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How to Choose the Best Plastic Scale Model Size




How to Choose the Best Plastic Scale Model Size The Definitive Guide

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Selecting the ideal plastic scale model size can be a challenge due to the numerous scales and sizes available. This article aims to assist you in determining the best option for your requirements by providing an overview of all your options.

What Are The Different Sizes Of Plastic Scale Models And What Do They Represent?

The standard size of plastic models is 30mm and they typically represent military vehicles and tanks, as well as some aircraft. There are several other sizes available to choose from depending on your needs:

  • 15mm: representing specialist military equipment, such as tanks and aircraft.
  • 20mm: representing infantry or ground troops, but can also be American warplanes from the Second World War era.
  • 25mm: for displaying a large number of models in a collection, containing more pieces than smaller scales.
  • 40mm: for aviation enthusiasts and those looking to have a large collection.
  • 50mm: representing vehicles from the Second World War era, such as the American M47/M48 Sherman tank or the Soviet T-54 tank.
  • 60mm: representing World War II vehicles, such as the British Cromwell or German Panther tank.
  • 65mm: representing tanks and heavy weapons, typically of a more modern era, rare compared to other sizes.
  • 70mm: representing aircraft.
  • 75mm: representing aircraft and ground troops.
  • 80mm: representing aircraft.
  • 90mm: for building up a large collection of models, typically for aviation enthusiasts.
  • 100mm: not typically used for military vehicles or equipment, too large for most things except for making an impressive-looking outdoor scene.
  • 120mm: for building up a large collection of models, but takes more time and patience due to the many pieces involved.
  • 130mm: too large for most things other than making an impressive-looking outdoor scene.
  • 150mm-200mm: representing aircraft.
  • 250mm-300mm: representing tanks, such as the American M47/M48 Sherman tank from World War II.
  • 350mm-400mm: representing aircraft.
  • 500mm+: for making an impressive-looking outdoor scene, takes more time and patience due to the many pieces involved.

This is the most useful list of scales and sizes you’ll ever see:

Item Scale Model Length Actual Length
Senna McLaren MP4/4 1:8 552mm 4416mm
Hummer H1 1:8 570mm 4560mm
HMS Surprise 1:48 1334mm 64032mm
HMS Victory 1:84 1250mm 105000mm
Spitfire 1:12 760mm 9120mm
D51 200 Steam Locomotive 1:24 880mm 21120mm
Suzuki GSX 1300R Hayabusa 1:4 535mm 2140mm
Millennium Falcon 1:1 808mm 808mm

You can’t help but be amazed by the ingenuity of scale models. The larger an object is, the more it needs to be scaled down in size for a manageable model!

You might want to try this yourself at home – remember that scaling up or shrinking something too much may not always give you desirable results.

The Benefits Of A Larger Scale Model

A larger-scale model will provide a more accurate representation of the original, allowing you to view details up close without any distortion. Additionally, they are often easier for younger children to handle, making them a good option if your kids are interested in a specific model, such as an airplane or spaceship.

The Benefits Of A Smaller Scale Model

Smaller scale models are typically more affordable, making them a good choice for those on a budget. They are also more compact and can fit in a pocket or purse, and often have fewer parts, making them easier for younger children to build.

Why You Should Always Consider The Scale When Buying A Model

When purchasing a model, it’s important to consider the scale. If the model is too large, it may not fit on a desk or bookshelf, and if it’s too small, it may not provide a good representation of the original.

The Benefits Of A Larger Scale Model:

  • More accurate representation than smaller models
  • Easier for kids to handle

The Benefits Of A Smaller Scale Model:

  • More affordable option
  • Fewer parts, making it easier to build
  • More compact size, ideal for carrying in a pocket or purse

What Are Some Common Scales Used In Modeling?

Common scales used in modeling are:

  • N Scale, which is the most popular for railroads in the US and Canada.
  • G Gauge (or Gauge One) is used by model railroaders in Australia and New Zealand. The size difference between gauges can be seen when comparing a G-scale locomotive to an N-scale one.
  • Z Scale – The small scale is the smallest and represents life at a height of 72 inches or 180 centimeters. This means that everything from houses to cars is included in these small models. It’s common for them to have a miniature person included, making them great for display.
  • O Scale – also known as Large Scale Models, is the most popular and typically used for trains. These models often come with small people included, making them even more fun.

Pros And Cons Of Each Scale Type

When it comes to model trains, choosing the right scale is an important decision. Each scale has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to consider what’s important to you before making a decision. To help you make an informed choice, this table provides a comparison of the pros and cons of four common scales used in modeling – N Scale, G Gauge, Z Scale, and O Scale. Whether you’re a collector or simply looking for a fun hobby, this table will provide a comprehensive overview of each scale’s strengths and weaknesses.

Scale Pros Cons
N Scale Small size, suitable for small spaces like offices and dorm rooms Lack of detail and accuracy compared to the original product
G Gauge Most realistic and detailed, great for collectors Large size, difficult to display in small spaces
Z Scale Most detailed and realistic, perfect for collectors Requires a large amount of space for proper display
O Scale Saves space, makes collection more mobile Lack of detail and realism, not suitable for collectors


I hope that this article has helped guide your decision on which plastic model size is best for you! Remember to ask yourself these questions before choosing the right one for you.

Hey there! I’m Richard Baker, a miniature painter who’s been in the game for a solid decade now. I’ve been painting miniatures for ten years and I’ve got a ton of tips and tricks to share with you all. My website is a treasure trove of knowledge that I’ve gathered from both my own personal experiences and from reading all sorts of books.

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