Some time ago, when reading through Kwan’s blog about violin making and other matters, I ran across a mention of “scalies” on this entertaining post about how to make a partially made violine look like a postmodernistical building.
Step 3 refers to “scalies”, which I could only suppose and later confirm referred to the images of people in the drawings to give a sense of scale (that is, how big/small the building is) to it.
Further research at a more recent date turns up an annoyed partizan of old architecture blogging in passing about them and, amazzingly, a recent (2015) art exhibit on them.
The premise of the exhibit appears to be that these “scalies” are really a marketing tool and deserve consideration as a reflexion of the times they were drawn in and the clientele they were seeking to influence. They have progressed from little drawings of semi-imaginary people to actual paper cutouts of photographs to CC licensed pictures of various people, including the “hipster leaning against a wall”.