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A scale model is often smaller than the real thing. Matchbox cars,
Dinky toys, Tonka toys or whatever appear at a cursory glance to
resemble real vehicles quite closely but clearly they lack engines,
electrics and often even working doors, and are only partly made of
same materials. I
suggest these models be scaled up to real vehicle
size and placed in the likes of car parks, garages, roadsides among
their real counterparts with arrangements in place with the
bodies such as councils, traffic wardens, car park authorities and the
From a distance, these vehicles will look real. As one approaches
them, however, it may or may not become clear that they are to some
extent fake due to the likes of perspex/plexiglass windows, General
Lee-type doors and plastic tyres, or on the other hand a casual
passerby might not even notice. I probably wouldn't. It would be
interesting to see how accurate or not the models are compared to
real versions, and add a surreal quality to everyday life. Moreover, to
very limited extent the models would be functional, because they
actually be mobile to some extent. Scaling them up, however, would
probably also introduce problems such as weak axles, soft tyres and
transparent plastic becoming translucent due to exposure to
In the meantime, the vacancies created by scaling up the models
be filled by tiny functional scaled-down vehicles made of authentic
parts and materials on a minute scale. I presume these would have
be either electric, hydrogen or LPG-powered, since I imagine either
diesel or petrol would be too viscous to function. Such models must
correspond to real such vehicles rather than liquid fuel vehicles with
I suspect that a fully-working scaled-down model of a vehicle would
more expensive than a full-size version and that a full-size version of
model would be cheaper than a real version.
They would of course be fully insured and taxed etc. I'm interested in
the legal and safety situation with both versions.
//for practical reasons the engine cannot be run when mounted in the car// [pocmloc, Mar 08 2016, last modified Dec 11 2019]
I wonder what it runs on
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 13 2016]
||How about 19:20th scale counterparts of actual vehicles?
You know, just small enough to look not-quite-right.
||Oh yes, that'd be brilliant! Also, 20:19th scale.
||Some of the more extreme model engineers have built working scale model cars. The link is the only one I could find from a quick google; and it does not actually work itself though all the components do. I remember reading in one of my grandfather's 1940s or 50s Model Engineering magazines about a person who built a working scale model of an unexceptional production car chassis; the very simple 4 cylinder engine meant that it could be fully functional. I remember the embareassment that the cambelt was impossible to reproduce at that scale, and was replaced by a gear train, which meant that the dipstick (which passed inside the cambelt run) had to be replaced by a fake on the model. Everything else apart from that was entirely correct.
||Also I don't know about motor-cars, but full scale model aeroplanes are built and used for film props. I imagine they are like this, they only have to look convincing at a distance.
||I would expect the size of vehicle concerned there is near
the lower limit of what can be done with liquid fuel, or at
least with diesel or petrol. I would expect a smaller such
engine to have to run on less viscous fuel, for instance
because of carburettors and filters, and also that thinner
fuel would have other implications. This is why I thought
electric or gas-based motors would work better.