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Scale of Military Dioramas

There are just a few different generally accepted scales when it comes to military dioramas and generally this is dictated by the scale of the models that you will be using in the diorama.


There are two scales that are the most popular: 1/35 and 1/72. If you are unfamiliar with what these terms mean it is that the model is either 1 35th the size of the real object or 1 72nd the size of the real object. An easy way to think of it is that in the 1/72 scale one inch equals six feet. So if a tank were six feet in length the model would be one inch in length. And a 1/35 scale model would be just about two inches in length.

There are other scales but they are not as common: 1/9, 1/16, 1/24, , 1/48, 1/144, 1/250 and 1/300 and 1/87 (This 1/87 scale is the same scale as HO railroads which is perfect if you want to include railroads in your military diorama.

The picture below shows two different scales: The Tank is 1/72 scale and the Airplane is 1/48 scale.

two scales of military models

This variability in scale is important to understand for several different reasons.

First off the larger the model the more detailed it is and consquently the more expensive it is. And if you are using larger scale models and you want to make a diorama the size will be quite a bit larger. The smaller scales such as 1/144, 1/250 and 1/300 are often used when you want to depict large battle scenes or large amounts of terrain and battleground. In the 1/144 scale an average soldier standing six foot tall would only be a half inch in size. So you can see how you can get a lot more terrain in these scales.


An important thing to note is that all scale is relative! A good example of what I mean is that say you are working in the 1/48 scale. Everything is in that scale right? So for the models a barrel would be small and a tank would be larger! In exact proportion to the real items. The picture below shows this. There are two planes, a German Stuka and an American Tiger. You can see that the stuka is larger. This is because in real life the Stuka is larger than the Tiger!

Two model airplanes


Resources, kits, models and more


Walker Bulldog

1/35 US M41 Walker Bulldog


German Hanomag

1/35 German Hanomag SdKfz


1/35 US Army Infantry


1/48 P51D Mustang


Lots of Military models in the 1/35 scale made by Tamiya