The scale of a model car is very important. But what exactly is a scale? Well, roughly speaking, it’s the « size » of your model car. The best way to explain is with an example, take 1:18. That means you would need to replicate 18 times the wheels of your model car and put them next to each other to get the real-sized wheel (the 1:1 scale). ROUGHLY. Among the most famous scales, we can find: 1:18, 1:43, 1:12, 1:63 (BTW, you can write it either 1/18 or 1:18 – I think both ways are « accepted », though I often see the 1:1 version a bit more than the other)… There is something for every taste and every shelf, wether you’re into gigantism or micro-models. It was important for me to limit myself to only one scale of model cars, so I wouldn’t get carried away (I know how easy it is). Also, this system helped me to maintain some sort of coherence within the collection: I am kind of a control freak, and having a bunch of smaller cars next to bigger cars would make me slightly “uncomfortable” (CHAOS !!).
I thought that the 1:43 scale looked pretty cool: it sometimes has just as much details as the bigger scales – despite it being much harder to built & work on due to the smaller size (thought most aren’t hand-made). The 1:43 scale would definitely give me more space to grow the collection. But they also felt too small and fragile. I didn’t feel they were as exciting as the 1/18 models (which all comes down to being a very subjective thing, it’s all about your personal preferences). Stay true to the scale you chose! lol. I speak I speak, but I still have one or two lone wolves though, some lucky 1:43 models that made it through, including a pretty awesome (and super rare as of today) 2016 Ford GT, or a yellow Ferrari F50 with broken mirrors.
As far as prices go, you might think « the smaller, the cheaper ». Makes sense, right? Well it’s not what you think, forget all your preconceptions about size and price. It can actually be quite the opposite. I feel there aren’t many “low quality” brands in 1:43 scale (therefore more affordable), which sort of limits you on the budget side. Hence, they’re usually at least as expensive as a 1:18 scale (and very often, much more – sorry Luke, but it’s true). I found it can be psychologically challenging to spend as much money on something which is evidently smaller, it might feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth. But I have a lot of friends who don’t mind, so I guess it’s all about personal taste too.
All in all, I’ve made a decision, and it was one I do not regret to this day. I settled on the 1:18 scale. The scale satisfies me: the models are much easier to clean (though you always HAVE to be careful about it, obviously), and definitely more enjoyable to look at from my point of view (I can see them all the time, they’re on the shelf on my left, and seeing them makes me feel very very happy).
Basically you should take into consideration a bunch of elements related to the scale of model cars, indirectly one of them is the « size »: how much space are you willing to use for this new-found passion (and chances are, your initial plans won’t be respected, it’s just too tempting to keep adding « one more shelf » – I know friends who have ROOMS!), as well as how much space you actually have (no control on that, obviously), and how big you want it to be in the end (though, let’s face it, that is rarely something you can control haha).