Scale References


Diorama – Scale

Let’s Talk About Scale

First, and foremost, with regards to dioramas, what is the correct scale? There is a lot of discussion out there on the message boards and in the chat rooms about what scale HW and MB and the like technically are – we are posting a definition of what “scale” means, a reprint of a reply we made to one board that fairly clearly explains the scale, following with a chart that shows relative scales in the hobby world with numbers to letters:

Scale Defined – the relative size of an item in relationship to “real-life”. Example: if something is considered to be 1:12th scale it is technically 1/12th of the “real-life” size. Or if the items is 12 feet long it would be 1 foot long in 1:12th scale. The larger the number in the scale reference the smaller the size – that same item in 1:24th scale would be only 6 inches.

Here is the repost of a message we posted on a message board:

“HW, MB, JL and like are not true S Scale. They relate most closely to it, which is why most are referenced that way, but range anywhere from 1:100th with some of the trucks to 1:50th scale with some of the cars. Each vehicle is slightly different. If remembered correctly, HW/MB designed to the scale of the track initially and now they design to the scale of the blister pack, so depending upon which vehicle they are working on it can go up or down. True 1/64th scale pieces are actually much larger – i.e. Ertl makes a number of them, as does Racing Champions.

HO Scale is 1:87th

S Scale is 1:64th

O Scale is approx 1:48th/1:43rd

HWs and MBs have traditionally been referenced as 1:72nd scale on average which has no official diecast reference designation …. except on occasion in military and ship scales. It is sometimes included with “S” Scale merely because that is the closest automotive hobby reference it can effectively be related to.

This is why it is so difficult to find complimentary items ”


Scale Using Fractions


** Special thanks to Andrew for the chart donation.


Scale Reference Chart – Letters to Numbers

Gauge                                                    Scale Ratio

Full Size                                                  1:1

Playscale                                                1:6

1″ Scale                                                 1:12

3/4 Scale                                                1:16

* no scale reference                            1:18

1/2 Scale                                                1:24 / 1:25

“G”                                                          1:29 (can include 1:24 and 1:25)

Armour                                                  1:35

1/4 Scale                                               1:48

“O”                                                          1:43 (can include 1:48, 1:50, 1:55)

“S”                                                            1:64 (can include 1:60, 1:70, 1:72)

“OO”                                                        1:76

“HO”                                                       1:87

“TT”                                                         1:100

“N”                                                          1:160

“Z”                                                            1:220

Battleship                                               1:1480

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