Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Scale in modeling

I'll try and keep this one short. Maybe 1/72? Heh...

Scale in modeling terms is the fraction of size a model is compared to the real deal. Let's say you had a statue - a model, sort of - that was twice the size of your height - let's say, 5' 10", that's a good random number.

Model kits, on the other hand, are SMALLER versions of real life things. If a fighter jet is 20 meters long in real life, then a 1/72 scale model kit - this would be fairly large - the model kit would be roughly 28 centimeters long. That translates to between 11 inches and one foot in length. Displaying that on a stand would end up taking a lot of your desk or shelf space.

Even models of giant robots tend towards a scale system. In Japan, the people who write the giant robot shows pride themselves on fictional specifications - the dry weight versus the fueled weight, the various demensions, range and top speed, etc. Because of this, the model makers tend to have a lot of hard data for their designs. A 1/100 scale Gundam would be .18 meters tall... or 18 centimeters, which works out to about 7 inches tall, because the Gundam was specified as being 18 meters tall.

Silly, right? They just DECIDE it's 18 meters, even though the thing's not... actually... hey what's that in the distance...

A little known project the Japanese have been working on for a few months (yeah they started this earlier in the year. Scary right?) is a 1/1 scale "model" of the RX-78-2 Gundam mobile suit. Now don't worry, it's not actually mobile. But it's not quite a statue either - it is, honestly, a model kit. A model kit that's exactly the same size as the "real" Gundam would be... but it's made of individually machined peices that were crafted together - it has joints and everything! It's apparently going to be part of an attraction and the cockpit will be open to sit in, and play a little movie for anyone who sits inside it. Rad!

It's currently located in Odaiba, Japan, but will be disassembled (!!! Yikes!!!) and moved to its final location later. Here's a few more pics - you can get a personal story here. Man am I jealous. And on a side note - all the cynics saying how lightning is going to strike this thing, bring it to life, and cause it to rampage through Tokyo are forgetting this is a GOOD GUY. It's not like they built a Zaku.

EDIT: I was wrestling with the formatting of this post all evening when I put it up, and I ended up with a duplicate paragraph! And I re-read that post a dozen times. Just goes to show - don't make posts after midnight! They get all scaley and mean...


  1. Hee hee, tiny reference human.

    So what you're saying about the 1/72 scale model jet is that it's approximately 1/2 wang-sized?

  2. Matt Turnbull, everyone! /clap