What is the Most Popular Scale for Model Ships?

With a vast array of options available, selecting the most popular scale for model ships can be quite overwhelming for both beginners and experienced hobbyists. Knowing the right scale is essential for ensuring the finished product not only looks accurate but also aligns with the modeller’s preferences and display space.


Scales for model ships vary significantly. They can range from 1:10 to 1:700. The range shows how many times smaller the model is compared to the actual vessel. Each scale comes with its distinct advantages.

The scales differ in the models accessibility, level of detail and compatibility with other models. The larger scales allow for easier handling and more intricate detailing. The smaller scales permit the creation of an extensive range of fleets or dioramas in limited spaces.

Regardless of a modeller’s preference, understanding the importance of selecting a model kit in the right scale is crucial to fully enjoy the art of model shipbuilding. Let’s explore the scales now:

1:30 Scale

1:30 scale model ships are relatively large and offer more space for detailing. This makes them popular among builders who enjoy adding intricate details to their models. These models can require more time and effort to build. They need a dedicated space for display and storage.

1:60 Scale

1:60 scale model ships strike a balance between size and ease of building. They are big enough to showcase the craftsmanship and detail involved in building. They are less time consuming compared to larger scales. These models can still attract attention but will not overwhelm available display space.

What is the Most Popular Scale for Model Ships? 1

1:72 Scale

The 1:72 scale is popular among both military vehicles and figure modellers. It is also used for model ships. This scale provides modelers with various choices in available kits and accessories. An appealing option for enthusiasts who wish to build and display a diverse collection of models.

What is the Most Popular Scale for Model Ships? 2

1:100 Scale

1:100 scale model ships are compact and feasible for those with limited space for display or storage. They may not offer as much room for detailing as larger scale models. Builders can still express their creativity and hone their skills.

These models can be an ideal choice for beginners or those looking to expand their collection without consuming too much space.

What is the Most Popular Scale for Model Ships? 3

1:350 Scale

One of the most sought-after scales among ship modellers is 1:350. This offers a perfect balance between size and complexity. In this scale model ships have enough space for displaying intricate details, providing a good balance between detail and ease of working.

A 1:350 scale model ship is considered an industry standard. This size makes it easier to find compatible components and accessories. Suitable for a wide range of model boat sizes, from small boats to large naval vessels.

What is the Most Popular Scale for Model Ships? 4

1:700 Scale

1:700 scale model ships are ideal for enthusiasts looking to create large collections without the need for an expansive display area. These models are smaller than 1:350 scale sailing ships but still provide sufficient detail for a compelling build.

The 1:700 scale is another common ship scale. It allows modelers to choose from a range of kits and resources in this size category.

Factors Influencing Popularity


Availability is important in determining the most popular scale for wooden ship model kits. The scales that are easily accessible tend to be more popular among hobbyists, not to mention the preference of manufacturers and retailers.

Some of the commonly used scales for model ships include 1/160, 1/87, and 1/48. These scales are used for railroad models. 1/72 and 1/35 scales are used for military models. If you are keen to discover more about the scale used in making a range of different models have a look at DeAgostini Collectibles.


Affordability is another factor contributing to the popularity of certain model ship scales. While larger scales may offer more detail, they can also be more expensive to produce and purchase.

Hobbyists with limited budgets may opt for smaller scales as they are generally more affordable. Prices can vary based on the complexity and detail of the ship model. Materials used in the construction also affects the price.

Detail and Complexity

The detail and complexity of a model ship is heavily influenced by the scale used. Large, tall ship building kits such as 1/35 and 1/24, offer more intricate detailing and more complex assembly processes. These can appeal to more experienced modellers and collectors.

If you have a look at the level 4 kits at Modelers Central you will see the scale and the intricate detail required in the construction.

Smaller scales are more accessible to beginners and those looking for a less time-consuming project. These models are suitable for modellers returning to the hobby in more mature years. For smaller scale kits look for level 1 kit and level 2 kits at Modelers Central.

Model shipbuilding enthusiasts have a diverse choice when it comes to selecting a manufacturer. Let’s dive into the top six notable brands: Amati, Disar, Dusek, Mamoli, Occre and Modelers Shipyard.

Amati Model Ship Kits

Amati is an Italian company known for creating high-quality model boat and ship kits. They offer model boat kits in various scales, including 1:35, 1:60, 1:65, 1:100 and more. This scale has a balance between detail and size. It appeals to both beginners and experienced modellers.

Amati offers models in other scales, such as 1:72 and 1:100, allowing shipbuilders to choose based on their preferences and expertise.

Mayflower - Amati Model Ship Kit

Disar Model Ship Kits

Disar Model, a Spanish company, produces a wide range of model ship kits. Their most popular scale is 1:50, which provides a good amount of detail without becoming too cumbersome in size.

Disar offers models in various scales, including 1:70 and 1:200, giving hobbyists the flexibility to select the model, building kit and scale that suits their interests and skill levels.

Altu Mendi Basque Tug Boat - Disar

Dusek Model Ship Kits

Dusek, based in the Czech Republic, offers a selection of model ship model kits, with the 1:72 scale being one of their most popular. This scale provides ample detail without being too large, making it an attractive option for modelers of all experience levels.

They also provide ship model kits made in more diminutive scales, such as 1:100 and 1:150, allowing builders to select the right size for their projects.

What is the Most Popular Scale for Model Ships? 5

Mamoli Model Ship Kits

Mamoli is an Italian model kit manufacturer known for its historically accurate model ship kits. With a focus on detail and quality, their most popular scale is 1:90. This scale strikes a balance between size and both historical accuracy and intricacy, appealing to both beginners and expert modelers. 

Mamoli also makes models in other scales, such as 1:64 and 1:178, catering to diverse interests and preferences among shipbuilders.

Sao Miguel Carrack 16th Century - Mamoli Model Ship Kit

Occre Model Ship Kits

Occre, a Spanish brand, is well-known for its wide range of plastic model ships and ship kits. Their popular scale is 1:65, which offers a good level of detail while remaining manageable for most hobbyists.

Occre also produces models in different scales, like 1:100 and 1:200, allowing interested shipbuilders to  adapt their selections based on their requirements and expertise.

What is the Most Popular Scale for Model Ships? 6

Modelers Shipyard

Modelers Shipyard is an Australia retailer and manufacturer known for creating unique model ship kits focusing on Australian maritime history. They produce kits in 1:20, 1:35, 1:45, and 1:60.

Each model ship kit has information about the scale and the level of modeling skills required to complete the project. There are kits for children and experienced models.

HMS Supply Model Ship Kit by Modellers Shipyard

Ready to Choose a Scale?

Precision is paramount in model ship building, and scales play a crucial role in achieving accurate and realistic models. 

Modelers Central’s range of model ships are available in popular scales and we can help you through every step – from selecting the appropriate scale to finding the right decor. Get the best in impressive and captivating model ships for your collection – contact Modelers Central.

What is the most popular scale for model ships

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