Understanding Die-Cast Truck Replica Scales
If you are new to the world of die-cast truck replicas, one of the first things you may notice when reading about replicas is the model scale. All models are designed and fabricated with a specific scale in mind, and there are a wide variety of replica scales available.
What is a Scale?
The scale associated with die-cast replica defines the difference in size between a die-cast truck replica and the actual full-size truck. For example, a replica with a 1/24 scale means that every 1 inch of the replica corresponds to 24 inches of the actual truck. 24 replicas placed end-to-end would equal the length of one actual truck. Scales can also be represented in a ratio format rather than a fractional format, such as 1:24, but there is no difference in the scale itself. The use of the ratio format is more common in European models.
Although it may seem counterintuitive at first, the smaller the second number is in the scale, the larger the scale is considered. For example, a 1/32 scale is larger than a 1/48 scale.
Origin of Replica Scale Terminology
The term scale actually originated as the name of a measuring device that architects and designers used to create drawings and models of much larger objects. The scale was used to correctly draw plans showing the intended dimensions of the final product. These types of scales are still used by architects and engineers.
Blueprints of large objects had to be created on a smaller scale. The development of model building was spearheaded by architects and shipbuilders, both of whom built scale models of to show their prospective designs prior to commission and building.
Scale, as a term to describe the relative size between a replica and the actual object, was originally called proportion or ratio. As the term scale model became more prevalent, the size ratio was more often called the scale. Scales were originally stated in words, such as a 1/72 scale being one-sixth inch to the foot. The numerical scales were not extensively used until the 1960s.
Many scales seem to contain a multiple of the number six. This is due to using the standard of the height of a six-foot-tall man as a reference point. This was meant to give viewers a sense of the scale of an object, knowing how the model compares to the height of a person.
Die-cast truck replicas are available in many different scales. Some collectors prefer to specialize in one particular scale, while others collect replicas of many different sizes. Die-cast trucks are generally found in smaller scales than cars, because of their inherent larger size. While you can occasionally find die-cast trucks in the huge 1/12 and 1/14 scales, their large size (4 or 5 feet long) makes them more difficult to afford, collect, and display. Many of the larger-scale die-cast trucks are equipped to be operated via remote-control.
The most commonly available scales start around 1/32, and work down to 1/87 scale. These scales are more manageable to purchase and organize, and you can still find some highly-detailed replicas in these scales. Some scales are based on the influence of other items. For example, the 1:48 scale matches that of O scale model trains, so a collector of both model trains and trucks could purchase die-cast trucks at the 1:48 scale and could display them together, effectively showing the correct proportion between the vehicles.The scale is just one of the factors to consider when purchasing die-cast model trucks.