Model Scale and Sizes

Model scale and sizes represent a copy of an object that is larger or smaller than the actual size of the object. The scale is the ratio of the model to the full-size object. A look across our gallery pages and you will see a wide range of scales being used.

If the scale is 1:100 and you are building a model of a boat that is 35m long in it’s fullsize version then the model should be 0.35m long.

Some scales are listed below along with examples of where that scale is commonly used:

1:2 scale

  • 6″ scale traction engine – that is 6″ to 1ft – so half scale.

1:3 scale

  • 4″ scale traction engine – that is 4″ to 1ft – so 1/3 scale.
  • Average person height = 5′ 9″ (175.3cm) person => 23″ (58.4cm) @ 1:3 scale

1:4 scale

  • 3″ scale traction engine – that is 3″ to 1ft – so 1/4 scale.
  • Average person height = 17.25″ (43.8cm)

1:6 scale

  • 2″ scale traction engine – that is 2″ to 1ft – so 1/6 scale.

1:8 scale

  • 1.5″ scale traction engine – that is 1.5″ to 1ft – so 1/8 scale.
  • Average person height = 8.625″ (21.9cm)
Ford Model T and Cake Shop
Ford Model T and Cake Shop at 1/8th scale

1:12 scale

  • Dolls houses – most common scale for dolls houses
  • 1″ scale traction engine – that is 1″ to 1ft – so 1/12 scale.
  • Average person height = 5.75″ (14.6cm)
1/12th scale antiques shop
1/12th scale antiques shop – a common size for model houses

1:19.05 Scale

  • 16mm or SM32 narrow gauge, 32mm track gauge. 16mm to 1 foot

1:22.5 Scale

  • Gauge 3 Trains, 63.5mm (2 1/2″) track gauge

1:24 scale

  • Dolls houses – there are some models made to this scale, but 1/12th is more common.
  • Average person height = 2.875″ (7.3cm)

1:32 scale

  • Scalextric
  • Gauge 1 Trains, 45mm (1 3/4″) track gauge
  • Average person height = 2.16″ (5.48cm)
  • Average 4.2m long car => 131.25mm

1:35 scale

  • Military plastic kits such as those by Tamiya.
  • Average person height = 1.97″ (5cm)

1:43 scale

  • Diecast model cars made popular by Dinky and Corgi.
  • Average person height = 1.6″ (4.08cm)

1:43.5 scale

  • 7mm scale trains.

1:45 scale

  • 0 Gauge trains.

1:64 scale

  • Matchbox and Hotwheels.
  • Average person height = 1.08″ (2.74cm)

1:72 scale

  • Aircraft plastic kits such as those made by Airfix.
  • Average person height = 0.96″ (2.4cm)

1:87 scale

  • H0 trains.
  • Average person height = 0.79″ (2cm)

1:160 scale

  • N Gauge trains.
  • Average person height = 0.43″ (1.1cm)

1:220 scale

  • Z Gauge trains.
  • Average person height = 0.31″ (0.8cm)

You don’t have to stick to model scale and sizes as you can freehand a model and make it exactly as you want. However, sometimes it is useful to be able to use parts, figures and fittings that are readily available. If you are looking for a model of a person roughly 2″ (~50mm) high you could look at Scalextric or Tamiya. It depends if the racing car or military worlds can form a basis for your needs.

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