Scale differs with most model/toy systems. Luckily for castles, scale can be a little forgiving with in many cases with just larger than normal walls and doors when used with smaller scale toys.
There are several systems to rate scale. The easiest one to calculate size of buildings and machinery is by using scale ratios. A 1:300 or 1/300 scale means that each linear unit of miniature/model/castle/Lego/etc. represents 300 full size units. So 100 CMs of a 1:300 castle wall would represent 300 Meters of full size castle wall.
Another group of systems include the various model train scales. These scales are confusing and you will need and chart like the one below to help sort things out.
Figurine and Miniature Scale
In in the world of figurines, there is a separate scale system used that gives the measurement of the figurine, which represents the average size of a person. So a 15mm scale figuring infantryman is about 15mms tall and represents an average size man. Sounds simple, but there is a lot of argument over what the each scales really means. Apparently, some figurine manufactures calibrate their scales by measuring from the figurine's feet to its eyes since you can generally see both, with or without headgear. Other manufactures measure from the bottom of feet to the top of the figurine's head. Then there is the debate over what the "average" size of a person is. The number 1610 is often used to convert figurine scale into scale ratios. So 1610mm divided by 10mm would mean that a 10mm scale figurine is 1:161 scale. The 1610 is the commonly used height of an average sized person (1610mm or 1.61M or about 5' 3").
To add even more variability to scale, some manufactures use a larger number for determining the average height of a man, such as 6 feet. And many manufactures enlarge their figurines to allow for more detail and to to make them appear more formidable (taller and stouter). This Heroic approach is the opposite of the Barbie approach, where Barbie is thinner than the ideal American woman (forget about average). And like Barbie, these newer enhanced Warrior Figurines seem to be more popular than the more realistic skinny soldiers. And as oversized heros become more and more popular, average size of figurines are also becoming bigger and bigger. This is often referred to as Hero Creep or Scale Creep and is a major reason why figurine scale can get so way off.
So given all the variables in scale from company to company, if scale is important to you, you will need to measure and compare figurine samples from different companies and be very selective. More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miniature_figure_(gaming)
For toys like Lego and Playmobil, scale is much less exact. These are toys made for younger children who are still developing their fine motor skills and therefore need toys that are easy to fit into buildings and cars, have tools and accessories that are easy to place in hands of the figurines and items that are bulky enough to resist the abuse of young gamers.
Playmobil figurine scale is about 1:24 but 1:20 scale building and 1:14 tools seem to work better with this system. See Scale
LEGO Minfigs are stout little representations of people. As you can see above, various scales can be used to allow of many LEGO creations such as castles.
Common Scales used for Toys, Trains, Games and Weapons of War
|Scale Name||Scale Ratio||Comments|
|Grand Scale||1:4 and up|
|Live steam||1:8||Ridable, outdoor gauge, named according to the gauge in inches, and scale in inches per foot, for example 7 1⁄4 in (184 mm) gauge, 1.5 inch scale.|
|1:6 Barbie||1:6||Barbie and pre Vietnam GI Joe (back when war was popular). These stood about 30mm (12 inches) tall|
|Live steam||1:12||Popular scale for backyard railroads|
|SE scale 7/8 inch||1:13.71|
|3¾-inch||1:19||GI Joe and other action figures of the 1980s|
|Wide gauge||1:26.59 or 1:28.25|
|16 mm scale||1:19.05|
|Playmobil||1:24||A Playmobil figurine is about 7.5cm (2.95inch). The average male and female German is 1.8 and 1.69M respectively. That's about 1:24 and 1:22.5. Buildings seem to be larger scale at around 1:20.|
|½ inch scale||1:24|
3/8 inch scale
|54 mm||1:33.867||Collectible figures, a good match for 1:35 models, but oversize 54 mm figures would fit better with 1:32 models. Plastic dollar-store Army Men are often sold at this scale.|
|Warhammer||28 mm (1.1 in) scale (approximately 1:35 scale)||Very stout figures with large chests, heads and hands.|
|L gauge||1:38 (nominal)|
1:43.5 (Great Britain and France),
|LEGO Minifigs||1:44||Various scales are used for LEGO buildings and other creations|
|Heroic 28mm||1:48||Originally called large 25mm or heroic scale 25mm, this is now recognized as a separate scale. Very popular for fantasy and science fiction skirmish gaming.|
|30 mm||1:60.96||Common for pre-1970s wargaming figures; modern minis may really be up to 35 mm. (Note: model railroad "S" scale is 1:64 which is close)|
|S gauge||1:64||This is the scale for the popular "regular size" Hot Wheels and Matchbox diecast autos|
|25 and 28mm||1:73.152||Common hobbyist miniature wargaming scale for sci-fi games such as Warhammer 40,000 and AT-43. Also known as 25 mm and 28 mm figure scale in wargaming circles. There are also a large number of miniatures in this scale for fantasy & sci-fi wargaming and role playing games (RPGs) such as Striker, Gamma World and Classic Battletech RPG. This scale is popularized by Games Workshop products and Dungeons & Dragons, but there has been a scale creep over the years. The current miniatures are "Heroic 28 mm scale", which is closer to 1/48 or 1/50 scale. Due to this historical influence, many other hobbyist companies are following this practice.|
|H0 scale||1:87||Nice scale for small for trains. Scale for Roco MiniTanks with high detail.|
H0m in Europe
|20 mm||1:91.44||Highly popular for WWII wargaming, as the figures are of the same scale (more or less) of 1:76 or 1:72 models (actually closer to 1:87 or 3.5 mm/ft which is HO model railroad scale). Seldom used for RPGs.|
|15mm||1:100 or 1:120||This popular scale allows one to field large numbers of figures on a typical tabletop, yet the miniatures are large enough to show considerable detail. The most popular scale in use by historical wargamers playing in the Modern Period, such as for Flames of War or Axis & Allies Miniatures mini armor and figures. Widely used in ancients war gaming such as De Bellis Multitudinis (DBMM & DBM), DBA and Fields of Glory. Seldom used for RPGs. Ranges roughly from 1:100 scale to 1:122 scale.|
|3 mm scale||1:101.1|
|1:144||1:144||Scale used for aircraft models.|
|12 mm||Newer scale, closely related to 10 mm. Scale is roughly equal to 1:144 scale and N scale (which ranges from 1:148 scale to 1:160 scale) model mini armor. Growing in popularity.|
|2 mm scale||1:152|
|10 mm||1:182.88||Newer scale, becoming very popular across a wide range of periods, especially WW2 gaming. 10 mm sci-fi is an up and coming niche. Scale is roughly equal to N scale railroad trains. Growing in popularity, with companies like Pendraken Miniatures leading the way.|
|6.2 mm||1:285||The USA standard for large-scale historical armor battles involving micro armor. Other genres such as ancients, fantasy, and sci-fi are growing in popularity. Closely related to 1:300 scale and is generalized as "6 mm" figure scale.|
|5.92 mm||1:300||Small scale popular for staging battles involving large numbers of tanks or other combat vehicles. Europeans traditionally use this scale, while 1:285 is more popular in North America (the two scales can be mixed, as there is only a 5% difference in size). Considered identical to 6mm scale.|
|1:600||1:600||Used for naval and science fiction (space) models.|
|2 mm||1:888||Useful for gaming in tight spaces or representing large forces. Popular scale for VSf play.|
|1:1200||1:1200||The original naval gaming scale, though for periods with large vessels it can take up a lot of tabletop (or floor space).|
|1:2000||1:2000||Used for starship models.|
|1:2400||1:2400||Popular naval gaming scale.|
|1:3000||1:3000||Used for naval and space models. Europeans prefer this scale; North Americans traditionally prefer 1:2400 scale.|
List of scale model sizes
Model/Toy/Lego Scale Converter
Original "conversion tools" from:
The basic dimensions were taken from:
LDU = Lego Digital Units
Paper and Cardboard
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