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British Outline 'HO' - what's the story?

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1 hour ago, 47137 said:

 

I agree with you entirely. I have spent some years pondering whether I should be writing about British H0 or British HO, and really the "British" qualifier is quite unnecessary. It would only be meaningful if British applications of H0 used some peculiar ratio. I've spent an hour or so editing my blog to remove my worst references to "British" H0, but with 80 odd pages it will take some time to get through the lot.

 

Many thanks.

 

- Richard.

Hi Richard

I don't have a problem with "British HO" as everyone assumes that any British modeller working in H0 must be modelling an overseas prototype (like me for example!) "British outline HO" perhaps expresses it wihout any implication that it's a different type of H0 from that practiced in Europe. 

I do like the S160, very tasty and of course you're quite right about usability. The BRMSB didn't see any difficulties with using HO with Britsh prototypes as they issued a standard for it.

 

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I am convinced, the root of success in using H0 for British subjects is, to make compromises on a model-by-model basis. This is a rather different approach to that of N ("British N"!), 00 and 0 where one all-embracing compromise applies to every model. Anyway, it works for me.

 

I try to not write the word "outline" too often because I run a MaK Di-8 on my layout and this is way outside the British outline. Also a French shunter which is to British outline but probably never worked here :-)

 

- Richard.

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On ‎12‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 15:52, Allegheny1600 said:

...Meanwhile for those who persist in saying that British H0 doesn't work, ... A DJH kitbuilt H0 scale dub-dee 2-10-0 on my "Watlington" layout, that is a lovely runner ...

Well of course it can work, that's not the issue. It is the minimum radius it can negotiate that is the key factor for RTR model production. If that model nowhere exceeds scale width over the mechanism parts, and will run around the circa 450mm minimum radius expected of RTR, I salute your mechanism building skills. In EM a large steam model with outside valve gear that fits within the constraint of the UK loading gauge needs the best part of a metre radius.

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13 hours ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

Well of course it can work, that's not the issue. It is the minimum radius it can negotiate that is the key factor for RTR model production. If that model nowhere exceeds scale width over the mechanism parts, and will run around the circa 450mm minimum radius expected of RTR, I salute your mechanism building skills. In EM a large steam model with outside valve gear that fits within the constraint of the UK loading gauge needs the best part of a metre radius.

Why, thank you, 34C!

Of course, it can do so. It is tight, I admit but it can handle RocoLine radius two (probably the same as Hornby as Roco used to make Hornbys track, didn't they?).

Cheers,

John.

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I’m rather getting the impression, from the past few posts, that “the story of British HO” is that “EM has, over time, evolved to occupy a comparable niche, but making use of the availability of 4mm scale loco, rolling stock and lineside kits” 

 

British outline HO remains as a minority interest, like S Scale, TT, O14 or for that matter, EM itself; valid in itself, attractive to those with the necessary sense of history, skills and interest, but lacking general appeal. 

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2 hours ago, rockershovel said:

I’m rather getting the impression, from the past few posts, that “the story of British HO” is that “EM has, over time, evolved to occupy a comparable niche, but making use of the availability of 4mm scale loco, rolling stock and lineside kits” 

 

British outline HO remains as a minority interest, like S Scale, TT, O14 or for that matter, EM itself; valid in itself, attractive to those with the necessary sense of history, skills and interest, but lacking general appeal. 

 

The problem with HO for UK modelling is exactly as I found when modelling the NSW railways in 4mm scale (P4 standards). You have to do everything yourself. It sounds appealing initially but when you need or want multiples of something things become challenging. While I appreciate there may be some appeal if modelling the current period, modelling steam or even earlier diesel is rather more complicated. There is an extremely limited range of wheels for starters.

While it will appeal to those who want to do something different, unless a manufacturer is prepared to produce a range of models and wear financial pain for quite awhile it will never become viable for the RTR market.

 

Regards,

 

Craig W

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4 hours ago, rockershovel said:

I’m rather getting the impression, from the past few posts, that “the story of British HO” is that “EM has, over time, evolved to occupy a comparable niche, but making use of the availability of 4mm scale loco, rolling stock and lineside kits” 

 

British outline HO remains as a minority interest, like S Scale, TT, O14 or for that matter, EM itself; valid in itself, attractive to those with the necessary sense of history, skills and interest, but lacking general appeal. 

 

1 hour ago, Craigw said:

 

The problem with HO for UK modelling is exactly as I found when modelling the NSW railways in 4mm scale (P4 standards). You have to do everything yourself. It sounds appealing initially but when you need or want multiples of something things become challenging. While I appreciate there may be some appeal if modelling the current period, modelling steam or even earlier diesel is rather more complicated. There is an extremely limited range of wheels for starters.

While it will appeal to those who want to do something different, unless a manufacturer is prepared to produce a range of models and wear financial pain for quite awhile it will never become viable for the RTR market.

 

Regards,

 

Craig W

 

The whole appeal of British outline H0 is that it IS a minority interest, but, lacking 'general appeal'? We attract members and modellers from all over the world!

 

I wonder however, if the same types of comments as above are directed towards, say, S scale or 3mm scale?

 

I take issue with Craigw's comment highlighted - there is a HUGE range of both wheels and mechanisms available because of H0 being the worldwide scale!!! Okay, there may not be an exact replica of a 6'2" Gresley with 27 spokes and a Throgmorton sprocket 2" off the left hand dingle-dangle but if you want that, go P4 or S7!

What there is, is "close enough" wheels and chassis - I am slowly building an "Austerity" 0-6-0T using a 3D print from Simon Dawson and a Bachmann American chassis which fits very well and looks really good. The shape and number of spokes and possibly the exact wheelbase may not be "exact" but I simply don't care, it looks right.

As for diesels and electrics, well - the choice is staggering.

 

The story of how the RTR market for British H0 so nearly "made it" in the 1970's/80's is covered earlier in the thread for those who wish to look.

Cheers,

John.

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52 minutes ago, Allegheny1600 said:

 

 

The whole appeal of British outline H0 is that it IS a minority interest, but, lacking 'general appeal'? We attract members and modellers from all over the world!

 

I wonder however, if the same types of comments as above are directed towards, say, S scale or 3mm scale?

 

I take issue with Craigw's comment highlighted - there is a HUGE range of both wheels and mechanisms available because of H0 being the worldwide scale!!! Okay, there may not be an exact replica of a 6'2" Gresley with 27 spokes and a Throgmorton sprocket 2" off the left hand dingle-dangle but if you want that, go P4 or S7!

What there is, is "close enough" wheels and chassis - I am slowly building an "Austerity" 0-6-0T using a 3D print from Simon Dawson and a Bachmann American chassis which fits very well and looks really good. The shape and number of spokes and possibly the exact wheelbase may not be "exact" but I simply don't care, it looks right.

As for diesels and electrics, well - the choice is staggering.

 

The story of how the RTR market for British H0 so nearly "made it" in the 1970's/80's is covered earlier in the thread for those who wish to look.

Cheers,

John.

 

I’m not sure I understand your point. If you are happy with “near enough”, why not just work in OO? 

 

Anyway, models overscale relative to track gauge have a long pedigree. Look elsewhere in recent posts for a model in 8mm scale on O gauge track, built in 1919. The 15” gauge locomotives of the RH&DR are more akin to “Cape Gauge” proportions, than SG. The archetype of pioneering OO9,  Craigshire, made much use of 4.5mm/ft to accommodate the mechanisms. OO supplanted HO in the U.K. because the general view was that the discrepancies could be accepted. 

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1 hour ago, Allegheny1600 said:

 

 I am slowly building an "Austerity" 0-6-0T using a 3D print from Simon Dawson and a Bachmann American chassis which fits very well and looks really good. The shape and number of spokes and possibly the exact wheelbase may not be "exact" but I simply don't care, it looks right.

As for diesels and electrics, well - the choice is staggering.

 

John.

 

Hi John

 

I too have one of those J94 prints somewhere (haven't seen it since I moved house, but it will be in one of the boxes!), I was planning on putting it on a Branchlines 03 chassis (less jackshaft of course), but I would be interested to know which Bachmann chassis it is you are using.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Maxy

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2 hours ago, rockershovel said:

Anyway, models overscale relative to track gauge have a long pedigree.

Indeed true—even in HO. Several European HO models were made to 1:82 scale in the past—Fleischmann in particular. It's only more recently that 1:87 has been universal.

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3 hours ago, rockershovel said:

I’m not sure I understand your point. If you are happy with “near enough”, why not just work in OO? 

Probably because the "mainstream" is too easy? & some of us aren't keen on being in the mainstream, with more-or-less the same models as everyone else. I did some British HO myself some years ago (Steve K who started this Thread bought most of it off me eventually!!) mainly because it was something different & well outside the mainstream - you really do end up with your 'own' models, even if the basis of some of them is the old Lima HO stuff.

I gave it up because it did become a bit too hard & challenging in the end. The Britsh HO Society Pannier Tank kit was beyond my abilities, & plans for a Class 14 fell through. Plus, after struggling fruitlessly with etch brass B&B couplers, I fitted everything with the 'scale size' Kadee coupler - worked fine, but just wasn't British, in more ways than one!! I really wanted to use 3-links on British models, but having tried them in 4mm many years ago, wasn't going to try them in an even smaller scale, so I moved up instead to O Scale.

Now O Scale is booming in popularity, and becoming quite mainstream itself!! 

Fortunately for me, American O Scale isn't, so that interest has to satisfy my 'Non-mainstream modelling' side!!

 

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Oh, don’t start about American O scale! I came across this as I was finding my way into O 3-rail coarse Scale, and it’s .... contentious.....

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5 hours ago, rockershovel said:

 

I’m not sure I understand your point. If you are happy with “near enough”, why not just work in OO? 

 

Because the fundamental problem of 00, the proportion of the stock to the track gauge which makes the track look too narrow (because it is) in a head on view, is solved even with 'lo fi' coarse scale modelling.

 

It's Sunday evening so I'm going to allow my Inner Pedant an outing.  00 gauge, not OO, H0 not HO, and 0 not O.  The gauges are in descending size from 3, 2, to Gauge 1, the larger gauges having passed largely into history or Model Engineering.  Going down from Gauge 1 requires another numerical digit, '0', not the letter 'O'.  Half the size of 0 is H0, Half 0, so 00 must be 00, not OO.

 

It is also incorrect to refer to 00 scale, despite what it said on your Airfix construction kit boxes.  00 is a gauge, not a scale, despite being the same 16.5mm gauge as H0; the rail profile and sleeper spacing are different.  The scale is 4mm to the foot, or 1:76, and is a ratio, not a gauge.  In fact if my Inner Pedant really gets it's way before I bottle it up again. the track is not a gauge, it is to a gauge, the gauge being the device you measure it with.  Ismbard Kingdom Brunel had a folding walking stick made that he could use as a gauge to measure his Broad Gauge track with, which may now be in a museum somewhere but in my time on the railway in the 70s was kept in the office of the Western Region's Chief Civil Engineer at Paddington overlooking Platform 1.

 

I model railways in 4mm scale using 00 gauge RTP (Peco Streamline) track using RTR stock or kit stock compatible with RTR standards; in a world where there is coarse and fine scale I would describe it as medium between those extremes, to BRSMB standards.  I would be more than happy to work in 3.5mm gauge at 1:87 scale if the trade supported it instead of 4mm; it would save me length which is the thing I am most short of, assuming my Inner Pedant will allow such a thing as being short of length, and the track gauge would look correct with my stock.  But they don't, and I won't.

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7 hours ago, Moxy said:

 

Hi John

 

I too have one of those J94 prints somewhere (haven't seen it since I moved house, but it will be in one of the boxes!), I was planning on putting it on a Branchlines 03 chassis (less jackshaft of course), but I would be interested to know which Bachmann chassis it is you are using.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Maxy

Hi Moxy/Maxy,

Good to hear that you are working on this too!

I am using Bachmann item #51511described as Prairie 2-6-2 w/smoke - it's a split frame chassis in a white box, rather than one of the "Spectrum" range. I got it very cheap but it works as expected and should I wish to upgrade, I may consider getting a more modern model for it.

Cheers,

John.

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1 hour ago, The Johnster said:

... I would be more than happy to work in 16.5mm gauge at 1:87 scale if the trade supported it instead of 4mm ... But they don't, and I won't.

FIFY

 

For the majority using 00, this is the bottom line. We'll take what we can get! Especially as we now have a pile of RTR choice in 00 with accurately modelled 4mm scale bodywork combined with H0 mechanism designs which work well.

 

8 hours ago, Allegheny1600 said:

...The story of how the RTR market for British H0 so nearly "made it" in the 1970's/80's is covered earlier in the thread for those who wish to look...

I was 'careering' while this was going on so wasn't paying any attention! And I had already by that time given up on RTR 00 as too poor to consider, and had as a result gone build it yourself in EM and then P4, until real life put a stop to my model railway activity.

 

In retrospect, I feel the last real chance for general introduction of RTR H0 in the UK was when the Channel tunnel opened. Had a couple of manufacturers been able to agree and sell to the retailers that this constituted a 'reset' opportunity, and that all the loco and stock models of prototypes introduced from then were to be H0, then all D+E would now be H0.  Tantalising prospect, it might well have attracted at least one more HO manufacturer to participate in the UK RTR market. (I am thinking Roco, who have had a sniff or two at UK product, most recently the Ffestiniog double fairlie I think.)

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It's Sunday evening for me too so here is a bit of brain dump.

 

With H0, I can achieve a good overall appearance, with the trains are in proportion to their track

 

and

I can buy track
I get interoperability with 00
I can work with curves down to radius 2
I can buy RTR models very different to the 00 offerings (mostly ferry vans) and made to a high standard
I can make new models by butchering other RTR
I can buy RTR coaches so cheaply I can saw them in half without feeling guilty if a project goes completely wrong
I can tackle scratchbuilt models using bogies from the USA, made to a good standard
I can be learning in my hobby without spoiling expensive models
I can have an S160 (a favourite engine)
I can have models of Continental subjects which appeal to me, and use them on my layout
I can build a layout with enough complexity to satisfy in the space available

 

and I accept these limitations ...

My choice of trains is limited to what the scale will allow me rather than what I might want (very much the opposite to 00, where so many prototypes are available RTR or as a kit).
I can have some steam engines, but my choice is limited to doable subjects
I need to concentrate on a layout operation with diesel and electric traction
I will not learn much about kit building - I will have to jump straight from butchering RTR into scratchbuilding
My bullhead rail must be overscale height (regardless of what I might do with the wheels) - I must have code 75 (or conceivably the code 60 from 3SMR) when I really want something about code 68, which no-one makes

 

These various details are pretty trivial on an individual basis, but they are worth more added together. My bottom line is probably, I would like to be P4 but I don't have the space; I want to build my own models; and I get a kick out of doing something a bit off-beat.

I am happy with this, at least at the moment, but I don't expect others to feel the same.

 

- Richard.

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5 minutes ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

In retrospect, I feel the last real chance for general introduction of RTR H0 in the UK was when the Channel tunnel opened. Had a couple of manufacturers been able to agree and sell to the retailers that this constituted a 'reset' opportunity, and that all the loco and stock models of prototypes introduced from then were to be H0, then all D+E would now be H0. 

It's possible that the 'other' Last Chance, the proposed Heljan H0 Class 37, was a bit ahead of it's time. Not just in it's technical spec, which with central can motor & all axle drive was ahead of the then-standard pancake motor bogie, but also it's proposed price of about £100 if I recall, was rather a lot more expensive than most 00 diesels then as well.

Plus, of course, it was a 'stand alone' product, with no proposed rolling stock to match it - either coaches or wagons, so it was almost bound to fail to turn the tide away from 00.

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.... which is all getting a bit circular. 

 

Why WOULD the British RTR trade suppliers show any interest in “reset buttons” , when they have no real reason to believe that they can sell the resulting product? They are businesses, selling items at a profit (at least, that’s the idea). Hornby, like Marklin or Lionel, are toy manufacturers (well, distributors, anyway) focussed on railways. They make overtly toy-like items like Smokey Joe, and tension-lock couplings, and sell them in large numbers. 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, 47137 said:

It's Sunday evening for me too so here is a bit of brain dump.

 

With H0, I can achieve a good overall appearance, with the trains are in proportion to their track

 

and

I can buy track
I get interoperability with 00
I can work with curves down to radius 2
I can buy RTR models very different to the 00 offerings (mostly ferry vans) and made to a high standard
I can make new models by butchering other RTR
I can buy RTR coaches so cheaply I can saw them in half without feeling guilty if a project goes completely wrong
I can tackle scratchbuilt models using bogies from the USA, made to a good standard
I can be learning in my hobby without spoiling expensive models
I can have an S160 (a favourite engine)
I can have models of Continental subjects which appeal to me, and use them on my layout
I can build a layout with enough complexity to satisfy in the space available

 

and I accept these limitations ...

My choice of trains is limited to what the scale will allow me rather than what I might want (very much the opposite to 00, where so many prototypes are available RTR or as a kit).
I can have some steam engines, but my choice is limited to doable subjects
I need to concentrate on a layout operation with diesel and electric traction
I will not learn much about kit building - I will have to jump straight from butchering RTR into scratchbuilding
My bullhead rail must be overscale height (regardless of what I might do with the wheels) - I must have code 75 (or conceivably the code 60 from 3SMR) when I really want something about code 68, which no-one makes

 

These various details are pretty trivial on an individual basis, but they are worth more added together. My bottom line is probably, I would like to be P4 but I don't have the space; I want to build my own models; and I get a kick out of doing something a bit off-beat.

I am happy with this, at least at the moment, but I don't expect others to feel the same.

 

- Richard.

Nothing stopping you from kit building, we have a range of five British outline HO 1:87 etched brass loco kits (plus three purely foreign ones). Sales in the UK have been utterly minimal but big enough across Europe, particularly in Spain and Portugal.

Michael and Judith Edge

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4 hours ago, rockershovel said:

Oh, don’t start about American O scale! I came across this as I was finding my way into O 3-rail coarse Scale, and it’s .... contentious.....

Indeed

Having had the experience at an exhibition a few years ago of "operating" someone's new 0 scale layout on which nothing would run without derailing due to a mismatch between track and wheel standards this doesn't just apply to American O scale.

It seems to be even more contentious than the two scales 1:76.2 and 1:87 and the three and a bit gauges (16.5mm, 18.3mm, 18.83mm and 19mm (American OO)   for models based on the original 5/8 inch (or 16mm) 00 gauge.

 

Curiously both MOROP and the BRMSB adopted a gauge of 32mm for O but the NMRA's gauge is between 1.250" (31.75 mm) and 1.285” (32.64 mm)

At the risk of being :offtopic:  I've been trying to figure out the reason for 0 gauge's multiplicity of scales .

0 gauge was introduced by Märklin in 1893 more or less as a toy based on a gauge of 35mm but measured between rail centres- it's hard to define a gauge corner with round section tinplate rail. With conventional rail this equated to a gauge of 11/4 inches or 32mm (to the nearest mm)  

Sometime between 1911 and 1925, British modellers started to mix imperial and metric measures to define scale, probably starting with 0 gauge and using the closest whole mm/ft to get 7mm/ft or 1:43.5. 

The Americans, who don't (in theory) use the metric system at all, based their scale for 11/4 inch O gauge on the nearest simple fraction of an inch to the foot corresponding to standard gauge which was 1/4inch to the foot.

Other European modellers simply adoped the closest whole number scale ratio which, for 32mm gauge is 1:45 and the most accurate  of the three common scales (The French and some others though adopted and still use the British 1:43.5 scale)

 

It's interesting (well I think it is) that you can generally tell where model railways scales developed from the measures they're based on .

Scales developed in Great Britain are based on mm/ft, as with British O (7mm/ft) OO (4mm/ft) and  HO (3.5mm/ft),

Scales developed in the USA are fractions of an inch to the foot as with American O scale's 1/4 inch to the foot , S scale's 3⁄16 inch to the foot or 1:64, and TT's  1/10 inch to the foot or 1:120. So, the Americans did import HO from Britain as did Europe.

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7 hours ago, rockershovel said:

 

I’m not sure I understand your point. If you are happy with “near enough”, why not just work in OO? 

 

 

Why should I?

I own and operate a substantial collection of European and American model equipment in H0 scale and for many, many years, I have tried to accept the 00 compromise. I've tried P4 on three separate occasions to try and get around it but its not for me.

If I place a 00 model next to a H0 one, I can see the difference glaring me in the face.

Not so many people will notice this like I do but, like the "Wrong" cab on the Bachmann class 24/25 (apparently) - once seen, it can't be unseen.

I know that 00 is too large for the track its on so I like H0 because it looks right.

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So.... if you want to invest the time, cost and effort to model in some specific scale/gauge combination, because you regard that as preferable; fine, go ahead, do whatever works for you. But projecting that onto criticising a de-facto industry standard, evolved over time and generally accepted for whatever reason, just isn’t useful. 

 

Also, “generally accepted” and “we have a small, but widely distributed membership for our niche interest group” aren’t the same thing. 

 

 

The multiple, and sometimes internally inconsistent scales in O gauge are easily explained; they developed at a time when people simply didn’t regard this as important. The main thing was that the mechanisms worked, fit inside the body shells, and stayed on the track. If the resulting models were generally consistent in size, and represented generically recognisable models, so much the better.

 

The Madder Valley model railway, a well-known model preserved to this day as an example of development in the hobby, is a good example of this approach. 

 

American Coarse Scale 3-rail O Gauge is the main survivor of this era and mind-set. The “generic 0-6-0 goods loco” produced by BL in the 1950s would be another example, along with the generic small 0-4-0, inside frame diesel shutters and under-length coaches from TriAng and Hornby, or TriAng producing British outline in OO and US outline in HO using the same mechanisms. 

 

If you really want a long, unproductive read, google “semi-Scale Hudson” and put the kettle on. This is a US term variously denoting “models designed under-length to improve performance on small radii”, “models under-Scale using historic tooling” or “models using coarse wheel standards and a lower level of detailing”. “Scale Hudson” denotes a particular model much cried up in its day for its “true to scale” dimensions.... on 3-rail track. 

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21 hours ago, rockershovel said:

I’m not sure I understand your point. If you are happy with “near enough”, why not just work in OO? 

 

I understand John's point.

 

One objective of a model railway layout is to create the right overall effect. Some modellers, such as those who use British H0, find they can achieve this effect by using a scale gauge, even though they have to make compromises elsewhere. Such a compromise might be a detail item, like having the wrong number of spokes on a wheel, or simply being unable to have a model of a particular prototype because the over-scale wheels won't fit in.

 

To my mind, 00 gauge models look wrong. They are ok in a display cabinet, but they look wrong on the track. I don't mean this as an all-embracing and damming criticism of 00; rather a statement of the way it looks to me. Other modellers see the numerous merits of 00, and either overlook the narrow gauge look or even don't feel the models look wrong.

 

It is the overall effect which counts, along with the enjoyment of model-making, ownership and operation. This might involve exploiting the wealth of RTR models available for 00, or using the very limited range in H0 to get a different overall "look". We are all free to choose our own compromises.

 

- Richard.

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16 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Because the fundamental problem of 00, the proportion of the stock to the track gauge which makes the track look too narrow (because it is) in a head on view, is solved even with 'lo fi' coarse scale modelling.

 

It's Sunday evening so I'm going to allow my Inner Pedant an outing.  00 gauge, not OO, H0 not HO, and 0 not O.  The gauges are in descending size from 3, 2, to Gauge 1, the larger gauges having passed largely into history or Model Engineering.  Going down from Gauge 1 requires another numerical digit, '0', not the letter 'O'.  Half the size of 0 is H0, Half 0, so 00 must be 00, not OO.

 

It is also incorrect to refer to 00 scale, despite what it said on your Airfix construction kit boxes.  00 is a gauge, not a scale, despite being the same 16.5mm gauge as H0; the rail profile and sleeper spacing are different.  The scale is 4mm to the foot, or 1:76, and is a ratio, not a gauge.  In fact if my Inner Pedant really gets it's way before I bottle it up again. the track is not a gauge, it is to a gauge, the gauge being the device you measure it with.  Ismbard Kingdom Brunel had a folding walking stick made that he could use as a gauge to measure his Broad Gauge track with, which may now be in a museum somewhere but in my time on the railway in the 70s was kept in the office of the Western Region's Chief Civil Engineer at Paddington overlooking Platform 1.

 

I model railways in 4mm scale using 00 gauge RTP (Peco Streamline) track using RTR stock or kit stock compatible with RTR standards; in a world where there is coarse and fine scale I would describe it as medium between those extremes, to BRSMB standards.  I would be more than happy to work in 3.5mm gauge at 1:87 scale if the trade supported it instead of 4mm; it would save me length which is the thing I am most short of, assuming my Inner Pedant will allow such a thing as being short of length, and the track gauge would look correct with my stock.  But they don't, and I won't.

I agree with you about the end profile of 00 stock looking obviously wrong compared with the prototype in a way that other deviations such as the number of spokes simply don't. It is perhaps fortunate that most layouts are viewed from the side and that most modellers rarely look at the prototype. A surprising number of modellers don't even know that OO is a compromise. It is also true though that the distortion of track gauge is far smaller than the distortions we routinely make on the minimum radii of curves,  crossing angles, platform lengths, train lengths and so on.    

 

You're also right about the origins of 00 and 0 . The very first model railway magazine- Henry Greenly's Model Railways and Locomotives published from 1909-1916- invariably refers to no. 3 gauge, no. 2 gauge,  no. 1 gauge and no. 0 gauge "for those short of space but limited in the locos available" I have the first three volumes and can't find a single reference to scale so that was presumably implicit from the gauge or ignored,

 

When it appeared a few years later 00 was a gauge (5/8 inch) but the arguments between those who wanted to lumber it with 4mm/ft scale and those advocating the correct scale for the gauge of 3.5mm/ft led to the same gauge being used for what is now OO and what is H0/HO. That made 00 a gauge/scale combination so I think it is quite in order to refer to 00 scale. That's exactly how the BRMSB tried to define in their first set of 00 standards with standard 00 on 16.5mm gauge track and scale 00 on 18mm gauge track. OO9 and OOn3 also use OO as a scale rather than a gauge. H0 has no such problems as the gauge and the scale follow naturally from one another so it can be used to describe both.

 

Going from 0 to 00 and 000 to extend a numerical sequence is fairly common practice, For example, In the UK and Canada, knitting needles start with 14 as the smallest and as they get larger go through 0 to 00 and 000 (This got a bit out of hand with Standard Wire Gauge that got to seven zeros so ended up referring to the larger sizes of wire as 2/0....7/0 instead)

 

However, English is a language of usage not a codified language and OO and O seem to have become the accepted usage in both British and American circles so we can't say that it's incorrect any more than we can argue that a Caff should be a Café not a Cafe. in France it seems much more settled as the national association for modellers in 0  is le Cercle du Zéro and they are known as Zéroistes.

 

BTW I know you said that they have largely passed into history but there seem to be a surprising number of people who are using gauge 1 and even gauge  3 for railway modelling rather than model engineering.

 

 

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9 hours ago, rockershovel said:

 

Try as I might, I cannot understand what you are on about nor can I understand what you are actually contributing to this thread except to apparently say that the concept of modelling British outline in H0 scale is pointless?

Is that what I am to take from your posts?

Tell you what, take your comments and post them on another of the minority scales threads and see how welcome you are there. 

You've done nothing to endear me to your cause and I shall now make use of the "ignore" button!

Goodbye,

John

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