O scale is 1:48. 1:50 is a common scale because of it being a nice round
number. You can mix and match to a point, though, so don't worry about
everything being the same scale. When mixing and matching, just remember
that one thing in a different scale will stick out, but many things in
different scales will not.
Marching to the beat of a different drum is great... unless you're in
I'd simply say this... a 1:50 model will be closer to a 1:48 model
(approximately 4.2% smaller) than a 1:43 model would be (approx. 10.4%
bigger). So, all other things being the same, I'd go for the 1:50s if they
are readily available.
My 2% worth... : )
Most model vehicles are made overseas, where O scale is 1:43 (this is
one scale where the USA is out of step with the rest of the world. At
1:48, O gauge scales out to 5Ft). That's why O scale vehicles are almost
1:50 is one of the diecast collector scales, and is close enough to 1:48
to make little difference (it's 4% too small.)
Put the 1:43 in the foreground, the 1:50 next to or behind the trains.
It will create a subtle but pleasant forced perspective effect.
This really does work. A few months ago a I visited a layout that featured a
nicely modeled citrus packing house in one corner.
It wasn't until after I'd admired it for several minutes that I twigged to
the fact that the end of the building closest to the wall -furthest from
the viewer- featured N-scale windows and loading doors with N-scale trucks
backed up to them, while the closest end -with the railroad loading dock-
was done in HO.
The impression of depth in the scene was whelming -too subtle to be
overwhelming, that is, but was very very effective.
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