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How To Use a Copier to Convert Scale Drawings

Dec 7th, 2008 by trainguy

You’ve just found a scale drawing of your favorite prototype building or engine in a magazine or book and now your ready to build one up yourself. You suddenly realize that the drawing scale and the scale you model in do not match. What do you do? Use these handy charts and photocopier that lets you set the percentage of enlargement and reduction. Soon you will have a drawing to match your scale.

Martin Waligarski posts a handy chart for converting numerous scales, such as those used for cars, war figures, and railroads at ipms:

To
scale Reduce
From 1:16 1:24 1:25 1:32 1:35 1:48 1:50 1:72 1:76 1:87 1:100 1:144 1:160
1:16 67% 64% 50% 46% 33% 32% 22% 21% 18% 16% 11% 10%
1:24 150% 96% 75% 69% 50% 48% 33% 32% 28% 24% 17% 15%
1:25 156% 104% 78% 71% 52% 50% 35% 33% 29% 25% 17% 16%
1:32 200% 133% 128% 91% 67% 64% 44% 42% 37% 32% 22% 20%
1:35 219% 146% 140% 109% 73% 70% 49% 46% 40% 35% 24% 22%
1:48 300% 200% 192% 150% 137% 96% 67% 63% 55% 48% 33% 30%
1:50 313% 208% 200% 156% 143% 104% 69% 66% 57% 50% 35% 31%
1:72 450% 300% 288% 225% 206% 150% 144% 95% 83% 72% 50% 45%
1:76 475% 317% 304% 238% 217% 158% 152% 106% 87% 76% 53% 48%
1:87 544% 363% 348% 272% 249% 181% 174% 121% 114% 87% 60% 54%
1:100 625% 417% 400% 313% 286% 208% 200% 139% 132% 115% 69% 63%
1:144 900% 600% 576% 450% 411% 300% 288% 200% 189% 166% 144% 90%
1:160 1000% 667% 640% 500% 457% 333% 320% 222% 211% 184% 160% 111%

Enlarge

“How to use the table

“Suppose that you need a scratchbuild city house for a 1:35 armour diorama. You find a drawing of an appropriate house in a railroad magazine, printed in the HO scale, corresponding to 1:87. The drawing is much smaller than the intended house model. Here is how to find an appropriate enlargement rate.

“In the leftmost “From” column of the table, locate the row representing the initial scale of your drawing. This is 1:87, located in the 10th row counting from the top.

“Having located the appropriate row, forget the rest of the table. You will only need that row.

“Now, move your finger to the right along the row, locating the column corresponding to the scale that you’d like to convert to. In your case it is 1:35, the 5th column counting from the right.

“Read the percent value in the located cell - in your case it should be “249%”. Set your copier to 249% enlargement and copy the drawings. Ready!

It’s wonderful to be able to lay your sawn piece of styrene on top of your plan and have it match perfectly. Remember some copiers have minor distortion. So check with an accurate rule first. Metal rules with etched or scribed lines are of the most accurate.

Have fun!

Trainguy

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