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Scale dimensions

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Q: I've just returned to the hobby after a 20-something-year sabbatical. I've done a few box-stock models, but now I feel ready to move up to some modifications. I need some suggestions on some of the most-popular material sizes (thickness, etc.) and how they relate to our scale building methods.

- Louie Vierra
Hawaii

Louie's question is typical of several that have crossed the T&T desk regarding scale dimensions and how they relate to the sizes of commercially available products we use to build scale models. We're going to point Louie (and, I suspect, a great many of us) in the right direction by offering the Tips & Tech Handy Guide to Reasonable Equivalents.

I'm a longtime advocate of eyeball engineering, whose only rule is "if it looks right, it's close enough." The chart presented as this issue's Tip of the Month is merely meant as a quick reference for quick approximations regarding scale sizes and their suitability for our projects. (See December 2004 issue for chart)

Scale material (styrene, wire, wood, etc.) is available in predetermined sizes that may not always exactly match what we need for a project, but short of cutting our own wood and manufacturing our own styrene, we can get as close as is practically possible without tearing our hair out. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!

Before the nitpickers among us point out the inaccuracies of this system, keep in mind that this is a rough thumbnail guide when you're looking for something that will look right. However, even I sometimes must begrudgingly pick up a ruler and actually measure something. Add the possibility of converting one scale to another (say, a 1/35 scale drawing you found in a military modeling magazine that depicts a model you want
to build in 1/24 scale) and you really have to do some serious homework.

For those situations, jump on the Web and visit these sites for more information on conversion charts and other measuring hints:
www.printmini.com/calc.shtml
www.wwi-models.org/misc/scalecon.html
www.geocities.com/swamp001/conversionchart.htm



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