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N-scale, gauge, British standard 1:148 - where does it fit here?


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I was set on somehow managing to build a model railway in Z-scale, but I still kept my N-scale Peco flex-track, the Metcalf buildings and so on, in case I might have use for them later. Thankfully I haven't bought anything for Z yet, just worked on digital card kits, not printed yet, and collecting useful images for the scratch building it would have involved.

 

Now it looks like I will have room for an N-scale (1:148) layout anyway, and that will make things a lot easier, since there will be plenty of tracks that fit, and locos and rolling stock to boot.

 

So, I happily went back here, looking for the scale specific forum area for N, and I'm a bit confused. Is N considered 9mm because if the width of the tracks, or is it 2mm? Please advice! I'm going to remake the layout in XtrCad using the Peco line of tracks and turnouts, and could use some advice on what to use and what to avoid.

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Posted (edited)

Hello RepFel,

I am in a very similiar situation.  I have just started planning my first diorama (not allowed to call it a layout because it will be non-working) in N Gauge/2mm/or whatever and every question I ask seems to get at least three or four diffent recommendations.  Having said that, RMweb is definitely the place to ask your questions as I am learning so much as we go along.

I have just started on my very first card building/structure model, from Scalescenes.  Even here I can be confused, not that difficult really, as I'm not sure what is light, medium or heavy card.   I have seen comments about xx GSM etc., but what if I just have a pile of card in front of me without any classification?   Actually, I am going to use card from cereal boxes.

 

Good luck with your venture, and I hope you will post any progress here, just so that I can learn from you also.

cheers,
Mike

Edited by Royal42
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As you put in your title British N gauge is 1:148 but 2mm to 1 foot is actually scaled at 1∶152. So it depends if you want to follow fine scale or not. There is also N scale rest of world to 1:160! All depends on what you are modelling.

Probably best look at the N gauge society and the 2mm scale association web pages for help.

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There is not a specific forum on here for n gauge, however if you title questions including n gauge you'll get answers. i.e. help with n gauge points or n gauge platform size etc. 

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39 minutes ago, Railfreight1998 said:

N gauge is 2mm scale ie: 2mm to 1 foot, and 9mm gauge - 9mm between the rails.

 

If I were to don my pedantic hat British N gauge is actually 2.0625 mm to 1 ft (1:148) and 9mm between the rails (too narrow) and is what is supplied by the RTR manufacturers.

2mm scale is 2mm to 1 ft (1:152) and runs on track 9.42mm between the rails and is not available RTR.

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OK.

 

All RTR N Gauge around the world uses 9mm track.

But the scale of the models varies depending on location

 

European and American outline RTR N Gauge models use a scale of 1:160 on 9mm track, which is pretty much a correct scale to gauge ratio.

British outline  RTR N Gauge models use a scale of 1:148 on 9mm track. So the track is too narrow.

Japanese outline RTR N Gauge models use a scale of 1:150 on 9mm track.

 

There are historical reasons for this in the same way the British outline models are OO not HO in the larger scale.

 

If you don't get an answer here then try here instead https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/

 

Regards,

 

John P

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Hello there,

 

All N gauge track is 9mm gauge, and all current models sold as N gauge will run on it.

 

There are some differences in the scale of the models, depending on local custom, as have been outlined above.  If you have any more questions please ask, here or on the N gauge forum.  It can sound a bit confusing at first, but will make some sense pretty quickly.

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

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Thank you all for your replies.

 

My biggest concern with Z-scale is the lack of British outline rolling stock and locos. Some have kindly offered to do some 3D printing for me, but it would still be hard to make that work on donor chassis from Märklin or Rokuhan.

 

When I first started planning my original layout, I designed it in British N (at the time described as 1:148) and I bought several packs of Metcalf N buildings (some that I built at the time) and some Peco flextrack. I have some German styled locos and rolling stock that I can use to check if the track is properly connected, but was planning for British RTR locos and rolling stock.

 

There seem to be little difference between 1:148 and 1:152, or will it will glaringly obvious that I might have accidentally mixed scales when making the buildings or getting my hands on some used rolling stock?

 

As to card stock, as Royal42 asked about... paper and card is measured by weight in square meter (in Sweden). Standard thin printer paper is 80 gram (metric). A little thicker but still standard is 100 gram. If you have paper or card without any info, I'd use my own method for checking stiffness... hold the paper/card between your fingers at on end, and see if it slumps down or stay straight. I would say that cereal boxes are thin card. If that is all you have (like me) then double up for thick card, but do it at a 90 degree angle for better stiffness when gluing the two pieces together.

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5 minutes ago, Reptilian Feline said:

There seem to be little difference between 1:148 and 1:152, or will it will glaringly obvious that I might have accidentally mixed scales when making the buildings or getting my hands on some used rolling stock?

 

You will struggle to get 1:152 rolling stock unless you purchase from the 2mm association. Visually there is little difference between the 2 unless you have 2 identical items side by side. 

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Hello again,

 

I am not sure what location/era you may have in mind, but if you consider the Class 66, the most ubiquitous locomotive in the UK presently - its length is given as 21.4m. 

 

In British N gauge 1:148 scale that's 144.6mm. 

 

In 1:152 scale the same locomotive would be 140.1mm - 4.5mm (or 3%) shorter.  IMO most would struggle to see this unless similar locomotives in each scale were placed right next to each other.

 

There is also a 1:160 scale version of the Class 66 available as the real things operate in continental Europe.  This is 133.8mm long, or more than a centimetre shorter, which most will pick up on.

 

What I am saying is that I'd not worry too much about mixing 1:148 train models with 1:152 scale kits (or with 1:144 aero models and 1:150 architectural scale items) but I would draw the line at mixing British N with continental (1:160) models of the same prototype.

 

Having said that, if placed toward the back of a layout and provided they look like something found in Britain, buildings to 1:160 scale can work on a layout representing Britain; they can even enhance the illusion of distance by creating a forced perspective.

 

I hope this is of use.

 

cheers

 

Ben A.

Edited by Ben A
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Thanks Ben A!

 

My time and place will be fictional Yorkshire 1942-1945. LMS territory if I'm not mistaken. I'm thinking of a couple of early diesel shunters and a couple of fairly small steam engines. Nothing fancy. Rolling stock of all kinds and regions, but a simple passenger train for the local commute and a regional train that passes through.

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46 minutes ago, Reptilian Feline said:

Thanks Ben A!

 

My time and place will be fictional Yorkshire 1942-1945. LMS territory if I'm not mistaken. I'm thinking of a couple of early diesel shunters and a couple of fairly small steam engines. Nothing fancy. Rolling stock of all kinds and regions, but a simple passenger train for the local commute and a regional train that passes through.

Depends on which fictional bit or Yorkshire you are talking about!

 

Both the LMS and LNER had operated there. The East Coast Mainline would have been LNER. The cross country lines more LMS (ex L&YR).

 

Regards,

 

John P

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