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Everything posted by Pacific231G

  1. I've heard that too and, in their early articles (MRC Jan 1967), the MSRG were totally dismissive of the BRMSB* but in reality people seem to have simply got as close as they could to the given dimensions and if they were close enough then things just worked. Those who built their own track in 00 seem to have followed BRMSB standards (or at least thought they did) and suppliers of non RTL track (including Peco with Pecoway and Individualy) worked to them too. I think that most people who model using a less common scale/gauge will generally join the relative scale society and adopt its standards simply because that's the main fount of knowledge. If I modelled in EM, 3mm scale or S scale or possibly in 0 scale I'd definitely join the relevant society but that's far less likely in a majority scale like 00 or (non British) H0. BTW I've found only one article on building points that even mentioned the check gauge (but not by name) That was by E.G. White in the May 1954 MRN and he just says that the check rails should be "soldered in position so that the face of each check rail is exactly 15mm away from the point of the frog" but the steel track gauge he gives a dimensioned diagram for doesn't include this. Everyone else, including Peter Denny (Permanent Way on the Buckingham Branch MRC Oct 1950) seemed to just rely on the check rail clearance to get everything else into the right relative places. I have a couple of SMP copper clad point kits and one of check rail gauges that came with them (essentially a shim) According to my digital calliper this sets the check rail 1.29mm from the stock rail. I also have a couple of their plastic based three foot radius point kits but these just rely on the moulded chairs to get everything into the correct relative positions. The BRMSB was an ad hoc committee rather than an actual organisation and seem to have followed Henry Greenly's example of determining standards "for once and for all" that didn't need to be re-examined. * This was actually on very dubious premises. For example, they stated that the BRMSB failed to specify a wheel or rail profile, whereas in fact they did, and their grasp of model railway development was also very shaky. They stated that H0 had been developed in the States while 00 was being developed in the UK.when in fact it had been developed by members of the Wimbledon MRC from about 1925, years before small scale railway modelling was exported to N.America.
  2. Nope. though it is true that only the dimensions were quoted in the 1943 version in MRC . I've got the 1950 publicaton in front of me and it does include tolerances (or limits as it calls them) , On the track page, F (the flangeway) is a minimum dimension (for all gauges) For H0, 00, EM and EMF the back to backs have a tolerance of + 0.005 (elephants? as my mech. eng. lecturer would have said but I assume it's five thou. as only the dimensions in inches are to three decimal places) so it is a minimum with a lattitude of +0.005inch. So, for 00 the back to back was 14.5mm with a tolerance of +0.127mm (i.e. 0.005 inches) so the H0 back to back of 15.00mm wouldn't have been compliant with a 2.5mm wide (tyre plus flange) wheel to BRMSB 00 standard. A 2.00mm wide wheel to BRMSB H0 standard with a BtoB of 15.00mm was intended for a wider minimum check gauge of 15.50mm rather than the 00 15.00mm. I strongly suspect that between 1943 and 1950 a lot more real expertise on wheels and track was applied than the original BRMSB committee collectively posessed. I think that what impressed me about working with the then NMRA standards in the 1980s was the lack of slop. I was even more ignorant in those days than now but it did seem that track and wheelsets simply fitted one another. When I turned to Euopean H0 in the late 1990s the slop was back with a lot of inconsistency in flange widths and therefore back to backs.
  3. Hi Andy A year on have you had more experience of the Modeltech rail aligners in practice? By the way, for aligning boards I've used the MKD plastic blocks (nylon I think and much the same material that Peco use for their track) that are about tuppence a ton in B&Q. You do have to drill extra holes in them as they're designed to join corners rather than for linear joins. They were a quick solution about fifteen years ago and are still going strong- they're also good for joining backscenes.
  4. Thanks Martin that's very clear. There are no stupid questions so Mr. Reichert has nothing to gripe about It's interesting that the oft criticised BRMSB standards- at least in the 1950 published version- seem to do more or less what you're suggesting with four dimensions for track. minimum gauge (16.5mm for both H0 and 00), maximum distance over check and wing rails (14.5 for H0 and 14 for 00) , minimum check rail clearance (1mm for H0 and 1.25 for 00) and minimum check gauge (15.5 for H0 and 15 for 00) (I've not quoted the dimensions for EM and EMF because the gauge changed to 18.2mm and, with the standards taken over by the EMGS, the BRMSB version is probably irrelevant) They clearly perceived H0 as a fine scale so, for wheels, the BtoB was 15mm for H0 and 14.5 for 00 and the tyre width 1.5mm for H0 and 2mm for 00. There's no other obvious reason for these being different as, in terms of the rail/wheel relationship the scale is surely irrelevant. The H0 dimensions are only relevant because they're also for 16.5mm gauge. The 1950 published standards were far more developed than the original BRMSB 3.5 & 4mm scale dimensions quoted in the MRC in 1943 or 1944. This only gave gauge and check rail clearances for "scale H0" and "scale OO (i.e. EM) didn't give any such dimension for "standard" 00 and no check gauge or check span for any of them. I actually wonder if more than one modeller in a hundred has ever even known what a check gauge dimension is and why it matters (for most of my life I certainly didn't) though there is a clear explanation in the 1950 publication of BRMSB standard dimensions. When I was using them in the early 1980s, the published NMRA standards seemed to be based on the engineering manufacturing practice of quoting dimensions for individual compoents with a plus and minus tolerance (which could be zero for one or the other) rather than the relationship between those dimensons - though one assumed they had all been properly worked out. Why they hould have had a problem converting inches to mm is curious. The one conversion factor I know by heart is 25.4 mm/inch and it's not an aproximation. They did though also get themselves into awkward maths by using one too many decimal places to convert the British 3.5mm/ft into a scale ratio and ending up with 1:87.1 rather than simply rounding it to 1:87 as MOROP did- at least it's not 1:87.086.
  5. Martin mentioned yesterday that the NMRA standards are now a mess and I've heard similar comments from American sources. Can anyone tell me though what actually has gone wrong with them? I used the then current NMRA standards in the 1970s-80s and even scratchbuilt a couple of turnouts that all my RP25* wheeled stock negotiated quite happily (a miracle for me) so I'm genuinely curious. This is a request for actual information and I'm not trying to make a point (and that really isn't a pun) *I presume that was what is now RP25/110
  6. I've seen a few layouts with baseboards based on foam core and have use it quite a lot myself. A few years ago Christian Fornereau, the current proprietor of Loco-Revue came up with a new concept to try to get more new blood into the hobby. It's called Train in'Box and basically absolutely everything needed to buld a small fully scenic layout comes in a single large (but not ginormous) box. In this the baseboards are entirely made of interlocking pieces of thick die cut card with thinner card for the track and roadbeds and the bases for the buildings. I think his idea was that the person, possibly a family, building it as a first layout would acquire the full range of skills and above all the confidence to go on to other layout projects. The pictures in this link should give the general idea. https://trains.lrpresse.com/A-19297-train-in-box-voie-etroite-sans-materiel-roulant.aspx They were demonstrating it at the big TrainsMania show in Lille a few years ago and invited a couple of members of local clubs to build the layout using only what was in the box (apart from water and paper cups for mixing scenic materials) including tools. They easily completed it over the two and a half day show and the materials were all of high quality with, for example, Peco track. I've also seen a number of dioramas in France built entirely from card. The card used for 3L wine boxes seemed to be particularly popular.
  7. Yes it is and French themed 009 layouts appear quite regularly in Voie Libre (Loco-Revue's NG offshoot), This is mainly due to the availability of appropriate models from Britain of, for example WD stock that was sold off as war surplus and used very widely in France after WW1 as well as locos such as Baldwins and Alcos. H0e is more common there because it's easy to get hold of but it represents 750-760 mm gauge which, with one fairly obscure exception (Roquefort-Lencouag in Landes), was never used for light railways in France. 1:76th scale makes 9mm gauge track closer to 600mm and the sort of modellers who care enough to use it are generally perfectly capable of scratchbuildng structures and buildings in the same scale. In reality there were only a few hundred kilometres of public 600mm gauge "light" railways in France (most of them promoted by Paul Decauville), compared with about 16000 kms of metre gauge. Despite that, H0e and 0e are far more popular modelling choices in France than H0m or 0m probably because 9mm gauge stuff is more widely available than 12mm and 16.5mm is far more widely available than S gauge stuff. In principle H0i (known as H0f in Germany) using z gauge 6.5mm gauge track would be the "correct" commercially available gauge for 600mm in 1:87 scale but in practice not many modellers use 9mm gauge track to represent both 600mm gauge and metre gauge
  8. Peco makes what it can sell profitably into its market. It's just as happy to sell code 75 as code 100 but I don't actually know what "true 4mm scale 00 gauge track" could possibly be as 00 is inherently not to scale (unless you're modelling a 4ft 1 1/2 in. gauge railway) I suppose it could refer to sleeper size and separaton but, if you look at the BRMSB standards they actually gave the same sleeper witdh for H0, 00, and EM (which can't all be correct) and the same 32mm length for H0 and 00 sleepers. I assume it means using scale sleeper spacing (30" ?) for typical British track but that wasn't even in the 1950 version of the BRMSB standards (and is the easiest thing to change even on RTL track) The length of sleepers, given the narrrow gauge of 00 , is always going to be a debatable compromise as scale length sleepers only emphasise the narrow gauge. (GF used to get round this problem by advertising "all sleepers correct to BRMSB measurements" which probably fooled many into thinking that they were following BRMSB standards in general whereas nothing else, apart from the gauge was. Check clearances were, so far as I can tell from the couple of late examples I have, even more of a compromise than Peco's. When tooling costs meant that it was only economic to produce one type of 16.5 mm gauge track, Peco (and the other RTR manufacturers) simply made just one. Peco (and Wrenn) then opted to make their track to scale for H0 and sold it worldwide. Nowadays, modern tooling methods make it possible for them to offer a far wider range in shorter runs that now includes H0 and H0n3 to NMRA specs, H0m, N, H0e-009, O, Z, 1, O16.5 and of course bullhead in 00 with typical British sleeper spacing. The fact that this list doesn't include 00 FB with a wider "British" sleeper spacing simply suggests that there isn't a large enough market for it. When there is I'm sure they'll make it but it won't replace the current code 75 offer. We've debated all this on RMW umpteen times but in this context I simply can't see a new standards body for British modelling getting anything like a general agreement for anything. Even if they could, if it was different from the standards that manufacturers who are now very international are using, they would simply ignore it. Hornby and Bachmann aren't going to adopt a different wheel standard from the one I suspect they are now using for both 00 and H0 just because some group of modellers or even model railway clubs have set up a BMRA or a new BRMSB.
  9. I think that probably depends on what material you're using for the building. Plasticard has a different feel from Card. So, for my H0 layout the buildings are from plastic kits or scratchbuilt from Plasticard and such pavement as there is as well as some cobbles are from plastic sheet. On my H0m layout the buildings are all scratchbuilt from foam core, card and paper but there is some plasic pavement and it doesn't quite look right (though probably would with a bit more use of textured paint. I think to some extent that it's a bit like a painting. An artist might use oils, acrylics or water colour and all are valid but they wouldn't normally - in a traditional painting at least- use more than one in the same work. For plastic I've found Wills and Slaters sheets to be fine. With card I'd probably go for scratch as printed card and paper (which suppliers like Regions et Compagnies also do) does look different again.
  10. The thing DOGA or any other setter of standards is up against is that many if not most people adopting a minority scale or gauge, EM, P4, 3mm, S or even 7mm etc. are likely to join the relevant specialist society because they can't rely on RTR and probably need specific gauges and components as well as proven standards to work to. With the mainstream scale/gauge (00 in Britain) only a smallish minority ever will and I doubt whether more than 10% of modellers even possess a BtoB gauge. AFAIK, when the BRMSB was set up during the war there were no groups establishing standards for their own specialities (apart perhaps from the UK chapter of the NMRA) so there was a need for widely accepted standards for every commonly used scale. For 0 gauge there are three different scales! 7mm/ft 1:43.5 (UK and France etc.), 1/4inch/ft 1:48 (American) and 1:45 (most of Europe and the closest to scale for 32mm gauge track) and several standards. I once had the frustrating experience of being asked to operate a new 7mm/ft layout at an exhibition on which about half the rolling stock simply wouldn't run without derailing because of a mismatch between track standards (Peco) and the wheel standards of some of the stock. Fortunately, being the larger scale, there was relatively little stock so all the wheelsets had been sorted by the next time it appeared.
  11. No. I wasn't seeing things. Looking again at the 1950 BRMSB standard dimensions, the equivalent figures for 00 and EM wheels are the same apart from the increase in flange depth and those for H0 and EMF are also the same (wth a note for EMF that wheels with 0.75mm flanges need to be sprung but, rather oddly, not for H0) Comparing them with the earlier table in MRC it looks as if the 18mm gauge "scale OO" dimensions became EMF in the later published version and the EM dimensions were simply the "standard 00" ones regauged from 16.5mm to 18mm. It does seem that Maskelyne in particular wanted 18mm to replace 16.5mm more generally than with finer scale modellers but, in any case, EM seems to have taken its own path rather independetly of the BRMSB's recommendations. You're quite right that the wartime MRC table doesn't include a flangeway dimension for "Standard 00", presumably they were still debating it, but I think the table in the FFMF/Loco Revue article was just showing an extract of wheel and rail standards to illustrate the three main existing standards that were around before the NEMs were written. Given that they started work on the NEMs no earlier than 1954 (the year when MOROP was established) I assume Rabary and his colleagues were using the 1950 published BRMSB standard dimensions and whatever published version of the NMRA standards was available at that time . J Rabary himself, who was an engineer with SNCF, was the deputy chair of MOROP's technical committee responsible for developing the NEMs and, from the content of the later articles, it is clear that he was completely familiar with both the NMRA and BRMSB standards. He does though seem to have gone back to first principles in establishing their own standards. That did include deciding on 1:45 as the correct scale for 0 gauge rather than either 1:48 or 1:43.5 (though in the end most French 0 gauge modellers- and it remained the most popular scale there far longer than it did in Britain- stuck with the British 1:43.5 so both scales now appear in the relevant NEM.) ADD I've also been looking at the BRMSB standards quoted in Ernest Steel's 1955 revision of Greenly's Model Railways and that just has EM (no EMF), with a 16.5mm BtoB, 1mm check rail clearance, 2mm tyre width, 0.5mm flange width and 0.75 flange depth, as with other BRMSB standards there are no tolerances given but tyre width apart the figures seem to be based on the earlier EMF standard. Steel does acknowledge assistance from Maskelyne so I assume those were accurate and a later version of the standards than the 1950 META publication. The 00 and H0 standards seem to be the same as in 1950.
  12. I'd be curious to know what standards modellers in H0 like Jack Nelson worked to. There were a number of British H0 layouts after the war though they may have gradually fallen away as EM became better established (British H0 does still exist of course) Anyone using H0 as a more fine scale option than 00 (rather than just to get the gauge right) probably wouldn't have used the then NMRA standards for it as they were no finer than BRMSB's standard 00 standards.
  13. The BRMSB H0 standards were certainly finer than the contemporary NMRA standard and also the MONO standards later established by West German clubs. I found this table of the then existing standards in a series of articles in Loco Revue in 1972 introducing the new NEM standards. The table covered gauges from TT to 1 but I've extracted those for 16.5mm and 18mm gauge. Unfortunately, it doesn't give the crossing and check rail clearances but I think he only included it to show what had gone before. He does say though that when MOROP started its work in the mid 1950s there were only two widely accepted standards, NMRA's from 1936 and BRMSB since 1941 "established by the industry" (The later developments of EM with the EMGS wouldn't have been relevant to him) He refers to other national standards including the French AFAC standards from 1948 revised in 1954 for 0 & H0 but doesn't give their actual dimensions. He does also say that, at the start of the 1950s, model railways in continental Europe had not yet completely separated from the "chrysalis" of toys.
  14. I'm confused Ravenser. Hayfield was pointing to a OO (16.5mm gauge) range from Wayne (which I'd like to know more about) . One thing I've just noticed looking again at the 1950 BRMSB standards is that there were actually two standards for 16.5mm gauge and those for H0 were finer than those for OO with a 1mm rather than a 1.25mm check rail clearance, an 0.75 mm rather than 1.00 mm flange depth, a 1,5 rather than 2mm tyre width (the flage width was the same) and a 15mm rather than 14.5mm back to back. Apart from gauge, the clearances and wheel profiles for EM were the same as OO and those for EMF were the same as HO. Rail sections of effectively Code 90 for FB and code 100 for bullhead were the same for all four. It's clear that the BRMSB regarded "standard OO" as an inherently coarse scale so, unlike EM, or O gauge there was no reason for a fine standard (BRMSB's "scale OO" meant 18mm gauge in 1944) but H0 was obviously regarded as fine scale. So, what I'm wondering is how widely the finer H0 standards were used and were they much used for 4mm scale (not sleeper sizes and spacing obviously)? As we know, history moved in such a way that H0 became largely the rest of the world's scale with NMRA and MOROP's NEM standards (though the latter didn't emerge until later) and EM standards were taken on by the EMGS (based on the EMF standards?) but presumably these finer 16.5mm gauge standards were perfectly usable. Oddly, for EMF the 0.75mm flange depth was specified as being sprung but that wasn't the case for the same flange depth in H0.
  15. For me the real revelation of what RTR to common standards should be was building a small N. American themed layout back in the 1970s. Even with stock from different manufacturers, ranging from almost scratchbuilt craftsman to shake the box kits, everything just worked. Even with my rather indifferent track laying I had smoother running through turnouts than I'd ever experienced before. Turnouts were RTL Shinohara plus a couple I built from scratch myself using NMRA gauges (track spiking was not though my favourite activity) and what I couldn't get over was seeing cuts of cars going through pointwork smoothly with no lurching, striking check rails or dropping into the crossing gaps. The reason of course was that everything followed the same NMRA standards which I guess then meant RP25/110 wheelsets (but referred to then simply as RP25) Though not finescale, the flanges and wheel profiles were finer than anything I'd seen in 00 and far closer to what I'd seen on the prototype even though most of the stock could have been used with a trainset. I think I had just one BtoB gauge, a couple of track gauges and a home made tie spacing template and that was enough. When my interests changed to French H0 it was back to incompatible wheel sets with pizza cutter flanges and pointwork that had to be manufactured with enough slop to handle manufacturers' rather varying ideas about both BtoB and wheel profiles. MOROP standards (NEMs) seemed to be honoured more in the breach than the observance, something I'd almost never encountered from US manufacturers apart from the occasional draft box set at the wrong height, and NEM coupler boxes were still only fitted by a few manufacturers. It's better now but far too many wheelsets still lurch as they pass over crossings and it's not only suppliers to the British market that don't understand how to mount coupler pockets that don't droop at a standard height or presumably understand why that's important (not everyone uses the horrible NEM hinged loop coupler whose only virtue, I long ago concluded, was to make TLs look good in comparison) Since I use Kadee couplers that's actually a major bugbear.
  16. Hi Ravenser Thanks for the detailed histories. I've long wanted to know more about both the BRMSB and the P4/S4 and you've provided a lot of useful insights. The phrase "members of the Protofour Society had to undertake to use only components from the approved supplier (Studiolith)" sums up perfectly why such self-appointed rule -setters are best avoided. Some of the MRSG's articles, mainly in MRC as I recall, did have an air of almost religious zealotry about them and basically asserted that every modeller before them had simply got it all wrong. Fortunately I don't see too much evidence of such attitudes in current practitioners. I think the BRMSB was a bit different. It was set up to meet a genuine need for interchangeability of track and rolling stock and their standards did seem to have been generally accepted. Peco certainly supplied Pecoway and Individulay track components with BRMSB as the default. Farish were rather disingenuous in advertising Formoway stating that "All sleepers are correct to BRMSB measurements" which most probably took to mean that the points were entirely to those standards. However, according to a table of OO track standards, in the Advice Bureau column in the April 1955 Railway Modeller, Graham Farish's track and wheel standards were, apart from tyre width and flange depth, consistent with BRMSB (though I wonder about their wheel profiles). Interestingly the same article says "We therefore reccomend that all locomotives and rolling stock be converted, where necessary, to B.R.M.S.B or N.M.R.A standards (these are in practice interchangeable) for two rail pick-up. BTW I wouldn't classify the OO9 Society (of which I'm a member) as a scale society as it "caters for all aspects of small scale narrow gauge railway modelling". While most members do use 9mm gauge track in 3.5mm/ft and 4mm/ft scale plenty of us use 12mm gauge (for both 00n3 and H0m) and some use 10.5 mm (for HOn3), 6.5 mm (for minimum gauge railways) and others.
  17. Thanks for that Goldfish it's interesting. I have a fairly complete run of MRNs from around that time but not for MRC and it's not easy to trace the complete story of the "Bureau" Did they ever come up with standards for 2mm scale? Maskelyne had been a strong supporter of 3.5mm scale for OO gauge almost from the start of MRN in 1925 and may have actually coined the term HO but, in Britain at least, it clearly became a losing battle. I'd always assumed that it was he who'd advocated 18mm gauge for "Scale OO" so interesting to hear about Chubb. Michael Longridge had been one of the early proponents of 3.5mm scale so was at odds with Geoffrey Keen who favoured the Greenly compromise but, according to his RM obituary in the March 1958 Railway Modeller, he turned to 18mm gauge at the end of the war and later to 7mm scale. I'm not sure when standards for EM were effectively taken over by the EMGS who changed a few things - especially the gauge to 18.2mm (as Peter Denny had done on his own almost from the start) There was clearly an idea in the BRMSB that for 4mm scale 16.5mm would be more or less the trainset gauge and 18mm gauge would be the choice for most "serious" modellers. It didn't quite work out like that. I'm not surprised about Hornby. They'd developed their own standards that suited their primarily train set market but that would not have been very relevant to the work to develop scale standards by the Bureau. It's quite interesting to see in Peco's manuals for their pre Streamline track systems that their normal standard was BRMSB but they had to offer special instructions for modellers developing from proprietary products to build track for their Hornby Dublo or Trix rolling stock. Wrenn (and others) solved the problem by offering their track with closing frogs (also used by John Ahern) and Peco offered instructions for building their points the same way. There is no doubt though that in 00 at least BRMSB standards were generally adopted by "serious" modellers and those who supplied them.
  18. Thry're not unspoken in the actual published Standard Dimensions booklet from 1950 and in the summary of gauges they quote the scale to the foot in mm (304.8 mm for the prototype ), the track gauge, and the equivalent prototype gauge in feet (4.71 ft for the prototype but 4.12 ft for 00 !) Interestingly, there is a reference letter for each gauge with gaps left for "possible standards for 2mm scale and 'half-one' gauge respectively. The BRMSB standards were first published in the model railway press with, AFAIK, the MRN publishing the larger scales (O, OF and 1) and the MRC publishing the smaller scales (H0, standard 00 and scale 00 (which became EM) The 1944 MRC table is really just a summary. I have the full 1950 document published for the BRMSB by META (and available in this topic as a pdf), , which also includes detailed rail sections and wheel profiles but I don't know if the full set of standards were published as a stand alone booklet before that. The 1950 booklet It does give all the model dimensions in both millimetres and inches but it's pretty clear that almost everyone was using milllimetres for actual modelling and I'm pretty sure the model dimensions were originally expressed in millimetres and then converted to inches. That is the opposite of the NMRA standards which are given first in inches, and presumably calculated that way, with a conversion to millimetres also available. The title of the BRMSB suggests some kind of official body with its own offices and secretariat. in reality, it was just an ad hoc committee of editors who apparently met in each others offices. It originally consisted of J.N.Maskelyne, editor of the MRN who was the chaiir and AFAIK came up with the idea, R.J. Raymond editor of the MRC, and G.H.Lake (BRMSB Secretary) the founder of Railway World and later to be the first editor of Railway Modeller. I think they brought others on from time to time and consulted both the trade and clubs but didn't AFAIK ever have representatives of the clubs actually on the committee (Given the pre-war disagreements between clubs about standards that was probably wise)
  19. I enjoyed the last one I came on so should be able to make the 14th August and might even come by train for a change.
  20. The model end of the scale has long been expressed in millimetres in Britain. It is about the only country where rulers were commonly marked in both inches and centimetres and that made it quite easy to convert prototype dimensions in feet into model dimensions in millimetres (one of the claimed advantages of using 4mm/ft scale) That is a dead giveaway as to where model railway scales were invented. Britain definitely gave the world H0 3.5mm/ft scale (thanks to the Wimbledon MRC) and 7mm/ft scale as well as 4mm/ft scale though that didn't export much. The Americans came up with quarter inch to the foot scale (American 1:48 O scale) and 1/10 inch to the foot (TT scale everywhere except Britain) while the Germans adopted 1:45 scale for O gauge . S scale 1:64 or 3/16 inch to the foot is the odd one out but imperial rulers were often marked with a 1/16 inch scale. Elsewhere the Americans normally, and allmost uniquely, mainly use imperial measures only so the NMRA standards are expressed in fractions of an inch (then translated into mm) and everyone else, apart from us, just use the metric system and convert our feet and millimetre scales into rather odd ratios like 1:87 scale and 1:43.5 scale.
  21. I had the impression, when it comes to wheel standards at least, that most mainstream manufacturers now use something very close to like NMRA RP25 and the less coarse end of the NEM for wheels. I doubt if they use different profles for different markets - certainly between Europe and the UK Track and wheel standards for 16.5mm gauge should be the same whatever scale they're being applied to so it's things like buffer height, loading gauge and track separation that would be different for 00 (though the 50mm separation in the BRMSB's original "standard OO" standard was actually the same as MOROP's. For O gauge those are slightly complicated by the three scales (1/48, 1/45 and 1/43.5) in common use NEM coupler box dimensions, height and distance behind buffers are well defined by MOROP (who issue NEMs) and AFAIK sensibly adopted by DOGA. I believe that a real opportunity was lost in the late 1940s early 1950s when both the European MOROP and the earlier BRMSB chose not to adopt he track and wheel standards already established after much work by the NMRA. There were arguments about it not suiting four-wheel wagons with fixed axles rather than the bogies almost univeral in N. America but I suspect that a certain amount of Not Invented Here entered into it.
  22. I also have a copy of the 1950 standards. FWIW and for comparison, here is the 1944 version as published in the June 1944 MRC. Scale OO is of course what was renamed as EM (then changed I think by the EMGS) to 18.2mm
  23. I know what you mean but period main line railway scenes are far harder than most to make even reasonably convincing. A street of appropriate houses just needs the modern street furniture hidden and the asphalt road surface- especially the parking restriction lines- covered with gravel and straw and, with the right vehicles and people, you've got a convincing Georgian, Victorian or even 1950s street scene. Ditto public buildings and country mansions. There are always anachronisms- I know for example that in Murder in the Clouds (Suchet/Poirrot) the Art Deco terminal building at Shoreham isn't Croydon and, in the mid 1930s, the aircraft wouldn't have been an ex WW2 C-47 (nor even on that route a pre war DC-3 without the cargo door) but have no problem accepting both. The general sense of place and time still works for me and that's really what film makers ar trying to achieve. The general audience won't know the details but will sort of sense when things aren't right so that's what you try to avoid. It's not very convincing to see a 1950s dining car express hauled by a tank loco, stopping at Lesser Binding in the Stink (or Chinnor!) on a winding single track branchline and that being supposedly the station serving a large town. For scenes where the characters are just travelling from A to B you don't really need to see much more than the platform edge and the carriage door- few travellers would have paid any attention at all to what was pulling their train- and there are plenty of preserved lines that can offer that. Steam engines do though still have a strong nostalgic appeal (and most directors love filming them) so they tend to appear rather more often than, in plot terms, they really need to but I rather like that.
  24. Cambridge was of course a rather large single platform station (albeit that one main platform did have bays) However, put yourself in the shoes of the production company's location scout. How would you have filmed it with the railways currently available (and in the same part of the country as the other locations) While there are plenty of charmingly bucolic branch line stations in preservation (which is why we keep seeing them purporting to be main lines ), period main line stations with even vaguely appropriate rolling stock are very thin on the ground. The trouble is that, as we know as modellers, entire railways are much larger objects than cars and even streets. Most of the main line ones are also rather busy being modern main lines with passengers who wouldn't take kindly to having their line closed for the day for filming. I saw a curious one a couple of weeks ago. A two hour drama doc about the July 1916 shark attacks that killed four people in New Jersey (two swimming off shore and two in Matawan Creek had several shots of people travelling by train from NYC to the area where the attacks took pace but the train was I'm pretty sure on the Bluebell Line. It's usually the other way round so I asume that despite the Amercian casting and accented voice over the film was made by a UK company.
  25. There were no vehicles in by the time we'd cleared this year at AP so they must have been held back. I don't think that was the case a few years ago and it did get busy. I definitely recall the presence of even slow moving vans being a bit uncomfortable while carrying things out of the hall and, on Baz's point, I don't think cars and van were being individually marshalled. Hi-viz wasn't though required then and moving vehicles and machinery would be the only risk assessment reason I can think of for requiring it.
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