Sunday, August 5, 2012

Are you a Scale Snob? defines snob as "one who tends to rebuff, avoid, or ignore those regarded as inferior" and from the scale as "ratio of the size of an object as drawn to its actual size" such as a scale drawing.
So thinking about snob and scale miniatures, I admit that I sometimes I am a scale snob.  I tend to avoid photos and websites of items made in a scale other than 1/4" scale.  I don't mean I am a snob because I think that other scales are inferior but more that I avoid or ignore other scales most of the time.

So I got thinking about why we are 'scale snobs' in the miniature world.  In no particular order:
  • Time limitations - I work full time so I focus only on the scale that interests me.
  • What can be accomplished - Looking at 1" scale I might think I can do that in 1/4" scale, however I will have many challenges in 1/4" that I might not with 1" scale.
  • what can be obtained - I like seeing what I can readily get for my particular scale so looking at 1" scale items or kits to purchase is not going to help me find them in 1/4".  Exceptions would be when the dealer says they offer in several scales.
  • Space limitations - why would I look at 1" scale items when I am not going to purchase them, even if I fell in love with a 1" scale thing then what do I do with it?  A kit would take up too much room - a 12" x 12" room box takes up that amount of space but a 1/4" equivalent room box takes up 1/4" all around so only 3" x 3" - a three or four story house is going to sit on a table in 1" scale and in 1/4" it can go on a shelf with other projects above or below it.
  • Techniques may not work the same - yet they might, so this is not a reason to be a scale snob, just why sometimes we are
Reasons to avoid being a scale snob
  • Supplies - Many supplies are the same for any scale, some aren't going to work because they will translate to be too big - thinner wood is need, thinner paints are needed, fabrics with designs may not translate, but portions might, weave of fabric may not scale down well, but something like silk is good for many scales.  Real life comes in many sizes so a tiny print in 1" scale can work in 1/4" as a not so tiny print.
  • Patterns - can be reduced to the scale desired, adjustments may need to be made to simplify or  for materials to be used - such as different wood thicknesses if the thickness is part of the overall measurement
  • 1" scale items can be used to create unique things in 1/4" scale - teacups in 1" scale can be used as a light cover/shade in 1/4" scale
  • Ideas- I never know when I will see an idea I want to make in 1/4" scale, so I could see something in another scale and that includes real life that will strike an idea.
  • Many miniaturists work in multiple scales - it is entirely possible that I could find a 1/4" project in the other miniaturist's photos.
  • Working in other scales will help me to think outside a particular scale and should expand my mind.  This is no different than trying a different technique or medium.
So after thinking on these things - I feel it is neither a good or bad thing to be a scale snob.  There are some very valid reasons to be - such as the time or space limitation.  However there are some valid reasons not to be as well.  So although I admit to being a scale snob I can't say I will always be one.

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