One thing about 1/144 scale — it’s almost always smaller than you think. Except when it’s bigger.
Which is to say, it’s really tough to “eyeball” scale and get it right. It gets tougher when you’re at the craft store and you buy some excellent beads that you know will be perfect for 1/144 door knobs — only you get them home and find out they’re perfect for 1/144 beach balls.
Which is where the 1/144 scale ruler comes in handy. It’s a ruler marked up to measure in 1/144 scale. So where the normal 3/4″ marking is, the 1/144 scale ruler is marked 9′. The good people of The Scale Card have a nice plastic 1/144 scale ruler for sale — buy two, one for your work area and one for your wallet.
But if you’re anything like me, you’re going to misplace your scale rulers. I do it so often, I finally made up one of my own that I can print any time I can’t find my other ones. I print it out, cut it out, and cover it in clear packing tape (the poor woman’s version of a lamination).
Here’s a sample of what the ruler looks like:
Click to download this 1/144 scale ruler.
If you need a dozen or more 1/144 scale rulers to scatter about your house, you can download this PDF file (which requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view).
And then you can stop guessing whether those tiny little beads are as tiny as you think they are.
Whether I building my own or considering purchasing miniature furniture and appliances, I have one big problem — how can I tell if it’s in scale if I don’t the “real life” size of the object?
So I’ve started doing some research on various household furniture and appliances to find standard sizes (these are U.S. standards). The chart below is the result of that research — it’s an ongoing project, I’ll add to it as I move from room-to-room of the house I’m currently building.
Numbers are rounded off to inches and are a general average of the sizes I found.
Sometimes I think my brain will explode trying to figure out how big an 8mm bead is in 1:144… or how thick is .035 inches in 1:144?
So I made myself a cheat sheet. I keep a copy in my wallet and a copy on my computer.
Here it is for any other miniaturists who are as mathematically challenged as I am. The first column is in 1:144 feet, the second column is the decimal equivalent in inches, the third column is the fractional equivalent in inches, and the fourth column is millimeters.
For example, if you want something to be two feet long in 1:144, it needs to be .167 inches or 1/6 of an inch or 4.24 millimeters.
I also get confused every time I go to buy strip wood (or styrene) for scratch built projects — so I sat down and converted the most common wood measurements to inches/feet in 1:144 scale.