yet the scale of 1:72 [V.close to 4 mm.::1foot] never caught on. Scales 1:48 and 1:96 are used. There are some rockets of scales 1:128, 1:144, and 1:200, but Russian firms put their large rockets in 1:288. Heller is maintaining its idiosyncratic standard by offering some models in the scale of 1:125.

Science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 space ships are heavily popular in the modeling community. Models based on ships from such franchises as Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

, Star Wars
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

, and Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction franchise created by Glen A. Larson. The franchise began with the Battlestar Galactica TV series in 1978, and was followed by a brief sequel TV series in 1980, a line of book adaptations, original novels, comic books, a board game, and video games...

are regularly sold and created in scales ranging from 1:24 to 1:1400 to 1:2500 to 1:10000 for the larger Star Wars ships. Finemolds in Japan have recently released a series of high quality injection molded Star Wars kits in 1:72, and this range is supplemented by resin kits from Fantastic Plastic.

Model living creatures

Scale models of people and animals are found in a wide variety of venues, and may be either single-piece objects or kits which must be assembled, usually depending on the purpose of the model itself. For instance, models of people as well as both domestic and wild animals are often produced for display in model cities or railroads to provide a measure of detail or realism, and scaled relative to the trains, buildings, and other accessories of a certain line of models. If a line of trains or buildings does not feature models of living creatures, those who build the models will often buy these items separately from another line in the interest of featuring people or animals. In other cases, scale model lines will feature living creatures exclusively, often focusing on educational interests. Sometimes animal figurines will not adhere to a particular scale, but some companies endeavor to produce models that are as accurately scaled as possible. One of the foremost producers of such scale models is Safari Ltd.
Safari Ltd.
Safari Ltd is an American manufacturer of educational animal, dinosaur and human replicas. The company is headquartered in Miami Gardens, Florida USA. Though they sell worldwide, their principle market is the United States where they sell mainly to museums, aquariums, zoos, arts and crafts stores,...

, known for such lines as the Carnegie Collection
Carnegie collection
The Carnegie Collection is a series of authentic replicas based on dinosaurs and other extinct prehistoric creatures, using fossils featured at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History as references. The line is produced by Florida-based company Safari Ltd., known for their hand-painted replicas.-...

, a line of dinosaur replicas that adheres to a 1:40 scale, and the Vanishing Wild Collection, featuring mammal figures on a scale of 1:15. Another to specialize in this field is Tamiya, who produce dinosaurs in 1/35 scale.

Models of living creatures requiring assembly are not as common as single-piece units, but certainly not unheard of. One of the most prolific kinds of kits requiring assembly that feature living creatures are models of human and animal skeletons. Like their single-piece counterparts, such kits are often touted as being educational activities. Skeleton kits often have unique features such as glow-in-the-dark pieces or attachable internal organs. Again, dinosaurs are a popular subject for such models. There are also garage kit
Garage kit
A garage kit or resin kit is an assembly scale model kit most commonly cast in polyurethane resin. They are often figures portraying humans or other living creatures. In Japan, kits often depict anime characters, and in the United States depictions of movie monsters are common...

s which are often figures of anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 characters in multiple parts which require assembly.

The model horse hobby, such as ones distributed by Breyer Animal Creations, is very popular as well.

Model ships and naval wargaming

In the first half of the 20th century, navies used hand-made models of warships for identification and instruction in a variety of scales. That of 1:500 was called "teacher scale." Besides models made in 1:1200 and 1:2400 scales, there were also ones made to 1:2000 and 1:5000. Some, made in Britain, were labelled "1 inch to 110 feet," which would be 1:1320 scale, but aren't necessarily accurate.

Michele Morciano says small scale ship models were produced in about 1905 linked to the wargaming rules and other publications of Fred T Jane. The company that standardised on 1:1200 was Basset-Lowke in 1908. The British Admiralty subsequently contracted with Basset-Lowke and other companies and individual craftsmen to produce large numbers of recognition models, to this scale, in 1914-18.

Just before the Second World War, the American naval historian (and science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 author) Fletcher Pratt
Fletcher Pratt
Murray Fletcher Pratt was an American writer of science fiction, fantasy and history, particularly noted for his works on naval history and on the American Civil War.- Life and work :...

 published a book on naval wargaming as could be done by civilians using ship model
Ship model
Ship models or model ships are scale representations of ships. They can range in size from 1/6000 scale wargaming miniatures to large vessels capable of holding people....

s cut off at the waterline
Waterline
The term "waterline" generally refers to the line where the hull of a ship meets the water surface. It is also the name of a special marking, also known as the national Load Line or Plimsoll Line, to be positioned amidships, that indicates the draft of the ship and the legal limit to which a ship...

 to be moved on the floors of basketball courts and similar locales. The scale he used was non-standard (reported as 1:666), and may have been influenced by toy ships then available, but as the hobby progressed, and other rule sets came into use, it was progressively supplemented by the series 1:600, 1:1200, and 1:2400. In Britain, 1:3000 became popular and these models also have come into use in the USA. These had the advantage of approximating the nautical mile
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...

 as 120 inches, 60 inches, and 30 inches, respectively. As the knot is based on this mile and a 60-minute hour, this was quite handy.

After the war, firms emerged to produce models from the same white metal used to make toy soldiers. One British firm offered a tremendously wide line of merchant ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

s and dockyard equipment in the scale 1:1200. In the US, at least one manufacturer, of the wartime 1:1200 recognition models, Comet, made them available for the civilian market postwar, which also drove the change to this scale. In addition, continental European manufacturers and European ship book publishers had adopted the 1:1250 drawing scale because of its similar convenience in size for both models and comparison drawings in books.

A prestige scale for boat
Boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

s, comparable to that of 1:32 for fighter planes, is 1:72, producing huge models, but there are very few kits marketed in this scale. There are now several clubs around the world for those who choose to scratch-build radio-controlled model ships and submarines in 1:72, which is often done because of the compatibility with naval aircraft kits. For the smaller ships, plank-on-frame or other wood construction kits are offered in the traditional shipyard scales of 1:96, 1:108, or 1:192 (half of 1:96). In injection-molded plastic kits, Airfix
Airfix
Airfix is a UK manufacturer of plastic scale model kits of aircraft and other subjects. In Britain, the name Airfix is synonymous with the hobby, a plastic model of this type is often simply referred to as "an airfix kit" even if made by another manufacturer....

 makes full-hull models in the scale which the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 has used to compare the relative sizes of ships: 1:600. Revell
Revell
Revell is the brand name today of two manufacturers of scale plastic models. The original US company merged with another, Monogram, but now trades only under the Revell name. European Revell Germany separated from the US company in 2006.-Early history:...

 makes some kits to half the scale of the US Army standard: 1:570. Some American and foreign firms have made models in a proportion from the Engineer's scale: "one-sixtieth-of-an-inch-to-the-foot", or 1:720.
But the continental Europeans have an on-going project of getting rid of all conversions and measurements which they consider non-standard. As they saw how four Japanese model-making firms (Tamiya, Hasegawa
Hasegawa (model company)
The is a company that manufactures plastic model kits of a variety of vehicles, including model aircraft, model cars, model ships, model armor, model space craft and science fiction kits...

, Aoshima, and Fujimi) formed a cartel to apportion out the project of putting out waterline kits of the whole fleet of Japanese warships of the Second World War on the market in a proportion that no firm from any other country did - 1:700, the Europeans are attempting to have the scale of 1:400 standardized for full-hull model ships, even though some Japanese firms have produced larger ships in the luxury scale of 1:350. On the other hand, the rise of the resin kit industry in the 1990s led to the introduction of companies around the world producing kits in the 1:350 and 1:700 scales to match pre-existing injection molded kits, creating in limited production a large variety of kits of subjects which traditional injection-molding makers have not invested resources to produce, due to the expense of creating a large injection mold. In scales more conducive to wargaming, continental Europeans have long marketed waterline kits in the scales 1:1250 and more recently 1:2500 to supplement the British and American lines. The Chinese are joining them. Such trends toward standardization has not affected the Japanese firm Nichimo, which still produces fit-in-the-box sizes from old molds, and 1:450 size models.

Manned ship models

Many research workers, hydraulics specialists and engineers have used scale models for over a century, in particular in towing tanks. Manned models are small scale models
Ship model
Ship models or model ships are scale representations of ships. They can range in size from 1/6000 scale wargaming miniatures to large vessels capable of holding people....

 that can carry and be handled by at least one person on an open expanse of water. They must behave just like real ships, giving the shiphandler the same sensations. Physical conditions such as wind, currents, waves, water depths, channels and berths must be reproduced realistically.

Manned models are used for research (e.g. ship behaviour), engineering (e.g. port layout) and for training in shiphandling
Port Revel
The Port Revel Shiphandling Training Centre is a French maritime pilotage school that trains pilots, masters, and officers on large ships like supertankers, container ships, LNG carriers and cruise ships . The facility uses manned models at a 1:25 scale on a man-made lake designed to simulate...

 (e.g. maritime pilots, masters and officers). They are usually at 1:25 scale.

Model tanks and wargaming


Just before the 20th century, the British historian (and science fiction author and forgotten mainstream novelist) H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

 published a book, Little Wars
Little Wars
Little Wars is a set of rules for playing with toy soldiers, written by H. G. Wells in 1913. Its full title is Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books.Little Wars is considered by some...

, on how to play at battle
Battle
Generally, a battle is a conceptual component in the hierarchy of combat in warfare between two or more armed forces, or combatants. In a battle, each combatant will seek to defeat the others, with defeat determined by the conditions of a military campaign...

s in miniature. His books use 54 mm lead figures, particularly those manufactured by Britains. His fighting system employed spring-loaded model guns which shot matchsticks.

This use of physical mechanisms was echoed in the later games of Fred Jane, whose rules required throwing darts at ship silhouettes; his collection of data on the world's fleets was later published and became renowned. Dice have largely replaced this toy mayhem for consumers.

For over a century, toy soldiers were made of white metal
White metal
The white metals are any of several light-colored alloys used as a base for plated silverware, ornaments or novelties, as well as any of several lead-base or tin-base alloys used for things like bearings, jewellery, miniature figures, fusible plugs, some medals and metal type.Some of the metals...

, a lead-based alloy, often in architect's scale-based ratios in the English-speaking countries, and called tin soldier
Tin soldier
Tin soldiers are miniature figures of toy soldiers that are extremely popular in the world of collecting. They can be bought finished or in a raw state to be hand-painted. They are generally made of pewter, tin, lead, other metals or plastic...

s. After the Second World War, such toys were on the market for children but now made of a safe plastic softer than styrene. American children called these "army men". Many sets were made in the new scale of 1:40. A few styrene model kits of land equipment were offered in this and in 1:48 and 1:32 scales. However, these were swept away by the number of kits in the scale of 1:35.

Those who continued to develop miniature wargaming
Miniature wargaming
Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming that incorporates miniature figures, miniature armor and modeled terrain as the main components of play...

 preferred smaller scale models, the soldiers still made of soft plastic. Airfix particularly wanted people to buy 1:76 scale soldiers and tanks to go with "00" gauge train equipment. Roco
Roco
Roco, based in Salzburg, Austria, is a manufacturer of model railway equipment.-History:The company was founded in 1960 by Ing. Heinz Rössler and started with a plastic Minitanks series. After export to the USA became successful, the model line was expanded with model trains in H0 scale and the...

 offered 1:87 scale styrene military vehicles to go with "H0" gauge model houses. However, although there is no 1:72 scale model railroad, more toy soldiers are now offered in this scale because it is the same as the popular aircraft scale. The number of fighting vehicles in this scale is also increasing, although the number of auxiliary vehicles available is far fewer than in 1:87 scale.

A more recent development, especially in wargaming of land battles is 15 mm white metal miniatures, often referred to as 1:100. The use of 15 mm scale metals has grown quickly since the early 1990s as they allow a more affordable option over 28 mm if large battles are to be refought, or a large number of vehicles represented. The rapid rise in the detail and quality of castings at 15 mm scale has also helped to fuel their uptake by the wargaming community.

Armies use smaller scales still. The US Army specifies models of the scale 1:285 for its sand table
Sand table
Sand table is a term for using constrained sand for modeling or educational purposes. The original version of a sand table may be the abax used by early Greek students.-Abax:...

 wargaming. There are metal ground vehicles and helicopters in this scale, which is a near "one-quarter-inch-to-six-feet" scale. The continental powers of NATO have developed the similar scale of 1:300, even though metric standardizers really don't like any divisors other than factors of 10, 5, and 2, so maps are not commonly offered in Europe in scales with a "3" in the denominator.

Consumer wargaming
Wargaming
A wargame is a strategy game that deals with military operations of various types, real or fictional. Wargaming is the hobby dedicated to the play of such games, which can also be called conflict simulations, or consims for short. When used professionally to study warfare, it is generally known as...

 has since expanded into fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 realms, employing scales large enough to be painted in imaginative detail - so called "heroic" 28 mm figures, (roughly 1:64, or S scale
S scale
S Scale is a model railroad scale modeled at 1:64 scale, S scale track gauge is . S gauge trains are manufactured in both DC and AC powered varieties...

). Firms which produce these do so in so small production lots that they are necessarily made of white metal.

Engine models

Kits for building an engine model are available, especially for kids. The most popular are the internal combustion, steam, jet, and stirling model engine. Usually they move using an electric motor or a hand crank
Crank (mechanism)
A crank is an arm attached at right angles to a rotating shaft by which reciprocating motion is imparted to or received from the shaft. It is used to change circular into reciprocating motion, or reciprocating into circular motion. The arm may be a bent portion of the shaft, or a separate arm...

, and many of them have a transparent case to show the internal process in action.

Miniatures in contemporary art

Miniatures and model kits are used in contemporary art whereby artists use both scratch built miniaturizations or commercially manufactured model kits to construct a dialogue between object and viewer. The role of the artist in this type of miniature is not necessarily to re-create an historical event or achieve naturalist realism, but rather to use scale as a mode of articulation in generating conceptual or theoretical exploration. Political, conceptual, and architectural examples are provided by noted artists such as Jake and Dinos Chapman
Jake and Dinos Chapman
Iakovos "Jake" Chapman and Konstantinos "Dinos" Chapman are English visual artists, often known as the Chapman Brothers, who work together as a collaborative sibling duo...

 (otherwise known as the Chapman Brothers), Ricky Swallow
Ricky Swallow
Ricky Swallow is an Australian sculptor , who lives and works in Los Angeles. He creates detailed pieces and installations in a variety of media, often utilising objects of everyday life as well as the body . He first came to prominence in Australia when he won the Contempora 5 Prize in Melbourne...

, Shaun Wilson
Shaun Wilson
Shaun Wilson is an Australian artist, film maker, academic and curator working with themes of memory, place and scale through painting, miniatures and video art...

 or the Psikhelekedana
Psikhelekedana
Psikhelekedana is a traditional art form from the south of Mozambique that is dating back to at least colonial times. Psikhelekedana are miniature models consisting of small wood carvings painted in bright, glossy colors.-History:...

 artists from Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

, James Casebere
James Casebere
James Casebere is an American contemporary artist and photographer living in New York.-Biography:James Casebere, born in Lansing, Michigan, grew up outside of Detroit. He attended Michigan State University and graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a BFA in 1976...

, Oliver Boberg
Oliver Boberg
Oliver Boberg is a German artist, working with photography and video, whose work has been exhibited internationally. He is represented by DCKT Contemporary, a gallery in New York's Lower East Side...

, and Daniel Dorall
Daniel Dorall
Daniel Dorall is a Malaysian Australian sculptor who specialises in miniature works. He completed a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Melbourne in 2005, having previously earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with honours from the University of Malaya in 2002...

.

Scales

For a more complete list of scale model sizes, see List of scale model sizes and Rail transport modelling scales
Rail transport modelling scales
Rail transport modelling utilises a variety of scales to ensure scale models look correct when placed next to each other. Model railway scales are standardized worldwide by many organizations and hobbyist groups...



Rail transport modelling
Rail transport modelling
Railway modelling or model railroading is a hobby in which rail transport systems are modelled at a reduced scale...

s have unique scale/gauge designations, such as: Z; N
N scale
N scale is a popular model railway scale/track gauge. Depending upon the manufacturer , the scale ranges from 1:148 to 1:160. In all cases, the gauge is . The term N gauge refers to the track dimensions, but in the UK in particular N gauge refers to a 1:148 scale with track gauge modelling...

; H0; 00; EM
EM gauge
EM gauge is a variant of 4 mm to a foot scale used in model railways....

; P4
P4 gauge
P4 or Protofour is a set of standards for model railways allowing a more accurate construction of models to a scale of 4 mm to 1 foot , the predominant scale of model railways of the British prototype...

; 0; S; 1
1 gauge
Gauge 1 is a model railroadingand toy train standard, popular in the early 20th century, particularly with European manufacturers. Its track measures , making it larger than 0 gauge but slightly smaller than wide gauge, which came to be the dominant U.S...

. Model figure
Model figure
A model figure is a scale model representing a human, monster or other creature. Human figures may be either a generic figure of a type , a historical personage , or a fictional character .Model figures are sold both as kits for enthusiast to construct and paint and as pre-built, pre-painted...

 scales
Scale (ratio)
The scale ratio of some sort of model which represents an original proportionally is the ratio of a linear dimension of the model to the same dimension of the original. Examples include a 3-dimensional scale model of a building or the scale drawings of the elevations or plans of a building. In such...

 are usually expressed as the height of a six-foot (1.83 m) figure; for example: 54 mm. Other model scales are generally given as a ratio which expresses what a measurement on the model represents on the actual object. When buying a model train, scale sizes are referred to by letter name, not number ratio.

For hydraulic models, specific scale rules
Similitude of ship models
- Manned models :Many research workers, hydraulics specialists and engineers have used scale models for over a century, in particular in towing tanks. Manned models are small scale models that can carry and be handled by at least one person on an open expanse of water. They must behave just like...

 are applied in order to obtain the correct reproduction of physical phenomenae.

Before the plastic model kit industry

Hobbyists' scale models derive from those used by the firms which made the full-sized products. Originally, a "scale" was a physical measuring instrument, a notion which survives as concerns weight. First among scales are the rulers that are triangular in cross-section and called architect's scale
Architect's scale
An architect's scale is a specialized ruler designed to facilitate the drafting and measuring of architectural drawings, such as floor plans and orthographic projections...

s or engineer's scale
Engineer's scale
An engineer's scale is a tool for measuring distances and transferring measurements at a fixed ratio of length. It is commonly made of plastic,or aluminum and is just over long, but with only 12 inches of markings, leaving the ends unmarked so that the first and last measuring ticks do not...

s. The terminology used was of this manner: "scale size to full size", or the reverse. An architect's scale was used to make the first affordable models: doll houses and their furniture. Its popular scales for these miniatures were "one inch to the foot" and "one-half inch to the foot"; there is also "three-quarters inch to the foot".

The proportion of the model to the prototype
Prototype
A prototype is an early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from.The word prototype derives from the Greek πρωτότυπον , "primitive form", neutral of πρωτότυπος , "original, primitive", from πρῶτος , "first" and τύπος ,...

 was originally called "size", as in "full-sized" or "half-sized", as used on a blueprint for making something that would fit on a workbench.

Shipyards were the first to use the scales to make models of things larger than a house. The scales they used were expressed in a different manner: "one-foot-to-the-inch" through "six-feet-to-the-inch" were common. During the Second World War, battleship
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

 models were made "eight-foot-to-the-inch", in the later phrasing, "one-eighth-inch to the foot"; you will find these models, used for training workers, in maritime museum
Maritime museum
A maritime museum is a museum specializing in the display of objects relating to ships and travel on large bodies of water...

s. The model ship would be referred to as "one-ninety-sixth size", or "1/96th", but rarely, as there were few scales commonly used; it couldn't possibly be "1/98th scale", for example.

There were also rotary instruments in which one would line up marks on two dials to be able to translate measurements from units on the prototype to units on the model. After the production of kits to make plastic
Plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

 models became an industry, there were developed rulers marked in the model units and which are called scales.

Comparing scales

Phrases used are those of "larger" and "smaller" scales.
The scale of 1/8"-to-the-foot is a larger scale than 1/16"-to-the-foot, even though the denominator is smaller. So a larger model is made to a larger scale. You can remember this in that a full-size, or full-scale, model is larger than a half-size model.

Origins of the plastic model kit

For aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 recognition in the Second World War, the RAF
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 selected models to the scale of "one-sixth inch to the foot" (which was two British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 lines, a legal division of length which didn't make it to America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, besides being a standard shipyard scale). Although some consumer models were sold pre-war in Britain to this scale, the airmens' models were pressed out of ground-up old rubber tires. This is of course the still-popular 1:72 scale
1:72 scale
1:72 scale is a scale used for scale models, most commonly model aircraft, corresponding to one sixth of an inch representing one foot . In other words, 72 of a given model placed end to end would represent the length of the real thing. In this scale, a man who is six feet tall would be exactly...

. It wasn't predestined to succeed; there were competitors.

The US Navy, in contrast, had metal models made to the proportion 1:432, which is "nine-feet-to-the-quarter-inch". At this scale, a model six feet is about half a statute mile; and seven feet about half a nautical mile.

After the war, firms that moulded models from polystyrene
Polystyrene
Polystyrene ) also known as Thermocole, abbreviated following ISO Standard PS, is an aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon that is manufactured from petroleum by the chemical industry...

 entered the consumer marketplace, the American firm Revell
Revell
Revell is the brand name today of two manufacturers of scale plastic models. The original US company merged with another, Monogram, but now trades only under the Revell name. European Revell Germany separated from the US company in 2006.-Early history:...

 notably offering a model of the Royal Coach around the time of the 1953 coronation. In the early years, firms offered models of aircraft and ships in "fit-the-box" size. A box that would make an impressive gift was specified, and a mould was crafted to make a model that wouldn't ludicrously slide around inside. Modellers could not compare models, nor switch parts from one kit to another. It was the British firm Airfix
Airfix
Airfix is a UK manufacturer of plastic scale model kits of aircraft and other subjects. In Britain, the name Airfix is synonymous with the hobby, a plastic model of this type is often simply referred to as "an airfix kit" even if made by another manufacturer....

, whose first self assembly model was a Ferguson tractor around 1950, that brought the idea of the constant scale to the marketplace, and they picked the RAF's scale.

In the 1960s, the company Monogram
Monogram
A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, used as recognizable symbols or logos. A series of uncombined initials is properly referred to as a...

 offered an aircraft actually labeled as ¼" scale, which may have been a common contraction in factories. They meant "one-quarter-inch to the foot", or "one-forty-eighth size". Shortly thereafter, hobbyists lost the ability to distinguish the two, and now the proportion is referred to as scale.

Terminology

The terms and the means of writing them down have changed, and for model kits they are now standardized for the European Union. In English-speaking countries, such terms as "1/72" were used, but the format with a colon as "1:72" is often preferred. The slash format is usually avoided with decimal fractions: "1/76.2" is usually not used; it's "1:76.2" instead. That hybrid 00 gauge can also be expressed by explicitly using a mixed system of units as "4 mm:1 ft" or "1 mm:3 in", but the dimensionless form makes comparison with other scales easier.

Rational choice of scales

The nominal height of a man is simple in the inch-based system: six feet. Many traditional scales are derived so that a figure of such a height against the model can be readily imagined as a simple relation to an inch. Although the metric system
Metric system
The metric system is an international decimalised system of measurement. France was first to adopt a metric system, in 1799, and a metric system is now the official system of measurement, used in almost every country in the world...

 has specified a limited series of scales for blueprints and maps, when it comes to models, there may be a problem with these scales for a readily imagined person of 180 centimetres. Model railways have the additional difficulty of having to present the rail gauge
Rail gauge
Track gauge or rail gauge is the distance between the inner sides of the heads of the two load bearing rails that make up a single railway line. Sixty percent of the world's railways use a standard gauge of . Wider gauges are called broad gauge; smaller gauges, narrow gauge. Break-of-gauge refers...

 as a simple number, the height of a person being secondary. Trade authorities in metric countries are attempting to specify scales that are simple mulitiples of 2 and 5, but neither tracks nor people seem to fit. In such cases, rationalization may actually be invoked for competitive advantage, to prevent interoperability with products from another manufacturing country.

On the other hand, wargaming scales have traditionally been traced to metric system, where the number of millimetres relate to the relative height of the human figure based on 180 cm standard man. Therefore 25 mm scale (popular in historical and fantasy wargaming) refers to 1:72 scale, whilst the 15 mm scale (nowadays the most popular scale in ancient, medieval and Renaissance wargaming) refers to 1:120 scale (Many manufacturers refer to 15 mm as 1:100 scale). Likewise, 50 mm scale is the same as 1:35 military model scale, and 5 mm equals 1:350 naval scale.

Rationalisation typically falls into 2 categories: Industrial Trade, and Hobbies. Industrial trade covers areas like building and maritime architecture where universally accepted scales have been established and are conformed to both in the construction of models and drawings, in order to facilitate smoother co-operation between commercial parties. The rationalisation of hobby scales has been more gradual and organic; largely driven by clubs lobbying industry, as well as tradition, and indirectly, consumer demand. A couple of artificial efforts to standardise have not been successful: i.e. Tamiya in the 1970s with aircraft models in 1/100 scale, and Heller with airline models in 1/125 scale. Even though rationalisation in hobby scales sounds appealing, it has not proved to be historically evident, although there may be some very gradual progress as consumer demand becomes more organised.

Cultural references

  • In the movie Zoolander
    Zoolander
    Zoolander is a 2001 American satirical comedy film directed by and starring Ben Stiller. The film contains elements from a pair of short films directed by Russell Bates and written by Drake Sather and Stiller for the VH1 Fashion Awards television specials in 1996 and 1997. The short films and the...

    the character Mugatu entices Derek Zoolander to model for his fashion label by offering to build an educational facility and shrine to Zoolander's dead friends called "Derek Zoolander's Centre for Kid's Who Can't Read Good and Other Things". Mugatu shows Zoolander a scale model of the centre and Zoolander freaks out because he thinks it is at 1:1 scale, and thus, very small. He demands that the building must be at least "3 times the size".

  • In the movie This Is Spinal Tap
    This Is Spinal Tap
    This Is Spinal Tap is an American 1984 rock musical mockumentary directed by Rob Reiner about the fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap...

    , the band request a stage design of the Neolithic
    Neolithic
    The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

     site Stonehenge
    Stonehenge
    Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about west of Amesbury and north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks...

     to accompany their song of the same name. Instead of the full size, tiny models are built as it turns out the units on the construction drawing were marked as inch
    Inch
    An inch is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including Imperial units, and United States customary units. There are 36 inches in a yard and 12 inches in a foot...

    es (") instead of feet (').

  • Season 7 of TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is an American crime drama television series, which premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. The show was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer...

    dealt with the pursuit of The Miniature Killer
    The Miniature Killer
    Natalie Davis is a fictional character on the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, portrayed by Jessica Collins....

    , a serial killer who would leave a half-inch scale model of the crime scene at each of her murders.

See also

  • Computer-aided design
    Computer-aided design
    Computer-aided design , also known as computer-aided design and drafting , is the use of computer technology for the process of design and design-documentation. Computer Aided Drafting describes the process of drafting with a computer...

  • Die-cast toy
    Die-cast toy
    The term die-cast toy here refers to any toy or collectible model produced by using the die casting method. The toys are made of metal, with plastic, rubber or glass details. Wholly plastic toys are made by a similar process of injection moulding, but the two are rarely confused...

  • Historical Miniatures Gaming Society
    Historical Miniatures Gaming Society
    The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society promotes the hobby of historical miniature wargaming as a registered non-profit charitable and educational foundation...

  • IPMS, International Plastic Modellers' Society
  • Maquette
    Maquette
    A maquette is a small scale model or rough draft of an unfinished architectural work or a sculpture...

  • Miniature effect
    Miniature effect
    A miniature effect is a special effect created for motion pictures and television programs using scale models. Scale models are often combined with high speed photography or matte shots to make gravitational and other effects appear convicing to the viewer...

  • Miniature faking
  • Miniature figure (disambiguation)
  • Miniature park
    Miniature park
    A miniature park is an open space that displays miniature buildings and models, and is usually open to the public. A miniature park may contain a model of a single city or town, often called a miniature city or model village, or it can contain a number of different sets of models...

  • Miniature pioneering
    Miniature Pioneering
    Miniature Pioneering or Model Pioneering is an art form featuring the miniaturized version of pioneering construction. This technique was originally used by Boy Scouts to create a model for campsite planning...

  • Plastic model
    Plastic model
    thumb|300px||4-year-old boy starts painting a plastic model he has assembled of the South Goodwin LightshipPlastic models, often called scale models, are models manufactured as kits which are assembled by hobbyists, and intended for static display....

  • Rail transport modelling scale standards
  • Solar system model
    Solar system model
    Solar System models, especially mechanical models, called orreries, that illustrate the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons in the Solar System have been built for centuries. While they often showed relative sizes, these models were usually not built to scale...

  • Standard gauge in model railways
  • Unimat
    Unimat
    The Unimat was a commercially sold machine intended for machining and metalworking for model making hobbyists manufactured by the Emco company...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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