Scale Roulette

Posted July 27, 2011 by Trader Sam

When it comes to original Disney Experience paper models, it’s anybody’s guess what scale the models will be. Truthfully, I don’t worry about scale. I design them to be large so that I can fit a good amount of graphic detail in, they’re easier to assemble (some large-fingered guests have thanked me for this), and the finished models make an impressive display. Plain and simple.

What some of you have been asking about is what scale each model is in so that they can be scaled up or down to fit with model layouts (O and HO scales are the most popular). For years, I’ve had to reply with, “I don’t know.” But, I’d like to remedy that, and it will require the help of . . . you!

To determine the approximate scale of the models, I will need direct measurements of some part of the actual structures. Something like the height of a doorway would suffice as long as it can be compared to a part on the paper model. I haven’t been to the parks in a couple of years, so the fastest way to get this information is to arm yourselves with tape measures and/or measuring sticks. Here’s how . . .

Option 1: Take a tape measure to the parks and take direct measurements. Make sure that you measure a straight edge. A photo of what you measured will help. This might take a minute or two, and may interfere with queue lines, so be patient and courteous.

Option 2: Get fancy, and make a portable black & white measuring stick for quick results. A 3-foot stick would be great, a 2-foot stick would work just as well, and a 1-foot stick would be the minimum accepted. If you make a 2-foot stick or longer, be sure to include both 1-foot and 1-inch increments. A 1-foot stick will need to be solely 1-inch increments. To measure, make sure that the body of the stick is parallel with the straight edge that you’re measuring. Take a quick photo or two, and email them in. I can then determine the correct measurements in Photoshop.

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Why not use blueprints and/or elevation plans? They’re hard to come by, and they don’t always have measurements. They can also be notoriously wrong. Sometimes plans on paper need to change when constructing the physical building. Lastly, there is a certain degree of artistic license, size estimation, and approximation that are required when translating an object into a paper model. Doorways and archways are one thing that typically do not change, so they’re a good candidate for getting accurate measurements.

Please note that I can only accept measurements for original Disney Experience paper models. I will also not accept measurement from different parks that the models were not designed after. For example, taking measurements of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Hong Kong Disneyland will not be accepted. You will need to take measurements from the original Disneyland version.

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