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G Scale Model Railroad

G SCALE

G Scale Model Railroad or large scale (45 mm or 1 3⁄4 inches, G gauge) is a scale for model railways, often used outdoors due to its size and durability. It is also referred to as the “Garden Scale” and is one of the largest commercially available scales in model railroading.

HISTORY

G scale was introduced by Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk under the brand name LGB and was intended for indoor and outdoor use. Lehman Patentwerk, founded in 1881, started producing LGB in 1968. Märklin bought the remains of the company, and the production of certain items continues. The G name comes from the German word groß, meaning “big.” More recently, some people have come to interpret it as standing for “garden scale.”

We have real rock ballast for your G Scale Model Railroad

G SCALE

The track scale soon attracted garden railway enthusiasts’ attention because of the robust and more reliable track. Coupled with products now available (or previously available) from more than 30 manufacturers around the world. G scale is seldom used indoors because of its size and the space required to track radii.

Though the term ‘G scale’ is used by many to refer to all models which run on a 45mm track. The same gauge as Gauge 1 – G scale refers more to LGB models. With a scale of either 1:22.5 or 1:24. Other terms are adopted for different scales used on a 45mm track. Such as Gauge 1 in the UK if modeling standard gauge.

If used with 1:22 scale trains, models of meter gauge railways can be created, popular in continental Europe. Any number of narrow gauge. The standard gauge models have been produced by manufacturers and enthusiasts to run on a 45mm gauge track. Three foot gauge-outline models with a scale of 1:20.3, or 15mm:1ft scale are known in the UK as ‘Fifteen Mil’, and internationally as FN3 – ‘F’ for scale, ‘N’ for narrow gauge and ‘3’ for the gauge.

In the UK, G scale is heavily supported by the G Scale Society and other narrow gauge modeling associations and regularly features in magazines such as Garden Rail.

SOURCE

https://www.world-of-railways.co.uk/techniques/what-is-g-scale/ https://www.denvergardenrailway.org/index.php/what-is-g-scale/

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N Scale Model Railroad

N Scale Model Railroad is a popular railway modeling scale. Depending on the manufacturer, the scale ranges from 1∶148 to 1∶160. N scale and N gauge are often inaccurately used interchangeably, as the scale is defined as ratio or proportion of the model, and gauge only as a distance between rails.

HISTORY

While trains and items of similar scale existed as early as 1972. The modern N scale models were first launched in 1962 by the Arnold Company of Nuremberg. Unlike other scales and gauges, which were de facto standards at best. Within two years, N-scale manufacturers defined the gauge and voltage and the height and type of couplers. N scale has a huge following globally and is only second to the HO scale in popularity. Not all modelers select the N scale because of space limits. Some chose the N scale to build more complex or more visually expansive models.

We have over 25 ballast colors in N Scale

N Scale Model Railroad

SCALE

The scale 1∶148 defines the rail-to-rail gauge equal to 9 mm exactly (at the cost of scale exactness). So when calculating the rail or track, use 1∶160, and for engines and car wheelbase, use 1∶148. All rails are spaced 9 mm apart, but the height can differ. Rail height (in thousandths of an inch) is expressed as a “code”: thus, Code 55 rails are 0.055 inches (1.4 mm) high while Code 80 rails have a height of 0.080 inches (2.0 mm).

Common real railroad rails are at least 6 inches (150 mm) tall. It can be taller on some roads so that the rails would be about 0.040 inches (1.0 mm) high at true scale. Many older N-scale models may not run well on Code 55 track as their flanges are often unrealistically large. Causing the wheels to bounce along with the ties instead of the ride along the railhead. Wheelsets with these large flanges are colloquially known as ‘pizza cutters’ due to a resemblance to the kitchen utensil.

ADVANTAGES

One major advantage of the N scale is that it allows model railroaders to build layouts that consume less space than the HO scale. It also places longer track runs into the same amount of space because N scale models are smaller than HO scale models nearly a half. While the N scale is quite small, it is not the smallest commercially available scale, as the Z scale is smaller yet at 1∶220, and the T scale is 1∶450 or 1∶480. N scale is generally considered compatible with a 1∶144 scale for miniature wargaming.

SOURCES

https://www.nmra.org/sites/default/files/standards/sandrp/pdf/S-1.2%202009.07.pdf https://mrr.trains.com/how-to/get-started/2010/01/model-railroad-track-codes-defined

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O Scale Model Railroad

O scale (or O gauge) is a commonly used railway modeling scale introduced by German toy manufacturer Marklin around 1900. Until the early 1960s, the O scale was the most popular model railroad scale in the United States. The popularity of the scale declined in Europe before the Second World War due to smaller scales.

O scale was in its prime when model railroads were seen as toys. With more attention on cost, durability, and the ability to be easily handled and operated by pre-adult hands. There was not much emphasis on details and realism. O scale is still a popular choice for model railroaders who enjoy running trains more than other aspects of modeling. However, recent developments have addressed scale model railroaders making the O scale popular among fine-scale modelers. For those who value the detail that can be achieved. The size of O is larger than OO/HO layouts and thus is a factor in deciding to build an O scale layout. Collecting vintage O scale trains is also popular, and there is a market for both reproduction and vintage models.

We have real rock ballast for your O Scale Model Railroad

O Scale Model Railroad

HISTORY

The name for O gauge and O scale is derived from “0 [zero] gauge” or “Gauge O,” being smaller than Gauge 1 and the other then-existing standards. It was created in part because manufacturers realized their best-selling trains were those built in the smaller scales.

Manufacturers such as the Ives Manufacturing Company, American Flyer, and Lionel Corporation used O gauge for their budget line in the United States. Marketing either Gauge 1 or ‘Wide gauge’ (also known as ‘standard gauge’) as their premium trains. One of the Lionel Corporation’s most popular trains, the 203 Armoured Locomotive. O gauge and ran on tracks with rails spaced 1.25 inches apart. The Great Depression wiped out demand for the expensive larger trains, and by 1932, O gauge was the standard, almost by default.

Since the early 1990s, O scale manufacturers have begun placing more emphasis on realism. The scale has experienced a resurgence in popularity. However, it remains less popular than HO or N scale. However, newer manufacturers, including MTH Electric Trains, Lionel, LLC, Atlas Model Railroad Co, and Weavermodels. Make very exact, 1:48 scale models of trains.

SCALE

O Scale in the UK is commonly 1:43.5 or 7 mm to the foot. In continental Europe, it is commonly 1:45 though 1:43.5 is also used particularly in France, and in the USA 1:48. Each region tends to design models to its own scale. The NMRA and the MOROP maintain detailed standards for various scales to help model makers create interoperable models.

SOURCES

https://web.archive.org/web/20100111220851/http://www.gauge0guild.com/whatis.asp

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_scale

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HO Scale Model Railroad

HO Scale Model Railroad, which uses a scale of 1:87 (3.5 mm to 1 foot). The rails are spaced 16.5 mm (0.650 in) apart for modeling 1,435 mm (4 ft. 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge tracks and trains in HO. The HO scale is the most popular in railway modeling worldwide. The name HO comes from the 1:87 scale being half that of the O scale, which used to be the smallest of the series of older and larger 0, 1, 2, and 3 gauges, which were introduced around 1900 by Märklin. In English speaking markets, it is written as HO, but in other markets, the letters H and number 0 (zero) are used.

We have over 25 ballast colors in Ho Scale

HO Scale Model Railroad
HO Scale Model Railroad

SCALE

The term HO can be stretched in model railroading. Some manufacturers in the UK have marketed railway items such as figures and detail items as “HO/OO” to appeal to modelers in both scales. The actual scale sometimes is OO, and the difference is negligible (about 1:82). These items may therefore be marketed as HO, especially in the US. Some producers also tend to label any small-scale model as an HO scale regardless of the scale to improve their sales to hobbyists and modelers. For example, there may be a great variation in the sizes of HO automobiles from different manufacturers.

TRACK GUAGE

The “gauge” of a rail system is the distance between the inside edges of the railheads. It is distinct from the concept of “scale,” though the terms are often used interchangeably in rail modeling. “Scale” describes the size of a modeled object relative to its prototype. Prototype rail systems use various track gauges to model several different gauges on the same scale.

The gauges used in the HO scale are a selection of standard and narrow gauges. The standards are defined by the NMRA (in North America) and the NEM (in Continental Europe). While the standards are in practice interchangeable, there are minor differences.

MODELS

Due to the huge popularity of the HO scale, a wide array of models, supplies, and kits are produced. The annual HO scale catalog by Wm. K. Walthers, North America’s largest model railroad supplier, lists more than 1,000 pages of products on that scale alone. Models are generally available in three varieties:

  • Ready-to-run models are fully ready for use right out of the box. Generally, this means couplers, trucks (bogies), and other integral parts are installed at the factory, although some super detailing parts may still need to be attached.
  • Shake-the-box kits are simple, easy-to-assemble kits; a freight car might include a one-piece body, a chassis, trucks, couplers, and a weight, while a structure kit might include walls, windows, doors, and glazing. The name derives from the joke that no skill was required – shake the box, and the kit falls together. A common synonym is a screwdriver kit, as many can be assembled with a screwdriver and tweezers.
  • Craftsman kits require a much higher level of skill to assemble and can include several hundred parts.

Several manufacturers also market individual supplies and these kits for super detailing, kitbashing, and scratch building.

SOURCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HO_scale

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S Scale Model Railroad

S Scale

INTRODUCTION

S scale (or S gauge) is a model railroad scale modeled at 1:64 scale, S scale track gauge (space between the rails) is 0.883 in (22.43 mm). This gauge trains are manufactured in both DC and AC powered varieties.

S SCALE

S scale is one of the oldest model railroading scales. The earliest known 1:64 scale train was constructed from the card in 1896. The first working models appeared in England in the early 20th century. Modeling in S scale increased in the 1930s-1940s when CD Models marketed 3/16″ model trains. American Flyer was a manufacturer of standard gauge and O gauge “tinplate” trains, based in Chicago, Illinois. It never produced S scale trains as an independent company. A.C. Gilbert Co. purchased Chicago Flyer in the late 1930s. Gilbert began manufacturing S scale trains around 1939 that ran on three rails “O” gauge track. This was known as the 3/16″ O gauge. Gilbert stopped producing trains during WWII. When the war ended, Gilbert began producing true S scale S gauge trains in 1946 under the American Flyer mark.

Use our HO Scale for you S Scale needs

S Scale

The term “S scale” was adopted by the National Model Railroading Association (NMRA) in 1943 to represent that scale that was half of 1 gauge, which was built to 1:32 scale. A.C. Gilbert’s improvements in 1:64 modeling and promotions of S gauge largely shaped the world of 1:64 modeling today. S gauge entered what many consider its heyday in the 1950s. Although there is more available in the S scale today than was available during this period. However, during that period, Lionel outsold American Flyer nearly two to one. American Flyer’s parent company went out of business. The brand was sold to a holding company that also owned Lionel in 1967.

More Info

Lionel re-introduced S gauge trains and accessories under the American Flyer name in 1979. Another S manufacturer, American Models, entered the marketplace in 1981 and is also one of the major S suppliers. S-Helper Service, another major S gauge manufacturer of locomotives, rolling stock, track, and other products. Began operations in 1989 and delivered their first S products in 1990. In 2013, S-Helper Service was sold to MTH Electric Trains. And while the S scale market has seen several brass model manufacturers, today, the major brass model supplier in S scale and S gauge is River Raisin Models.

Today’s S gauge and S scale modelers have a greater selection and higher quality products from a wide range of manufacturers than in the past. In addition to locomotives, rolling stock, and track basics, various manufacturers now offer S scale structures, detail parts, figures, other scenic items, bridges, and more. The largest S Scale layout in the United States is the Cincinnati in Motion exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal.

SOURCES

http://www.nasg.org/NewToS.php

https://www.nmra.org/sites/default/files/standards/sandrp/pdf/S-1.2%202009.07.pdf

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Model Train Couplers

Train Couplers is a mechanism used to connect rolling stock in a train. The design of the coupler is standard. This is almost as important as the track gauge. Since flexibility and convenience are maximized if all rolling stock can be coupled together.

Train Couplers

HORN HOOK COUPLERS

These are the ones that probably came with your original equipment. They don’t look anything like the prototype train couplers. They rely on side pressure to hold them together. This is a major problem when backing up because the side pressure often causes derailment. Rapido couplers are used with most original N scale equipment with similar disadvantages.

KNUCKLE COUPLERS

These are more prototypical, they look better, and they work well with the magnetic uncouplers. Also, you don’t have as many derailments when the drains are backing up. Some people like to put Z scale knuckle couplers on the fronts of N scale locos (or N scale couplers on HO locos). The smaller train couplers look more realistic on the larger models. The same idea can apply to the backs of cabooses.

CONVERSION

Most people don’t like horn hook couplers. They can’t wait to replace them with (or “convert” them to) knuckle couplers. They are more realistic and work well with the magnetic uncouplers. This takes a certain amount of time and effort to convert all of your equipment to knuckle couplers. This is why people usually do this in a stepwise fashion, converting locomotives and cars one at a time. Sometimes mixing them in consists till they are all converted. You can have several conversion cars on which you have a horn hook or Rapido (in N scale) coupler on one end. A knuckle coupler on the other so that you can connect both types within your consist.

MAGNETIC UNCOUPLERS

Kadee was the first manufacturer to develop this system. In which a special magnet (not just any magnet) is positioned under the track. At a strategic location like in front of a branch line, spur, or ladder. Such that when a train is backed up and stopped with the knuckle coupler over the magnet. The “glad-hands” of the coupler come apart when slack is allowed.

ELECTRIC UNCOUPLERS

These are also available from Kadee for all scales, primarily electromagnets activated by applying current to a wire wrapped around a cylinder many times, which creates a magnetic field. These have to be mounted in a space cut out from under the track, which is really no problem if you’ve used foam for your sub roadbed.

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DETAILING A MODERN BOXCAR

Since the beginning of railroading, boxcars have been put to use in the transportation of materials and goods across America. In modern-day, boxcars still play a role in the movement of bulk materials. With thousands of these boxcars still in operation. While original designs are still retained, there are several important details to consider when modeling a 21st-century boxcar.

BOXCAR

REFLECTIVE STRIPS

As they have been mandated by the Federal Road Administration for the past few years., Reflective strips are one of the most common features on freight cars today. These orange or yellow patches allow for greater visibility at night. Are designed to prevent vehicles from colliding with moving trains on unprotected or dimly lit crossings.

REPORTING MARKS

Most railroads and leasing companies prioritize adding their FRA Reporting Mark over their name and logo. These marks come in the form of three or four letters combinations, usually ending with ‘X’. All freight equipment is required to display these marks. So this feature is a must when modeling a modern boxcar. Even on equipment that features the name and logo of the operator.

PATCHED NUMBERS, LETTERING, OR PAINT

Most boxcars currently in use are actually decades old. Many bear the scars of multiple owners and paint schemes. Even more recent cars will often appear to have been renumbered at some point. Some wear the faded liveries of fallen flags. With only patched reporting marks signifying their current ownership. At the same time, others have been entirely repainted. It’s rare to see a boxcar in a spotless scheme without one or more of these features.

NO ROOF WALKS

Roof Walks were a common feature on boxcars from the early days of US railroading to the postwar era. Used by train crews to go from car to car, these walkways were extremely hazardous. In 1968, the FRA ruled to outlaw their use and mandated that all Roof Walks be removed by 1978. For a boxcar to have an accurate modern appearance. These should not be featured, or should be removed from the model.

END OF TRAIN DEVICES

Replacing the traditional and much-loved caboose, End of Train devices became a fixture of all mainline freight trains in the late 80s. Also known as FREDs (flashing rear end devices). These can be seen attached to the air hose of the last car on most freights. Short lines and industrial railroads typically don’t use EOTs. But include a red flag mounted to the coupler in their place.

There are several other details, such as bodyside markings and devices such as AEI electronic recognition systems. Newly produced boxcars are made with some or all of the features included. There is a wide selection of third party detail kits, decals, which can bring your legacy rolling stock up to standard for a prototypical 21st-century layout.

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How to ballast

Paint the track must be the first step. Next, you must decide on a scale and color(s). Our most popular products are between 138 and 1302. Use your base color for general use. While the Yard Mix was for the steam engine servicing area and rail yards. You may want to purchase some brown to add some dirt areas.

If you’re modeling a prototype, pick the ballast that is representative of that railroad. If you are not a real railroad, you can get whatever color you wish. Also, don’t ignore the coarser grades for mainlines. You may be able to use them in other areas!

The process of laying the ballast needs much care. You may get into a problematic area that you may not what the ballast or that color.

If you’re going to blend multi colors, mix it, and store that first. Start pouring the ballast on the track from the bag or container. Pour down the length of the track. Use a paintbrush about 1” wide to brush the ballast into the ties and to the sides. If you need an area to be a bit dirty, add some brown ballast or some pigment now. If the track is old or abandoned, place some grass and dirt middle and alongside.

Gluing the ballast

Ever glue down the ballast till you are ready, and you don’t want any other changes.

Use an eye drop with 50% glue and 50% water. Start in the middle of the track and keep adding till the edge starts getting wet on the surface. This is so the ballast does not move from the water. We do not suggest that you use alcohol or other than glue. So add some dish soap to make it flow better. The glue will take several hours to dry completely. Best to dry overnight.

When dried or nearly add some powder of the same color or brown to add back some color, the was a loss from the water moving the dust that was in the product. When thoroughly dried, use the brush/ vacuum to find and lose ballast you don’t want. If the layout is not going to move, you can skip this.

If you’re going to blend multi colors, mix it, and store that first. Start pouring the ballast on the track from the bag or container. Pour down the length of the track. Use a paintbrush about 1” wide to brush the ballast into the ties and to the sides. If you need an area to be a bit dirty, add some brown ballast or some pigment now. If the track is old or abandoned, place some grass and dirt middle and alongside.  Gluing the ballast  Ever glue down the ballast till you are ready, and you don’t want any other changes.  Use an eye drop with 50% glue and 50% water. Start in the middle of the track and keep adding till the edge starts getting wet on the surface. This is so the ballast does not move from the water. We do not suggest that you use alcohol or other than glue. So add some dish soap to make it flow better. The glue will take several hours to dry completely. Best to dry overnight.  When dried or nearly add some powder of the same color or brown to add back some color, the was a loss from the water moving the dust that was in the product. When thoroughly dried, use the brush/ vacuum to find and lose ballast you don’t want. If the layout is not going to move, you can skip this.

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Model Railroad Swap-Meets

Model Railroad Swap-Meets are marketplaces where dealers come to sell their items. You may find several items of interest in a swap meet. As well as a few vendors interested in buying your used items. But they are there to sell their own items in addition to the vendors. You will find people thinning out their personal inventory. They may be raise funds to pursue a new area of interest. Many swap meets have operating layouts for your viewing pleasure. Swap meets are convenient as you have the space of inspecting items. You see them operate before purchase. Plus, a chance which you will not get on mail order and internet purchase.

There are several reasons why you may want to attend swap meets. First is the interest in seeing railroad-related materials. Meeting other railroaders, reading railroad-related materials. Or even because you enjoy kit-bashing. Used items are less expensive than new items. Cutting up an inexpensive used model is less intimidating than doing so to a new model. These interests many times, feed upon one another. Spotting a used model can spark a creative desire to kit-bash a model. Swap meets can be fun and exciting as you get to meet other railroaders who share the same hobby as you.

Model Railroad Swap-Meets

You will be pleasantly surprised by how much fun you can have with Model Railroad Swap-Meets. This when you are sharing several hours with like-minded hobbyists. Check out a swap meet around you today, take with you your models for display, evaluation, or to brag about them, open your home layout for a tour by other hobbyists, or join a committee. There is no telling how exciting swap meets can be when you get involved in one way or another.

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