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Which scale model aircraft should I go for? The facts.

Posted by AMS Team on 22nd Oct 2020

Which scale model aircraft should I go for? The facts.

You might be confused by the scales, it's perfectly normal, there was a time when we were too! Let's clear it up.

There are three scales which are the most popular. These are: 

  • 1/500
  • 1/400 
  • 1/200 

Sometimes you may see them referred to as 1:500, 1:400 and 1:200. It is the same thing. If you're new to collecting or are researching in preparation for gifting - it means five hundred, four hundred or two hundred times smaller than the real aircraft. That's why a Boeing 777 and Airbus A320 will be different in size even if they're both in the same scale. 

To recap: 1/200 is the largest and 1/500 would be the smallest. 

1/500 Scale

This scale is the smallest out there, but still packs a lot of detail in considering the size. The models are mostly manufactured by Herpa, which has become a highly reputable German brand over the years. One of the perks of this scale is that there are plenty of airport accessories, mats and terminal buildings out there giving you plenty of choice when it comes to building a model airport. 

Fun fact! We started our business with just 1/500 scale models on offer - our founder Ben was collecting these when he saw the demand for these model aircraft. It's the perfect size if you have limited space (like Ben). This is why they have a place in our heart.

1/400 Scale

One to four hundred is the most popular scale we offer. They are small but there are a plethora of fantastic manufacturers out there producing airliners from across the world. GeminiJets, Phoenix, JC Wings, NG Models and Aeroclassics spring to mind but this is just to name a few. 

GeminiJets produce a fantastic terminal which truly allows you to have an incredible airport diorama up and running in no time, along with airport accessories to go along with it from GeminiJets, Fantasy Wings or Herpa.

1/200 Scale

The biggest and some say the best! If you have space in your home, the 1/200 scale models are really stunning. They're often made from solid metal and the detailing will likely blow you away, such as rotating fan blades (no, it doesn't fly) and magnetic landing gear which do rotate. 

A simple guide

If you're wondering how big a certain model is, we have a size guide on our website which is definitely worth referring to if you're unsure.


Be warned! This might well become a highly addictive hobby for yourself or the gift recipient.