In Search of Vehicles


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.

1942 sedan

1942 sedan


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.

DoubleA side

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.

1934 Ford Model B

1934 Ford Model 40

ukraine fordor

ukraine kit

ukraine pickup

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.



7 thoughts on “In Search of Vehicles

  1. Gene,

    A few other very good models include:
    National Car Co. (now Weisman) line of Ford Model T’s
    Mckensie Iron & Steel (now Anvil Mountain Models) line of Nash Quads
    Matchbox (the scales vary, but some are 1/48)
    Glencoe made a few of the Revel line. The Stanley Steamer comes to mind.

    For those of us whose 1/48 period is 1920, the challenge of finding appropriate vehicles is even greater.

  2. Gene, I picked up a dozen VW Rabbit (aka Golf here in the UK) kits back in the ’70s, 1:48 scale absolutely no manufacturers’ info that I could find on or in the (small) boxes. Later than will interest you, but any readers got any ideas? I’ve seen 1:43 diecasts since.

  3. Gene, a great and timely blog. I sure wish there were more options for late 1940’s modelers. The great regret is the size of most diecast [1:43]. I have been eyeing those Tamiya models for a couple months—think I will bite down on them.

  4. Anyone looking for modern vehicles to use on their 1/48 scale layout… try this: Go to, then type in Nanjing(1/50) models. Yes they are made in China but they are very detailed and proportioned just right to use with anything 1/48 scale. I bought a handful of these model vehicles and they look perfect in real life size proportion when next to locomotives, rolling stock and track.

    • Okay… I realize that just typing in Najing(1/50) models will not show up other than your typical construction and large truck vehicles. Here is what you need to do: Continue on and then type in 1/50 scale architectural model cars. All different scale sizes will show up, but be careful not to confuse 1/50 with 1/150. Enjoy!

  5. Gene, I just joined but your modeling has inspired me going back several years. I have almost completed a 1/64-scale version of a CG door-and-a-half box car, a project influenced by your work with an Intermountain 1/4 -scale box car. You have completed several other cars that I will be trying in S scale. Thanks for sharing your techniques.


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