If you’ve ever bought Axis & Allies plastic wargaming models, you will have noticed that the figures are true-scale 15mm (1:120), but noticed that their vehicles are a much smaller scale even though they’re advertised as 15mm. Sometimes you will see these vehicles with scale claims of 1:144 / 12mm and placed into the same scale groups as the true-scale 1:144 vehicles and aircraft from the Japanese plastic model manufacturers, yet the Axis and Allies models show themselves to be a different scale to the Japanese-made offerings.
The Axis and Allies models are made in Chinese factories designing to American and mainland European N-scale ratios (1:160), whilst the ever-efficient Japanese are designing to stated order scale for the larger 1:144 and ignoring railway gauge scale-ratios.
Whilst the 12mm / 1:160 scale has it’s origins in railway modelling, the 13mm / 1:144 scale has it’s origins in the “half-1:72nd scale” and “give-away” production markets (think corn-flakes box & “CrackerJack” toys). This has been revitalised over the last decade by Japanese confectionery-makers seeking new markets, and creating souvenir issues of boxed candies with 1:144 scale vehicle and aircraft kits in them. The most famous of these being the extensive Takara range of “World Tank Museum” and “War Birds” semi-collectible issues.
Page incomplete – more to be added