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A UK scale to model US narrow gauge?
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 Posted: Sun Dec 14th, 2014 05:12 am
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jtrain
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As some may already know, I'm in college and space isn't exactly a generous amount. Thankfully, I no longer have to share my room with someone else, which at least doubles my space. Looking back at my previous railroads, the most successful railroad I have built to date was an HO scale layout on a door.

I've been wanting to model in 1:20.3, but I simply can't find a solution to my space problem that allows large 3ft gauge trains to run on a layout that even comes close to having the space necessary to model the mountains. Quite literally, all I would have space for is an inglenook shelf with a photograph of a mountain range in the background. That might work for some, but I want scenery.

Some may also remember that about this time last year I compiled a list of all known gauge/scale combinations. With a few minor inaccuracies, I managed to compile a list that was 60 something long. At the time, I was trying to provide a document that shows just how diverse the hobby is.

One version of TT scale that I stumbled across uses 1/102 scale. It isn't very popular, and I had never heard of it until I had compiled my list. But after doing some calculations, I realised that if the bodies of N scale Steamers were modified to be 1/100th scale, the chassis match the specs for C&S narrow gauge perfectly.

I calculated this conclusion by using measurements of the locomotive and a drawing of the prototype as my starting points. A prototype C&S mogul such as #9 has a driver spacing of 5 feet between axles, making a 10 foot overall driver wheel base. A 1/100th scale C&S mogul has a driver wheel base, centered at the axles, of 1.2 inches, or about 3 cm (actually 3.048). A Model Power N scale mogul has a driver base of about 3 cm at the axles. Therefore, when modified, the chassis of this N scale locomotive match that of a scaled down C&S mogul.

The same thing works for a Bachmann Consolidation. Since the driver wheel base matches, the driver wheel diameter also must match. What's best is that with the advent of 3D printing, ready-made conversion kits can be cheaply made. An HOn30 conversion kit sells for $18 on shapeways.com which includes a cab, front pilot, and a new tender shell. Boiler diameter is also roughly the same. Just add some new detail parts, move the compressor to the other side of the engine, and viola, you've got a C&S mogul!

Brass, of course, is another option.

I'll be able to model 3ft gauge in a small space. In fact, I already have a concept track plan that takes the Georgetown Loop and adds a few switches to make things a bit more interesting. It won't be exact, but it is very doable. Plus, I would actually have space for this in college. Then there's the budget. So far, for the estimated tracknecessary for the layout and for one locomotive, I'm looking at around $100 plus shipping from trainworld.com Cars can be ordered through shapeways or an average of $15, or could be kitbashed using N scale rolling stock.

I have also found a website that sells 1/100th scale people and vehicles could be made for a couple bucks using a 3d printer.

I have thus decided that I am going to dive into this scale to see how well it works in small spaces.

Here's the concept track plan. I plan to draw up a more accurate one later:



And then here's the overhead shot of the loop to show I've got the proportions roughly accurate:




Any thoughts on the concept?

--James:java:

Last edited on Sun Dec 14th, 2014 06:46 am by jtrain



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 Posted: Sun Dec 14th, 2014 11:03 am
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Helmut
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I remember some advocating of 9mm/1:100 for 3' NG in MR in the early seventies. As this scale is very common in architectural modelling ( at least over here in Europe ), there's a lot of accessories available. With the advent of 3D printing nothing is impossible these days. Having grown up with decimal measurement/weight scales, such a ratio seems much more logical to me than the odd ones we are used to.
It's all a matter of preference.



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 Posted: Sun Dec 14th, 2014 05:27 pm
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jtrain
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Just divide whatever I want to model by 100, seems easy to me Helmut. I've been looking back through the forums on freerails and found that Uncle Bob had at one time tried the same thing. He seemed to almost have it. Seeing that it was in 2008-10, 3D printing hadn't yet become popular. With the advent of 3D printing, anything is possible now. It takes the hard work out of scratch building, but instead forces one to become fluent with autocad.

After looking on Shapeways HOn30 or 1/100th seem to be my two favorites. I can buy American prototype cars for an average of $12 and I can buy a 8-12 archbar trucks for about $7. Therefore, it's about as expensive as n scale. All I have to do is add couplers and micro trains wheels.

What's more interesting is that 25 foot car in HOn30 scales out to roughly 28 feet in 1/100th. The locomotive conversion kits also scale roughly to 1/100th. Combine that with the N scale chassis that also scale out to 1/100th, and I've got my equipment sorted out.

As you suggested, I can get figures and vehicles in 1/100th easily, or I could print my own with 3D technology.

Here's a link to Unk's topic:
http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=2621&forum_id=17

Thanks Unk if you happen to read this, it has inspired me!

--James:java:



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 Posted: Sun Jan 4th, 2015 05:15 pm
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fallen
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In Europe and I think the US, TT scale is 1:120, but in the UK it is 3mm to 1ft or approx 1:100.

So there are standard gauge models on 12mm gauge or 14.2 mm gauge, but also narrow gauge models on 9mm gauge, or even 6.5 mm gauge for 2 ft gauge.

There is some trade support mainly from Worsley Works at worsleyworks.co.uk for the narrow gauge options, but general modelling items in 3mm scale from 3smr.com and also the 3mm society of course at 3mmsociety.org.uk

Frank

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 Posted: Fri Feb 20th, 2015 04:25 pm
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Craig G
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 Good luck with your project.

It sounds like you have experience with 3D printing which looks to be a good solution.

You mentioned Shapeways.   I recently ordered a loco body from Shapeways.  It was listed to be HOm, but was not even close.  Maybe TT at best - if that.  I don't doubt there are some good things there, but this was discouraging.  I'll be cautious in the future and request actual measurements before buying.

Last edited on Fri Feb 20th, 2015 07:00 pm by Craig G



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 Posted: Sat Feb 21st, 2015 04:13 am
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jtrain
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Craig, thanks for the advice.

In the end I decided just to go with an N scale layout. The problems I would encounter with this proposed project would take too much time to be effective, time I just don't have. I'll probably revisit this someday, but for now I've got to stick a bit more mainstream.

Thanks!

--James



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