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Steve K

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

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It's not without some truth. Yes, any UK based model of the US or European scene will be using H0. Commercial support for British outline H0 has been, and is, minimal. Fleishmann had a Warship and some Bulleid coaches at one time and, of course, unless you build your own track, H0 track is used for 00.

 

Other than that, British outline H0 accounts for, probably, considerably less than 1% of UK modelling, and little of that will be RTR or kit built.

Edited by Arthur

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What a lot of fun we have to thank Henry Greenley for just because he found away to fit 1920's motors into British outline models.

 

 

Jamie

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In Iain Rice's "Mainlines in Modest Spaces", he suggests that the survival of OO is because it's the least bad compromise for getting models of typical British outline steam locomotives around the sorts of curves people are forced to use to fit layouts in typical domestic spaces.

 

In contrast an accurate HO model of a typical German loco with high running boards and cylinders further out because of the loading gauge can be persuaded to go round far tigher curves than an equivalent HO or Scalefour British-outline model would.

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Although  - whisper it - many HO steam models of European prototypes are selectively built 'elastically' to anything up to 4mm/ft in width. This is an inescapable consequence not of the motor element of the mechanism, but principally of commercial wheels that are positioned inside splashers, and outside rods that have to clear overscale crankpins and the like. And just as with the Rivarossi HO Royal Scot, if you know the prototype the resulting distortion from accurate appearance is just as ugly!

 

Which is part of the why of P87.

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There have been a few bits and pieces produced by the British 1:87 Scale Society over the years and if anybody is interested in finding out more about what is available the website is:-

www.british-ho.com

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Here are a couple of pics of my own British H0 layout Kirkley Mills:-

 

post-12623-0-05112600-1389012809.jpg

 

post-12623-0-07879600-1389012840.jpg

 

I agree that it is hard to model the exact scale gauge (in any scale) without adopting exact scale wheel standards and fairly generous curves but while there is a case for using a slightly narrow gauge I think all the EM gauge layouts that have been built over the last half century or so have proved that adopting 4mm scale on H0 track was never really justified. 

 

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In an ideal world I think we'd either model in HO or EM. However, there are mountains of OO trains and market inertia means OO will remain the dominant British scale in its size class. Yes it is a clearly visible compromise, no we wouldn't choose it today is starting afresh but for all its compromise it is abundant, the advantages of not having to re-gauge models or abandon rolling stock fleets built up over many years and the fact that for many the compromise is no big deal mean it is unlikely to change. If it was going to change the opportunity would have been for somebody to produce models to the same standard as European HO in the 80's but that window has long passed now UK OO closed the detail gap with HO. Fleischman had a go but it was half hearted and the Bullied coaches and Warship never got their intended other halves with the result it was a rather odd combination of models they made available. I believe their intention was to do a Bullied pacific and Mk.1's, though I may be wrong.

As well as the mentioned compromises on wheels it is worth pointing out that European HO has taken all sorts of liberty with rolling stock scale to meet set track curves, 1/100 and 1/93 coaches especially so it is not just British OO that matches incorrect scale to gauge.

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There  was  the  Rivarossi  unrebuilt  Royal Scot  LMS livery 6100  and a  couple of  LMS coaches in the  70s,   I had the loco and  some  coaches which I ran on my  Garden Railway!!

 

Didnt  Fleischhmann  do a  Warship   and some  Bullied Coaches  in HO scale  in the  70s

 

I believe that  'British Trix  when they introduced their   revamped range'  around the same time as the above  used a scale  of approx 3.8m/foot.  The  range  included  some  quite  good for the  time)   LNER locos  A2 & A4,  also  a Britannia  and  I think an L1  Electric,  The  factory  was  just  up the  road  from  me  so to speak in Wrexham

British Trix items varied in scale - in fact the A2, A4 and AL1 are true 4mm scale. The Trix A4 body is the one used by Bachmann for it's current A4 as Bachmann acquired certain former British Trix tools when they bought Liliput.  

 

The Fleischmann Warship remained in their catalogue until the mid-2000s, as Fleischmann resolutely refused to sell off the incredibly slow moving stock held in their warehouse since the late 70s. When they were bought by Roco the stock was finally cleared and I bought a brand new (albeit probably 25 year old) one from the Signal Box in Rochester for £25.....

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Martin Wynn addressed the matter of scale/gauge compromises quite succinctly on the old forum at http://rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9849&sid=028a72f195cc1ec99cc9852080cffd18. It doesn't really matter what scale you choose, if you want a correct scale/gauge combination you are more or less forced to follow the various Proto/n standards, at least where steam engines with splashers or outside cylinders are concerned. Diesels would not force you down that road, but the design of most steam engines whether British or US presents a problem, and if you can't live with the stricter standards and all that they involve, then you either end up making some bits of the engines wider (the HO compromise) or the track a bit narrower (the OO compromise) than the corresponding scale dimensions.

 

As an illustration of the HO compromise, I checked my Broadway Limited Light Mikado. I put a digital caliper across the cylinders and it measures a shade under 11' across, the Maine Central diagram quotes 10' across the cylinders. The cylinders stick out past the running board, whereas they should be slightly inboard based on a frontal photograph I looked at. The only way to avoid it would be to use scale wheels and much closer tolerances on the valve gear. And nice big radius curves to get the whole thing around.

 

Now, if the wheels around at the dawn of OO had been a bit finer, would the scale have stayed at 4mm and the gauge been closer to scale (approaching the original EM perhaps) or would the gauge have stayed at 16.5mm and the scale been something like the Trix 3.8mm/foot that they appear to have used for some stuff? Or would it not have mattered?

 

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I had a go at British HO, well over 10 years ago, now. Partly because I like to model out of the mainstream, but UK HO is a very lonely furrow indeed. I gave it up when my attempts to get a Class 14 body kit going, to fit the Roco V60 chassis, came to nothing, despite being a member of the British HO Society at the time.

When Heljan were looking to enter the UK market they proposd an HO class 37; obviously once they did some market research they worked out they'd sell far more UK models if they were 4mm, not 3.5....

 

No surprise that the modelling done in S is better than in HO - it's a much finer set of standards. From what I gather, it's almost the only Scale that doesn't need a "finescale" option..?? (eg P4/4mm, S7/O, P87/HO) as the whole gauge-to-scale issue is accurate in the first place...??

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I agree that it is hard to model the exact scale gauge (in any scale) without adopting exact scale wheel standards and fairly generous curves...

 

You're not wrong. But I can live with compromise - 1/80th scale models of 3'6" gauge prototypes running on 16.5mm gauge track!  :happy_mini:

 

11349204844_59dde78245_c.jpg

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

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Lilliput did some British outline HO. Definitely blue/grey.

It wasn't HO, it was 3.8mm to the foot, used on the Mark1 coaches, Western, Warship and the Transpennine unit. As stated in post ~16, the AL1 (class 81) was 4mm/00

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Guest FNM600

Currently the amount of interest in British H0 is at least equal to that in S although the standard of modelling in S is generally a lot higher. There are a number of commercial models currently on the market which can be easily anglicised with several European manufacturers producing Class 66s, Rivarossi doing a USA tank while Roco do the Dutch version of the LMS standard diesel shunter (Later BR Class 11). There are also a number of ferry wagons available.

 Sadly it is  for historical reasons. We missed the boat when Lima (http://www.limabritishho.co.uk/LBHO-Home.htm ) switched to OO in 1976 under instigation of their then importer Wren in order to sell and make easy £.

 See   http://www.limabritishho.co.uk/LBHO-Home.htm.

 There is a :  http://www.british-ho.com/ society but it is very much scratch build and relying on items that exist on bth sides of the Channel such as mentioned above.

 Personally I discovered OO the hard way (awful Triang stuff against which Lima had no trouble to compete ) and gave up British outline :-( .

  Exception are Trix mentioned in the thread . Yes 3.8mm or 1.80 like old overscale Rivarossi (only Italian outline) ! But this 1.80 for RR is history!

 OO  trains on steroids create problems in these days of Channel Tunnel in recreating many current trains.  But also in other eras such in the 2 World Wars and in the day of ferries to Dover and Harwich.

think about all the ROD stock in the 14-18 war interworking with local trains!  Fashionable now!

  Also there is small scattered band of people overseas interested in British outline such as in Australia which in spite of British heritage is strictly 1:87.

 

  I wonder whether Hornby of Margate could rationalize the tooling of lots of brands and standardize on a single scale for all markets (eg: the Rivarossi USTC which is just the 0-6-0 C USA class of the SR!).  Like British modellers buy continental, so do would the opposite as long they are not on steroids! 

 

  Other

Edited by FNM600

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Guest FNM600

I'm sure I was had some UK out-line HO stock by Lima the loco was a class 33 I think.

Yes,  you are right ! 

Please look at :http://www.limabritishho.co.uk/LBHO-Home.htm 

 Sad story ! See my other posts about it. 

Edited by FNM600

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Guest FNM600

Lilliput did some British outline HO. Definitely blue/grey.

Yes, it was acquired in the 70s from British Trix. actually they were Mk1 coaches in about  1:80  3.8mm/ft though.  See post #16. Precisely the CK, RUB and BCK on Commowhealth bogies with Simplex couplings by default. Also some locos. Look at e-Bay!

Edited by FNM600

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Guest FNM600

I had a go at British HO, well over 10 years ago, now. Partly because I like to model out of the mainstream, but UK HO is a very lonely furrow indeed. I gave it up when my attempts to get a Class 14 body kit going, to fit the Roco V60 chassis, came to nothing, despite being a member of the British HO Society at the time.

When Heljan were looking to enter the UK market they proposd an HO class 37; obviously once they did some market research they worked out they'd sell far more UK models if they were 4mm, not 3.5....

 

No surprise that the modelling done in S is better than in HO - it's a much finer set of standards. From what I gather, it's almost the only Scale that doesn't need a "finescale" option..?? (eg P4/4mm, S7/O, P87/HO) as the whole gauge-to-scale issue is accurate in the first place...??

  I am very sorry that you didn't manage to get that class 14 body to fit the Roco chassis. It is hard nowarday in these days of nice ready to run models to get assistace on scratchbuilding! 

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  This could be a start in producing a British HO 1:87 model.  Same frame and bogies, just a different body. 

A bit how the Waship class 42 was made from the German V200.

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Interesting to see in the April "Continental Modeller' Nürnberg round up an HO scale British 7-plank PO wagon being introduced by Heris, in the shape of one of the Societe Belgo-Anglaise des Ferryboats ferry wagons.

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As I inch ever closer (theoretically) to beginning an actual layout, I'm always on the lookout for bits and bobs which might fit the overall scheme of late 60s British HO. On a recent visit to a swapmeet, I picked up the following two items for peanuts:

attachicon.gifImage172.jpg

The other is an ancient Matchbox model of a Ford Thames van, which has been sympathetically (and fairly skilfully) repainted at some point. I haven't measured it, but it seems very close to 1:87. As a result, I shall keep my eye out for older Lesney/Matchbox stuff in future.

Sorry, but that Ford Thames is 1:76 scale. Vans were generally smaller in those days. There were 1:87 (or thereabouts) vehciules in the Lesney Matchbox range though. A good one is the old Bedford TK tipper in 1:85 scale.

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Thanks, Bernard - I'll keep an eye out for that tipper. Mind you, after 8 years, I still don't have a layout as such. Must... get... started...

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Proto87 was mentioned earlier so I thought I'd post some pics of my British P87 layout from a few years ago with  pointwork built by Brian Harrap

 

post-12623-0-84337900-1490384247.jpg  post-12623-0-67927800-1490384391.jpg

 

post-12623-0-00364400-1490384437.jpg  post-12623-0-43498800-1490384473.jpg

Edited by HSB
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