Some common examples of mixing scales are: An onlooker seeing a 1: The most significant and the most basic area of standardization was the model track gauge. Mixing of scales[ edit ] It is possible to use different scales of models together effectively, especially to create a false sense of depth referred to as "forced perspective". However, despite of existing scale and gauge standards they were very often poorly implemented in design and manufacturing processes with commercial manufacturers before the World War II.
At first, certain gauges became de facto standards in hobbyist and manufacturer circles. Finescale standards are very much restricted to discerning hobbyists since, by definition, finescale model railways are generally less reliable and more expensive to manufacture, which makes them unsuitable for mass-production products. While standards that put the emphasis on operational reliability satisfy most users and the industry, certain groups of dedicated hobby modellers who were dissatisfied with the scale inaccuracies in the name of reliability have developed alternative scale standards where prototype proportions are maintained to the extent possible. These alternative standards are called finescale standards. The most significant and the most basic area of standardization was the model track gauge. Scales close to each other are also hard to tell apart with the naked eye. For most standardized model railway scales, the nominal scale reduction ratio is not applied systematically to all the components of a scale model railway, and normally the standards give scale specific design guidelines for all the scales they cover. History of scale standards[ edit ] Comparative sizes of the most common modelling scales The first model railways were not built to any particular scale and were more like toys than miniature representations of the full size prototype. A typical example is the wheel flanges, which must be proportionally higher in smaller scales to ensure that lighter and smaller models do not derail easily as they would if universal flange proportions were used in all the scales. Eventually the unofficial or manufacturer specific scale standards became more established and were adopted by various model railway standardization bodies such as NMRA and MOROP. In a similar manner, a scale model railway may have several track gauges in one scale. An onlooker seeing a 1: In addition to the scale and gauge issue, rail transport modelling standards are also applied to other attributes such as catenary, rolling stock wheel profile , loading gauge , curve radii and grades for slopes, to ensure interoperation of scale models produced by different manufacturers. The conformity to scale standards grew strongly in the s and s when many new model railway accessories manufacturers were born and to whom the standard conformity was vital. However, despite of existing scale and gauge standards they were very often poorly implemented in design and manufacturing processes with commercial manufacturers before the World War II. Eventually, the authenticity of models grew and benefits of standardization became more obvious. Terminology[ edit ] Although scale and gauge are often confused, scale means the ratio between a unit of measurement on a model compared with a unit of measurement in corresponding full size prototype, while gauge is the distance between the two running rails of the track. While the first unofficial standard gauges made interchangeability possible, the rolling stock were still only a rough approximation of the full-scale prototype. Reliability of operations requires that certain parts be made oversize. Some common examples of mixing scales are: Mixing of scales[ edit ] It is possible to use different scales of models together effectively, especially to create a false sense of depth referred to as "forced perspective".
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