Why 1/32

Discussion in 'Questions on Kits, Decals, Tools and Pilots' started by DarrellC, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. DarrellC

    DarrellC Member

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    I am liking these newer 1/32 aircraft models...but, why did they go to 1/32 instead of 1/35? Could have made some nice dios with 1/35 vehicles.
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Other way around. Military vehicle kits in the larger 1/32nd scale were around before 1/35th scale armour kits.
    Revell introduced the first 1/32nd scale aircraft kits around 1967 (I remember them well - we were stunned at the time!), but then Tamiya introduced the then new, and odd scale of 1/35th for military vehicles, rapidly releasing a large range, which continued to grow. More Japanese manufacturers followed suit, and those companies producing the then relatively few armour/military vehicle kits in 1/32nd found that the bulk of the market had shifted to 1/35th, due to the 'newcomers' creating a demand with such a large range of subjects.
    Car kits, however, remained in 1/32nd scale, but the 'new' scale had dominated the military vehicle market, and was there to stay, with more and more companies producing in what was to become the established 'standard' scale.
    Modellers of 'a certain age' have been muttering under their breath ever since, wishing that there was a 'mainline' source of 1/32nd scale, injection moulded plastic kits of military vehicles, even a quarter of the size of those in the interloper 1/35th scale!
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Terry, doesn't the 1/32 scale have it's roots in the old 54mm scale from the days of the "tin soldier"?
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #4 Airframes, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
    Yep. It's also twice the size of what was once a popular aircraft scale - 1/64th - mainly in the USA, but also found elsewhere, before the pre-war, wooden kit scale of 1/72nd became the norm. Of course, at that time (early to late 1950's), there were all sorts of mixed scales around, with 1/64th, 1/72nd, 1/87th, 1/96th and so on in aircraft, with the 'Continental' metric scale of 1/50th too.
    The (still standard and most popular) scale of 1/72nd, apart from being already established with the older, wooden kits, fitted in with the mixed model railway scale of 00/HO, and was accepted and took over from the larger 1/64th scale.
    The 'standardisation' of 1/48th scale came about from the 'Quarter scale' kits from Monogram (and Revell, the same company basically), where 1/4 inch represented 1 Foot. At that time, there were few 1/48th scale kits, with Monogram being the biggest producer, and probably Aurora next. Even thirty years ago, the percentage of readily-available 1/48th scale kits, compared to 1/72nd or even 1/32nd, was tiny. Believe it or not, there was something like a total of maybe 50 kits around, with Tamiya only producing about four !
     
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  5. DarrellC

    DarrellC Member

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    Great history of the different scales. So are these new models like the b-25 b-17 in 1:32 updated old toolings? I still can't understand why not make them 1:35 if they are new. Especially since most vehicles are 1:35.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The B-25 series of kits, and the B-17 and forthcoming Lancaster, Mosquito and Meteor from HK are new kits, from new moulds, and have never been done in this scale before, as an injection moulded kit.
    The designer was a member of this forum a couple or more years back, and was, basically, somewhat compromised, when he took the designs and test moulds to the production company who, apparently, cut him out of the loop and took over the project.
    The reason they are 1/32nd scale is very simple - it's an aircraft scale which has been firmly established for almost 50 years.
    Serious modellers have been waiting for these types for that long, to match the other models they have in that scale, and therefore introducing yet another 'odd' scale (for aircraft), and particularly for such large and fairly expensive kits, would not reach the majority target market, and could also prove economically disastrous.
    If they had been introduced in 1/35th scale, there would then be a situation where there were now two, but unequal, large scales for aircraft, and it's more than likely that all other manufacturers would more than hesitate to introduce their own range of 1/35th scale kits, with an established range in the now 'standard' scale, and all the huge investment that took to produce the mould tools, advertising, marketing, distribution, support services, etc, etc.
    It would be a simpler exercise, though difficult in terms of gaining mass acceptance, for established (and new) manufacturers to introduce ranges of 1/32nd scale military vehicles, the original 'Military' scale, before Tamiya hit the scene.
    However, there have been a few examples of aircraft kits in 1/35th scale, with Bronco releasing a Piper Cub in this scale some years ago, for example, and Master Box announced a C-47 and Ju52/3M (both with Paratrooper figures) at least two years ago, which are yet to materialise.
    It also has to be remembered, that the potential market for aircraft kits and military vehicle kits in this larger scale is relatively small, as not many modellers have the space, let alone the funds, to produce dioramas in this scale, and certainly more so with any vehicle larger than, say, a Jeep.
     
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  7. DarrellC

    DarrellC Member

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    Thanks, explained very well.
     
  8. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Terry, you are the best and very deserved of your honorary title!! :)
     
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  9. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Terry excellent posts as always but to me 1/35 vs 1/32 is a difference of 0.0026 and you are comparing apples and oranges. Tiger tanks were 6.316m long and an Me 109 was 8.95m long in scale the model tank becomes .180m or 18.0cm next to a 0.28m or 28cm Me 109. Now I know that the guys who argue about the correct color of the underside of the Me in 1940 Tunisia will notice the scale variation but 95% of the population viewing the diorama?
    Reminds me of people buying audio systems in the 10Hz to 23,000Hz range
     
  10. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    I second that Chris!:notworthy:
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    10% is a heck of a difference though.
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I know where some folks have mixed the two scales to create subtle perspective, 1/32 to the foreground, 1/35 to the background.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thank you very much chaps!
    Mike, I do see your point, but believe me, put a 1/35th scale figure alongside a 1/32nd scale aircraft, and the difference, even to a layman, is noticeable, and very noticeable if there is a 1/32nd scale figure alongside a 1/35th scale figure - the smaller scale figure looks like a 14 year old boy in comparison, and often more so if the figure is of Japanese manufacture. That's not being derogatory of Japanese kit manufacturers but, as is only natural, the figures are modelled from what is familiar, and the average Japanese stature is smaller than that of the average European or American, for example.
    However, as Dave mentioned, using the smaller scale to create depth and perspective, or in the background of a diorama scene where the differences are not as noticeable, can be quite effective. Also, some 1/35th scale accessories, such as boxes, oil drums, tool kits etc can, if used correctly in the scene, also work reasonably well.
    Vehicles, however, do show a difference, even if one is unfamiliar with, say, the size of a Tiger tank in real life.
    Try it out, by putting, for example, a 1/35th scale Tiger alongside a 1/32nd scale Bf109.
    You'll be surprised how small the tank looks against such a relatively small aircraft, almost as if the tank was as small as 1/48th scale.
     
  14. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Terry, I think you give too much credit to the average viewer. Assume a 6ft tall man (183cm) in 1/35 he becomes 5.2cm while in 1/32 he is 5.7cm or 5mm taller. Indeed noticeable but a 5ft 6in (166.4cm) man in 1/32 is 5.2cm tall. If one did not know two different scales had been used the assumption would be that a short man was next to a tall man. Now put a 1/32 Tiger next to a 1/35 Tiger (19.7cm vs. 18.0cm) and the 17mm difference quite obvious to any viewer.
    All my aircraft are 1/48 to keep a constant comparative scale. When I built the red Dr. I triplane I was careful to pick 1/48 but as soon as I looked at the actual parts it looked (and still does) wrong, much too small compared to my other WWII aircraft. I simply had no notion of the actual size of the triplane. However you (Terry), with much more knowledge and experience, would have perceived wrongness had the triplane been the same size as a 109.
     
  15. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The DR.I was actually alot smaller than many people realize, but truth be told, there are scale errors by the manufacturers. While they aren't glaring scale mistakes, they do exist.
     
  16. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Dave, don't know, I've not done any measurements or scale conversions. I know that those things a very important to some, like the correct wheel well chromate shade. I remember a post about the correct shape of rudder pedals buried in a cockpit. The triplane, a 190 and 109 all in 1/48
     

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