|1:48 scale is famous with modelers both as diecast models, plastic models and construction toys. It is especially popular with producers of scale model planes and model railways (where it is known as O scale). 1:48 is also the most famous scale with Lego modelers since it is around the scale of the minifig (1.5 inches: 6 feet).
It is close in size to 1:43 scale and 1:50 scale which are very common for diecast muscle cars.
Many manufacturers manufacture die-cast models of cars, buses, trucks construction equipment and other vehicles in scales compatible with or similar to 0 gauge model trains. These are available in 1:48 scale, 1:43 scale and 1:50 scale. Producers include Conrad, Corgi, NZG, TWH Collectibles and many others. These are popular with collectors and easy to find.
A short time ago, Tamiya has begun to produce a stock of military tanks models in 1:48 in addition to their more common 1:35 scale stock. This has been seen as an attempt to step into a new market since the stiff competition in the more bigger scale. This is the popular scale for Admiralty Board style models and Shipyard builders scale models.
It is popular with manufacturers of model trains.
The biggest makers of U.S. O scale model railroads today are Lionel, LLC, MTH Electric Trains, Atlas O, and Weaver Models.
In the U.S., producers such as the American Flyer,Lionel and Ives used O gauge for their budget stock, marketing either Scale I or Wide gauge (also known as standard scale) as their premium trains.
The Great Depression wiped out the questioning for the expensive bigger model trains, and by 1932, O scale was the standard, almost by default.
Because of the emphasis on play value, the scale of pre World War II 0 gauge trains varied.
After World War II, producers started giving more attention to scale, and post-war locomotives and rolling stock tend to be larger and more realistic than their earlier counterparts.
Since the early 90s, 0 scale producers have begun placing more emphasis on realism, and the scale has experienced a resurgence in popularity, although it remains less popular than N and HO gauge. However, newer producers including MTH Electric Trains, LLC, Lionel, Atlas O, and Weaver are making very exact 1:48 scale model railroads.
O scale beginnings up until the mid-1970s, the various manufacturers trackside accessories would interoperate with one another, but the train cars themselves used couplers of differing designs, often making it difficult or impossible to use different manufacturers cars together. The post War consolidation did little to improve matters. Marx used 3 different standards depending on the product line. Lionel used two, so frequently the companies' own entry-level stock were incompatible with their high-end items , let alone with the competition. Railroader who wanted differing standards to interoperate had to resort to replacing couplers.
Between 1946 and 1976, the primary U.S. producers of O gauge trains were Lionel and Marx, with American Flyer switching to the more-realistic S scale and the rest of the companies out of business.
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