Diecast Model Scales: An Analysis

The scale size of the model is defined as the fraction with regard to the size of the real object. As an example, a 1:18 scale model is 1/18th the dimensions associated with a vehicle that is essential. There are many scales available and it varies more whether we are talking about bigger objects such as planes. But what exactly is the most popular diecast scale?

The most popular diecast scale is actually the 1:64 model. It is the model being used on car models, bus models, train models, and ship models. Because of the varying types using the scale, it is the most common one if we account all the types of diecast models.

However, if we’re talking about the scale with regards to each type of diecast such as cars, and what collectors prefer, then we can have a different answer. In this article, we will dive right into all of them.

What is the most popular diecast scale?

As a general rule, the most popular diecast scale is the 1:64 scale. The reason for this is because most types of models use this scale. Not only do car models use this, but also bus models, ship models, and train models use the 1:64 scale model.

The reason for the difference in the usage of scale is because they are accounting for the actual size of the object. For example, car models have 1:18 models because a car that is 1/18th the size can still easily be stored.

But 1/18 scale can’t be used for planes because planes are significantly larger than cars.

Imagine having a 1/18th size of a plane, how will you store that.

But a 1/18 plane interesting though, I hope I can see something like that. For now, there is none.

Planes usually use 1:200 and 1:500 scales because of their tremendous size which I’ve never found yet with car models.

That is because if car models will use a 1:200 scale then it will be very tiny.

That is why there are lots of variation between the scale used on different models. But the widely used scale across all is the 1:64 scale which can be used with a lot of real-life objects.

That is the reason why 1:64 models are the most common.

But when we are talking about the most popular scale among different models and collectors, then it is another story.

What is the most popular scale for diecast cars?

The most popular scale for diecast cars is the 1:64 model. This is because there are numerous small car models being sold in regular stores. However, 1:64 scale is not the ones preferred by collectors. This is because the usual scale collectors want is the 1:43 scale.

One of the most popular diecast models are cars. This is because people are more used to cars than trains, planes and others.

We can see cars everywhere so it is normal for people to be more aware of cars. For this reason, we are more inclined to collecting car models.

Diecast model automobiles are available in different sizes, referred to as scales. The Diecast car scale starts from 1:4 up to 1:144 but the common ones are the 1:18 scale up to 1:128 scale.

Interestingly, the smaller the scale size, the more expensive is the model.

I am not talking about the actual price. I am talking about the price relative to its size.

This is because of the things that makes diecast models expensive is their attention to detail.

Actually I made an experiment myself checking the prices of various scale models of cars and then dividing them by their weight.

Here are my results:

Diecast Model Car ScaleAverage price per Ounce
1:18 Model$0.75/oz
1:24 Model$1.32/oz
1:43 Model$3.63/oz
1:64 Model$9.83/oz
Diecast Model Cars Relative to their Price per Ounce

As you can see, the price of the model car the smaller it becomes. This is because one of the key factors in the diecast’s price is their attention to detail.

When it comes to popularity between diecast cars, the popular ones are 1:64, 1:18, and 1:43. This is followed by 1:24. Other scales can also be popular such as 1:12, 1:10, and 1:87.

Note that there are some exceptions to this rule. Some toy manufacturers do produce diecast model vehicles as small as 1/144 and as big as 1/4 scale.

But which is the most popular? The most popular is actually the 1:64 model. This is because of its wide availability in local stores.

But I actually have another very interesting data for you.

In this table, we are going to deep dive into the popularity of each scale of model cars.

Scale ModelPopularity and Description
1:12 ScaleThis Scale is Very Uncommon even if you buy directly to Manufacturers
1:18 ScaleThis is the common “Large” Diecast model made popular by brands like Bburago, Maisto, AutoArt, and Biante Classics.
1:24 ScaleThis is the previous “Large” Diecast Model but currently, it has a low appeal
1:32 ScaleThis is famous for Slot Cars
1:43 ScaleThis is currently the popular scale among enthusiasts. Due to its popularity, it is also known as the “collector’s scale” because it is not that big and not too small to be a good model.
1:50 ScaleThis scale is famous for truck models because trucks are naturally larger than cars.
1:64 ScaleThis is the most popular scale in general. Matchbox and Hotwheels use this scale a lot.
1:76 ScaleThis scale is popular in train models because it is perfect for their actual large size
Scale models relative to their popularity

If you are a collector, it is a good idea to choose 1:43 because of its popularity. If you are interested in investing in these model cars, I prefer you read first my other article here: Do diecast cars increase in value?

By reading that, you will be familiar with how things work.

But here are some pointers.

Whether you are buying diecast model cars for investment, it is important to learn how to protect and keep them correctly to protect their value.

If at all possible, continue to keep any kind of paper, which can be original containers or ordinary packaging. Use this in protecting the models from heat and moisture.

Although collecting diecast model automobiles may be a popular hobby that is also a good investment, it is worth knowing that they’re collectibles, and it is essential to enjoy ownership of the collection.

Furthermore, also not that it is never wise to invest in something you have no idea about. What I mean by that is to you should know how to properly take care of the models including cleaning them without damaging the paint. Or you may know how to paint them in case you need some repainting done.

In short, Diecast model cars can be used for playing, investing, or you might be a collector who prefers just collecting and keeping it in mint condition.

For some who are real enthusiasts, and know how to clean and take care of their model cars, it can be a combination of both.

Putting together a collection of diecast automobiles must not be about the money; it must be about enjoyment. How will you have fun and what is your goal in buying a model.

But returning to the popularity.

The popular diecast scale among collectors is actually the 1:43 model. This is because it is not too big to keep and not too small so see fine details. In fact, this scale is also known as the collector’s scale because of its popularity.

When we talk about the scale that is widely popular to the general public, then it is the 1:64 scale since you can easily buy them in your local stores. They are also widely produced.

Overall, when we talk about every scale models including cars, bus, trucks, and trains. It is still the 1:64 scale because it is used by all of these models.

Only the things I love”

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So, here are the things I love when taking care of my Diecast Models.

Cleaning the Models

The first we are going to talk about is cleaning the models.

Removing Dust

  1. Air Brush – For me, this is the best since it not just removes dust but you can use it in painting/clear coating.
  2. Air Duster – This is a good alternative to Airbrush
  3. Normal Brush – If you are short on budget, you can use a normal brush. However, make sure that the brush has soft bristles because there are some hard brushes than can cause scratches. That’s why I recommended a good brush that can do the job properly.

Cleaning and Shining Hacks

Well, here are some of my cleaning hacks for removing scratches, oxidation, and so much more.

  1. Removing Decal Adhesive – Use Goo Gone on those hard-to-remove decal adhesives. It works fast and works like charm!
  2. Waxing and Polishing – Here is something a lot of people don’t know. Waxing protects the clear coat and paint while polishing shines the model. Instead of buying it separately, use a 2 in 1 to save money. Get this instead.
  3. Beginner Wax – The wax I recommended earlier is good and provides the best results based on my experience. But a beginner might have a problem especially if they’re not good at applying wax. Solid wax reaching hard to reach surface can be hard to remove. You have two choices here. One is to use a qtips to reach those surfaces, another is to use a liquid wax I recommended.
  4. Cleaning Wheels, Rubber, Plastic – Do not forget that rubber and plastic surface are quite different, especially in the cleaning process. Just wiping it down won’t do the job. That’s why I use Meguiar’s Vinyl and Rubber Cleaner and Conditioner. Works like charm!
  5. Make the Wheels Shine! – Making our models look good won’t be complete without tiny details such as shiny wheels! Do not forget this because however small this is, the difference can be as big as night and day.
  6. Remove Scratches Easily – Tiny scratches are not the end for your model. Here is a simple trick I’ve been using to make my models look scratch-free even without repainting. Use T-Cut.

Painting the Models

Painting Tools

Make sure when you paint models, have these ready.

  1. Tape – A tape is important if you are painting a straight line. Furthermore, it will prevent your paint to scatter on other parts. I recommend Tamiya Tape since it is really made for models. Furthermore, they stick really well preventing paint splatters.
  2. Brush (Beginner) – Find a good set of brushes to paint your models. Of course, you can opt for an airbrush but it’s quite expensive.
  3. Airbrush (Intermediate/Expert) – This will yield a significantly better result than an ordinary brush because you can easily spray the paint evenly. I recommend this if you know what you’re doing.
  4. Stand(Optional) – Stands are good because it can be hard to manually hold the models while painting. It is optional but in my opinion, the price is well worth it for the comfort it gives.
  5. Drop Cloths – Drop Cloths will protect your surroundings from the paint.
  6. Primer – The most common beginner mistake I see is painting models without any Primer. A primer will prevent imperfections such as bubbles or paint not sticking to your models. It is a small price to pay for quality results.
  7. Clear Coat – A clear coat will protect the paint of your models. This will make the paint last longer. Also, it is the one responsible for making your models shine.


Of course, you can’t do painting properly without paint. So here are the ones I recommend.

  1. Acrylic PaintGood for beginners because it dries quickly. However, it doesn’t produce results as good as enamel paint.
  2. Enamel PaintProvides a good quality finish and longer-lasting paint. However, it takes longer to dry and requires expertise to use.

Model Maintenance

Model Storage

  1. Simple Wood Cabinet – While it doesn’t let you display your models, wooden cabinets are good storage for these models. For one, they are not heat conductors which means that the temperature inside will remain constant and remain cool. Furthermore, they prevent light from reaching the models which can cause oxidation.
  2. Clear Cabinet with Lock – If you want to display your models, then I recommend this. It closes so dust won’t easily get to your models. I also recommend you don’t put more than 1 model in each compartment since metals are good conductors of heat.

Model Photography

So you want to show off your models to others? Well, I got you covered.

Here is my beginner-friendly model photography tutorial that teaches everything from taking pictures to the editing process.

You will also see me doing hands-on photography in that tutorial.

Here is the link: How to Take Pictures of a Diecast Model or Model Kit | Helpful Illustrated and Video Guide

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