Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

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col_kilgore
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Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby col_kilgore » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:12 pm

Heres one of my pics from my layout thread ;

S7300002.JPG
S7300002.JPG (181.8 KiB) Viewed 1964 times



I noticed a curious habit of mine the other day , namely modelling and scaling to the locos rather than the people who drive them !!

Take the pic above , the chain looks ok and in scale to the loco , but you put a scale figure next to the wagon and it looks like I nicked the anchor chain from the Titanic !

Maybe its just me but I'm alway surprised at how big trains actually are compared to people , a good example is in Ilkeston near me there is an old wooden plank wagon for Stanton Ironworks displayed on a roundabout , now whenever I see them on a layout I think " ooh look quaint little old fashioned wagons " :D In real life there quite something !

Anyone else notice this or is it just me ?

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pete12345
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby pete12345 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:48 pm

I think we get accustomed to overscale details, which normally goes unnoticed as trains themselves are very large. Take a look at the massive loops of chain dangling from some stock fitted with 3-link couplings, for example. It doesn't look too bad until you compare it with the real thing or indeed a model figure.
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heda
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby heda » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:19 pm

Not to mention the brickwork !! - sorry couldn't resist.

Yes your right, but if we modelled everything to scale the chain for example would be so small that we wouldn't see it as chain, I think it's the 'if it looks right it is right' thing, unless you had said about the chain size I would say it looks OK.

Do we tend to scale up small features so they can be seen but scale down larger features (trees) as to scale they could overwhelm the layout.

Dave

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Bufferstop
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:46 pm

I think it is all part of perception. We tend to see what our brain tells us should be there. Barbed wire anyone? In 1/76th the barbs a probably about the size of a grain of sugar. What colour is a tree trunk, rarely brown. Overhead telephone wires, even a spider would have trouble making them thin enough, but our brain insists there should be something there, so we accept an oversize representation.
Why is it always the anchor chain from the Titanic, surely one that most of us have never seen. I say most as there were a few spare links from the contract on display at the entrance to the Black Country Museum.
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col_kilgore
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby col_kilgore » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:04 pm

Bufferstop wrote:Why is it always the anchor chain from the Titanic, surely one that most of us have never seen. I say most as there were a few spare links from the contract on display at the entrance to the Black Country Museum.


OK , OK , How about we say its the chain from the one of the following ( delete as appropriate) .... Bismarck .... Lusitania .... Enterprise ..... Graf Spee ..... Prince of Wales ..... Hood ..... etc , etc :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ah come on its the Titanic , that chain has got to be big !!! :lol:

Rob-B
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby Rob-B » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:18 pm

Rob

col_kilgore
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby col_kilgore » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:35 pm

As a long time F1 fan this still makes the hairs rise on the back of my neck ! probably the bbc sports departments most inspired choice ( bar the snooker theme of course ! , well the original version anyway not the crappy remix they use now !) :lol: :lol: :lol:

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glencairn
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby glencairn » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:39 pm

pete12345 wrote:I think we get accustomed to overscale details, which normally goes unnoticed as trains themselves are very large. Take a look at the massive loops of chain dangling from some stock fitted with 3-link couplings, for example. It doesn't look too bad until you compare it with the real thing or indeed a model figure.



There are layouts that use TT or N Gauge buildings on a OO layout to give depth etc.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:27 pm

Some allegedly 4mm scale buildings are far smaller than they should be, doors on stations etc scaling at six foot and a bit where the prototype is well over seven feet, plus a skylight above. The old Airfix country inn is little bigger than the thatched cottage. The HO stuff is just as bad, some of the small alpine cottages could be used as a Wendy House on a 4mm scaled layout, they are closer to the 1:100th scale of British TT3. One of my grandchildren gave me a model Smart Four Two to go on the layout, it's supposed to be 1/87 but looks more like a sixties bubble car posed next to the 00 scale model of my 1967 Vauxhall Viva. Should we try harder to keep everything exactly to scale, for me the answer is no, if it looks right then I'm quite happy to have over and underscale items if it conveys the scene I'm trying to replicate, even if that scene only exists in my imagination. A 1:87th child staring up at a 1:76th loco conveys more closely my memory of that encounter, which is what I set out to do.
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ParkeNd
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby ParkeNd » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:26 am

I'm finding that perception of the size of buildings is very dependant on the terrain. On a layout which is built billiard table flat I would bet that most buildings would look "too short" for want of a better expression. Subtle variations in terrain seem to very important. Absolute scale accuracy is less important in my view than it feeling right - if it doesn't "feel" the right size then it is perfectly valid to build it a bit bigger or a bit smaller. The impression is what counts.

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Boxcar Willie
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby Boxcar Willie » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:39 am

Mrs. Boxcar and I visited an old abbey today and we were both struck by the size of the doorways. Apart from the usual grand main doors all of the rest were so small that even I, at a semi-diminutive 5 foot 8 inches of under-tallness, was obliged to duck when entering lest I creased myself on the lintel. It seems that people in the 12th century were so mal-nourished that the standard 00 height of six feet was a rarity; some 12 inches less was more the norm.

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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:08 am

For many years I modelled narrow gauge garden railways. I became accustomed to the physical size and considered it normal to the senses. However, when faced with the reality of a narrow gauge item alongside a standard gauge item the size discrepancy defies imagination. The standard gauge item looks far to large to be correct. The narrow gauge track was 45mm in width, whereas standard gauge is 64mm. Our brain determines the 'right' size for what we are doing. However, it is reality that is the actual determining influence, not what our mind thinks.

As regards the 'scale' of buildings, when it comes to a generic building it was not uncommon for a plastic kit manufacturer to substitute different scale door sizes on a sprue so that the kit could be used in another scale. A small building in 'OO' scale becomes a large building in 'N' scale by substituting doors, guttering, etc. Some manufacturers did not even provide alternative parts, they simple reprinted the packaging for a particular scale.
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby luckymucklebackit » Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:59 pm

I once visited the Granada Studios tour in Manchester and had an opportunity to walk down the then set of "Coronation Street" & I was amazed to see how small it was. You would have been pushed to get half the cast into the Rovers!! The guide explained that the exterior sets were designed for maximum use of space, and the interior shots were done in a studio with a floor space much larger than the exterior, the rest was sorted using clever camera angles etc. So even at 12" to the foot there are games to be played using proportion!

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b308
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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby b308 » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:45 pm

John, one thing I've learned from modelling in HO scale for many years is that many buildings in the various catalogues can be found in both the HO and TT (1:120) sections! They are usually scaled at around 1:!00 and in one catalogue (Auhagen) many can be found in a separate section headed HO/TT. Their use is for background in HO and foreground in TT!

Back to the OP,. most people only see a train from platform level, get down onto the ballast, especially if it slopes away from the train as most of it does outside of loco sheds and yards) and they look very big indeed...

Go to Russia and look at some of their stuff and even American stuff looks small!! They are incredible close up, they take your breath away with their shear size...

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Re: Perception (or lack thereof ) of scale

Postby GWR_fan » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:26 am

A friend was a model maker on one of the Superman movies. It took six months to build the model railway seen at the beginning of the movie in which the villain demonstrates a new explosive by blowing up the scene. To convey a sense of perspective there were numerous scales, both in trains and buildings combined in the one scene.

As an anecdote, Marklin 1/32 scale was supplied for the main scale in the railway with much smaller scales running in the distance. The Marklin items were delivered in one roadname only and most required repainting prior use on the railway. At the end of filming all the models including some of the handbuilt buildings were returned to Marklin for display in their model museum. My friend was particularly proud of his church model seen in a foreground shot. For the explosion scene less detailed buildings were substituted to be destroyed.


Tim


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