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sapperastro

Is 1/76 a dead scale for new kits?

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Hello all,

 

I have a fair collection of 1/76 models, with plenty more in the stash, but from what I have seen 1/72 seems to have taken over for anything newer than the last two airfix additions some years ago (Cromwell and King Tiger). Does anyone know of any other company that does injection molded kits for 1/76 still? If not, what are the best brands for 1/72? I tried a couple of Hasegawa 1/72 armour kits but found them to be seriously wrong in shape (though they did go together easily).

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I believe you can still get 1/76 kits, but in metal, the name of the brand escapes me right now though. 72

As for good 1/72 kits, I would recommend Revell's 1/72 range definitely. That said, there also are some beautiful Dragon 1/72 kits, although they are often on the pricey side. Hobbyboss or Trumpeter kits are also decent, some of their newer stuff looks pretty nice.

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1/72 has certainly conquered the world of military vehicle modelling in that sort of scale.  1/76 was/is of course the scale for OO Gauge model railways, which is how it originated for vehicles.  But that made it a UK-specific scale as no-one else in the railway world used that scale.  1/72 also started in the UK with early pre-war plastic kits and became the authorised scale for UK aircraft recognition models in WW2.  There was of course then a disconnect between aircraft and vehicle scales, for example for airfield dioramas.

 

1/76 was an accident, in effect.  British model railway companies wanted to be compatible with European and US brands in HO, 1/87.  Hence why OO uses HO-gauge track despite it being 2mm too narrow in scale.  But they couldn't produce small enough motor mechanisms and so enlarged the locomotive bodies to accommodate them.  1/76 ended up being the smallest they could achieve.  The inter-relationship with other modelling genres was not considered, or the more logical 1/72 might have been chosen.

 

1/72 is actually the "true" Imperial fractional scale, being 3/16" to the foot and thus exactly half way between 1/4"(1/48) and 1/8"(1/96).  1/76 does not directly accord with any fractional scale, nor is it a convenient decimal/metric scale.

 

For a while the difference was considered irrelevant, and Matchbox even lied about the scale of their vehicle kits - claiming them to be 1/76 when they were 1/72.  Many current Revell 1/72 kits were originally Matchbox "1/76".  Airfix have remained true to 1/76, but I wonder how long that will last given the trend.  I think we have to conclude that 1/76 is a dead scale for future military vehicle models.  Of course there is a whole landscape of scenic products available in 1/76 / 00, but scenic items are far more variable in size and using 1/76 scenery for 1/72 probably won't be noticed.

 

In terms of brands, as in all modelling scales there is the good, the bad and the ugly.  WW2 subjects are certainly more common than modern subjects in plastic, but there are many resin manufacturers.  There are etched brass detail sets, metal gun barrels etc available in 1/72.

 

Reading reviews and build blogs is always useful, as is not rushing out to buy the latest new release until it has been reviewed and built.  There are some "hidden gems" that you don't often see in this country.  Ace and UM spring to mind: although both can be hard work - definitely not Dragon quality - they do some very interesting and unique subjects.  There's a thread about UM on this forum.  From their product range you can make IIRC every production variation of the M4 and T-34.  They even include optional drivers' hoods on their M4s for cast, welded or DV types: a thoughtful touch.

 

You can see the entire range of both Ace and UM and other interesting stuff at this store which I've used many times and found reliable and trustworthy: https://www.hobby.dn.ua/

Usually cheaper if you pay by credit card in UAH rather than by PayPal in € (PayPal doesn't offer UAH from the UK), but remember you may get stung for 25% import VAT.  Check the exchange rates on XE.com or similar.

 

 

Edited by Das Abteilung
correction

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There are a wide range of military subjects available as resin kits, notably from Milicast and Matador, that are everybit as good as the injection moulded variety and covering a much wider range.  There are also a number of ranges of white metal subjects, although these tend to be rather more simplified.  Sadly MMS is no longer with us but there are some fine products in the SHQ line.  There are others, but of course the overseas producers are 1/72 almost to a man, although Oz Models do offer a range of Japanese subjects.

 

There's really no good reason why anyone who can make an Airfix or Matchbox AFV will struggle with one of these.

 

There's also the range of Oxford diecasts that can be repainted or modified, although these do largely cover types already available as kits.

Edited by Graham Boak

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Matador models are notable for their lack of communication and a poor web site.

I too sent a cheque away and it was never cashed so after a period it was stopped and all hope faded . . . .

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Bring it up with them at Telford.  That's where I've usually bought from them, although my one mail order went through satisfactorily.

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On 11/9/2018 at 12:11 PM, Mancunian airman said:

Can you just reiterate the mm scale for both the 72nd and 76th please ??

Millimetre scales get confusing because there is no standardised benchmark against which to measure.  The usual standard is the height of a man, which is of course variable by era and geography.  Assuming a 95th percentile European male to be 1.8m or 5' 10", 1/72 scales out neatly at 25mm as well as being the direct Imperial fraction of 3/16" to the foot.  This fits with the historic 25mm wargaming scale.  1/76 scales out at 23.68mm, which hardly trips off the tongue.  HO or 1/87 used to be known as "20mm", but is actually closer to 21mm. 

 

So we kinda come back to the fact that 1/76 is an artificial or synthetic scale that doesn't scale out to any recognisable Imperial or metric fraction.  It does work out at 4mm to the foot, but mixing measuring standards is rarely a good idea: work in one or the other but not both.  Of course it's far, far too late for the model railway community to change: that train has left the station.  Even the various "finescale" railway standards are still based on 1/76 or "4mm".  So there will continue to be a market for 1/76 road vehicles, and there are some ready-built military subjects by model railway-oriented manufacturers in that scale as well as the relatively small number of military kits - essentially only Airfix.

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Except that the usual representative height for military figures is usually taken to be six foot tall, which doesn't work out neatly for any mm scale.

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i think the only new 1/76th vehicles will be diecast ones, i read that airfix were not doing anymore new military vehicles in 76th either.

the scale difference is not that much to be worried about, i mix both all the time.

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I know this is a repeat, but there is an entire world of 1/76 military models outside of injected plastic and diecast.  There were three such suppliers at Telford - at least, that I noticed - Milicast, Matador and Gramodels.  As above, SHQ and Ozmodels.  Oops, four at Telford - Giesbers were there as well.

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