We 1/35 modelers are slowly but steadily enjoying more and more railway models being produced.
Sometime before last July there was at least one thread concerning, or asking about, whether there is a model railroad scale designation for the predominant military scale of 1/35, i.e., "HO scale" for 1/87, "OO scale" for 1/76 (often co-opting 1/87), "O scale" for 1/48, "S scale" for 1/64, etc. (More information about those scale - and others - can be found here: Model Train Scale and Gauge )
I wrote to the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) asking if there was one, or if they were planning one. NMRA is involved in bringing standardization to model railroading throughout the world. Acceptance of NMRA conformance is a significant selling point for model railroad manufacturers.
Tonight I heard from Carl Smeigh, their Manager of Manager of Standards & Conformance. His reply follows;
You are correct that there is no military 1/35 scale. As you pointed out the NMRA has in the past lumped scales 1:20 to 1:35 as “large scale” but there is little data. In the active years of developing standards for model railroading, these large scales were all but unheard of. Those years,1935 to the 1960’s, many people spent a lot of time developing standards with the state purpose that the standards were to ensure a model in a given scale would run on anyone’s layout, known as interoperability. Wheels, trucks, track gage, track size, coupler height were all evaluated. Manufacturers were deeply involved in the development and acceptance of these standards. That leads us up to the modern era.
In your email you asked if the NMRA would be willing to create an M scale for 1/35 scale? The answer to that question is yes, but it comes with some significant work. Those working in that scale would need to develop a study group and present proposed standards. Using the existing standards in the popular scales, you can see what is needed. I have to mention that it’s not a case of just picking some numbers and going with them, in the past technical papers were written that provide justification for the numbers. The second part is conversation with the manufacturers of trains in that scale and getting their buy in. The standard is worthless if the they mandate changes that the manufacturers will not use.
Having said all of the above, if you find there is the energy in a group that models in this scale, to take it on, the NMRA is more than willing to listen and consider adding the 1/35 scale to the standards. Please make sure those note rested understand the level of involvement though and again manufacturers involvement would be needed as it affects them the most.
So, have we any interest in creating a 1/35 "military scale" for the model railroading world/creating a model railroad scale for 1/35 (however you want to look at it)? Does it matter? Might it make any difference in encouraging more 1/35 railroadia?