# Question on Scales

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Fasttracken, Feb 26, 2007.

1. ### FasttrackenNew Member

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I placed this here because i really was not sure where else to place it

it has to do with all scale in general

how do you know what scale is what

I mean we have

Z, N, HO, and on and on

and we have

1:10, 1:24, 1:64 and on and on

So what is N scale converted to numbers

I know my friend has hot wheels on his HO layout and it just dont match to me and I dont like it

1 think I promised my self is that I dont want to use any thing that is TO WAY OFF scale

hope this question makes since

scott
2. ### jtloconutMember

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Hi , and welcome to the Gauge .
Z = 1/220 , N= 1/160 , HO=1/87 , S = 1/64 , O= 1/48, G=1/32.
3. ### FasttrackenNew Member

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Thanks

is there away to tell down in inches

or what I mean is If I want a 2 lane road how wide should it be

I guess you could always put 2 cars next to each other and make the correct adjustment on each side

thanks
scott
4. ### CannonballMore Trains Than Brains

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You'd have to convert fractions to decimals and multiply that by the actual width of the road.

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6. ### TriplexActive Member

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Most model railroad scales aren't the same as those used for most other modelling.

US/Euro/UK (UK is rare) Z = 1/220. Japanese Z (rare) = 1/200. US/Euro N = 1/160. Japanese N = 1/150. UK N = 1/148. US/Euro TT (US is rare) = 1/120. UK TT (rare) = 1/101.6. HO = 1/87.1. OO (UK only) = 1/76.2. S = 1/64. US O = 1/48. Euro O = 1/45. UK O = 1/43.5. Gauge 1 = 1/32. G = 1/22.5. F (usually called G) = 1/20.3.
7. ### 60103Pooh Bah

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When you pick up something that's more "toy" than "model" (like hot wheels or matchbox) you find that they aren't all to the same scale. Have you looked at those boxes in the toy stores where the dump tracks are about the same size as the sports cars? And the traffic signs atr a couple of inches tall? Some gaugers buy them, pick out a couple of items near their scale and pass the rest on to the grandkids.
We have a lot of weird scales in model railroading because we started with toy trains and they built them with a nice gauge in fractions of an inch (1 1/4, 7/8. 5/8) but the real railroads used 56 1/2". when you do the division you get some horrible numbers. The ones that wren't were S and TT where the scale came first and the gauge followed. TT gauge is .471".
G started with a gauge but modelling trains that had gauges of 36" or 24" or 1 meter. Then they tried modelling 56.5" gauge.
8. ### Jim KrauseActive Member

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HO scale is roughly 1/8 of an inch equals 1 foot in the real world. O scale is roughly 1/4 inch equals one foot in the real world. S scale is roughly 3/16 of an inch equals 1 foot in the real world. I use the term "roughly" because the scales aren't exactly that. And then you get the track gauges that don't match the 4 foot 8 1/2 inch (56 1/2) real world standard gauge dimension. O scale is a good example of this, It comes out to 5 foot rail spacing unless you do what is called Proto 48 model railroading. Now we add the narrow gauge O scale (On30) equipment which runs on HO scale track and is supposed to represent 30 inch rail spacing but comes out closer to 33 inches. If I haven't confused you, I have confused myself. Have a great day. And don't even ask about G gauge. Thats a whole other story.
9. ### TriplexActive Member

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That gauge started out as 1, where the track represented standard gauge in 1/32 scale. Then someone got the idea of G, which used 1/22.5 scale on gauge 1 track to represent European metre-gauge prototypes. Then came US G, which used 1/20.3 to represent 3' gauge. Later, the term F was applied to this scale, but no manufacturer sells it under that name. Then came 7/8" scale (1/13.7, rare), which used the same track again to represent 2' gauge. It should be noted that, nowadays, gauge 1 has been supplanted in popularity by 1/29, which has no letter code. It uses the same track and represents standard gauge - incorrectly.
10. ### baldwinjlMember

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A quick correction, Z is 1/220.

A quick conversion in N scale is that 3 inches is forty feet. It's useful for getting a general feel for things.
11. ### MadHatterCharging at full tilt.

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Also remember not to mix up scale and gauge- HO gauge and HO scale are two different things- All the above measurements are as can be seen "scale", gauge refers to the width of the rails- thats why you get HOn3 gauge and not HOn3 scale.
12. ### Jim KrauseActive Member

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Now you see why I let someone else try to explain G scale. With that one the cart really does come before the horse. That is, the track stays the same, the trains are scaled to match the track. Aren't you sorry that you asked now? And then theres "Tinplate". Not a guage or scale, just another world in model railroading.
13. ### MasonJarIt's not rocket surgery

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And don't forget "L" scale - Lego trains...!

Andrew
14. ### Mountain ManActive Member

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Save yourself a massive and never-ending headache - buy a simple scale ruler, take the actual street measurement - say 20' - and measure out twenty scale feet on the ruler. You will now have a properly scaled road without needing a degree in advanced calculus.

That's why the LHS's sell so many of those rulers!

15. ### TriplexActive Member

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Actually, "L guage" would probably be more appropriate, because all Lego trains use the same track gauge, but they aren't all built to the same scale.
16. ### RailRonActive Member

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Just to throw in another scale - in my opinion this could have been the most logical scale of them all, at least in the metric world.

Shortly after WW II a Swiss manufacturer brought out model trains in 1:100 scale. At the time model railroading was a fast growing hobby, and using this scale would have been the most logical choice for model constructors. The brand name of these trains was "WESA".

But the whole thing flopped more or less. At the time it was very difficult to construct such 'tiny' locomotives, so H0 was about at the standard for 'extreme' miniaturization. WESA went one step further, but as far as I remember it was VERY expensive (Swiss watchmaker precision wasn't cheap - and isn't either today ). And with a roster of perhaps four different locomotives (among them one little steam switcher, the other three were electrics) and a dozen cars, WESA simply couldn't compare with brands like MĂ¤rklin which at the time already offered dozens of locomotives! So WESA was sidetracked from the start, so to speak...

BTW: There is still a bunch of WESA modelers active in Europe, mainly in Switzerland, and there are still some guys who even produce WESA models, still using the old casting moulds.

I never found out if WESA trains ever made the jump to the USA. Funny enough, a short time before their bancrupty WESA brought out a model of one the UP gas turbine locos - of all things!!! Coupled to small two-axle European freight cars this looked outright silly. But today all these models have cult status, of course.

Ron
17. ### cidchaseActive Member

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Scott, after reading all this you may be going nuts!
N-scale track has a track gauge of 9mm. All other dimensions are scaled accordingly,
at a scale of 1:160. If you want vehicles scaled correctly for N-scale, they are available
at your LHS or via internet.
Tell your friend he can buy HO scale vehicles all day long at Walmart. Look for the 1:87
scale cars. You are right, Hot Wheels won't cut it!

A 20-foot two-lane road is 1.5" wide in N scale. As an example of how to scale it:

20 feet x 12 in. per foot = 240"

240" / 160 =1.5"

18. ### Jim KrauseActive Member

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Ron: That is a very interesting bit of historical trivia on the WESA, 1:100 models. The UP gas turbine must have been quite a sight with the WWII era four wheel european cars.
19. ### FasttrackenNew Member

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yes I am very confused

I just cant wait to go buy some ply wood and some Foam board and start building

just need a simple track layout and start putting things in order

soon I hope

scott

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