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1:500 scale is a scale mainly used by Europeans for pre-finished die-cast airliner models, such as German manufacturer Herpa. This scale is also used by Japanese model kit manufacturer Bandai, Nichimo Company Ltd. and Fujimi Mokei for ship and Sci-Fiction model kits.
During World War II, H.A. Framburg and Company of Chicago was one of the makers of naval recognition ship models in teacher scale. This company was commissioned by United States Navy to make ship models to be used for wargaming and as teaching tools for their officers to help them identify ships out on the ocean. These ships are mostly die cast of zinc alloy and painted gray. Therefore, this scale was also called "Teacher Scale". The 1:500 set contained about half the number of models found in the 1:1200 scale sets.
In the 1960s, Renwal released fourteen 1:500 scale ship models from World War II or post war United States Navy, and Frog also released six models from Royal Navy. Both makers had failed in the late 1970s, but some makers such as Chematic rereleased ex Frog 1:500 scale ship models until the 2000s.
In the 1970s, Nichimo released a series of 1:500 plastic scale ship models. The series only comprises a small number of ships, with most of them being ships from World War II Japanese Navy. These models are still under production and widely available in the market. In mid-1970s, Monogram also released models of USS Chicago (CG-11) and USS Columbus in 1:500 scale (actually, 16 in. length box scale). In the late 1990s, Trumpeter released 1:500 scale models of Nimitz class aircraft carrier.
In November 2009, Fujimi released an all-new tooling model of the Japanese battleship Yamato in 1:500 scale. Fujimi then follows on the series by releasing Japanese battleship Nagato and Design A-150 battleship (a Japanese plan for a class of battleship following the Yamato Class, also known as the Super Yamato class) in the same scale.
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