Whether you’re trying to build a collection of diecast wholesale model cars or are simply looking for a new toy for your child, trying to understand the different model sizes available can be confusing. What does it mean when a car is 1:12 scale? Or 1:64? Here’s a closer look at what these numbers actually mean, so you can buy the right size for your needs.
What Do Scales Mean?
A model scale refers to how big the model is in comparison to the “real” thing. For example, a 1:12 scale model of a pickup truck would be one twelfth the size of an actual pickup. Naturally, this means that not all 1:12 scale model vehicles would be the same size. The larger the original vehicle, the larger its scale model would be. As such, model cars are available in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from larger scales like 1:12 to much smaller sizes like 1:72.
For models of larger objects, including aircraft, spaceships, and naval fleets, scale may be even tinier due to the immense size of the original object. Some specialized models for tabletop games have been produced in scales as small as 1:4800.
Popular Scale Varieties
Generally speaking, the most popular scales for diecast model cars are 1:43 and 1:64. The smaller vehicles in these ranges are typically about two to three inches in length, while the larger models are closer to four inches. Toy car brands (such as Hot Wheels) come in these scales, as do higher-end, collectible varieties.
Keep in mind, however, that there are often further variations in scale with these brands in an effort to maintain consistent size. For example, the scale of Hot Wheels cars actually may vary from 1:55 to 1:100 to ensure that each model is a similar length.
For kits that you put together yourself, a larger scale will be necessary. 1:18 is one of the most popular scales for these kits, as the individual pieces are large enough to be put together by a hobbyist without requiring specialized tools or skills like a smaller model would.
Whether you’re trying to find accurately scaled diecast cars to go with a model railway or simply want to make sure you’re getting a “normal-sized” toy car for your child, understanding the differences in scale will ensure that you make the right purchase. As you become a more informed buyer, you can buy with confidence!