About 120mm scale

This article was published May 17, 2012.


Back in time my interest has mostly been in 1:35 scale, since that was closest for making two-foot trains on HO tracks. Now last years since 2004 I have been modelling in 78n18 scale (1:13.7 on 32mm gauge). More on that at 78n18.laurell.nu.

Last autumn 2010 I felt it was time for a change. The 78n18 scale REALLY is big when you model indoors, but G scale felt to small, so I had been on and off checking for something else inbetween. As a side hobby I have an ongoing interest for figures and did again look into 120mm scale. I done a few tests in 1:16 before, but now it was time to make it happen 100%.

120mm Scale

120mm scale is a bit like G scale, in the sense that is more of a range of scales. The name comes from that the figures are 120mm in height, but since makers measures differently, sometimes from eye level and sometimes at top of the hat, they differ from about 1:15 to 1:18 in ratio. The most good looking ones, in my opinion anyway, are around 1:17 so that is what I will use when building something myself. Normally this is more of a figure painting scale and not so much a scale for model trains, but someone has to start.....

The trains still run on 32mm gauge tracks, which makes 544mm in real life (or 21in). One might wonder why not go for 16mm scale instead.. but the answer is simple,

  1. I started with the figures first and not with trains in mind.

  2. My favourite prototype gauge is 18-20in, so I have no need for exact two foot gauge models.

  3. Have you seen a decent figure in 16mm scale ? I haven´t, but in 120mm scale there is plenty, both civilian like the ones at DieCastAuto and also from the military makers like Dragon, Verlinden, Tamiya, Trumpeter etc..

It doesn´t sound like there is much difference between the scales, but if you go to one of the pictures at the logbook 110128 entry, you see there is actually a big difference.

January 28, 2011 /Henrik