Armour kits - 1/32 v 1/35

Recently I started finding out about the wonders of E-bay and purchased some
of the kits I can remember fascinating me from my childhood (that I could
never afford and only appeared out here in New Zealand fleetingly). The
kits in question include the Airfix range of 1/32 armour (Grant, Grief,
etc...). Got me to thinking why the armour range has centred around 1/35
scale rather than 1/32. I know Monogram and others put out a slew of armour
kits in 1/32. I also know there is still a thriving market for 1/32 (54mm)
figures. Any thoughts on what led to the demise of 1/32 armour kits and why
1/32 figures are still relatively popular?
Reply to
David N Evans
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I think 1/35 became the popular scale when Tamiya entered the market. Apparently 1/35 is easier to work with in metrics than 1/32. I've got quite a few of the 1/32 Airfix kits (Lee, Grant, Crusader, Monty's staff car, US soldiers, Desert Rats). Nice kits.
Reply to
rgronovius
Reply to
Gerald Owens
There was no standard scale to begin with. Many early vehicle kits were "fit the box" scale, but in the middle 1950's, Renwal began their modern military vehicle series in 1/32nd, while Revell kits were standardized as 1/40th. At this time, Monogram started issuing 1/35th scale kits of military vehicles (and even a Navy demolition team boat). I suspect they wanted a scale that was visually compatible with the 1/36th scale metal military identification models that had been made during the war and had been issued postwar as children's toys. The decision to go "one scale down" was probably to make it less odd to customers in metric countries. And conveniently, a 5'10" man is exactly two inches tall in this scale (though some boxings of the kits were marked as 1/32nd, so perhaps someone in Monogram's marketing department regretted going with the odd scale). When the Japanese model manufacturers started doing military kits, they experimented with numerous scales, but most eventually decided in the 1960's to stick with Monogram's scale. This was Tamiya Mokei, Nitto Kagaku and eventually, Nichimo, (after they briefly flirted with 1/30th)--only Midori tried to make a go of Revell's 1/40th scale as a standard, and they soon vanished. When the European manufacturers entered the market, starting with Italeri in 1972, they had a choice between the "Japanese" scale, which would be compatible with dozens of existing kits, or 1/32nd, which was standard for aircraft but only a handful of armor kits. Italeri went with 1/35th, and were soon followed by Heller in 1975. Pretty much every plastic kit company since has embraced the scale. Ironically, Monogram zigged just as the rest of the industry zagged. They went to 1/32nd scale when they restarted their armor kit range in 1969, and their Panzer IV series, Lee/Grant/Sherman series, M8/M20 armored cars and SdKfz 232 armored car were in 1/32nd. In the early 70's, Airfix jumped on the 1/32nd scale bandwagon with their Multipose figures, Lee/Grant tank kits, Humber staff car, SdKfz 250/3 Halftrack and very briefly, a 17 Pounder antitank gun. But it was far too lttle, too late, and 1/35th has been the industry standard for medium size kits ever since. Monogram's 1/35th scale kits still turn up from time to time--the M48A2 Patton was available recently, and the M34 tactical truck and Willys Jeep kit is currently available from Revell Germany (though oddly, if you buy Revell's Jeep alone, you are getting the much nicer Italeri kit from 1979). The 1/32nd scale Renwal M47 Patton, M41 Walker Bulldog and M42 Duster were resurrected in Matchbox colors a few years ago--recommended strictly as nostalgia items, as much better kits are available from other manufacturers--in 1/35th, of course. David N Evans wrote:
Reply to
Gerald Owens
There was no standard scale to begin with. Many early vehicle kits were "fit the box" scale, but in the middle 1950's, Renwal began their modern military vehicle series in 1/32nd, while Revell kits were standardized as 1/40th. At this time, Monogram started issuing 1/35th scale kits of military vehicles (and even a Navy demolition team boat). I suspect they wanted a scale that was visually compatible with the 1/36th scale metal military identification models that had been made during the war and had been issued postwar as children's toys. The decision to go "one scale down" was probably to make it less odd to customers in metric countries. And conveniently, a 5'10" man is exactly two inches tall in this scale (though some boxings of the kits were marked as 1/32nd, so perhaps someone in Monogram's marketing department regretted going with the odd scale). When the Japanese model manufacturers started doing military kits, they experimented with numerous scales, but most eventually decided in the 1960's to stick with Monogram's scale. This was Tamiya Mokei, Nitto Kagaku and eventually, Nichimo, (after they briefly flirted with 1/30th)--only Midori tried to make a go of Revell's 1/40th scale as a standard, and they soon vanished. When the European manufacturers entered the market, starting with Italeri in 1972, they had a choice between the "Japanese" scale, which would be compatible with dozens of existing kits, or 1/32nd, which was standard for aircraft but only a handful of armor kits. Italeri went with 1/35th, and were soon followed by Heller in 1975. Pretty much every plastic kit company since has embraced the scale. Ironically, Monogram zigged just as the rest of the industry zagged. They went to 1/32nd scale when they restarted their armor kit range in 1969, and their Panzer IV series, Lee/Grant/Sherman series, M8/M20 armored cars and SdKfz 232 armored car were in 1/32nd. In the early 70's, Airfix jumped on the 1/32nd scale bandwagon with their Multipose figures, Lee/Grant tank kits, Humber staff car, SdKfz 250/3 Halftrack and very briefly, a 17 Pounder antitank gun. But it was far too lttle, too late, and 1/35th has been the industry standard for medium size kits ever since. Monogram's 1/35th scale kits still turn up from time to time--the M48A2 Patton was available recently, and the M34 tactical truck and Willys Jeep kit is currently available from Revell Germany (though oddly, if you buy Revell's Jeep alone, you are getting the much nicer Italeri kit from 1979). The 1/32nd scale Renwal M47 Patton, M41 Walker Bulldog and M42 Duster were resurrected in Matchbox colors a few years ago--recommended strictly as nostalgia items, as much better kits are available from other manufacturers--in 1/35th, of course. David N Evans wrote:
Reply to
Gerald Owens

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