How come no 1/35 scale muscle cars?

Great, thanks, I’ll get one of those!


Ah, 3D print, so much printable stuff available these days! Thanks for that interesting information.

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In the UK the airbases in East Anglia hosted US units, where the officers all had their big gas-guzzling boats shipped over - the 1970s & 80s were not kind to auto design. They would sell them to locals and go home with a hot little European sports car, leaving the old boat to be driven around the tiny country roads by a yokel who thought he was the Dukes of Hazzard! They’d be scraping the hedges on both sides of the road - a real constipation-solver when you came round a corner to meet one head-on…

I can see a market for some of the “ordinary” cars for dioramas, but I bet the cars that’ll get offered first are the supercars that are rare as hen’s teeth in real life. Tooling is expensive and the manufacturers have to be sure there’s enough market to pay back the investment.

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In 1/35! I had no idea. The GTI WAS the muscle car in Germany back in the day.


A friend of mine was the first I knew to own one of those GTIs in New York in the mid-80s - he went from university (Math degree) to an obscenely-paid actuary job. He called it the “Golf GIT” saying that more accurately described the typical driver! (He freely admitted he was one of those GITs himself…)

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There are quite a few 1/32 '60s and '70s muscle cars that can be used in diorama. I have a '75-ish Monte Carlo I plan on adding to a OP Just Cause (Panama '89) dio. There are also a '68 Camaro, '70s Mustang, and a few others. They are curbsides, but detailed enough for a dio accessory. You can always add more details as well.

I used a 1/32 Arii VW Bug in an IDF dio a few years ago too. It looked pretty good to me.


So… why 1/32nd scale and 1/24th?

It was based on how they made the models.


And they are in 1:32nd scale because that was already an established scale for model cars (and some military vehicles) before Tamiya invented 1:35th scale in 1961. 3/8ths inch representing 1 foot was nice and sensible but the unnecessary 1:35th prevailed for military vehicles simply because of the purchasing power of the Japanese domestic market. It’s the same story with model ships, Revell having pioneered 1:720th scale (1 inch represents 60ft) in 1967 as an alternative to the larger 1:600th (mostly Airfix) and smaller 1:1200th scale (originally Eaglewall in plastic but a common scale for recognition models in WW2). In 1971 the Shizuoka Plastic Model Manufacturers Association (Tamiya, Aoshima, Hasegawa and Fujimi) divided up the major units of the WW2 Imperial Japanese Navy between themselves and agreed on the illogical 1:700th scale which now dominates, along with it’s double size 1:350th spin-off (Tamiya with KM Bismarck in 1978 , although Imai had produced a selection of tall ships the year before).




Interesting information. I read some of that history in the Tamiya book.


I’d like to see some things the other way round. I want military vehicles in 1:24th or 1:25th. HMVVW’s or MRAPs, the big Oshkosh HEMTT type vehicles. Around here in Colorado with all the military bases (Ft. Carson, Air Force bases and the Academy, Warren AFB and the various National Guard units in the state. I often see those being transported via civilian truckers or in use by other agencies like fire or law enforcement. It would be neat to have a couple of them alongside the civilian truck kits.


How about a Merc:

or a Beemer:

If you look closely, you can find something there these days…

Good luck with your dioramas and have a nice day



Funny how none of the reviews mention the fact that neither model contains chrome-plated parts - even though the cars have plenty of chrome. Obviously the reviewers were not car model builders. If a car builder was reviewing a 1/25 car kit that didn’t have any plated parts (assuming the car did have plenty of chrome), we would never hear the end of it! Thankfully there are products such as Molotow, and Revell Chrome spray.
:smiley: :canada:


Reviews certainly aren’t what they used to be.
I own a Molotow, but I like to use foil where it’s feasible. Chrome trim along the body and arounf windows looks great with foil and even that is never supplied in the larger kits. You have to paint it. Using foil allows very sharp demarcation of the chrome piece. I’ve seen very nice car models at contests that suffered from imperfect painting around window frames, and it’s always a shame to see because it’s so unnecessary.


@Pawel Thank you for the links! I vaguely recall the first car but could not find any in shops or on eBay. The second still appears in some model shops. eBay price is high. I wonder if they sold well.

@Biggles50 The presence or lack of chrome parts in existing 1/35 scale car models never occurred to me!

My stockpile includes some dragsters and funny cars but they are in the ‘wrong scale’. Compared to military vehicle models, the moldings are also rather primitive. I never seriously consider building one and should probably sell them off on eBay.

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Is this an unexploited sub-genre because it lies outside the perceptual bounds of automotive and military vehicle modeling?

  • Sure, if it is not a Tiger, Panther, Panzer, or Stug and does not have a big gun, it is not going to sell in 1/35 world. (Being half sarcastic and serious here). There is simply not big enough market for these cars - if any.
  • This is coming from my experience. When I started 3D CAD and printing about 2 years ago, I planned to offer a 3D printed modern “burnt” or “destroyed” car in 1/35. There was some interest, and even within those who were interested, they did not want to commit to buying one or was not willing to fork out $20 in advance.
  • 1/35 market is small as is and a sub-genre of cars in that scale would be even smaller.
  • There is some gentleman on FB who time to time cry about not having 1/35 locomotive models. Dream on. Never going to happen b/c there’s no market. Trumpeter tried and wasn’t successful.

Is any model company brave enough to challenge the perceptual boundary between automotive and military vehicle models? Would you want them to?

  • Of course not. It does not make any business sense to design and market something that is not going to give any profit or even ROI. No, they would not want to make losses. They are not stupid.
  • Your best bet may be 3D printing by some giving hobbyist who doesn’t mind sacrificing some time.
  • Never going to happen from the major plastic kit manufacturers - that’s my prediction.

Thank you for your insights!

To be clear, a lot of people in this thread think I want 1/35 scale muscle cars to become a thing. That is not the case. If, say, a 1/35 scale Corvette model existed at a reasonable price, I would certainly purchase one. However, if all car models were magically transformed to 1/35 scale, I would not suddenly dedicate myself to car models. On the other hand, if all aircraft and science fiction models were 1/35 scale, that would definitely cause me to reorder priorities.

I started this thread because of a curious (to me) void in 1/35 scale models. Car and truck models in 1/35 scale exist. There are a fair number of them. Almost all of them are from the 1930s and 1940s. World War II models are very popular. Got it. However, modern military vehicles are now appearing in greater numbers. Many of you clamor for more modern military vehicles. Yet…no interest in 1/35 modern cars. Kinda strange to me.

Some of you linked very interesting videos about the origins of various scales. Those made this thread very much worth it. :slightly_smiling_face:


the market is flooded with tigers both Tiger 1 and King tiger, Panthers, Panzer III and IV and all Variants that includes Stugs lets not forget the Hetzer and Shermans
with only 3 variants of the tiger I built early, mid and late producton how many do you really need
as for the King Tiger 2 variants Porsche and Henschel turrets the companies get carried away with with WW2 German armor at least with the Sherman the possibilities are endless and iv done it at one point iv built close to 40 Shermans: T6 Sherman prototype, M4,M4A1,M4A2,M4A3,M4A4 every variant and sub variant including post war with German armor you are very limited and its gets old very fast
sorry for the venting

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Not to add to a vent with a vent, but… I think manufacturers each making a common kit is a good thing (hear me out on this one). We’ve all built a Tiger or Bf 109 (at least most of us) and optimistically I think it’s a great way to benchmark a new manufacturer on what they can do. The same subject as anyone else makes for a great level playing field to show what you can make. I’m excited that Kotare are making a Bf 109 and Dragon is doing their new idea of building planes with a Bf 109, we’ve all built one so in the instance of Kotare, we can see how detailed they can get and the Dragon kit can show us all how different this new method is.

It’s about getting their foot in the door and getting us to get excited when they do eventually release the more obscure stuff, we’ll know what they make is easier to assemble/more detailed/etcetera. We’ve all gambled on that new-to-us manufacturer that has a vehicle no one has ever made in scale before and lost out (I know I have, looking at you Zvezda BTR-80A). I think we’d all be hesitant if Dragon decided to go about their new method with a Vought V-173 or Fisher P-75 Eagle, something that sure, we could read the reviews and try to read through the “I’m being paid to say this” but wouldn’t reach mass adoption to the point where we’d know someone who’s built it and can truly testify to the new method or even be willing to try it ourselves and know that the new method is truly better.

However the business part of my brain says it’s just to come up as the newest one when you search for a Tiger or Bf 109 when you’re just starting out so they can grab your money instead of it going to their competitors.

Thanks for coming to my verbose TedTalk and sorry, but I had to!


thats fine

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Well, I’d like to see a 1/35 scale square body Chevy 4x4 (any of them - long/short box, step side, blazer, or suburban) (in addition to the kits MiniMan factory made), or maybe a 70s 'Cuda, or an early CJ 5, or Scrambler. I don’t know what precisely I would use them for, but if they had a decent amount of detail, I’d likely buy them. Or maybe a mid 60’s Dodge Power Wagon 4x4, or early 70’s Ford Highboy 4x4, maybe a split bumper, '72 Camaro. I like building at 1/35 and the quality of detail that comes from many 1/35 kits. I have bought 1/32 auto kits, but have reworked them to get a higher level of detail.

About a year ago I purchased two Dnepro 1/35 early 40’s Ford Marmon Herrington 4x4s (a panel delivery and 1.5 ton tractor) - they are resin kits, and have nice detail. No idea what I will do with them, but they are really nice and I will build them into something.