18 March 2009
Diecast Collector looks at the importance of scale when modelling. ...
Size matters, but does it really? Scale, which dictates the eventual size of any miniature, is pretty important. Not at birth, but conception, planning, the germ of an idea. It has to be there, however crude or perfect the eventual product. Somebody somewhere had to make a decision, whether many years ago for a Terra Cotta Army, or a tad more recently for the latest diecast gem.
Collecting is in some ways the same. You decide on what is most important, what you like, and maybe what size or scale. To me the lucky person is one who does not habitually count rivets but appreciates the end product for what it is, given its intended market at the time.
Even better if the chosen subject is a fairly obscure theme. It helps keep the costs down, there are probably some unknowns to be discovered, and virtually anything is often acceptable, quality, size and scale-wise.
Scale can be defined as the ‘Ratio of Reduction or Enlargement’; model as ‘a representation in three dimensions’. Enlargement is mostly in the realm of the scientist, often to quite a considerable degree, as with molecular structures. Reduction is where we are at, of course. The base line is good old 12 inches to 1 foot, or 1:1, that is, you and me on a good day.
The smallest we collectors will probably meet is the ship scale of 1/1800. At this fraction, an onboard aircraft is just about visible and a jolly-jack-tar is reduced to a speck of dust. Somewhere between these extremes lie the favourites of every reader. Nearly all will be looked at, if you stay with us, alongside various related tables.
Earlier Dinky aircraft are often quoted today as 1/200 scale and some, indeed, are near that. Many smaller ones are a larger scale, however, the DH88 works out at around 1/155 on wingspan. It does not sit unhappily with today’s Corgi DH Comet, and both types have been flown for real, side by side, in early recent times. Matchbox helpfully gave scales in its catalogues for many years, and MB 58 was listed at 1/139. With the BEA Comet as centrepiece, the minimal scale differences seem acceptable, at least I think so. The arrangement, I also like to imagine, was just about possible 1:1 scale, once upon a time.