Author Topic: Why so small?  (Read 1840 times)

Offline abufletcher

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Why so small?
« on: September 01, 2016, 06:00:46 PM »
As a total outsider to the world of plastic modeling I've always wondered why model at such tiny scales.  All of the most popular scales, e.g. 1/72, 1/42, 1/32, 1/24 result in quite small models.  I'm particularly wondering about why modelers choose to scratch build at these scales.  I mean, why not build a 1/12 scale model or something like that?

I'm honestly just curious.  Is building small actually part of the appeal?  Is it a matter of available materials?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 06:23:59 PM by abufletcher »

Offline Ssasho0

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 06:05:44 PM »
Hi Abufletcher,

to be honest it is usually a matter of space - making the models bigger scale means that you need more space to collect them and this is usually an issue.
yeah I can see someone building a 1/12 or 1/6 model for years and at the end occupying the same shelf space as a random number of models built for the same amount of time, BUT I would prefer to build several smaller than one bigger scale as I may lose my interest in it in teh middle fo the build.

best regards,
Sasho
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Offline abufletcher

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2016, 06:22:32 PM »
I can certainly relate to that! ;D  Do most scratch builders use commercially available decals, for example, for lozenge fabric, markings, etc.?

One "advantage" of building flying models is that I don't have to worry about the "collecting" problem, since I tend to destroy them at something like the pace that I build them.   :'(

Offline Des

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2016, 06:26:10 PM »
I do a lot of scratch building and do all of mine in 1:32 scale, why, because it is a good size for my aging eyes and fingers plus they fit into my available display space. As most of my scratch builds are of unusual types there are no available decals so I print my own when needed, but a lot of the early type aircraft did not carry any markings.

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Offline abufletcher

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 06:32:38 PM »
The Wingnut Models at 1/32 look like a very nice size, particularly the 2-seaters.  I've looked in a couple of the 1/32 builds in the scale forum and that definitely appeals to me. 
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 06:38:43 PM by abufletcher »

Online Manni

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2016, 06:37:29 PM »
 I think 1:32 is the best scale, because you can use lots of things from 1:35 military scale, for dios. Figures, cars, cranes...
Manni
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Offline Russell

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2016, 07:03:23 PM »
As Sasho wrote, space is a major consideration.

A 1:24 scale Spitfire for example isn't easy to find shelf space for & multiply that by a few more models & you have a problem unless the modeller is lucky enough to have a very large house! A 1:12 version would be huge.

Modern jet fighters are relatively large compared to their WWII equivalent & 1:32 is about as big as most people want to go with these aircraft.

WWI fighters tend to be on the compact side but even so a 1:24 single seat fighter needs an alarming amount of display space - without even going near 1:12

Again as Sasho mentioned the build time is also an issue. 1:32 is a good compromise scale where it's large enough that lots of genuine detail can be added but also small enough that the eye can be fooled into thinking that there's even more detail than in reality via skilful painting or modelling to give a suggestion of extra detail.

When you get to 1:12 it's almost like looking at a real aircraft & you expect to see everything - any shortfall in detail makes the model looks less like a real aircraft that a well done 1:32 one will. Hence 1:12 scale models can end up being such a lengthy project that the enjoyment goes.

As regards materials & decals I think scratch builders use anything they think is suitable or can be modified to suit - it's part of the fun. Even when building mainstream kits like those by Wingnut Wings many modellers add little scratch built details often sourced from scrap plastic or bits of wood, brass etc.

For some superb scratch built models have a look a those by Des on the main website.

Regards
Russell


 

Offline Borsos

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2016, 08:05:54 PM »
There's nothing from my side to add to the aforementioned arguments, just maybe one: the matter of taste. I once built only 1/72 models because i wanted them so tiny. Bigger models looked like toys, I thought then. This has changed fundamentally in the meantime... ::)

One "advantage" of building flying models is that I don't have to worry about the "collecting" problem, since I tend to destroy them at something like the pace that I build them.   :'(

That's the sad reason why I don't built flying models. Once I built a tissue and balsa rubber powered Guillows Nieuport 28 and it was a huge fun. But when I flew it for the first time, it crashed and was ruined (probably I shouldn't have painted it with normal modeller's acrylic paint, so it got too heavy). It was my first and my last excursion into flying modelling... :'(
Borsos
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Offline Dirigible-Al

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2016, 08:17:44 PM »
My issue is time
I have recently come to the conclusion that if I am to take a year or more to scratch build something (that is about the time it takes me to do this, though there are others who seem to knock them out pretty quick) there is no point spending all that time on something that is only a few inches long unless it is a pretty striking subject. In future I will scratch build only large stuff in the smaller scales like airships in 1/72 or in the case of 1/48 subjects with a 48' wingspan or more.
Alan.

Online lcarroll

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2016, 11:32:02 PM »
Quote from Des  " and do all of mine in 1:32 scale, why, because it is a good size for my aging eyes and fingers plus they fit into my available display space"

    .......and I too model in 1:32 Scale mainly for the same two reasons. I started in 1:72 Scale as a youngster, switched to 1:48 in my late 30's and then as old age reared it's ugly head moved on to 1:32 Scale. I won't be going to a larger scale as space requirements are at maximum with this one, and also the variety is somewhat limited above 1:32. I dabbled in flying scale as a young fellow as well, but like you found my destruction rate pretty well matched my building rate and wanting a collection of sorts I abandoned the sport!
Cheers,
Lance

Offline abufletcher

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2016, 02:12:40 AM »
I also built all of the Guillows stick and tissue WWI models, most of them only as display models to be hung on my bedroom ceiling as a kid.  A few I attempted to "fly" which basically meant a loop into the ground.  Some I packed with matches, hung from a string, and "shot them down in flames."    :P  I can imagine getting into freeflight scale in the future, but even there I'd be building models with a 1-2 foot wingspan.

I can appreciate the "space" argument for building small.  My house (aka field hanger) is quickly filling up.  Time to crash a model or two?  (Oh, and I do have a 3 meter wingspan Paulistinha P-56 that will serve as a test bed for a 7 cylinder Seidel/UMS engine.  Man, that is huge!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II1A3hNj9kc
 

Offline abufletcher

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2016, 02:18:54 AM »
BTW, it's ironic that these same arguments about "which scale" can be heard echoing through the RC scale forums (regarding WWI models).  "One-sixth scale is too small."  "One-fourth scale is about perfect for most fighters."  "One-third is great but it's hard to do that much detail."  "I don't have space to store one-fourth or one-third scale models."  And then there are the crazy modelers doing 1/2 and even 3/4 scale "models."

Online ondra

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2016, 02:30:26 AM »
Here my two cent as a guy who only does scratchbuilds in 1/144 - I my case the choice of scale and scratch was driven by purely subjective impression. I simply enjoy scratchbuilding and the feeling that my showcase contains models that may be no one else in the world has bulit in this scale (or maybe has, of course...).

On top it is fair to say that the WWI fighters (which were rather compact even in 1:1 scale) look simply sweet in 1/144. :)

Cheers

Ondra

Offline coyotemagic

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2016, 03:41:38 AM »
I not only love building, but also collecting WWI models, so space is most definitely an issue.  I build almost exclusively 1/48 scale, but I have built a WNW Sopwith Triplane and I have a WNW HB W.12 on the bench.  I have a stash of around 300 1/48 scale WWI kits and 22 WNW kits, all of which I intend to build (yes, I plan on living to 120).  My 3 Ikea display cases are nearly full, so I'm in the process of modifying them to double their capacity.  For me, having these cases full of these visually appealing wood and fabric aviation pioneers is a treat.  I get a lot of satisfaction looking at the models I've built.  It's sort of like having a miniature museum at my disposal.  I can't imagine spending a year or more and hundreds of dollars detailing a huge model only to wreck it (which I'm sure I would).  It would break my heart.  So, I steer clear of RC modeling, although I truly love seeing other people's models and watching them fly and I look forward to seeing yours.  That radial engine is spectacular, by the way.
Cheers,
Bud
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Online lcarroll

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Re: Why so small?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2016, 05:37:41 AM »
Bud,
    Any chance you could post a photo or two of your Ikea Display Cases and what their name/product number is? I am officially out of space in my smaller home made ones with the completion of the Nieuport presently underway, and have to go shopping for an "expansion" cabinet in the next several weeks. It's also time to make a decision on staying in my "limited" space in our den or moving the whole operation into a spare bedroom downstairs. Decisions, decisions............ :P :-\
Cheers,
Lance