Sidebar: Model Scales

This highly condensed and simplified list includes the most popular scales, as well as some of the better-known minor ones, plus a few oddballs for context. There are dozens of obscure scales that have marginal representation in the market and very narrow interests among modelers. For a complete list, see this Wikipedia page.

Note how the names interchange the use of gauge and scale. It's a matter of common usage, as opposed to correctness. Also, because there are many track gauges in the real world, model proportions are sometimes adjusted in order to make use of a common line of model track, simply as a matter of economy. Example: N Scale has three proportions, depending on the predominant real-life track gauges used in various regions.

Name

Ratio

Gauge

Notes

G Scale

various

45 mm

multiple scales depending on the real-life gauge

Q Scale

1:45

32 mm

US variation to adjust for correct track gauge

O Scale

various

32 mm

1:43.5 UK, France; 1:45 Germany, Japan; 1:48 US

O-27

1:48

31.75 mm

Lionel variant of O Scale

S Scale

1:64

22.42 mm

S stands for Sixty-fourth, the proportion

00 Gauge

1:76.2

16.5 mm

Double-0 is still the most popular scale in the UK

HO Scale

1:87.1

16.5 mm

derived from 00, HO is the most popular worldwide

3 mm Scale

1:101.6

various

UK variant of TT; gauge of 12 or 14.2 mm

TT Scale

1:120

12 mm

"Table Top" Scale, still popular in Europe

000 Gauge

various

various

predecessor to 2 mm Scale and N Scale

HH Scale

1:150

9.6 mm

Swedish variant of N Scale from the early 1950s

2 mm Scale

1:152

9.42 mm

British fine-scale variant of N Scale

N Scale

various

9 mm

1:148 UK; 1:150 Japan; 1:160 elsewhere

Z Scale

1:220

6.5 mm

Märklin's answer to N Scale

T Gauge

various

3 mm

1:450 or 1:480, depending on the real-life gauge

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