Can someone explain model scaling numbers to me??

BOUNTY HAUNTER

New Member
I'm not really into traditional model-building, so I'm definitely a stranger sticking my head into this forum...

But I'm no dummy either. I understand perfectly well that if a model is listed as being at 1:6 scale...that means the model is roughly 1/6th the size of the real deal, right?

So if someone has a 1:6 scale model of, say...an F-15 Eagle...I can get a pretty accurate image in my head of just how big that model is...(pretty big, right?)


But what I don't get is when someone is advertisting a 1:6 or 1:8 (or whatever) scale model of a fictional item which has never occurred in the real world.

Just how large is a 1:24 model of, say...the Millenium Falcon supposed to be? Has anyone ever seen or measured a full-size Falcon? No. Because it doesn't exist. It's fictional.

How big is a 1:8 model of Godzilla supposed to be?

I don't get it.

You modeling guys need to set me straight on this. What am I missing?
 

Treadwell

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Simple, it's the scale the model WOULD be if the fullscale item DID exist. Often dictated by the donor parts; for example, the X-Wing cockpit was designed around a figure from a 1/24 model, so the models are 1/24.
 

autoprops713

Well-Known Member
I just wanted to add that any model can have a scale once a human character can interact to it (like Treadwell mentioned). Even a space ship model with just one "human-sized" seat will give you a rough idea of what scale it is. Maybe it's parked next to something that's "real-world". The Star Trek universe bothers me because it's hard to judge size. When I see postings of modelers showing their Starships side by side...I'm like CRAP!! Never thought THAT ship was THAT big!! I agree with you about Godzilla...or maybe some sort of creature, no human interaction and that's why they usually change scale movie to movie.

Dave
 

BOUNTY HAUNTER

New Member
Ah! So it IS all f@#ked up! It's not just me!



Eh. I suppose.

That's still pretty weak, though. Cuz' if I see a an Aliens Sulaco dropship model listed on ebay at 1:24 scale...I have no F'in clue what size that model is. I just can't visualize it.

Just tell me the damn thing is 12 inches long!
 

Jedi Dade

Sr Member
Some of its based on "published authorized" materials as well. The director in some interveiw offhandedly says well godzilla is a 200 ft tall lizard that shoots atomic breath on his enemies, and the next thing you know is that statement appears in some godzilla Official" craploa that suddenly becomes the defacto "truth". So yeah its basically a bunch of Cr@p, but if there's a guy sitting in something, generally you assume that the guy is 6 feet tall and go from there...

Jedi Dade
 

drusselmeyer

Well-Known Member
Of course this all assumes accuracy is important to the person presenting the information.

I have seen several examples, particularly in "Making of" type documentaries, where model builders will say this scale and that scale but mean nothing.

One example that drove this idea home for me was; a horror film in which miniature sets were made and supposedly were 1/12 or 1:12 scale. The doorways on the set were about 13" tall. This meant that a normal man in scale would about 144" or 12' tall!

As modelers we like to strive for accuracy, but sometimes our source material is no better than a wild guess.
 

Jlewis

Well-Known Member
Most plastic modeling scale are base on a 1 inch ratio. A 1/48 or 1/4 scale means that every inch on the model would be 48 inches on the real item. Scale model cars are 1:24 or 1:25 scale. Most Armored Vehicles are 1/35 or 1/72. Actual size of the model depends on the scale ratio and the size of the original.


J
 

drusselmeyer

Well-Known Member
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Jlewis wrote:
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Most plastic modeling scale are base on a 1 inch ratio. A 1/48 or 1/4 scale means that every inch on the model would be 48 inches on the real item. Actual size of the model depends on the scale ratio and the size of the original.


J
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That's what I mean- confusing as hell!


The fraction should logically result in a ratio i.e. 1/48 = 1:48 or 1" represents 48" (4'). But if correct fraction is ignored, you wind up with the nonsensical fraction/ratio of 1:4.

1/4=1:4 but does NOT =1/48. Great care has to be taken not to mistake 1' for 1". Lest you forget the 1":4' and wind up with 1:4.

Remember the rule of calculating fractions: always reduce fractions to lowest common terms. This works in any measuring method including metric.

What is the difference? At 1/4 (1:4) scale a 6 foot man is 18 inches tall (1.5 feet).

At 1/48 (1:48 ) scale a 6 foot tall man is 1.5 inches.

It would be pretty embarassing to have to try to cram a 1/4 scale pilot into a 1/48 scale plane to prove they are "the same scale".

For some reason, many model makers in the industry forget how the math works.
 

Jlewis

Well-Known Member
The scale ratio has to be defined. 1/48 scale represents 1 inch to 48 inches. 1/4 scale represents 1 inch to 4 FEET (48 inches). THat's why 1/48 is also referred to as 1/4 scale. It is the only ratio that I have seen listed either way. All other plastic commercial modeling scales are based on the inch ratio, 1/24, 1/25, 1/35, 1/40, 1/48, 1/64,1/72, 1/87, 1/144........

A 6 foot man would be 1.5 inches in 1/48, 1 inch in 1/72 and .5 inch in 1/144 scale.

I have a 8.5" Japanese spaceship model on a 1/20000 scale. The cartoon ship it was modeled off of would be about 14,166.67 feet long if it existed.

J
 

Homespun Magic

New Member
Originally posted by Jlewis@Sep 21 2003, 05:34 AM
All other plastic commercial modeling scales are based on the inch ratio, 1/24, 1/25, 1/35, 1/40, 1/48, 1/64,1/72, 1/87, 1/144........

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Inches got nothing to do with it. All of those are true ratios, i.e. unitless. 1:24 means 1 meter of model represents 24 meters of reality, or inches or furlongs.

Steve
 

CaptCBoard

Well-Known Member
Originally posted by Jlewis@Sep 21 2003, 09:34 AM
The scale ratio has to be defined. 1/48 scale represents 1 inch to 48 inches. 1/4 scale represents 1 inch to 4 FEET (48 inches). THat's why 1/48 is also referred to as 1/4 scale.
This is wrong. This is the ONE scale designation that gets everyone tripped up. At the scale ratio of 1/48 (also written correctly as 1:48) the scale measures out to be one-quarter of an inch per foot, or 4 feet to the inch. However, it is NOT correct to say that 1/48 and 1/4 scale are the same. It IS correct to say that 1/48 and 1/4 INCH scale are the same. 1/4 scale is 3 inches to the foot, 1/4 inch scale is one-quarter of an inch to the foot. That being said...

The only reason to bring this up is someone who does not know the difference was asking the question. Among modelbuilders to whom scale is not even a brief question, saying a 1/48 scale model is 'one quarter scale' is an acceptable, though incorrect, use of the term-- its a form of shorthand to leave out the word 'inch'. Further, it is an acceptable use because no one really models anything at true 'one quarter scale', with the exception of scale RC guys.

The only thing to remember about how these numbers work is that the number on the right side of the slash or colon is the number of UNITS being divided into a single UNIT. Another way of looking at it is to realize that if you placed 48 1/48 scale models of an F-15 end to end in a straight line, they would equal the length of the real F-15. The same thing goes for 1/25 scale cars-- 25 models of a 1/25 scale 1938 Buick Century placed end to end in a straight line would equal the length of the real car. This is the same for all scales-- its what scale is all about. The number to the right is how much you divide the actual real world dimension by to get the scale dimension.

One last note: Don't ever refer to 1/4 inch scale as 'one quarter scale' to an architect. He'll whap you upside the head with his tri-scale.

Scott
CaptCBoard@AOL.com
 

Homespun Magic

New Member
Originally posted by Kris@Aug 8 2005, 06:15 PM
That's why the metric system is more handy .. Cm and metres..
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Actually not. Since the Foot is 12 inches, it is evenly divisible by 2, 3, 4, 6. That is why 1:48 and 1:24 scale is so popular 1 foot of reality is 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch respectively. Metric system limited to 10, 5 and 2 for even divisibility. I guess you could use 1:50 instead of 1:48 and 1:25 instead of 1:24, but the point stands, English gives you more choices of even divisibility than metric. B)

Steve
 
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