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Aircraft scale questions

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I've been poking around the possibility of aircraft and planes more or less compatible with 28mm miniatures.

 

It looks like the most common airplane model scale by a large margin is 1/48, which seems close enough, I think.

 

Unfortunately, information on Amazon is sometimes incomplete and possibly inaccurate.

 

I've found two models of B29 Superfortresses, both claiming to be in 1/48 scale.

 

One says it is 9" by 7". The other says its dimensions are 30"x15"x10", which seems a bit odd, but one of the reviewers claims it is almost 2 feet long and 3 feet wide.

 

Is either of these actually close to a 1/48 scale, and would either look about right with 28mm figures?

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A B-29 in 1/48 maths out to about 35" wingspan, and 24" length.  So it's clearly not the smaller one that's closer.  The smaller one is closer to 1/144 scale (the most common scale in that size for aircraft), although still small for that.  1/200 (less common, but represented) is 8.5" wingspan. 

 

To find scale, use following math:

 

Length of aircraft in chosen measurement (i.e. feet and inches, or centimetres/metres) = (feet * 12) + extra inches.  So for our B-29 we have 141 ft, 3 inches wingspan which goes:  (141*12)+3, for a total of 1695 inches real world wingspan.  Then divide by the scale ratio (in this case 48) and that's how big it should be in that scale. 

 

1/48 is close(ish) to 28mm, though not exact.  Close enough to blend in, and probably the closest common ratio scale. 

 

(28mm works out, in scale, to 1/64 - but in practice a 1/48 monogram standing figure is pretty much equal to a 25mm heroic reaper knight - in some cases, a tad smaller.  So 1/64, while "accurate" may look too small)

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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What Buglips said.

I used to build a lot of aircraft when I was a kid, but haven't done so in many years; different types of aircraft often use different scales. For bombers, it's usually 1/72 scale or 1/144 scale; smaller aircraft often use bigger scales. I'd cheerfully murder someone for the 1/48 scale Fokker Triplane I had when I was a kid that had the little Baron Von Richtofen figure that came with it...

 

When dinking with commercial model kits on Amazon, it is often useful to see the manufacturer of the kit in question, and then go to THEIR website and look for specifics about that particular model kit; they often have much useful information, and can prevent mistakes. I have done this more than once when buying model railroad bits intended to scale to 28mm, and have been hugely grateful I thought to do so; HO scale, as a rule, don't work well with the scales I usually work in.

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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What Buglips said.

 

I used to build a lot of aircraft when I was a kid, but haven't done so in many years; different types of aircraft often use different scales. For bombers, it's usually 1/72 scale or 1/144 scale; smaller aircraft often use bigger scales. I'd cheerfully murder someone for the 1/48 scale Fokker Triplane I had when I was a kid that had the little Baron Von Richtofen figure that came with it...

 

That should be the new Revell kit, but the new Revell kit is a repop of an Eduard sprue instead of their original mold.  The old kit, with a jaunty looking Baron off to one side, is also Revell.  So you'd need to look for an older style box if that's the one you remember.  It actually comes with two figures, because there's a dude to start the propellor. 

 

I'm not sure when the switch might have happened, but I'd stick to pre-1990 to be sure of it. 

 

Edit for correction:  Actually, it seems the figure set one is 1/28, not 1/48.  Look up Revell 1/28 Fokker Triplane, see if it matches your memory.  It's a weird scale. 

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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You're right, I mistyped it. I remember the scale being kind of weird -- Baron Richtofen was larger than your basic green army man, which hovers around 1/35 scale. And I'd forgotten the prop man who came with the kit as well. Unfortunately, Revell doesn't seem to have it in their online catalog... although weirdly enough, Amazon does!

Thanks for the word!

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Here's unintended consequences that had me flashing back to Graham Chapman as Graf von Zeppelin, eyes popping, shreiking "It's not a balloon! It's an AIRSHIP!" as he throws offending gentlemen out of the zeppelin carriage.

 

If you search on Amazon for "airship" you get several pages of toy airships.

 

But if you are overly clever, like I was, and include the scale in the search term, thusly: "1/48 airship", you get returned four pages of ... guess what.

 

And no actual airships. ::P:

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In general the game companies manufacturing resin (and plastic now) tank kits have decided on 1/56th as the best approximation for our 28mm-32mm miniatures (not intending to touch of the scale wars here). 1/48th is more than just a little to big, but its a reasonably approximation considering most miniatures, for game play, are mounted on bases raising their overall height. After doing a lot of research for the railroad for my western town of Calamity I decided that 1/64th is just a bit to small but its a reasonable compromise, just depends on what looks right to you. When I scratchbuild buildings for Calamity I use 1/56th, again its a compromise between some of the smaller western miniatures that vary significantly in size.

 

Oddly enough there are a few aircraft kits out there in 1/56th scale (I have a Tamiya kit in 1/56th, I forget what it is though). Like we discussed about cars sometimes the scale is really determined by what will fit in the box.

 

The best example of why 1/48th is to big is to compare your miniature to a piece of O Scale track (which is 1/48th). Those rails are 4' 8" apart and yet most of our miniatures will fit completely between the rails, bases and all.

Edited by Heisler
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...they didn't even HAVE 1/56 scale when I was a kid. Not that I'm complaining NOW.

 

 

Here's unintended consequences that had me flashing back to Graham Chapman as Graf von Zeppelin, eyes popping, shreiking "It's not a balloon! It's an AIRSHIP!" as he throws offending gentlemen out of the zeppelin carriage.

If you search on Amazon for "airship" you get several pages of toy airships.

But if you are overly clever, like I was, and include the scale in the search term, thusly: "1/48 airship", you get returned four pages of ... guess what.

And no actual airships. ::P:

 

Ohhh, don't get me started. Trying to find appropriately scaled accessories on Amazon is frustrating. Every time I've specified a scale, it throws every other honkin' scale in the world in there WITH it, as well as vendors who want to be coy about exactly what scale their product is in... grrr.

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Well, actually Doc they did. The two tamiya kits in my hands are from the '50s. I'm pretty sure that makes them older than you.

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Hmm. Does anyone make a model civilian airplane from the 1930s, or are they all military?

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Junkers Ju-52, Ford Trimotor, and Douglas DC-2 & DC-3 kits are all available. I can't say that they're (any or all) available in a really useful scale, though.

 

ETA: Most smaller private aircraft in the interwar years were military surplus, so painting up a Curtis Jenny (for instance) in barnstormer colors would be completely reasonable.

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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Hmm. Does anyone make a model civilian airplane from the 1930s, or are they all military?

Find a plane, then search its name and scale. This is the age of limited-run styrene and resin. You can find just about anything. Your wallet may cry, though.

 

If you want cheap, easy, plentiful and "looks right" you probably won't find a better match than Lindberg's Curtiss Jenny and Revell/Monogram's Spirit of St. Louis. Both can generally be found for under $10.

 

Lindberg in this case is the company name, not the aviator.

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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I've been trying to find a Starfury I can afford for a long time, no love so far. Aircraft scale is very wonky, and a lot of the lower end kits don't fit together well, or didn't when I last built one. I occasionally get the itch to put one together, but I suppress it. 

 

I'm very curious now, Pingo person. 

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