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What does scale mean in model cars?

RELATED TOPICS: SCALE
Q: What does scale mean in model cars? I have a balsa car frame I’ve constructed that is 12 inches long minus the body and bumpers. I got all the frame dimensions from the Internet, but the drawing never said what scale it was.  
D. Rhoden
via E-mail


Ken: Basically, scale is the ratio of the dimension of a miniature object to the dimension of the real thing.

For example, if we’re working in, say, 1/24 scale, our model is 1/24 the size of the full-size original. One inch on the model equals 24 inches on the full-size original.

To further complicate the issue, this particular scale is also referred to as 1⁄2" scale, because half an inch (on the model) equals a foot (in the full-size world). Such would be the case with a 1/48 scale model, where one inch in miniature equals 48 inches in full size.

In the case of your balsa frame, if the measurements were presented in “actual” size that you were instructed to follow when building your model, there’s a good chance that the drawing wasn’t presented in any particular scale at all.

In that case, a certain amount of Eyeball Engineering comes into play, and you’ll need to add components that will look and feel “right” in proportion to the frame.

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