This is a question I’m sometimes asked. First, let me emphasize that I find all scales appealing and have previously collected other scales. However, no other scale suits my needs like 1/72. Truly, I’m not trying to persuade anyone that 1/72 is better than other scales; 1/72 is what works for me.
- Selection: I believe 1/72 has far more selection in terms of AFVs and softskins than any other scale. Even the most obscure subjects can be found in 1/72. Whether it’s diecast, plastic, resin, or white metal, there’s an excellent chance someone has produced it.
- Compatibility with Aircraft: 1/72 vehicles look awesome next to their 1/72 aircraft cousins. Although 1/48 is also widely used for aircraft, 1/72 is the king of scales for diecast military aircraft, with virtually more than 1,000 WWII pieces. I’m spitballing here but I have over 400 different aircraft pieces and I know of twice that many that I don’t have.
- Compatibility with Soldiers: Finding 1/72 scale soldiers to complement specific pieces is a breeze. Again, no other scale has the selection of soldiers available in 1/72. So you want to display your Hobby Master Opel Blitz Gebirgsjager Division (HG3912) with soldiers? No problem, Airfix and Caesar produce 1/72 German mountain troops. There are at least 300 WWII subjects available.
- Space: Because of their size, five 1/32 tanks can fill an entire shelf on a bookcase. Not so with 1/72. One can display at least 20 on a shelf. My wife allows me only one small room for my hobby so 1/72 was the only option if I wanted significant numbers of AFVs, aircraft, and figures.
- Portability: I move every two or three years. Imagine moving several hundred 1/32 scale tanks. Lord knows I appreciate the amount of detail that a 1/32 tank allows but it’s just not practical for me.
- Cost: In general, 1/72 costs less than the bigger scales. Witness the Hobby Master models. While their 1/72 line is expensive, their 1/48 line is substantially more expensive.
- 1/72 versus 1/76: Generally speaking, I’m not averse to 1/76 scale when an item doesn’t already exist in 1/72. Depending on the item, the difference between the two scales can be negligible. The bigger the subject, the bigger the difference. But on a tiny Oxford Diecast Austin Tilly, for example, the difference is less than 3 mm. I can live with that until a 1/72 Austin Tilly is available.