Model railroads and their associated parts, pieces, designs, bench work, scenery, maintenance, expansion, clubs, collectibles… Why it’s enough to keep the train enthusiast actively engaged for hours and hours.
From learning the basic concepts of model railroading to collecting model trains to building layouts there is no shortage of what the hobbyist can discover and implement regarding the craft.
But a key starting point is to familiarize one’s self with the definition of model train scale or size and some key characteristics to choose the right model scale for your needs and desires.
“Scale” is the size of the model train when compared to the original train.
The scaled size model is reduced to a proportionate size of the actual train.
Some key points about “Scale” are described below:
The reduction in size is derived from a precise ratio and is referred to as model train scale.
Trains with different model train scale values are widely available with particularly popular sizes being the Z scale, N scale, and HO scale.
The Z scale is the smallest scaled down model available and the reduction in size is 1:220.
This means the real life train has been reduced 220 times to make the model.
This model would requires very small amounts of space so is suited to table tops and small rooms.
The N scale is 1:160.
This means the model train is a 160 times reduction of the real train. The 1:160 layout is normally used when the intention is to build a detailed layout with perhaps not as much focus on the on the engine and coaches. These train models also require minimal space to be built.
The HO size trains are of scale 1:87.
These require accommodating space. These are also noted for their detailed styling. Now the scenery into which you can fit these trains will go well with the model engines and coaches. This is a recommended size for experienced and enthusiastic hobbyists who want to take their hobby up to another level.
For children and beginners, the O scale is a recommended.
The scale of reduction is 1 is to 48.
This means the actual train size and dimensions have been reduced by 48 times. Obviously the train engine and coaches will look much larger and details will be clearly visible. It also follows that these require a good bit of room to operate.
Now you can install your train model indoors or outdoors in your garden. Remember that if you are going to have your model in the garden then it is best to have a bigger model.
Some other scales you may encounter are:
TT scale is a 1:120 reduction.
S scale which is a 1:64 reduction.
I scale which is a 1:32 reduction.
Half scale is a 1:24.reduction.
Large scale which is a 1:12.reduction.
The train model you buy will be determined by your budget. For example, the price of O scale trains is relatively large when compared to other models because it requires more material to construct.
So once again, before you commit to any one size, perform your due diligence on each model train scale beforehand and you’ll enjoy model railroading for a long time to come.
Choosing the right model train scale is essential to successfully integrating your layout into your chosen space. And there a variety of choices available so examine your rail road modeling choices before making a significant financial commitment.
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