Newb Q: What is Studio Scale?

Leon Kowalski

New Member
I realize by the Subforum definition that it's "models created in the same scale as those used in production."

but, how do you know what size or scale that is?

Are there specific research steps taken, or do you just guess that the Enterprise is 36" or 50.5" or ?

Does it vary by model/type, is there a generally accepted scale that's considered Studio?

Thanks in advance for the answers.


Master Member
Yes and yes. In some cases measurements are taken from the actual prop. Or measurements are 'guestimated' using known lengths for found parts.

There is no standard 'Studio Scale'. It is whatever size the studio choose to build that particular model that day. From then on we try to replicate the ship in that exact scale that was used on screen for that particular film.

Hope that answers your question, and welcome aboard.


Sr Member
Hi Leon,

Well scales vary from model to model. In the end they made the model in a size at which it looked right on film.

I think people use any method at hand to gauge the actual size of the model. Sometimes reference exists showing the model with a ruler. I think the most comon method is making a couple of ID's on kit parts used and then scaling up to find the overal dimensions of the model.



Master Member
Gone but not forgotten.
It's a common missconception that Studio Scale refers to a specific size. It does not. Not all SS models are, lets say, 1/24 scale. A SS X-Wing fighter in SS is about 1/24 scale. That was determined by the size of the pilot that was used in the filming miniature. Now, the 8 foot Star Destroyer is most definately not 1/24 scale, if it was then it would be a lot bigger. The real Star Destroyer was over 1,600 meters long, that would make a very large model (much bigger than 8 foot) in 1/24 scale.

A Studio Scale model simply means that the model you build is the same size (whatever scale it may be) as the filming miniature.

But there are a lot of cans of worms that can be opened on this topic. Such as, is an all resin model a studio scale model if it does not use original model parts like the filming miniature. Or, can there be a SS model of a ship that only existed as a CGI render

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Commander Max

Sr Member
A recreation of a model used for filming.

There is no standard scale, the original Enterprise is over 141" in length, but the studio scale D-7 is about 27". The models were combined optically, so scale isn't an issue. Just as long as they looked ok on screen.

Studio models are normally thrown together on shoestring budgets, in as little time as possible. If you see some of those models in person, they look like hell. Some of the lower quality garage kits out there look far better(which is scary to say).

These models are only built to look good on screen, that's it. They were considered disposable, what use is a model after you have filmed it, and the production has wrapped. It's only a faily recient thing that people realized the value of such props.

As far as getting the size of a miniture a clue is the kit parts used on a model(if it has them). Another is some models are cast thus you have a nearly exact replica of the original. Even with plenty of photographs and measurements you can never get an exact replica. You can get a very good facsimile of the model, but that is up to interpretation. Plus perception plays a role, many people see a truly wonderful thing on screen. But when you see it in reality, well...
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