A 1/4 scale paradox

Mar 24, 2021

    1. So, we all know that 1/4 scales are just that -- they are 1/4 scale. The delimma I am having is incorporating 1/3 scale accessories. After all, these dolls are 1/4 scale of a human adult, but they are still suitable as 1/3 children. I would like a set with my 1/3 adult and child, but my accessories and props look down right cartoonish next to him. I am also working on making a Japanese style ransel backpack for him, but it still looks huge. Though, I also look at the size of ransels on children, they also look huge. There's so many projects I want to make and do, but what if it perpetually looks funky?

      Does my delimma make sense? Does anyone else experience this?
    2. Yes, I hear you loud and clear. Same experience. My issue is that I am not very "crafty" so I have to buy a lot of clothes/accessories. I have found a lot of sellers on Etsy and some on other websites actually will custom make things for you. Seems a little expensive upfront, but the peace of mind is worth it - plus I made the mistake of buying stuff that didn't fit anything - which was a waste of money as well.
    3. I have a similar issue with my 1/3 size BJD who are all children so actual 1/3 size furnishings don't work because they're scaled as for adult dolls of that size, not children.... although I ahve foudn a few of a bigger scale that do the job:

      Good luck in your hunt for items that work for you and your dolls

      • x 2
    4. Oof yes, it's very challenging. I don't really "trust" scale designations on the dolls now - I consider a combination of height, head size and "maturity" when figuring their scale. What really got to me at one point was seeing how one of my 1/6th kid dolls looks like the perfect sister to a 1/4 young/mature doll I have... when I had originally bought the kid doll to be a sister to a 1/3 doll from the same company! It all felt very arbitrary. And that's when I realized that *in theory* a 1/6th mature doll should actually look perfect next to a 1/6th kid doll if we were following any actual scale rules around this neck of the woods in doll world....

      So I went off and started reading up on how scales are calculated, and at least learned that in order to find the scale of the item you're looking at for your personal purposes, you can decide how tall you'd think the thing is "in real life" and work back the real scale from there.

      I'll try to explain how to do it, beware.. math incoming....

      I'm going to do this for a small doll because that's what I've been working with lately, the concept carries for all scale calculations .... So, let's say I have a doll that I think would look good in concept as a 5'10" person because she's mature & say she's about 9 inches tall as a physical doll.

      First I need to find the ratio of how tall I envision her in feet to how tall she is in inches, then I can match that ratio to a scale chart.

      So I've "decided" she's 5'10" .. let's round that to 6ft for the math. The ratio of 6ft in the doll-world-scale to 9 inches in real-world-scale give me a 1ft=1.5in ratio. Then, if you check on wikipedia for "list of scale model sizes" matches up to a 1/8th scale.

      So then I'd go look for 1/8th scale furniture for her.

      Hearkening back to my introduction, what gets me is that when I look around, I'm seeing kids and mature dolls of the same height both being listed at the same scale... which if that's really what is being claimed.. it's NOT actually true.

      The same doll height as a kid sculpt might lead to this math:
      Doll is 9inches tall... but since it's a kid, I think it would look good at 4.5ft in real life... so my ratio ends up being 1ft=2inches... which is actually a 1/6th scale for the kid.


      Anyway, I've found it very confusing and quite frustrating to try to get right.. but it IS possible to calculate scale for dolls you want to purchase accessories for instead of just going off the scale claim companies make for them.

      The process overview is:
      Measure doll height
      Identify maturity to make a best guess at what height you'd say they are if they were "real"
      Convert to inches and feet for each
      Make a fraction comparing FEET ("real life" desired height):INCHES(actual doll height)
      Reduce that fraction such that FEET=1
      Compare to this table in Wikipedia to find your actual scale.


      Also @Teddy I apologize for sharing math :XD:;):abambi:<3
      • x 1
    5. {nods} I've been saying for years that my child SD-sized dolls are closer to 1/2 scale than 1/3 - assuming a nine year old child is around 4ft tall ,and my nine year old BJD is around 2ft tall.

      Half scale furniture isn't very readily available and it takes up a hell of a lot of space when you can get hold of it.

      #5 Teddy, Mar 24, 2021
      Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
      • x 1
    6. As a collector of true-to-scale 1:6 action figures, I found it incredibly frustrating that a lot of Asian toymakers/sellers can't seem to get the concept of "scale," in earlier years. I found it sad and irritating when purchasing OT anime figures, but I started really loathing the misuse of it when I actively shop for 1:6 clothes/accessories or shoes, and all I get is 30cm chubby baby/toddler BJD shoes or accessories. A lot of BJD-people don't seem to mind, because a lot of don't collect other types of toys, or scaled miniatures where it would be bothersome to find a plethora of stuff you don't want nor need, when shopping for a very specific size (or actual scale) of collectible.

      If sellers would just stop using 1:6, I would be happy, since I don't really collect any other scale and the larger ones are rarer and less popular (outside of this hobby). This scale misuse confuses a lot of people outside of actual scale collectors, and even new comers into the BJD world. It's a constant topic of confusion in the Newbie section of the forum. A lot also seem to think that scales are based on BJD measurements, which would make nonsense whatsoever, because BJD proportions/sizes are all over the place -- it's probably more frustrating trying to explain why "scale" doesn't work to those people, and why they get confused by the wrong use of those "scales." I feel one of the biggest problem is that most people just don't care, but then it becomes frustrating for others that want to actually build a "scaled" family, because most of these dolls are not in-scale at all. Lol! It's kind of hilarious and frustrating at the same time, or maybe I'm just going senile earlier than I thought. DX
      • x 2
    7. I'd be happier if the BJD hobby would stop using fractions as scale/size indictators entirely.

      I know "SD" and "MSD" etc refer to Volks dolls specifically, but I still prefer them as size-range indicators to fractins reperesneting sclaes that don't apply to many of the dolls of that size/height. If the hobby-as-a-while adopted a system of names that incidcated size /scale ranges or agreed on the actual scales and switched ot using those it would be so much easier on sellers, buyers, newbies and all (It still wouldn't help me, personally, because they would still be working out the scale for my 24 inch dolls as being 1:3 when they're all children so would be closer to 1:2, but it would be a help to the hobby as a whole).

      But, since the hobby has been around for well over a decade, grew from basically what Volks started, and has developed organically as more manufacturers and more enthusiasts have come into the hobby from different backgrounds and other hobbies, the existing systems of referrinf=g to the doll size-grouings are pretty hard-wired inot the system. Some people will forever use "SD" to mean BJD's around 24inches/60cm, and "Yo-SD" to mean dolls around 10-12inches/25-30cm, some will remain entrenched in using "1:3" or "1:6" for those sizes regardless of the actual scale of the dolls that happen to be those heights. Some will use both, some will swap and change between them, and newcomers, sellers, and buyers will continue to be irritated and confused.

    8. Yeah. I feel this.
      Between me and my husband we've got loads of projects going on around the house with figures.. and so it's just like, part of the discussion. I know that's not the case for other people, but plenty of HIS hobby companies seem to get scale labeling right :|

      So then I'm over here, like, wanting to figure out what my stuff is scaled at, and I say to him, "I think in order to figure out this math we might need to sit down together because I feel like a kindergartner who can't get LH and RH straight every time I try to do it myself!"

      We spent an evening on BJD scaling to figure out the process for what I shared above. Two engineers spent a WHOLE evening.. my lord. :abambi:

      When I first started purchasing clothing and shoes (and still, when I'm doing it), I remember being *so* blown away that listings would only us SD, Yo-SD, etc etc, in their descriptions. It feels really unfair to the people trying to make a purchase, because I feel like it's obvious to anyone that's been around the block for a couple months that these aren't super standard... and I started to just feel like it was an easy way to get people to click "buy" quickly. But.. then I personally wasn't clicking the purchase button because I just couldn't tell if this stuff was going to work!

      Honestly, my favorite solution to the whole issue right now would be for everyone (doll makers, and doll clothes/accessory makers) to shift to simply posting all the dimensions of whatever they've made. I'm still kind of blown away that clothing makers don't typically even post waist size as a main description bullet.
      • x 1
    9. This is way I like buying shoes from places like JuJu's DollyMall and Boneke who both size their shoes by length and width of foot (althoguh both, do give examples of dolls they fit for most/some of the sizes as well)

      • x 1
    10. That would be ideal, I feel like it would indeed help with all the sizing confusion. If the term "scale," was no longer used to describe BJD height. However, from all the past times I have read this topic come up on here, most seem to think using scale (although most of the time quite off the mark), is easier and less confusing than using actual size and proportion as suggested by DoAs specific size discussion forum labels. I personally feel like it would be so much easier to know which size doll you are talking about for most, if we said height and proportion like "45cm slim/muscular mature male," or "85cm slim toddler." That however, doesn't seem to work for all, and seller/dealers are probably not going to stop using as many labels and tags as they can, because that gives them more views, which can potentially mean more sales. Even if the items they are selling are not actually in-scale.

      I completely agree, that within most other collectibles, people don't seem to misuse the term "scale." I find it probably mostly wrongly applied when looking at BJD or with some anime "scale" figures, when the license allows various characters from the same title to be released and all are different heights. Being taller/shorter than someone doesn't make you a different scale! DX Why is that hard to understand?
      • x 1
    11. LOL. I am very short - and for some reason this made me laugh really hard because I'm just trying to imagine the kinds of jests people would come up with if indeed I was literally just ... a different scale due to my height.
      .... but I digress :lol:
      • x 2
    12. Same here! I'm so short (barely 5'3"), my height has always been the bane of my existence. DX
      I tend to try to laugh at it nowadays as well, I don't believe using scales wrong bothers enough people that it would make everyone agree on not using them anymore to describe BJD heights. I'll just have to keep scrolling past a milling listings worth of baby-BJD-shoes, instead of actual 1:6 action figure boots. (:
      • x 1
    13. I'm another person annoyed by the inconsistency of 1:6. I mainly collect tinies that are actually 1:6 - 30cm tall adults, but many BJD companies use 1:6 to mean 30cm tall young children. Some companies (Myou, Xagadoll) have both in the same size category.

      Now that I've gotten my first two minis, the variations in proportions and 1:4 is as reliable a scale reference as 1:6. Children, teens, and adults can all be called 1:4. Good thing I sew most of my dolls clothes.
      • x 1
    14. @Leo Pheonix Yeah... I've nearly quit purchasing doll clothes for exactly this reason... It's quite a shame because there is such nice stuff out there. And while I can sew just fine, I do enjoy seeing the craftsmanship from other people/companies. But I've already spent too much on items that don't fit anyone!