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True-to-Scale or r-t-r rail?

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  • Mike South
    Hi, fellow narrow-minded enthusiasts of the 1:32 persuasion! I m the new kid on the block and, yes, I have read all the back number digests to see what has
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 6, 2000
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      Hi, fellow narrow-minded enthusiasts of the 1:32 persuasion!

      I'm the new kid on the block and, yes, I have read all the 'back number'
      digests to see what has been written before today. Before I bore you
      with my own weird modeling 'provenance' (assuming you are even mildly
      interested), I thought it might be fun/instructive to get some
      discussion going on the headlined topic.

      Back in January, Ray Lantz and I were in correspondence about 16.5 mm
      versus 1/4" gauge for 1:32 scale, 2 ft gauge railway modeling. What
      follows is a suitably edited (to remove the more libelous bits!)
      condensed version. What do the rest of you guys think?

      > Hello Mike,
      > I'm kind of poling our customers and contacts about the scale gauge
      issue
      > which seems to be so very important to a few. My question to you is,
      if you
      > were starting from scratch would the difference between 16.5mm and
      3/4" gauge
      > be an issue to you? Also if it is not too bold to ask, do you think
      you will
      > purchase any of our products if offered for 3/4" gauge?
      >
      > The reason for the above questions is that some people have been
      giving me
      > hell for compromising on the gauge and are disappointed that we are
      not
      > offering our kits for 3/4" gauge. I don't mind doing so but would not
      like
      > to spend the money and time when most of the market seems satisfied,
      or
      > rather in agreement that 16.5mm is the way to go. I'm sure that this
      is
      > understandable to anyone familiar with the availability and pricing of
      On3
      > models as opposed to HO gauge products. Please let me know if you
      think I am
      > wrong, it is not a personal issue to me and may very well prove to be
      a
      > mistaken assumption on my part.
      >
      > Ray

      Hello Ray,

      As to my 'purchase intentions' for your range on 1:32 scale products,
      YES, I
      very definitely will be purchasing the same from yourselves. Of course,
      a
      certain amount depends on funds (and the availability thereof!), but if
      you
      produce a quality product, then the market will come. The question is:
      "How big
      is/will that market be?" One of the problems with real British (i.e.
      resident
      in that funny little sceptred isle) narrow gauge modellers is - to quote
      Roy
      Link in good form and paraphrase Oscar Wilde: "They know the cost of
      everything and the value
      of nothing!" If Precision Scale Co's and PBL's ads are to be believed
      (and
      presumably they are both paying their bills to Bob Brown and the 'NG&SL
      Gazette'), then American-prototype On3 and Sn3 n.g. models are still
      selling
      'Profitably', if not in huge 'Volume'. I personally am definitely
      looking forward to
      one or two of your 1:32 scale Ruston & Hornsby 4wD's puttering around my
      layout.

      Which finally brings me to the core of your question. My own view, after
      35
      years of n.g. modeling, is that most of my fellow n.g. modellers are
      pretty
      undiscriminating when it comes to scale/gauge accuracy! How else could
      that
      Eggerbahn inspired abomination called '009' have survived and thrived
      for so long
      (should be 8mm in 4 mm and something even tinier in 3.5 mm scale). What
      really
      matters to most folks is (1) the EASE with which they can mount their
      n.g. loco
      body (self or kit built) on a RELIABLE ready-to-run proprietary loco
      chassis
      (selective blindness very quickly takes over about little things like
      wheelbase,
      wheel diameter, number of spokes, crankpin throw, type and completeness
      of valve
      gear, even whether it is inside or outside framed!). (2) is the
      AVAILABILITY of
      ready -to-run-over track, particularly pointwork (American =
      'switches').
      Trackmaking - and particularly pointmaking - is for the average n.g.
      modeller an
      even greater taboo than SEX supposedly was to our Victorian fore
      bearers. Look
      at Peco's (b----y awful) 'Crazy Track' in both OO9 and 16.5 n.g., it
      looks like
      s--- (please excuse my rudeness) yet people continue to use it, that is
      when
      they are not burying otherwise perfectly harmless Peco / Shinohara /
      Atlas OO/HO
      track upto its armpits in gravel, gunk and grass 'pretending' that it is

      prototypicaly 'overgrown', to hide the far from accurate (to the scale
      being
      represented) track underneath. PECO's HOm track is OK, except when used
      to
      represent OOn3 / 3ft track, for which it looks ludicrously overpopulated
      with
      anemic little spindle sleepers. So where is this leading me / us?

      Frankly, I personally would much PREFER to see you produce your 1:32
      scale
      models to run on 1/4" track, but I also think that you will needlessly
      restrict
      the Volume of your sales thereby. On3 flex-track is hard to get at the
      best of
      times, even on 'this side of the pond' (i.e. in North America), and even
      a
      patient ex-Irishman such as myself gets bored after a while waiting for
      Russ
      Simpson or any of the similar 'custom' trackwork builders to spit out
      the point
      kits I ordered several years previously. No, my advice (for what it is
      worth)
      would be to GO WITH WHAT THE PUNTERS CAN EASILY GET = 16.5 mm Gauge
      track.
      Personally, I prefer my friends to be Rich (or, at the very least, 'not
      destitute'), so that - if worst come to worst - I can sponge off them!
      No,
      seriously, ignore the naysayer purists, if they are so damn clever (or,
      if not,
      can at least afford others to be clever on their behalf), let them
      convert your
      standard 16.5 mm offerings to 19.05 mm. Mind you, it would be nice if
      your kits
      could make PROVISION for 1/4" gauge, rather in the manner of the better
      Malcolm
      Mitchell / Martin Finney 4mm loco kits, which offer EM and P4/S4 gauges,
      even
      though 80% of the buyers end up building to unprotypicaly narrow 16.5 mm
      gauge
      (the dreaded 'OO'!). You would have thought that somebody shelling out
      over �GBP
      200 (US$ 330) for a kit and investing 50-100 hours of their time to
      build a true
      Rolls-Royce kit would at least bother to 'get it right', but believe me,
      it just
      isn't so! Its that old AVAILABILITY of ready -to-run-over track bugbear
      again.

      I number quite a few top notch military modellers (national contest
      winners)
      among my actual friends, and 7 (yes, seven) of them have built various
      of the
      Scale Link World War 1 railway offerings in 1:32, including operating
      Hunslet
      4-6-0T's and Simplex 4wD's, plus little fleets of wagons, etc. These are
      guys
      who go into fits if the exact number and spacing of rivets on some
      incredibly
      obscure armoured car, of which only one example was ever built (and that
      was for
      some even more obscure Indian maharajah to play 'Tank Polo' with in
      1926), is
      not EXACTLY right. And yet (or maybe 'because of') my tactlessly point
      out that
      16.5 mm gauge is WRONG and that On3 track can be more easily obtained
      than the
      average resign kit of a Churchill tank, ALL of them (including the
      static-only
      fixed diorama modellers) use HO/OO 'scale' track. Go figure...

      So the dilemma (question) you have to answer it, do I want to be
      (relatively)
      POOR but artistically PURE, or do you want to PANDER TO THE PUNTERS and
      DAMN PERFECT PRECISION IN ALL MATTERS (like Roy's ex-boss, the suitably
      strange
      and filthy rich late, great Sydney Pritchard - he wasn't called "Mr. P"
      for nothing by his forelock
      tugging, downtrodden and minimum wage workforce). It all depends on
      'what turns your crank
      in life'! Personally, I'll still buy your 1:32 models either way - and
      "here's
      more steam to your elbow" as George Stephenson (or was it I.K. Brunel?)
      used to
      say...

      Well, you did ask! Best Wishes, Mike South.
    • Charley Lix
      Fellows , What a great huge letter ... And many points well taken . My idea has been to go down scale a bit and do 1:36 scale like Otto Schoestra .. This makes
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 6, 2000
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        Fellows ,
        What a great huge letter ... And many points well taken . My idea has been
        to go down scale a bit and do 1:36 scale like Otto Schoestra .. This makes
        the things two foot again ..I do however like the minimum gauges and twenty
        inch qualifys , So the Tippers I've bought are 20" gauge .. and anything I
        build will be as well .. This solves it for me .. However we have several
        who will use 3/4inch gauge
        as two foot as no comprimise is acceptable .. I am into this stuff for fun
        .. and easy mechinism's are for me .. I build in a much larger scale and
        want to cobble in this one .. I am not a jeweller ..

        Personally, I'll still buy your 1:32 models either way -

        Have Fun - Charley
      • Mario Bernkopf
        Hi, fellow 1:32 Narrow Gaugers, I would opt for On3 gauge for future kit offerings, or at least the possibility to easily spread the wheels from 16.5 mm gauge
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 14, 2000
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          Hi, fellow 1:32 Narrow Gaugers,

          I would opt for On3 gauge for future kit offerings, or at least the
          possibility to easily spread the wheels from 16.5 mm gauge to 0n3. I
          bought a few Rugga skip kits and also read Roy Link's review, so I'm
          looking forward to widening the gauge on the wheelsets in the kit.

          I know it's difficult so satisfy everybody, but, after all, 19.05 mm
          would be the correct gauge in 1:32.

          Mario




          Mike South schrieb:
          >
          > From: Mike South <mikesouth@...>
          >
          > Hi, fellow narrow-minded enthusiasts of the 1:32 persuasion!
          >
          > I'm the new kid on the block and, yes, I have read all the 'back number'
          > digests to see what has been written before today. Before I bore you
          > with my own weird modeling 'provenance' (assuming you are even mildly
          > interested), I thought it might be fun/instructive to get some
          > discussion going on the headlined topic.
          >
          > Back in January, Ray Lantz and I were in correspondence about 16.5 mm
          > versus 1/4" gauge for 1:32 scale, 2 ft gauge railway modeling. What
          > follows is a suitably edited (to remove the more libelous bits!)
          > condensed version. What do the rest of you guys think?
          >
          > > Hello Mike,
          > > I'm kind of poling our customers and contacts about the scale gauge
          > issue
          > > which seems to be so very important to a few. My question to you is,
          > if you
          > > were starting from scratch would the difference between 16.5mm and
          > 3/4" gauge
          > > be an issue to you? Also if it is not too bold to ask, do you think
          > you will
          > > purchase any of our products if offered for 3/4" gauge?
          > >
          > > The reason for the above questions is that some people have been
          > giving me
          > > hell for compromising on the gauge and are disappointed that we are
          > not
          > > offering our kits for 3/4" gauge. I don't mind doing so but would not
          > like
          > > to spend the money and time when most of the market seems satisfied,
          > or
          > > rather in agreement that 16.5mm is the way to go. I'm sure that this
          > is
          > > understandable to anyone familiar with the availability and pricing of
          > On3
          > > models as opposed to HO gauge products. Please let me know if you
          > think I am
          > > wrong, it is not a personal issue to me and may very well prove to be
          > a
          > > mistaken assumption on my part.
          > >
          > > Ray
          >
          > Hello Ray,
          >
          > As to my 'purchase intentions' for your range on 1:32 scale products,
          > YES, I
          > very definitely will be purchasing the same from yourselves. Of course,
          > a
          > certain amount depends on funds (and the availability thereof!), but if
          > you
          > produce a quality product, then the market will come. The question is:
          > "How big
          > is/will that market be?" One of the problems with real British (i.e.
          > resident
          > in that funny little sceptred isle) narrow gauge modellers is - to quote
          > Roy
          > Link in good form and paraphrase Oscar Wilde: "They know the cost of
          > everything and the value
          > of nothing!" If Precision Scale Co's and PBL's ads are to be believed
          > (and
          > presumably they are both paying their bills to Bob Brown and the 'NG&SL
          > Gazette'), then American-prototype On3 and Sn3 n.g. models are still
          > selling
          > 'Profitably', if not in huge 'Volume'. I personally am definitely
          > looking forward to
          > one or two of your 1:32 scale Ruston & Hornsby 4wD's puttering around my
          > layout.
          >
          > Which finally brings me to the core of your question. My own view, after
          > 35
          > years of n.g. modeling, is that most of my fellow n.g. modellers are
          > pretty
          > undiscriminating when it comes to scale/gauge accuracy! How else could
          > that
          > Eggerbahn inspired abomination called '009' have survived and thrived
          > for so long
          > (should be 8mm in 4 mm and something even tinier in 3.5 mm scale). What
          > really
          > matters to most folks is (1) the EASE with which they can mount their
          > n.g. loco
          > body (self or kit built) on a RELIABLE ready-to-run proprietary loco
          > chassis
          > (selective blindness very quickly takes over about little things like
          > wheelbase,
          > wheel diameter, number of spokes, crankpin throw, type and completeness
          > of valve
          > gear, even whether it is inside or outside framed!). (2) is the
          > AVAILABILITY of
          > ready -to-run-over track, particularly pointwork (American =
          > 'switches').
          > Trackmaking - and particularly pointmaking - is for the average n.g.
          > modeller an
          > even greater taboo than SEX supposedly was to our Victorian fore
          > bearers. Look
          > at Peco's (b----y awful) 'Crazy Track' in both OO9 and 16.5 n.g., it
          > looks like
          > s--- (please excuse my rudeness) yet people continue to use it, that is
          > when
          > they are not burying otherwise perfectly harmless Peco / Shinohara /
          > Atlas OO/HO
          > track upto its armpits in gravel, gunk and grass 'pretending' that it is
          >
          > prototypicaly 'overgrown', to hide the far from accurate (to the scale
          > being
          > represented) track underneath. PECO's HOm track is OK, except when used
          > to
          > represent OOn3 / 3ft track, for which it looks ludicrously overpopulated
          > with
          > anemic little spindle sleepers. So where is this leading me / us?
          >
          > Frankly, I personally would much PREFER to see you produce your 1:32
          > scale
          > models to run on 1/4" track, but I also think that you will needlessly
          > restrict
          > the Volume of your sales thereby. On3 flex-track is hard to get at the
          > best of
          > times, even on 'this side of the pond' (i.e. in North America), and even
          > a
          > patient ex-Irishman such as myself gets bored after a while waiting for
          > Russ
          > Simpson or any of the similar 'custom' trackwork builders to spit out
          > the point
          > kits I ordered several years previously. No, my advice (for what it is
          > worth)
          > would be to GO WITH WHAT THE PUNTERS CAN EASILY GET = 16.5 mm Gauge
          > track.
          > Personally, I prefer my friends to be Rich (or, at the very least, 'not
          > destitute'), so that - if worst come to worst - I can sponge off them!
          > No,
          > seriously, ignore the naysayer purists, if they are so damn clever (or,
          > if not,
          > can at least afford others to be clever on their behalf), let them
          > convert your
          > standard 16.5 mm offerings to 19.05 mm. Mind you, it would be nice if
          > your kits
          > could make PROVISION for 1/4" gauge, rather in the manner of the better
          > Malcolm
          > Mitchell / Martin Finney 4mm loco kits, which offer EM and P4/S4 gauges,
          > even
          > though 80% of the buyers end up building to unprotypicaly narrow 16.5 mm
          > gauge
          > (the dreaded 'OO'!). You would have thought that somebody shelling out
          > over �GBP
          > 200 (US$ 330) for a kit and investing 50-100 hours of their time to
          > build a true
          > Rolls-Royce kit would at least bother to 'get it right', but believe me,
          > it just
          > isn't so! Its that old AVAILABILITY of ready -to-run-over track bugbear
          > again.
          >
          > I number quite a few top notch military modellers (national contest
          > winners)
          > among my actual friends, and 7 (yes, seven) of them have built various
          > of the
          > Scale Link World War 1 railway offerings in 1:32, including operating
          > Hunslet
          > 4-6-0T's and Simplex 4wD's, plus little fleets of wagons, etc. These are
          > guys
          > who go into fits if the exact number and spacing of rivets on some
          > incredibly
          > obscure armoured car, of which only one example was ever built (and that
          > was for
          > some even more obscure Indian maharajah to play 'Tank Polo' with in
          > 1926), is
          > not EXACTLY right. And yet (or maybe 'because of') my tactlessly point
          > out that
          > 16.5 mm gauge is WRONG and that On3 track can be more easily obtained
          > than the
          > average resign kit of a Churchill tank, ALL of them (including the
          > static-only
          > fixed diorama modellers) use HO/OO 'scale' track. Go figure...
          >
          > So the dilemma (question) you have to answer it, do I want to be
          > (relatively)
          > POOR but artistically PURE, or do you want to PANDER TO THE PUNTERS and
          > DAMN PERFECT PRECISION IN ALL MATTERS (like Roy's ex-boss, the suitably
          > strange
          > and filthy rich late, great Sydney Pritchard - he wasn't called "Mr. P"
          > for nothing by his forelock
          > tugging, downtrodden and minimum wage workforce). It all depends on
          > 'what turns your crank
          > in life'! Personally, I'll still buy your 1:32 models either way - and
          > "here's
          > more steam to your elbow" as George Stephenson (or was it I.K. Brunel?)
          > used to
          > say...
          >
          > Well, you did ask! Best Wishes, Mike South.
          >
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        • RL1962@aol.com
          Mario, We have made some improvements to our skip kit that should appeal. The next batch to arrive from New Zealand will have wider frames and longer axles to
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 14, 2000
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            Mario,

            We have made some improvements to our skip kit that should appeal. The next
            batch to arrive from New Zealand will have wider frames and longer axles to
            help facilitate gauging to 3/4" without modification. Simply sliding the
            wheels out on their axles is all that will be needed for gauging up.


            Ray
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