Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: Model Scaler App from Woodland Scenics

Several months ago my wife and I stepped into the 21st Century by purchasing our first set of Smart Phones. Samsung has essentially put the hobby world at my finger tips, allowing me to update the Facebook page, post Tweets, check email, and search reference photos on the Internet in the same amount of time it would take simply to turn on the ol' PC.
So, I was intrigued to see that Woodland Scenics has a free app available called Model Scaler. The interface allows users to convert any measurement to a specific scale with as much ease as it takes for you to use that same phone to calculate your 20 percent gratuity at your favorite restaurant. Though I don't often find myself in a situation where conversion is necessary, I figured I would give it a go any way.
Plus, its free and available for iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Kindle Fire, Mac, PC and Linux.

After the brief download and installation process, the app opens to an exceedingly simple user interface. There are a series of scales the user can choose from that, when selected, open up the calculator. All you have to do is input the value of the actual size of the object in question, select the unit of measurement, and it will automatically convert it to the scale requested. This also works to scale up from miniature to actual size if necessary.

You may be worried, as I was initially, that this app only applies to the model railroad genre. Fear not, even though the Choose a Scale section lists G, O, HO, and N scale most prominently, you can see that their corresponding numerical scale value is listed to the right, which is also a great reference should you be looking to include some railroad features on your next military diorama. Knowing that O Scale is equivalent to 1/48 scale could come in handy some day...

The section at the bottom called More Scales features the less popular railroad scales like S and TT but it does include 1/72 and 1/32 for you military modelers out there.
But what about the most popular scale for military modelers? 1/35. Though not a preset value, the
app includes an option to create your own custom scale. Just type in the ratio and hit add. Voila, you now have a 1/35 scale conversion tool. There does not appear to be a limitation to the number of custom scales you can add, so if you're a versatile modeler you should be able to cover just about all your scaling needs.

I found the UI to be very user friendly as there are only two screens to navigate between. Selecting a scale brings up the calculator, then hitting the menu icon returns you to the Choose a Scale mode. The calculations are made almost instantaneously so time is of no issue. I mean, who wants to wait around while you wait to see what 23 ft scales down to in 1:160 scale? Aside from that, you can check out videos and products from Woodland Scenics as well as specific products that fit into your selected scale.

This isn't anything to lose your mind over. I know I didn't. Like I said, I'm not one to spend too much time worrying about getting exact measurements right. Even so, I'll keep it on my phone as it may prove handy and its good to know there is a quick and easy tool out there to make those conversions should I need one.
If complete accuracy down to the last millimeter is your thing, than I highly recommend this.

For more details or to download the app, check out the Model Scaler App on Woodland Scenics' website
Thanks for reading!

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