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Quick Scaling Tip


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It can get tedious going through the calculations for each piece in a scratchbuilt model, and just guessing at the right size can result in an unrealistic piece, or a piece that requires hours of adjustment after the piece is finished.

A quick way to make sure each piece is accurate is to change the scale of the universal line.

Image 1 shows a scratchbuilt Gomaco GT-3600 curb machine with the standard universal line in N scale.

Image 2 is from the manufacturers website.  The distance between the centerline of the front track and the centerline of the rearmost track is given as 11.5 feet. (I'm old school, so I still work in inches and feet instead of metric).

In image 3 I line up the center of the vertical universal line with the centerline of the front track, then adjust the scale of the universal line so it reads about 11.5 inches on the horizontal at the centerline of the rear most track.  The universal line is now 1" = 1'. Since I primarily work in N scale, a new setting of 0.175 for the universal line's scale is close.  You will have to make the necessary adjustments for the scale you prefer to work with.

Image 4 shows the Gomaco GT-3600 in place laying some new curb in a construction area on one of my layouts.  The size looks right compared to the rest of the figures.

By changing the scale of the universal line to 1" = 1', you can adjust the sizes of the various primitives pretty fast and have them be accurate (or at least close enough to look good) for whatever kind of model you're building.

Gomaco_gt_3600_2.jpg Image 1Gomaco_gt_3600.jpg image 2Gomaco_gt_3600_3.jpg image 3Gomaco_gt_3600_1.jpg image 4

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