All Model Railroading Community Chat Forum  
AMR Shamus Cooncreek and Tumbleweed Springs AMR Shamus Badger Creek AMR Shamus How I make a model railroad

Go Back   All Model Railroading Community Chat Forum > Model Train Forums > The Narrow Gauge Lines
Gallery Image Hosting Calendar FAQ Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 26th March 2011, 10:56   #1
MotionMan
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 35
Default Using All Gauges in O Scale

How about going absolutely bonkers in the narrow gauge scene? Let me explain.

I'm modelling in 1:43 scale and this is my big plan. I want to try and use all the gauges.

HO / OO will of course be narrow gauge.
N gauge will be miniature.
Z (and T) gauges will be people carrying garden type railways on stilts I suppose.

I'll have no problem finding locos and rolling stock for the HO gauge track but how about N gauge?

At the moment I'm thinking about getting some N gauge locos and making room in the tender for a 1:43 scale fella to sit, and then I'm thinking I'll have to make the coaches myself. I'll use OO9 track, not perfect perhaps, but one day I might get around to learning how to make my own track.

So I'm wondering, is such a gauge already catered for in O gauge, or 1:43 scale in my case? Is there a name for it, such as On30 for the HO / OO gauge track?

And am I being too rediculous to ask about Z and T gauges?
MotionMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th March 2011, 15:17   #2
mysterd429
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 276
Default Re: Using All Gauges in O Scale

That sounds like a really cool project. For some inspiration (thought it doesn't seem like you need any!), the railroad museum I volunteer at has a miniature train that is pretty popular.
mysterd429 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th March 2011, 16:09   #3
RW James
Senior Member
 
RW James's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,549
Default Re: Using All Gauges in O Scale

Sounds like a good idea.

You should be able to make some pretty good equipment from what is available in N scale. They are getting better all the time. It would probably be something like On15 or On18 (I haven't done the math). By the way, Peco makes HOn30 track with pretty good looking tie spacing that would be better in O than regular N scale track - I've used it for a park railroad scene.

I have little knowledge of Z, but there is equipment out there that could be modified. But I think it would be kind of big for a typical garden railway, but I've seen some good models running on 7.5" gauge track, that you could emulate. My thinking is, though, that the smaller gauges will not run as smoothly as your O scale models, and the contrast might be disturbing.
RW James is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th March 2011, 17:09   #4
Blackcloud
Senior Member
 
Blackcloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 533
Default Re: Using All Gauges in O Scale

As Rick says N gauge track in O scale works out at around 15 to 18 inches, it is generally known as O9 (O scale / 9mm gauge) in the UK just as British modellers tend to go with O16.5 for OO/HO track, though I prefer On30 because I model overseas prototypes in this scale/gauge combo.

You will find a very significant drop in performance when using 4 and 6 coupled mechanisms in the smaller scales but at least with O9 there is room in the locos to hide plenty of weight which improves electrical contact. My only excursion into this scale/gauge combo is a small diesel loco made from a resin casting of a Mack lorry bonnet mounted on a Kato 4 wheel tram chassis with a scratch built cab. It runs fairly well but not nearly as good as On30 does. For the wagons I used OO scale bodies on N gauge underframes, again they work but not as well as I'd like.

I have no experience of Z or T scales but would point out that both are expensive, and of limited availability.

On30 or O16.5 are both well catered for with ready to run as well as kit form locos and stock though and if you are not averse to American prototypes there are some real bargains to be had on a well known internet auction site, I've just received a 260 tender loco which was under 23, including postage. It still needs some details adding but at that price I don't mind doing a bit of work on it myself.
__________________
Bob Hughes
Playing Trains
Blackcloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th April 2011, 09:18   #5
MotionMan
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 35
Default Re: Using All Gauges in O Scale

Hurray, I can open this board again!!!!! Explorer kept freezing everytime I tried to open this Narrow Gauge board.

Don - Thanks for that. Yes, that's the type of railway I reckon N or Z gauge would be equivalent to in O gauge. And having a railway museum on my layout would be a good place to have such a miniature railway. What a good idea. There could be a collection of locomotives etc. as exhibits and perhaps the miniature railway could transport people around them? Mmmmm?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RW James View Post
You should be able to make some pretty good equipment from what is available in N scale. They are getting better all the time.
You're right, I have seen some pretty darn good N gauge stuff, and not only does it look good but it moves good aswell, with DCC anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RW James View Post
By the way, Peco makes HOn30 track with pretty good looking tie spacing that would be better in O than regular N scale track - I've used it for a park railroad scene.
Well I've bought a piece of OO9 track, which is the narrow gauge of OO (so equivalent to HOn30 I think), and the sleeper size and spacing looks fine on that, they're even a bit crazily angled, like on the real thing. I've recently learned that sleeper spacing on American standard gauge track is closer together than on British standard gauge (because of heavier locomotives and stock), so I presume the sleeper spacing will be closer together on HOn30 track than on OO9 track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RW James View Post
My thinking is, though, that the smaller gauges will not run as smoothly as your O scale models, and the contrast might be disturbing.
Well yes, that is of paramount concern to me, but as I've discovered on the Technical board you can get decoders for Z gauge, and if I can add some lead weight somewhere, even if it has to also be in a permanently attached wagon, it might be possible to create realistic movement. Who knows, they may even produce flywheels for them in the future (or perhaps they already do?). I need to have a demo, to actually see how these Z gauge locos move in DCC, in particular how they start and stop, an extremely important quality for me, and a quality which Web videos seem reluctant to show.
MotionMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th April 2011, 09:50   #6
MotionMan
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 35
Default Re: Using All Gauges in O Scale

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcloud View Post
As Rick says N gauge track in O scale works out at around 15 to 18 inches, it is generally known as O9 (O scale / 9mm gauge) in the UK .....
Ah, I see, it's called O9. Thank you, but it's a Devel of a job to find any stock for it on the web.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcloud View Post
You will find a very significant drop in performance when using 4 and 6 coupled mechanisms in the smaller scales but at least with O9 there is room in the locos to hide plenty of weight which improves electrical contact.
I'm puzzled why you mention 4 and 6 coupled mechanisms. What's the significance of such a set up, as opposed to just the performance of the locomotives? And when you refer to O9 and the locos, are you actually referring to N gauge locos, or does someone actually produce some O9 gauge locomotives? That would be brilliant if they did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcloud View Post
For the wagons I used OO scale bodies on N gauge underframes, again they work but not as well as I'd like.
Interesting that you have had a go at a miniature railway set up (have I understood correct?). I don't think I've ever seen a miniature railway on a layout, only narrow gauge. By 'wagons' do you mean passanger wagons? If so, then I wonder if you made the same mistake that I started off by making. I'm having a go at making a 1:43 scale coach to go on the OO9 (or N) gauge track and there's something I've just realised. You can't plonk a normal flat bottomed coach body onto an N gauge chasis because 1:43 scale people have got to fit inside these coaches. If you have the floor of the coach above the bogies (like on standard and narrow gauge coaches) then the coaches will be way too high and the centre of gravity too high because the problem is 'where do the people put their feet?'. If they all obligue by sitting cross legged on the seats then no problem.


The trick is that such coaches have floors that are below the tops of the bogies. The seats can sit above the bogies but the area for people's feet has to be between the bogies in order to keep the whole coach as low as possible and lower that old centre of gravity thingamee bob.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcloud View Post
I have no experience of Z or T scales but would point out that both are expensive, and of limited availability.
You're right there. The way to buy a Z gauge loco is perhaps via a starter set such as this:-

http://www.marklin.com/start/z.html

At least you get some bogies and track aswell. The sleepers wouldn't look right but they can be covered over with ballast. I'm thinking of getting the American frieght train set and using the caboose to tail-end my 1:43 scale coaches.

Hey, I've just discovered (via Google) that it's Richard Trevithick's 240th birthday. How appropriate. Happy Birthday Richard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcloud View Post
..... if you are not averse to American prototypes ......
Oh I love American locomotives. I may be British but my bent is definitely towards American, I love 'em, and your new aquisition is absolutely gorgeous. I also love the sound of American locos. Their whistles send wonderfull chivers down my spine, and the idea of a bell on a loco is truely inspired.

Actually I want to model both British and American, and others (don't ask how I'm going to combine them all, I don't know yet), but I hate the fact that American stuff is 1:48. That really upset, annoyed, and puzzled me when I found that out. I've wanted to see the true size of American to British for a long time. Before I came back to model railroading I'd been collecting model vehicles of all kinds, from horse drawn carriages to buses, trucks and of course cars etc., but they are all at the same scale, 1:43. I also acquired a big O gauge American 2-8-0 switcher and a little narrow gauge Porter 0-4-0 and I didn't for one minute think they would be anything other than 1:43 scale.

When I then discovered they were not I tried out my little 1:43 scale man to see how he fitted in the cabs. Well, he fits alright in the cab of the standard gauge switcher but I discovered he did not fit very well into the cab of the little Porter. That bugged me, and I know that American narrow gauge is wider than British and shouldn't really be on HO track (well, especially if they are 1:43 scale) but recently I just had to do something about it.

I added about 4mm to the hieght of the cab and the chimney and do you know what? I don't think it has ruined it's aesthetics. I thought I would have to also raise the saddle tank aswell but I decided that wasn't really necessary. It's proportions are so cute and brilliant already that it would take a lot to spoil them. Now my 1:43 scale man fits comfortably inside and I'm satisfied.


The argument that 'humans come in different shapes and heights anyway' doesn't work for me. Locomotive cabs (and coaches) will be designed to accommodate the average or above average height. They will not design cabs that only people who are 5ft 2" can fit inside. Not normally anyway.
MotionMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th April 2011, 18:11   #7
Blackcloud
Senior Member
 
Blackcloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 533
Default Re: Using All Gauges in O Scale

My excursion into O9 was strictly freight only, as an 18 inch gauge estate railway. I don't have any images on file but I'll dig the stock out and post new photos when I get time. I've no O9 layout at present so I'll pose the stock next to my On30 trains for a size comparison instead.

4 and 6 coupled N gauge mechanisms are, in my experience, not as good runners as an 8 or 12 wheeled diesel chassis. Obviously this is down to the added pick ups from the additional axles spread over a longer loco but also because smaller engines are usually lighter. However, my O9 loco is a four wheeler and runs reasonably well due largely to its Kato mechanism. If you're looking to build closed coaches (RH&D style for instance) you could disguise an N gauge diesel chassis in one of them and use it to push a dummy loco which could be built really small, like a Simplex type open chassis or a very small Ruston with an open cab, yet still have the reliability of the four axle mechanism.

Porters such as the little 040 from Bachmann in On30 were/are midget engines. The driver would have trouble standing up in the cab, even if he were only short.
__________________
Bob Hughes
Playing Trains
Blackcloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th April 2011, 18:54   #8
Blackcloud
Senior Member
 
Blackcloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 533
Default O9 and On30, comparing sizes.

The O9 stock was easier to find than I thought, but some of the wagons have been damaged in storage so only two of the four included here.


Loco and a couple of wagons.


The loco in front of a Bachmann mogul.


Kato tram chassis.


Stretched N gauge freight car chassis under the steel gondola.


N gauge caboose chassis under the wooden bodied wagon.


The gondola bodies are the same model but the one nearer the camera is an O9 conversion while the other is an unaltered HO scale car.
__________________
Bob Hughes
Playing Trains
Blackcloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th April 2011, 10:07   #9
MotionMan
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 35
Default Re: Using All Gauges in O Scale

Wow, thanks very much for those good photos Bob. I see what you've done now. At first I couldn't see what was going on because in the photos the O9 track looks the same gauge as the On30 track, but I guess that's just an illusion. Well done, good effort there. I think they work alright, as long as they're not too top heavy, but I think they might have done exactly the same thing with some of the real things i.e. fixed bogies to stock that were smaller than originally designed. And that's a great idea for the little loco. I might have a go at making something like that myself.

I see what you mean by 4 and 6 coupled mechanisms now. I was thinking of 4 and 6 coupled wagon trains. You're referring to the bogies of a loco. That's a good idea about the disguised deisel.

Do you know what? That little Porter 0-4-0 steamer is such a popular little loco but yet I have been totally unable to find a photo of the real thing. If you know of any photos on the web please send me a link. What I did with mine (sorry I can't send photos yet, can't find the Help page on this forum) was simply measure the height of the cab on my 1:48 scale model, times that figure by 48 and then divide by 43. The result I think was an extra 4mm, so my cab is simply the height it would be if it was a 1:43 scale model.
MotionMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th April 2011, 16:44   #10
Blackcloud
Senior Member
 
Blackcloud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 533
Default Re: Using All Gauges in O Scale

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotionMan View Post
That little Porter 0-4-0 steamer is such a popular little loco but yet I have been totally unable to find a photo of the real thing. If you know of any photos on the web please send me a link.
Do an image search on Google for H K Porter loco, that will bring up several pictures of the real things. The one in the link below shows very well how small these locos were. Compare the size of the cab with the people standing nearby.

http://www.tramz.com/ec/g/g08.jpg
__________________
Bob Hughes
Playing Trains
Blackcloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Converting HO scale plans to N scale Kevin Thom N / Z- Scale 5 3rd February 2008 10:43
Other gauges Engineer Jim General Talk (Off Topic) 6 6th August 2006 05:16
Real Tree Scale vs. Model Scale chucke Scenery 16 28th June 2006 06:53


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 16:36.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.