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Commercial 16mm

Page history last edited by Andrew Crookell 12 years, 3 months ago

Aren't all narrow gauge garden railway products built to 16mm scale, why are are you so bothered about the consistent scale issue?

James Finister

No, often a manufacturer will make considerable compromises over scale. There are three arguments used to justify this:


The first is that to be commercially viable they need to sell 16mm scale models to those who run on both 45mm gauge and 32mm gauge track. The only way to fit a model of a 2ft gauge prototype on to 45mm track is to increase the width, and then you have to alter other dimensions to fit.


The second is that whilst full size narrow gauge prototypes varied enormously in size the freelance modeller often wants to run a railway with roughly consistent rooflines. 


The third argument is that the need for reliable running means boilers and cylinders need to be enlarged, which would be fine if they then enlarged the whole model to a consistent scale, such as 20mm or 7/8ths. 


This elastic approach to scale goes back to the very early days of 16mm. The Archangle Rheidol and Brick were nowhere near 16mm scale. In fact althought the Merioneth Society has beem promoting accurate 16mm dcale for a very long time garden modellers have never been that bothered by scale. Oddly a lot of 16mm modellers look askance at "G"scale because of their rubber scale approach without asking themselves about how scale is used in the 16mm world.


Ask a manufacturer or dealer if their wares are actually to X scale.  If they are less than frank, or reply that their goods are 'suitable for use with X scale' assume the goods are probably not to that actual scale.  They may willingly tell you where they have compromised, and you then have to decide whether the compromises are acceptable.  The Festiniog Railway compromised when they built the replica of Taliesin so that for operational purposes they could use standard assemblies, and the loco is thus bigger than the original.  On the other hand they did not rebuild their heritage rolling stock to make them 'look right' with the loco. 

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