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What does scale mean to me?

What does scale mean to me? What does it mean to have a scale truck?

For some people a scale truck is just what they purchased at their local hobby shop or from an online retailer. For others it is that same vehicle with a few 3D printed accessories or maybe a working winch, or the addition of functional headlights and tail lights. For me scale is the pursuit of an accurate representation of the vehicle that you are trying to reproduce.

For some it’s just putting on a smaller tire, most real one-to-one vehicles are not running around with a 52 inch tall tire on them. To take it another step entirely would be to add a realistic hard body on top of any of the readily available chassis on the market. This step allows the modeler a much more realistic looking vehicle as the current line of hard bodies have many molded details that lexan bodies simply are not able to recreate. As the bodies get more realistic the tires get smaller, and the scale accessories start to add up. Then you might feel the current production line of chassis simply are not scale enough. For many models other companies such as RC4WD, GCM Racing, RC Modelex and others provide a more scale realistic chassis. Many of these chassis will allow bodies to mount much lower and easier than many of the commonly found hobby shop brands. As part of the new chassis that better fit the bodies we end up with a much shorter shock. We do away with the 90 and 95mm shocks that come on most hobby shop kits and we replace them with 30, 40, 50, or 60mm shocks which provide a more accurate level of scale wheel travel. When we move into a hard body this also allows us several options for making opening body panels. Whether this is a hood, tailgate or a driver's door the scale modeler can make these a valuable addition to their vehicle. When we move into opening body panels we bring in another realm of realism to the models. There can be a fully detailed engine bay, or a fully detailed interior sometimes complete with working steering wheels or driver figures, backlit dash panels and so on. Hard bodies are not the only way to find or acquire a certain model of vehicle. There are many Craftsman that start with nothing and build a body complete from scratch. The use of wood, styrene, foam and lots of time these will generally yield results that far surpass anything commercially available.

So what is scale really? Is it the brand new truck that a person just picked up from the hobby shop? Or is scale the person that has a hundred hours just in detailing their engine bay alone, or 40 hours and a true automotive paint job?

There is a definitive difference in the last 30 seconds of your reading this article. Once upon a time the term “dollhouse” truck was a negative connotation to the hobby. However, more and more true scale builders will readily except the title of having a doll house truck. These are absolutely scale working models. The artists that create these trucks have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours into them. They are the best of the best. Many components are completely hand built, and many of these vehicles when completed sit inside of a glass display case or on a shelf, never to be driven. The pride of ownership is extremely high, and many will never get driven.

The Ultimate Scale Truck Expo is an exposition of scale modeling at its finest. Our trails are groomed to such an extent that people who build these dollhouse trucks can drive their vehicles on all of our courses and enjoy them without fear of breakage or unrealistic trail settings. While our trails are open too very stock vehicles we specifically cater to dollhouse trucks. If you show up with a 4.7 inch tall tire you will possibly be bored of the trails, but certainly not by the exposition of scale modeling and seeing these works of art on the trail with you. USTE is truly a celebration of scale modeling and learning, as well as meeting industry leaders and seeing the top scale models from around the world. No other event is like the Ultimate Scale Truck Expo. We want to provide an environment to allow scale modeling to grow and get better with time.

What does USTE not have? We do not tell you what kind of vehicle you should be driving. We do not segregated people into different groups or put you into any class. We do not have points or penalties.

What we do have is Hand of God, miles and miles of scale trails, tons and tons of vendors on site. The best people in the industry wanting to meet you and share their knowledge. The best models of dollhouse trucks throughout the world waiting to be shared with you the attendee. We have FUN, and encourage you to as well.

Hope to see you at USTE in 2022,

Rob Mathews

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