Convert scale between wargaming, diecast, trains, and slot cars

Last Updated on April 23, 2017 by Dave Farquhar

Borrowing materials and models from other hobbies can often be productive, and in the early stages of a hobby, often it’s a necessity due to a lack of products available. But it occurs to me that other hobbies borrow from model railroading more often than the other way around, and that means there are untapped resources available. To do that, you need a way to convert scale between wargaming, diecast, trains, and slot cars.

In that spirit, I present a chart of scales. Two neglected train scales, O and S, it turns out, can borrow heavily from elsewhere to make up somewhat for the greater selection of products available for HO and N scale. But this chart will, I hope, prove useful to other hobbyists as well.

First, let me avert some confusion by explaining some terminology. Yes, HO scale means something completely different in trains and slot cars. It’s 1:87 for trains and 1:64 for slot cars. Second, wargaming figures can be measured two ways, either total height or distance from the feet to the eyes. This inconsistency can lead to differences even among items that are purportedly the same scale. When you end up with two or more figures that are further off scale than you thought, group them together and place them away from other things that betray the size discrepancy, and more often than not, no one will ever notice.

sizescaleto-the-eye scaleNearest train scaleNearest diecast scaleNearest slot car scale
12mm1:152.41: 134.16667N (1:160)1:160
15mm1:121.921:107.33333TT (1:120)1:120
20mm1:91.441:80.5HO (1:87)1:87
25mm1:73.1521:64.4OO (1:76) or S (1:64)1:76 or 1:64HO (1:64)
28mm1:65.314285711:57.5S (1:64)1:64HO (1:64)
30mm1:60.961:53.666667S (1:64) or O (1:48)1:64
32mm1:57.151:50.3125O (1:48)1:43
35mm1:52.251428571:46O (1:48)1:43
54mm1:33.866666671:29.814815G (varies from 1:32 to 1:24)1:321:32

If you don’t know the scale of something, here’s how to do the math and figure it out.

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