PRODUCT REVIEW: SCALE RULES
Manufacturer: The Scale Card, P.O. Box 1078, Department OR, Highland, CA 93246-1078. Price: Rulers for 1:32, 1:29, 1:24, 1:22.5, 1:20.3 and three others $12.95 each plus $2.00 shipping and handling.
THE SCALE RULES from The Scale Card fill a big void in tools available to large scale modelers. First, because their length of two feet enables us to measure most structures, locomotives, and rolling stock without the necessity of making a tick mark, re-setting the rule, measuring the extra length, and adding together the two distances. And second, because the rule's measurements reportedly are accurate to a minimum of .02-inch. Other rules are on the market but, for various reasons, few seem to have achieved the same level of accuracy.
The Scale Card's rules are clear, tough, flexible plastic. Their flexibility allows you to measure circumferences and their clarity lets you see your work through the rule. A plastic rule also is less likely than a metal rule to scratch or nick delicate paint jobs or other plastics.
The rules come in 1:32, 1:29, 1:24, 1:22.5, 1:20.3, and several other scales. Each rule includes 24 inches of the primary scale along one edge and, along the opposite edge, 12 inches each of HO scale (1:87.1) and O scale (1:48) so you may scale up plans in magazines more easily. The center of the rule has markings in increments of one actual inch with each marking in a box.
The accuracy of any rule is, by definition, critical. The Scale Card's primary scale has tick marks every scale inch, small numbers indicating every third inch, and larger numbers marking every scale foot. You will have to estimate dimensions of under one scale inch, should that ever be necessary.
We compared the markings of our sample against those of two other rules with the same scales. It proved identical with the first; in 1:32 scale, the second rule appeared to have gained a scale inch over the Scale Card rule after one actual foot. We also compared the Scale Card rule against a highly accurate computer output. The rule was right on the money.
The only criticism we might offer has to do with the rule's edge. The tick marks lie about 1/16-inch in from the edge. That has little effect if you are measuring from a plan but it makes placing an accurate mark on your modeling material more difficult. The Scale Card's owner, Jose Lopez, intends to address that and any other criticisms modelers might have when he produces future runs.
No hobbyist should be without rules in the common scales. The extreme accuracy and convenience of the Scale Card's rules should make them very popular. They are excellent products.-RR