MiniatureBuildings.co.uk : Exploring model buildings of all sizes and styles
Scale or Effect ?
Most Miniatures are, at least nominally, built to a
particular scale. There are exceptions but for most modellers a key
objective is to recreate their chosen prototype object in a particular and
Posing the question "scale or effect" sounds neutral enough but I find it hard to
develop or explore the question in a neutral way. For me, the question "how much should strict adherence to true scale be
sacrificed in the interests of creating a pleasing effect" is a meaningful
question. But the converse, "should we compromise on effect in the
interests of scale" , is harder to contemplate.
Building to scale represents, for me, a clearly identifiable starting point
from which divergence can be observed - regardless of whether that variation
is considered to be desirable or not. Yet I am conscious that I am
displaying my own prejudices simply by posing the question in this way.
Is this the difference between a mechanic and an artist; between left brain
and right brain people?
There are clearly those for whom adherence to scale is a secondary
consideration. This view is pithily expressed in the interesting and
useful site www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk
. In their FAQ pages they answer the question "How important is
scale?" with the view "Not at all. If you like the look of something
that is over or under scaled, who am I to tell you it's wrong. Do be aware
that some people are very snobby when it comes to scale". Which
puts me firmly in my place.
Leaving the fantasy modeller aside, for they are a rare species for whom effect
must be everything, it appeared to me that the best people to approach
for a view on the importance of effect would be the
producers of resin models for the giftware market. Many years ago I did write to the
makers of the well known Lilliput Lane range. My recollection of their reply was that
they considered effect above all. That scale did not really feature in their modelling.
If I have misrepresented them I would of course be more than happy to publish their
thoughts o the subject.
Your thoughts on all these issues are very welcome and will be added in
due course to an updated copy of this article.
David, November 2019