Recent Topics      
YMR logo

You are here:  Your Model Railway Club > Other Areas. > General Model Railway Discussion. > Naught wrong with OO To bottom of page
                 

 Moderated by: Spurno  
AuthorPost
BCDR
Moderator


Joined: Sat Oct 19th, 2013
Location: Reston, Virginia USA
Posts: 3708
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hi all,

Barry's recent comment that "There's naught wrong with OO" caught my attention. For anybody new to the hobby or returning after a few (or more years) years there are some underlying issues and compromises inherent to modeling in OO. For the record, I used to model in OO, but for various reasons moved over to EM gauge (18.2mm) for my GWR 4mm scale activities. I continue to model in 4mm scale, as well as HO (3.5mm scale) and On30 (1:48 - 6.35mm scale).
"OO" today uses 16.5mm gauge track. This equates to a "real scale" track gauge of just over 4 feet. (Peco used to sell their 16.5 gauge track as "HO/OO" track). Essentially narrow gauge when modeling 4mm/foot, 16.5mm is the correct gauge for HO modeling (3.5mm/foot), fine scale excepted. Sleeper spacing and width have improved dramatically, and this has improved the appearance of the track. Code 100 rail is still widely used, but is very over-scale for anything prior to the 1960's. Code 75 is much better (and equates to 90lb rail, commonly from the 1920s until the 1960s).

OO locomotive bodies/tenders and freight and passenger stock bodies are scaled to 4mm/foot, which is correct for 1:76 models. The track however is scaled to 3.5mm/foot, and this has resulted in dimensional compromises. Fitting what is 3.5mm gauge running gear to a 4mm scale body is the issue. For steam locomotives this often means modification to the width over the running plate, the width over the pistons, and the location of the wheel splashers, as well as the width of the chassis. One the reasons why the rods are often at a wide angle from the wheels. For diesel locomotives, freight, and passenger stock, this often means narrow wheel frames and bogies. Anybody converting stock to EM or P4 gauge standards knows these issues well. South East Finescale kits for example are designed with a 3.5mm scale chassis, old Keyser kits have 3.5mm scale running plates, wheel splashers and frames. Older offerings from the mainstream manufacturers such as LIMA usually have wheel frames to 4mm scale, which can result in quite a gap between the wheels and frames.

For many years tension lock couplers have been the standard for OO. The recent introduction of NEM-type couplers in OO has had some problems, mainly because no British manufacturer has followed the dimensional specifications for the coupler boxes (NEM 361) as they are not members of the European association (nothing to do the EU). Issues of loose fitting and droop are well known (the "Dapol Droop" for example). Modern era 12" to the foot stock uses knuckle-type couplers, not hook and chain, so Kadee type couplers or similar are more appropriate. Tension locks are a lot more forgiving than knuckle couplers when it comes to S-curves curves and gradient changes, so "yer pays yer money and makes yer choice".

This hobby is full of compromises, but running what is 4mm scale bodies on 3.5mm chassis has some inherent issues. My personal take is that running OO diesels or steam locomotives with internal pistons on track with decent sleeper spacing and dimensions looks a lot better than steam engines with outside pistons. Even moving up to EM gauge (18.2mm) is a compromise, as even then bogies on diesels are usually not wide enough and a significant amout of butchery is required. The track looks a lot better though.

This my personal take on some of the issues with OO, many of us are perfectly content to run their 4mm scale trains on HO/OO track. After all, it's YMR.

Nigel


Barry Miltenburg
Full Member


Joined: Wed Jan 18th, 2017
Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hi Nigel

Whilst my comment "nought wrong with OO" is technically inaccurate in many ways, I stand by my opinion that, for what it is, its OK.

You are quite right when you point out that our hobby thrives on compromises and even EM is a compromise.  Very few of us (even the P4 and ScaleFour exponents) can eliminate all compromises so I guess its a case of which you are prepared to accept.

We have (most of us any way), as a matter of course, accepted that we have "steam" or "diesel" engines powered by electric motors running on a 2-rail track that carries a current with rails set at the wrong gauge, fixed to sleepers which are the wrong size and spacing.  The rolling stock (and engines for that matter) are unsprung, unbraked and few have any method of loading or unloading.  Our cranes dont work, building doors and windows dont open, our signal boxes have no control over trains (especially for those if us who have built layouts without working signals :oops: :oops: :oops:), there is no track/signal interlocking, our freight stock is never unloaded.............

And these are the layouts that we consider to be iconic, something to be aimed at etc etc!!!

For me, its a simple choice - accept the compromises or take up ping-pong - I would not be able to produce a layout with no compromises, or even one with very few.

We are free to make whatever decisions and accept whatever compromises we want - that is the wonderful beauty of our hobby - we are all right.  People may not accept my "standards".  Fine, I do it for me and I like it.  Rule 1.  More importantly, we can agree to differ and still share a beer and a chat!!

Barry

BCDR
Moderator


Joined: Sat Oct 19th, 2013
Location: Reston, Virginia USA
Posts: 3708
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hi Barry,

Nothing wrong with OO, as long as the inherent compromises to the gauge and scale are recognized.


When I came back to the hobby after a 50 year break I thought my first home layout (and and it turns out last) in OO was fine. Exposure to C+L OO Finescale track with decently sized sleepers at the club was an eye opener. Next lightbulb was when I had to regauge a Hornby Saint that was derailing through some slip points - that's when I realized Hobby had to reduce the width across the piston and the foot plate to accommodate what is a 3.5mm scale width chassis to a 4mm scale body.  After moving to EM gauge was when I realized that diesel bogies were often scaled to 3.5mm. LIMA for some reason used correctly scaled bogies, which makes conversion a breeze. 


OO is what it is - 4mm scale bodies on 3.5mm scale track and running gear. Those who are happy will continue to live with it, those who are looking for finer scale modeling will move on. Hence the 3.5mm UK outline modelers, and those who regauge to EM and P4. Room for everybody.


Nigel



Petermac
Admin


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Nr Bergerac, France
Posts: 19226
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Railway modelling in general is always a compromise - whichever scale one chooses.

Speaking personally, 2mm is too small, 7mm is too big and expensive so that leaves only 4mm for we UK outline modellers.

BCDR
Moderator


Joined: Sat Oct 19th, 2013
Location: Reston, Virginia USA
Posts: 3708
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

I wish size correlated with price. HOn3 (equivalent to OO-9) is about 3-5 times more expensive than HO, and 2 times more expensive than On30 (1:48, not quite 7mm). On30 and HO stock is about the same price. On30 and 7mm narrow gauge run quite happily in about the same space as a HO/OO layout, as the track is standard HO/OO. And a lot easier to work with than HO/OO or N. G scale over here is actually cheaper than HO.

On30 is a compromise from the get-go with respect to gauge (On3 with a scale gauge of 3' is correct for me compared with a scale 2'6" for On30). I can live with the discrepancy (or pretend that the line had a gauge of 2'6"), as compensation stock is cheap and plentiful, and often costs less than HO. Seems to me that the visual compromises inherent in N and OO decrease with increasing scale.

Model railways - the art of compromise.

Nigel

TeaselBay
Novice
 

Joined: Fri Aug 4th, 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1335
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Petermac wrote:
Speaking personally, 2mm is too small, 7mm is too big and expensive so that leaves only 4mm for we UK outline modellers.

Some retailers seem to be starting a push for TT, to get in between the two smaller scales! 

Petermac
Admin


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Nr Bergerac, France
Posts: 19226
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

If it was available in RTR form, that would be a great scale to work in Chris.  Unfortunately, it disappeared in that form many years ago and many of us are just not really entralled at the prospect of having to scratch build everything ...............

Gordon Curtis
Full Member


Joined: Thu Jan 18th, 2018
Location: Dudley, United Kingdom
Posts: 116
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

I think TT is a great scale. It's so tempting to collect some old Triang items, but that would essentially mean starting the hobby from scratch. I think that is why it never took off, we were all already hooked into OO.

That said, OO is a nice size to handle – a model locomotive or coach feels nice in the hands in a way smaller scale models don't.

Gordon :-)

gastwo
Member


Joined: Sat Jul 30th, 2011
Location: Pentrecagal Carmarthenshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 677
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Petermac wrote: If it was available in RTR form, that would be a great scale to work in Chris.  Unfortunately, it disappeared in that form many years ago and many of us are just not really entralled at the prospect of having to scratch build everything ...............

Couldn't agree more Peter. Back in the 20teens we built, in 3mm scale, three prototypical exhibition layouts, which I think I documented somewhere here on YMR.
It was a good scale to fit the stations into, and we already had the stock and track. Everything else was a pain in the proverbial. It all had to be scratch built... Never again!
(IIRC you provided some of the stock)

BCDR
Moderator


Joined: Sat Oct 19th, 2013
Location: Reston, Virginia USA
Posts: 3708
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Off topic (OO and it's issues, good or bad) but TT (1:120) is alive and growing in the UK.

Nigel

Petermac
Admin


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Nr Bergerac, France
Posts: 19226
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

gastwo wrote: Petermac wrote: If it was available in RTR form, that would be a great scale to work in Chris.  Unfortunately, it disappeared in that form many years ago and many of us are just not really entralled at the prospect of having to scratch build everything ...............

Couldn't agree more Peter. Back in the 20teens we built, in 3mm scale, three prototypical exhibition layouts, which I think I documented somewhere here on YMR.
It was a good scale to fit the stations into, and we already had the stock and track. Everything else was a pain in the proverbial. It all had to be scratch built... Never again!
(IIRC you provided some of the stock)

I remember sending you some old TT rolling stock I found left over from my TT days Shaun.  ;-)

It was indeed a superb scale - big enough for old eyes to see and small enough to have decent length trains without requiring a mansion as a train room.  Also big enough to have a good level of detail.   :thumbs

Petermac
Admin


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Nr Bergerac, France
Posts: 19226
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

BCDR wrote: Off topic (OO and it's issues, good or bad) but TT (1:120) is alive and growing in the UK.

Nigel


Tell me more Nigel - I wasn't aware of that...... :hmm

col.stephens
Full Member
 

Joined: Tue Feb 7th, 2012
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
Posts: 2646
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Peter, if I might fill in the details.  Peco have recently announced that they will be producing TT track and some buildings.  However, the scale and gauge are not to the established British TT standards.  A quote from the editor of the Railway Modeller, Craig Tiley, is as follows: 'To explain: rather than perpetuating the hybrid combination of 3mm:1ft scale and 12mm gauge track that was adopted by Tri-ang for its TT range during the 1950s and '60s, Peco has instead chosen the accurate scale and gauge combination of 2.54mm:1ft on 12mm track. This equates to a ratio of 1:120 (hence the term TT:120) which represents a brand new scale for commercial items in British outline.' I understand that other manufacturers are also planning some products in this new scale.  I hope this throws some light on it.


Terry

Last edited on Sun Sep 11th, 2022 02:10 pm by col.stephens

BCDR
Moderator


Joined: Sat Oct 19th, 2013
Location: Reston, Virginia USA
Posts: 3708
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Thanks Terry. Heljan I believe have expressed interest. TT:120 is a rare bird - scale and gauge in agreement. Been on the continent for some time.

Nigel

TeaselBay
Novice
 

Joined: Fri Aug 4th, 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1335
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Haha. I said this a Month ago.  A few of the producers seem to be promoting TT now. With new track announced: https://www.keymodelworld.com/article/peco-tt120-track-system?utm_campaign=kmw%20social&utm_content=221022991&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&hss_channel=fbp-129246407114953

TeaselBay
Novice
 

Joined: Fri Aug 4th, 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1335
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Seems Hornby are all in now on TT. In a big way too, they are realising a whole new stock of locos, track and scenery!
https://uk.hornby.com/hornbytt120

Last edited on Mon Oct 10th, 2022 01:12 pm by TeaselBay

Petermac
Admin


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Nr Bergerac, France
Posts: 19226
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Had I not invested so much in OO gauge, I,,'d have been one of their first customers.  It's a great scale to model in.

Let's hope it doesn't go the same way Triang did all those years ago - it's a brave move particularly as everything is likely to be sold at full list price by Hornby themselves.

Petermac
Admin


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Nr Bergerac, France
Posts: 19226
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Having seen the Hornby release about their TT120 and read other comments, someone had said "prices seem reasonable too" - have they published prices yet and if so, where ?

Barry Miltenburg
Full Member


Joined: Wed Jan 18th, 2017
Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Hi Peter

Hornby website I think.  I saw £195 for a 4-6-2 although I am not sure whether that is digital or DC - probably the latter as there was no mention of pins and other such modern wizzardry.  Sets are priced too and include the usual loco + 2 coaches + track + controller.  The last 2 are usually of dubious quality (esp Hornby) so sets are probably worth a pass.

Barry

MarkL71A
Full Member


Joined: Sat Aug 2nd, 2014
Location: Chandlers Ford, United Kingdom
Posts: 78
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

I have always argued that 4mm to the foot is the first scale of compromise.
The compromises than one accepts in OO and EM gauge are obvious.
Even in P4 I have seen modellers making compromises.
Like the P4 modeller who reported in Model Railway Journal that he had swapped all his P4 wheels for EM wheels as the flange size is courser and that way his trains stayed on the track better.
Another compromise I have seen is a GWR modeller who had to cut his outside cylinder stretcher and move it 1mm apart to allow his connecting rods to clear the wheels properly.

As our projects are personal to the individual modeller and are dependent on his available time and skills, we all have to pay our money and make our choice.
That choice is ours and ours alone.

The only thing I would like to see is the manufacturers cutting a bit of slack to us fine scale modellers and making conversion from OO a more straight forward task.

I have no doubt that the debate in 4mm circles will continue and I am left with a vision of John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett on That Was The Week That Was. (Readers under 60 ask your parents.)

I look down on him because I model in P4.
I model in EM so I look up to him and down on him.
I model in OO. I look up to both of them but at least I can run my stuff straight out of the box.

Have fun in whatever gauge you model in.

Greenfingers
Full Member
 

Joined: Sun Jan 29th, 2012
Location: Springwood, Australia
Posts: 52
Status: 
Offline

My photos:
view photos in Gallery
view photos as slides

Typical Hornby, unable to buy direct from them living in Australia. So have to get TT120 from the Australian supplier and as usual there is a 33% mark up the Train Sets this follow what happen with 00. Other makes whilst they have markups none is as high as what the Australia Supplier for Hornby charges. Let's hope Dapol start doing TT120 than I might be able to afford to buy 


                 

Recent Topics Back to top of page

Powered by UltraBB 1.15 Copyright © 2007-2011 by Jim Hale and Data 1 Systems. Page design copyright © 2008-2013 Martin Wynne. Photo gallery copyright © 2009 David Williams.