Scale model From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A scale model is a physical model, 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) 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 model-makers 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 model-makers make die-cast models, injection molded, model railroads, remote control vehicles, war-gaming 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.
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, 1:72 (the most numerous), 1:48, 1:32, 1:24, 1:16, 1:8 and 1:4. Some European models are available at more metric scales such as 1:50. The highest quality models are made from injection-molded plastic or cast resin. Models made from Vacuum formed plastic are generally for the more skilled builder. More inexpensive models are made from heavy paper 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.
Origins of the plastic model kit
For aircraft recognition in the Second World War, the RAF selected models to the scale of “one-sixth inch to the foot” (which was two British lines, a legal division of length which didn’t make it to America, 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. 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 entered the consumer marketplace, the American firm Revell 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, 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 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.
List of scale model sizes
This is a list of scale model sizes, listing a variety of size ratios for scale models.
Apparently a number of very interesting Apps for Smartphone’s have been created (expected
more in near future) for modellers, where these tools can be very helpful during the assembling
and kits upgrading. Part of them are listed below: