Quarter-inch scale has been blessed with an abundance of excellent models, detail parts, decals but a lack of scale model autos and trucks. The HO guys are very fortunate to have a wide range of models to choose from. One can only drool at their selection. There have been a lot of models produced in scales close to 1:48 such as 1:50 and 1:43. While these models can be used in scenes they can’t be mixed very well. Diecast auto producers follow 1/43 scale. I suspect that early diecast scale vehicles came of out England. English railroad models follow 7mm scale which approximates 1/43. Bus and truck modelers/collectors like 1/50 scale for some reason. Armor modelers do work in 1:48 along with 1:35. Armor model producers had done a few useable items that work into a layout. Tamiya is one of the leading producers in this scale. All is not lost, there have been a number of models produced over the years and can be found on eBay and swap meets.
Dating back to the 1950s, Revell produced a series of 1/4″ scale trucks. The included a Kenworth tractor/trailer, White 3000 COE gasoline truck, 1956 Ford F-100 pickup and a 1956 Chevy stake bed truck. Renwal ( later Revell ) produced a number of useful cars including a Model-T, Model-A roadster, 1932 Ford Model B 3-window coupe, 1950 Ford sedan and several other vintage cars. These kits can be found if one is diligent in searching.
Tamiya offers a 1942 Army staff car which is a model of a Ford sedan like the one above. A little work can make a civilian version of the Army car. The model on the right is the Tamiya 1942 Ford along side a car made in the Ukraine. More on that later. The kit can be modified to represent a postwar 1947 Ford. Examine the picture below and see the similarities between the two.
Durango Press three 1934 Ford trucks in white metal. The tooling is now in the hands of Berkshire Valley and the AA trucks are still available. The models are very well done.
Another source for period automobiles is Buffalo Landings in New Zealand. They have produced a resin kit for a 1939 Pontiac four door. The model is very well crafted complete with etched parts. I have several but have not built them yet.
Jim Hawk informed me about a line of 1:48 scale vehicles that are produced in the Ukraine. The models depict Soviet era vehicles that appear to be very close to Ford designs. The first is a fordor sedan that is very close to a Ford Model 40 1934 auto. The other is a pickup that looks like a ’34 Ford. While it is not as good as the Durango Press model, it looks like it could be adapted to something else.
The kits were purchased through eBay and weren’t cheap but they will discount if a larger order is made. I was able to obtain four kits for around $50.
There are other kits done by Wiseman Model Services, Brommer and a R-T-R bus by MTH. Speaking of buses, Corgi has a nice line of 1:50 scale models that could be blended into a scene without too much difficulty.
Future postings on this blog will show how to build and modify many of the models described above. Stay tuned for more information on 1/4″ scale vehicles.