British Manufacturers - Ratio Plastic Models


Ratio make a wide range of very detailed kits of trackside buildings and the like.


Ratio Plastic Models Limited
Hamlyn House, Mardle Way,
Buckfastleigh, Devon. TQ11 ONS

About the company
Like a lot of model railway companies, Ratio was founded by a husband and wife team - in this case, Jack and Deva Webster. They started out in the 1950s building OO models of coaches and the like. They soon started making signals, and then focussed on plastic kits, adding the “Plastic” to their company name. They now make N scale trackside kits, OO scale trackside kits and coaches and O signals.

In January 1997 the firm was purchased by Peco. Apparently, however, Ratio will continue to operate as a semi-independent unit in Buckfastleigh and won’t move to Beer.

Ratio publish a nice half-A4 sized catalogue, with detailed full colour photos of all their products. I don’t know the UK pricing for this catalogue, however, as I bought a copy of the catalogue through a local dealer. I expect you can order it from most UK shops, though I’ve never tried.

What I think of their products - models
Ratio make very high quality model kits, aimed at the experienced modeller. The tooling is very good, and all the plastic components are injection-moulded. They also aren’t afraid to include etched brass sheets for detailed items, such as ladders, windows, railings, etc. They generally mould pieces in roughly appropriate colours, though of course like any model, the components will look much better if painted in realistic matt colours.

However if you’re looking for a “shake-the-box” sort of kit, Ratio isn’t for you. Nor are their products appropriate for children - there are a lot of extremely tiny detail components.

Can’t think of what else to say, really... if they produce a model that could be of use to your layout, go for it. You can’t go wrong. My only wish is that they branch out into non-railway models. Everything they sell at present (station, sheds, water towers, etc.) is railway-related. It would be nice to see some quality kits of cottages, houses, etc. as well.


Quality, detailed models. What more can I say?

Usual disclaimer

Because we live in an absurdly litigious world, please note the following. First, I have no personal financial interest in any companies mentioned here, one way or the other. Second, all trademarked names are owned by their respective owners and are mentioned here purely for identification purposes. Third, no guarantees, express or implied, are made regarding the accuracy, fitness, whatever the hell about any of the information or opinion presented here. And finally, much of this is opinion of the author; nothing more.

Text copyright © 1997 tela design.

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