Choosing the best scale

New to 1.64 layouts? Start here with Your First 1.64 Scale Layout

Practically speaking, to make a farm or truck layout there is really only one choice. 1/64th scale. 

The variety of models is unparalleled in both diecast trucks and farm models. 

Having said that it is worth the exercise to consider options when making a layout. 

This comes down to 3 deciding factors –

1) how much space you have available for your model layout,

2) the physical size of model equipment you prefer working with, and

3) the accessories available for that scale.

1 – How Much Space Do You Have Available?

It is not uncommon in the diecast farming hobby to hear “I want to make an exact layout of my grandpa’s 12 acre farm”. This is completely doable if a guy has a dedicated basement or building for the layout. One acre equals three 4×8 sheets of plywood or foam board. To make an exact replica of the example farm would require 36 sheets of plywood or foam board. 

There are ways to make fields and buildings “look” bigger or give an illusion that is bigger than they are. That will be covered in another article. 

2 – Which Scale Do You Prefer Working With?

Fat finger syndrome or bad eyesight can sometimes force us to consider the larger scales. It can be very frustrating trying to airbrush small parts.

They can be very fiddly! Children will find it easier operating and manipulating the bigger scales, from HO scale upwards. Bigger scales tend to use lots of diecast too for a heavier feel.

3 – What Accessories Are Available?

Over the years the 1/64th scale models have become very detailed with tons of variety. The downside is layout accessories have not kept pace leaving hobbyists scrambling to find and create what is desired

Thanks to 3D printing, there is a growing variety of accessories for layouts so keep an eye open in this growing market. 

By now a scale should be chosen, it is time to build our layout bench. The next installment will teach great ways to make use of space and how to build a bench. Read it here.