What Scale to Work in

DafyddElvy

1:22.5 Trams, NG Steam Railways
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I have been looking at scales, modelling not weight, and trying to make sense of what it is I want out of larger scale modelling.

If their is a way to confuse then the whole issue of modelling scales I think the britain has won hands down, and just now I am referring to G Scale ish scales.

G Scale is not actually a scale, the Germans started the models with LGB and used the letter "G" I believe to denote garden model railways, so this is not actually a scale but more of a generalisation of model size for use in the garden; refer to the Tramway information references though and they call G Scale 1:22.5 on 45mm track which equates to 1012.5mm for which I haven't been able to find any prototype. Bachmann trams roughly use a scale of 13.5mm:ft which is not too far from Gauge 3 at 12.7mm or 1/2":ft scale.

Then their is the 16mm society's branch off group modelling the Isle of Man who actually work in 15mm:ft because it suits the 45mm gauge track which is readily available, makes sense but its a one off use of a scale so quite limiting.

If you have an interest in 16mm:ft scale modelling, the tramway fraternity actually work in 5/8":ft scale which is 15.875mm:ft which doesn't seem like a lot until you start scaling things, especially track gauge.

All of the above scale variants are used together by modellers primarily in the garden, but, if you are like me and are just starting out what scale should I follow. 1:22.5 scale has a following which is mainly r-t-r models, the Manx Northern Railway/Isle of Man Railway and Manx Electric Railway are of interest to me, obviously for the MNR IoM the most practical thing would be to model in 15mm:ft, but what about the MER, there is from my web searches zero trade support for trams in this scale; modelling the MER in the more common tramway scale of 5/8":ft means their would be some trade support but would also mean a 2.63mm compromise on track gauge.

So you can see my conundrum caused but a lack of joined up thinking by different people modelling aspects of different rail systems in the early days of rail transport modelling and not talking to each other. So watch this space to see what scale I end up following.

David
 

Rhinochugger

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When LGB started it was called K scale, but has become G because the trains were Lehman Gross Bahn - so, even more confusingly, G is for Large :D:D.

Interestingly, they were aimed more at indoors than out (people with money and large houses) which is why they relied so heavily on R1s - the garden thing has grown up since, as folks realised what an excellent thing it is to have one's own railway in the garden >:)>:)
 

JimmyB

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G Scale is not actually a scale, the Germans started the models with LGB and used the letter "G" I believe to denote garden model railways, so this is not actually a scale but more of a generalisation of model size for use in the garden; refer to the Tramway information references though and they call G Scale 1:22.5 on 45mm track which equates to 1012.5mm for which I haven't been able to find any prototype. Bachmann trams roughly use a scale of 13.5mm:ft which is not too far from Gauge 3 at 12.7mm or 1/2":ft scale.
As you have already said, G is not a scale but a GAUGE i.e. 45mm (why G, don't care), on which a multitude of scales run. So if you have decided on G Gauge, its now up to you and your scale according to the gauge of track you are modelling, and if you wish to employ the rubber rule, however do consider the scale of the components you need, and what they are available in - 1:24, 1:22.5, 1:20.3, 1:19.
 

Gizzy

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G is for Gross, the German word for Large, so G gauge is translated as large gauge.

The scale used by LGB is approximately 1:22.5, but several other scales also run on 45 track.

Some LGB prototypes are metre gauge and some 750/850 mm, so it's all about accepting a compromise for your model railway, which is no different to the smaller scales like N, OO, HO, etc....
 
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PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
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Then, just to 'p' the sixteen miller's orf:
There is 7/8ths - two-foot gauge on 45mm track..

"Mine's bigger than your's".
:giggle::giggle::giggle:
 

dunnyrail

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To my mind if you are starting out and can make things and like Manx or Irish prototypes then 15mm to the foot in 45mm Track is a no brainer. Peco Points work well as does their flexitrack. There has been a fair bit of IOM kit from the trade and perhaps some kit manufacturers, but do beware of 16mm offerings for 3ft Gauge. Have a look at my thread on Irish that I have built or cobbled together. Shows what can be achieved.

 
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Martino

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Well, of course G is neither a scale, nor a gauge! 45mm track is a gauge. 15mm/ft or 16mm/ft is a scale. - Other gauges and scales are available, as is often quoted. G came from LGB’s ‘Big’ scale. But LGB, like other manufacturers have rubber rules to suit their own needs. Heaven knows what to make of my LGB New Orleans Streetcar which runs on 45mm track, when the real thing runs on a 5’ 2.5” gauge.

One has a number of choices, but all comes down to number 1 really.

1. Rule 8. It’s your railway, run what you like.

2. Decide on a scale and gauge and run what you like within that.

3. Decide to run what is only commercially available in your scale/gauge combination.

4. Start kit bashing or scratch building to suit your own needs.

5. Use the 8 foot or 10 foot rule - ‘if it looks ok to you from that distance, then. It’s OK.

I tend to do 5 and have a freelance British outline, fictitious railway. Loosely based on 15mm or 16mm /ft, running on 3’ (45mm) track. t suits me but would not suit others. I find that what are sold as ‘G’ scale building look too small with my rolling stock, so stick to 16mm/ft buildings.

But, you pays your money and takes your choice.
 

Gavin Sowry

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For many many years, I modelled strictly to correct scale/gauge ratio in a scale that didn't mix mm and feet. I also stuck to a particular prototype, and era.
Guess what, I actually got bored with it it. Why? because I'd often see stuff I fancied, but didn't suit my genre. Anyhow, I was in a model shop one day, and the bloke had a Bachmann G loco going for a good price.
I asked to see it run, it promptly derailed on the first curve of the demo layout, so I bought it, and have been here ever since. Initially, yes, I was going to stick to particular scale/prototype/era concepts. Then SWMBO liked something that really didn't fit in (so I bought it). Of course, I took pity on the orphan wagon, and bought more of them. Now, I was modelling in 2 scales, on the same track.... but, we were having fun.
But, what we don't do, is mix the wrong stuff up... a couple of LGB Feldbahn wagons in the rake of 1:29 reefers is just plain dumb. My buildings are different scales, and all come in after a session. So, if I'm running, say, 1:29, I set up my Aristo structures, etc. get the picture. Currently, I do 7/8ths, Bachmann 1:22.5 (not 20.3), LGB Feldbahn, and Aristo/USA 1:29. We have FUN.
 
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Gavin Sowry

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Then, just to 'p' the sixteen miller's orf:
There is 7/8ths - two-foot gauge on 45mm track..

"Mine's bigger than your's".
:giggle::giggle::giggle:

I resisted 7/8ths for quite sometime, that is, until I invited myself to a friends layout. I took along some Feldbahn tipplers, because I thought they'd look OK. When my cheap (looking) LGB was up against a genuine 7/8ths tippler, I decided that the size/bulk was right, but my stuff looked too toylike...... so, I put smaller wheels on mine, LGB link and pin couplers, and a decent paint job, and, 7/8ths, here I am. :inlove:
 
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stevedenver

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gizzy, martino and gavin speak the truth. (sounds like a 60s boy band donnit?) lol

G scale .....is an interesting scale. And, like many railroad empires, the scope of your railroad may be most critical.
If you have a tiny layout and minimal rolling stock and locos, scratch building is viable and can yield art.

For indiscriminate slobs like me, i want a reasonably plausible train in the garden, that i dont need to worry about. And, I can buy stuff and build building kits that more or less last and give the impression i want.

i too was a modeler, almost rivet counter, until i started with LGB back in....1985 i think. ( i still model in n and z) .
My first was a stainz passenger starter set. What a joy, despite its toy like looks. Ran it with lighted coaches in pouring rain, at night, etc.
Then, the monstrously pricey new black C and S mogul, no LGB cars yet offered, so i bought Delton ones in the correct scheme, despite the oversized wheels.
I gave up. I bought what I liked, and, ran DRGW with C and S, grit my teeth, and got over it. Pretty much.

The matter is simple, or not. I am well able to scratch build, but love the ease of buying LGB stuff that runs, can take spills, and which i continue to enjoy for decades. its a choice. I would love a dead accurate mason bogie, but will settle for the carefree compressed caricature of the LGB Forney.

I have enough things and people to manage. I have memories of herky jerky model locos in my early train life. I hate the frustration of toys that wont work reliably. This is why I made my choice.

I scratch built a single Denver South Park caboose, in wood and white metal. Lovely. dead accurate, finnicky, delicate. Pretty much worthless except for the occasional perfect weather and condition runs.

instead, I run both the Bachman pseudo DSP/logging caboose and LGB C and S bobber(s).

Like others, i simply love trains. LGB has some wonderfully unique locomotive offerings, Garret, Feldbahn, New Orleans trolley, GE Genesis , Chloe, rack rails, RhB, etc. I buy what i like, and, make do. (my layout will change from generic euro to US) I made a determined decision not to worry about prototypical accuracy, and am happier for it. I have several of the large Bachmann spectrum locos, some AMS stock too. Its gorgeous. and delicate, and demands great rail laying. They are run, but seldom. They aren't weather worthy at all. Details fall off for no apparent reason and must be found and reattached. A derailment can ruin a model, with parts not to be found.

LGB looks like a joke detail wise by comparison, its US coaches 30% too short. Yet. they track well, recover easily from derailments into rocks, can stand the weather, and be rinsed off , dried and be like new.

In retrospect, as G becomes more scarce, less widespread in following, and decidedly pricey, IF i were not as far along in G, N and Z scales as I am, I might model in O (also Pricey) or back to HO, as those scales offer a very wide range of model and accessory options, not to mention the difference in space required. OTOH, there is still a child-like excitement that springs in me every time i run my LGB , lighted, in the dark, on a summer night. Or, when lying on the ground, setting up a "scene" with figures and details.
 
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maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
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One thing I have learnt over the years in this hobby (and others), around the forums, reading the publications and visiting others' lines, is that everybody has their own very individual vision when creating their lines. Yes, you can pigeonhole people by track gauges, prototype or freelance, scale, power and operation method, whatever - But even then you will find a myriad subtle differences even though they might seem to fall into one category or another. Don't get hung up with it, go with your vision and enjoy what you are creating. Max
 
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DafyddElvy

1:22.5 Trams, NG Steam Railways
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Please don't take my message overly seriously, I was just mentioning my conundrum with all these different scale.

One of the problems with the english langwange is it doesn't allow one to include any tone to a message being conveyed. The language we use isn't really even english but a mix mash of different languages that have crossed the channel.

I am rarely too serious about the hobby, their are far too many things to be serious about with my adopted hobby becoming one of them, modelling is my escape.

I have arrived here by way of 7mm scale Scottish pre-grouping and 7mm European style trams, I fell in to G scale simply because I purchased a Bachmann tram when the move to a new house had been confirmed, the up scale could have just as easily been in a different scale if I'd have purchased something different on flea bay.
Rivet counter I am not, but I do want to stick with fine scale modelling, no LGB track for me.

The plan was always to have narrow gauge and standard gauge trams in the garden of the same scale and possibly Manx Northern Railway in 15mm scale regardless of the scale adopted for my trams, everything was relatively simple in life but made complicated by me by also wanting Manx Electric Railway trams, which is where the question of which scale to adopt came in
This is when I started looking at scales for the perspective of getting bits from the trade fraternity.
So there you have it, I have caused my own dilemma. I suspect I know the path I'll take but until I start building the first tram who knows what else my mind will come up with.

For now it is Bachmann and Liliput trams on 45mm gauge fine scale track with new trucks; that should keep me occupied for a while.

David
 

dunnyrail

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Please don't take my message overly seriously, I was just mentioning my conundrum with all these different scale.

One of the problems with the english langwange is it doesn't allow one to include any tone to a message being conveyed. The language we use isn't really even english but a mix mash of different languages that have crossed the channel.

I am rarely too serious about the hobby, their are far too many things to be serious about with my adopted hobby becoming one of them, modelling is my escape.

I have arrived here by way of 7mm scale Scottish pre-grouping and 7mm European style trams, I fell in to G scale simply because I purchased a Bachmann tram when the move to a new house had been confirmed, the up scale could have just as easily been in a different scale if I'd have purchased something different on flea bay.
Rivet counter I am not, but I do want to stick with fine scale modelling, no LGB track for me.

The plan was always to have narrow gauge and standard gauge trams in the garden of the same scale and possibly Manx Northern Railway in 15mm scale regardless of the scale adopted for my trams, everything was relatively simple in life but made complicated by me by also wanting Manx Electric Railway trams, which is where the question of which scale to adopt came in
This is when I started looking at scales for the perspective of getting bits from the trade fraternity.
So there you have it, I have caused my own dilemma. I suspect I know the path I'll take but until I start building the first tram who knows what else my mind will come up with.

For now it is Bachmann and Liliput trams on 45mm gauge fine scale track with new trucks; that should keep me occupied for a while.

David
Sorry I am a little confused by why Manx Electric Railway Trams, these also fit the 15mm foot on G or 45mm Gauge Track. Yes there are no RTR ones but the Winter Cars of which No.20 is my favourite are relatively simple boxes, not at all difficult to make?
 

maxi-model

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Thank heavens David, I was beginning to think you were having some sort of existential crisis ;)

I think part of the problem is that nearly every one of the major, and some minor, manufacturers have dabbled in the LS tram market (c 1:19 - 1:29) at some time or other. The problem is none have gone into it in any depth at a common scale, apart from offering a load of livery variants of one design, to claw back their investment. The only thing they all have in common is the track gauge they were made to run on - 45 mm. OK, there are a few 45/32 mm products that have come about as a means to get the sales volumes for live steam tram locos. Which all flies in the face of dyed in the wool tram enthusiast fraternity adopting 1:16 for large scale depictions of prototypes.


Going back to an earlier topic where you posed the question, "What is British G scale". The problem is there is no predominant fixed scale for mainstream tram based products - unlike, say, Harz, RhB, etc' conventional NG railways subject matter, never mind Std Gauge. It is mostly determined by what the manufacturers produce in any given subject area and and that is determined what the buyers are willing to accept. But then again if you are scratch building or kit bashing the world is your lobster, as some may say :) Max
 

DafyddElvy

1:22.5 Trams, NG Steam Railways
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Sorry I am a little confused by why Manx Electric Railway Trams, these also fit the 15mm foot on G or 45mm Gauge Track. Yes there are no RTR ones but the Winter Cars of which No.20 is my favourite are relatively simple boxes, not at all difficult to make?
This is where things became complicated for me.

Manx Northern Railway is a possibility whereas Manx Electric Railway will happen, if I wanted to run MNR with MER in 15mm scale that would be fine but everything would need to be scratch built, 5/8" scale has some trade support so a few less things will need to be scratch built, which is where all this started for me in my head.
I suspect what I will end up doing, in addition to my Bachman trams, is using 15mm scale for any 3ft prototypes and 5/8" scale for everything else, that I believe is the best compromise for me, that way I can keep the number of track gauges to a minimum.

My trams will be the ones I like rather than sticking with any one system which is the only simplicity I am allowing myself, och who knows I might put in a rail at 32mm gauge and run a couple of my 7mm scale Japanese trams in the garden. My initial start to the thread was simply to show the quandary I have that I need to resolve for my own modelling.

David
 

DafyddElvy

1:22.5 Trams, NG Steam Railways
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Thank heavens David, I was beginning to think you were having some sort of existential crisis ;)

I think part of the problem is that nearly every one of the major, and some minor, manufacturers have dabbled in the LS tram market (c 1:19 - 1:29) at some time or other. The problem is none have gone into it in any depth at a common scale, apart from offering a load of livery variants of one design, to claw back their investment. The only thing they all have in common is the track gauge they were made to run on - 45 mm. OK, there are a few 45/32 mm products that have come about as a means to get the sales volumes for live steam tram locos. Which all flies in the face of dyed in the wool tram enthusiast fraternity adopting 1:16 for large scale depictions of prototypes.


Going back to an earlier topic where you posed the question, "What is British G scale". The problem is there is no predominant fixed scale for mainstream tram based products - unlike, say, Harz, RhB, etc' conventional NG railways subject matter, never mind Std Gauge. It is mostly determined by what the manufacturers produce in any given subject area and and that is determined what the buyers are willing to accept. But then again if you are scratch building or kit bashing the world is your lobster, as some may say :) Max
Exactly my point.

What am I to do for my own models, you see the quandary I have ;-)

No their won't be 7mm scale trams in the garden, all my 7mm scale trams have been built using EM gauge track standards.

I am fairly confident I am fairly confident I know which trams I will be running, 1970's/80's Hong Kong (which started me looking at the scale issue because of the track gauge of 3'6", if I run this on 45mm gauge track the inaccuracy is 2.6mm), narrow gauge Ringhoffer (which could reasonable operate on 45mm track), standard gauge Ringhoffer (which needs an additional rail anyhow) and MER (which can operate on 45mm gauge track), quite possibly built in that order. When I put things like this I then wonder what I am worried about, just model everything in 1:22.5 scale and live with the compromise, so in 36 hours I have gone full circle yet again at got myself no further forward, and now I can't find the emoji I want, oh this is getting worse.

I will come to a decision at some point but the quandary continues, may be the answer is to follow pooh bears solution and sit with a jar of honey and think, think, think.


David

The other solution of course is to continue with Bachman G scale and let that act as a distraction, oh no I've made it worse and added another option to the question ;-)
 

Hal Farsed

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I work in "ish" scale. Sort of 15-16mm/ft, combined with 1:19 -1:22.5 or thereabouts. On Gauge 1 track. :cool::cool:

<edit> I forgot, any road vehicles are 1/18 except the flippin 2cv I got clanged for is 1/17! </edit>
 
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PhilP

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Run the 7mm Jap-stuff in the garage / loft / railway room. - Something fine-scale and scenic, for the winter..

Then something a little 'coarser' in the garden to play with..
There are so many compromises (in the garden) - everything needs to be chunky/robust, and you can compromise on differing gauges more easily..
The 1:1 scenery will be the biggest compromise.

PhilP
 

DafyddElvy

1:22.5 Trams, NG Steam Railways
10 Feb 2021
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Run the 7mm Jap-stuff in the garage / loft / railway room. - Something fine-scale and scenic, for the winter..

Then something a little 'coarser' in the garden to play with..
There are so many compromises (in the garden) - everything needs to be chunky/robust, and you can compromise on differing gauges more easily..
The 1:1 scenery will be the biggest compromise.

PhilP
And their someone goes throwing something else in to the mix, but dunnae wurry I have already thought about the plants, wee alpines can be large bushes and Scottish bamboo (yep their is such a strain) can be tall forests, okay very tall forests. Then all I need to do is shoot all the dam crows, simples.

It's too close to the weekend and I have wiring to occupy my mind for a few days, after taking someone for lunch, yep we're going oot for a meal.


David
 

Rhinochugger

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For many many years, I modelled strictly to correct scale/gauge ratio in a scale that didn't mix mm and feet. I also stuck to a particular prototype, and era.
Guess what, I actually got bored with it it. Why? because I'd often see stuff I fancied, but didn't suit my genre. Anyhow, I was in a model shop one day, and the bloke had a Bachmann G loco going for a good price.
I asked to see it run, it promptly derailed on the first curve of the demo layout, so I bought it, and have been here ever since. Initially, yes, I was going to stick to particular scale/prototype/era concepts. Then SWMBO liked something that really didn't fit in (so I bought it). Of course, I took pity on the orphan wagon, and bought more of them. Now, I was modelling in 2 scales, on the same track.... but, we were having fun.
But, what we don't do, is mix the wrong stuff up... a couple of LGB Feldbahn wagons in the rake of 1:29 reefers is just plain dumb. My buildings are different scales, and all come in after a session. So, if I'm running, say, 1:29, I set up my Aristo structures, etc. get the picture. Currently, I do 7/8ths, Bachmann 1:22.5 (not 20.3), LGB Feldbahn, and Aristo/USA 1:29. We have FUN.
To be fair, it's the buildings and scenic accessories that can be harder to deal with than the rolling stock.

Part of the problem of G scale's many variants is that manufacturers have tried to achieve a common size, at the expense of scale accuracy.

My 1:24 buildings and vehicles are a tad small for my 1:20.3 trains - the vehicles blend more easily than the buildings.

Having said that, with my 1:20.3 trains, I can happily accommodate the Aristo 1:29 Rogers, the odd 16mm wagon and a very few specific 1:22.5 wagons.

My biggest problem is how to 'big up' an Aristo 1:24 track cleaning caboose without unduly heavy surgery as it was a gift from my beloved.