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1:20.3 Scale Question - Narrow Gauge VS ????

So I am planning to battery power my locomotives and finally build a track and decided to stick to 1:20.3 Narrow Gauge. But then I stared to look at the locomotives I own and was wondering if they are all Narrow Gauge, I'm not exactly sure. So I went to the Bachmann Web site to see what I can find out and got confused even more, but I will get to that later.

My first question is this - these are the locomotives I currently own and purchased them at least 6-8 years ago, are they all 1:20.3 Narrow Gauge? Let me know what you think?



Bachmann Spectrum 25 Ton Class B Climax – Ely Thomas – Part Number 81184 (I think Yes)


Bachmann Spectrum 36 Ton Class B Shay – Ely Thomas – Part Number 81198 (I think Yes)


Bachmann Spectrum 2-6-0 Mogul – ET&WNC – Part Number 81494 (I think No)
Accucraft Ruby (Not Sure - but I have a Fourney conversion kit from FH&PB - Vance Bass)

My second question revolves around the Bachmann Catalog - All of the Locomotives I am going to list below are listed in the 2013 catalog as 1:20.3 - but only three of them indicate they are Narrow Gauge. I thought that the Bachmann Shays and Climax were all Narrow Gauge?

Here is how they are listed in the 2013 Bachmann Catalog:

Large Scale Section:
1:20.3 Baldwin Industrial 2-6-0 Mogul Steam Locomotive
1:20.3 2-4-2 Steam Locomotive

Spectrum Large Scale Section:
1:20.3 55 Ton Three Truck Shay
1:20.3 C-19 Steam Locomotive
1:20.3 Two Truck Climax
1:20.3 Baldwin 2-4-4 Forney Locomotive
1:20.3 Narrow Gauge Rail Truck
1:20.3 Narrow Gauge 0-4-0 Side Tank Porter
1:20.3 Narrow Gauge 4-4-0 American Steam Locomotive

As you can see above, the last three clearly say Narrow Gauge, are any of the others Narrow Gauge?

i just want to make sure my Locomotives are all 1:20.3 Narrow Gauge before i spend more money converting them to Battery Power.

Thanks in Advance.

Dave S
 

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They are all narrow gauge.

It is safe to assume 1:20.3 models are narrow gauge when it is for 45mm track, as that scales to 3ft.

Andrew
 

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If they run on 45mm track, in 1:20.3 they are narrow gauge. As far as I know nobody is producing a standard gauge engine in 1:20.3. The shays are from narrow gauge logging companies. The mogul from an Eastern line. The Ruby is a generic engine. The forney conversion makes it a more specific, but still sort of general, narrow gauge engine. Some of the Forneys were used on public transit systems like my neighbor Chicago's.

When I say nobody is producing a standard gauge engine, I mean as a commercial project. There are a few who are doing them for themselves.
 

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Notwithstanding the title, the question by the OP is:

"are they all 1:20.3 Narrow Gauge?"

Yes they are all narrow gauge, NO they are NOT all 1:20.3 if I remember right.


You have to decide for yourself if you like those engines and how they look to you, but they are indeed a slightly different scale. (Someone will know exactly but the rail truck is not 1:20.3, and I think the 4-4-0 was 1:24 or 1:22, but someone will come with the exact numbers)

Greg
 

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As noted, they are all narrow gauge, but not all 1:20.3 (despite what Bachmann claims on the site.)

Here is how they are listed in the 2013 Bachmann Catalog: Large Scale Section:
1:20.3 Baldwin Industrial 2-6-0 Mogul Steam Locomotive
1:20.3 2-4-2 Steam Locomotive


The 2-4-2 Tank engine was originally produced as a 'Spectrum' (higher quality/fidelity to scale) but is a 1:22.5 scale model. [Accucraft made a 1:20.3 version.]
The 2-6-0 Baldwin Industrial (often referred to as the 'Indy') was also 1:22.5 when it was introduced many moons ago.
Both locos were recently updated with new mechanicals. I don't think either has details added to make them 1:20.3, so the cabs are a bit small, etc.
I didn't see the 'Indy' in the online catalog?



Spectrum Large Scale Section:
1:20.3 55 Ton Three Truck Shay
1:20.3 C-19 Steam Locomotive
1:20.3 Two Truck Climax
1:20.3 Baldwin 2-4-4 Forney Locomotive
1:20.3 Narrow Gauge Rail Truck
1:20.3 Narrow Gauge 0-4-0 Side Tank Porter
1:20.3 Narrow Gauge 4-4-0 American Steam Locomotive


These are more recent 'Spectrum' models and are all 1:20.3, including the rail truck. Ignore Bachmann's 'narrow-gauge' designation as all their models are narrow gauge, except the Thomas range which is "Thomas Scale" !! And just to confuse you further, note the Forney isa model of a 2' gauge prototype, so if it is to run on our g-1 45mm track it should be 1:13.7 (7/8n2) scale.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Indy is on page 178 of the 2013 catalog, it is not located in the Spectrum section of the catalog, Bachmann calls it a 1:20.3 Baldwin Industrial 2-6-0 Mogul Steam Locomotive with Tender but Bachmann clearly states it is 1:20.3 along with a 1:20.3 2-4-2 Steam Locomotive on Page 179.

As far as the Locomotives I own, the Climax, Shay and Ruby are 1:20.3 Narrow Gauge, But the 2-6-0 Mogul is 1:22 or 1:24 ???

Thanks
 

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Posted By dms1 on 28 Feb 2013 10:56 AM
The Indy is on page 178 of the 2013 catalog, it is not located in the Spectrum section of the catalog, Bachmann calls it a 1:20.3 Baldwin Industrial 2-6-0 Mogul Steam Locomotive with Tender but Bachmann clearly states it is 1:20.3 along with a 1:20.3 2-4-2 Steam Locomotive on Page 179.

As far as the Locomotives I own, the Climax, Shay and Ruby are 1:20.3 Narrow Gauge, But the 2-6-0 Mogul is 1:22 or 1:24 ???

Thanks


Bachmann has a bad habit of 'adjusting' their model's scales to suit the prevailing market. For example, they offered some short 20' freight cars that are claimed to be 1:20.3 - but when you measure them, they are 20' long in 1:22.5 scale !! So if you doubt our statement that they are not really 1:20.3 scale models, then take a few measurements and compare them.

The 2-6-0 Industrial was a bit generic when first produced, so it is a small loco with a small cab. Try inserting a 1:20.3 scale engineer (about 3-3.5" tall.) The 2-4-2 is a model of the Lynton & Barnstable loco "Lyn", which you can google for dimensions.

Your 2-6-0 Mogul (very similar to the Spectrum 4-4-0 American) is 1:20.3. They were small locos in the first place, so when you put them in front of a scale coach (e.g. the Accucraft Jackson & Sharp) they look very small. But that is prototypically correct.

P.S. Bacmann's coaches are 1:22.5 and shortened as well, so they are not 1:20.3. Google "site:mylargescale.com bachmann coach sizes" and you'll find threads with photos of the different sizes.
And it is all subjective anyway. You might like the look of some 1:22.5 scale equipment. Narrow gauge railroads had all sorts of shapes and sizes of equipment.
 

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The Bachmann ET&WNC mogul is 1:20.3, based on a c. 1876 Baldwin prototype. I believe it was a Baldwin 8-18-D -- 8 (total number of wheels) 18 (Baldwin's code for 12" diameter cylinders) D (3 coupled drive axles) Note that while the ET&WNC did have a similar mogul, it was an 8-22-D, built in 1880, and came with a larger, straight-top boiler as opposed to the wagon-top boiler on the Bachmann model. Bachmann's 4-4-0 would be an 8-18-C (two coupled drive axles), and is likewise very faithful to the prototype at 1:20.3. The thing to remember is that in the early-to-mid 1870s, narrow gauge equipment was small compared to what we commonly think of today in terms of narrow gauge equipment.



Both models here are 1:20.3. The 2-6-0 in front is a Baldwin 8-16-D, c. 1872. In the back, the iconic K-27.

Most "narrow gauge" steam loco models--regardless of whether they're labeled 1:24, 1:22.5, or 1:20.3--fall somewhere between these two locos in terms of overall size, so the notion that a 1:22.5 narrow gauge locomotive is "out of scale" when compared to 1:20.3 locos isn't necessarily accurate. There's a lot more than just the number on the box to take into consideration. Take LGB for an example; Their mogul is pretty accurate for a 1:22.5 model of a Cooke mogul. But in terms of how the loco compares to moguls from other builders, it's comparable, if not larger than others when measured in 1:20.3. (The chassis in the above photo is from an LGB mogul, and despite the resulting model being built to a larger scale, the resulting locomotive is actually smaller in size compared to the stock LGB loco.) You can stick a 1:20.3 engineer in the cab of a stock LGB mogul, and nothing would look remotely disproportionate. Then you've got to consider whether the scale on the box is accurate. LGB's Forney and Porter, when compared to their respective prototypes, scale much closer to 1:20.3 or larger. The "1:22.5" engineer they put in that cab looks completely out of scale comparatively; those locos need a larger crew.

Another consideration is whether there even was a prototype for the loco. Take Bachmann's "industrial" mogul as an example. They advertise it as being "1:20.3." It's built from components that Bachmann used for a 1:22.5 model of a specific prototype, but--like the mogul in the above photo--that means nothing. It's got components from locos built to three different scales (1:20.3, 1:22.5, and 1:24). So you have to compare the overall measurements at the stated scale--in this case 1:20.3--and see how it compares to prototype locomotives. In this case, the best comparisons can be made to the small locomotives made by Glover. They specialized in small industrial steam locos. Compared to those, the Bachmann loco is within the realm of plausibility. There's not a ton of room in the cab to stand upright, but that's actually not all that uncommon.

I'm not necessarily advocating "buy what you want and run it regardless of scale," but the truth is that much of what is produced in 1:24 and 1:22.5 scales very well for prototypes in 1:20.3--especially early (c. 1870s - 1890s) prototypes. You might have to change a few details here and there, but not a whole lot of extra other work need be done. (I will say that the notable exceptions seem to be passenger cars and cabooses, which tended to be a bit more uniform in terms of overall size through history.) I model c. 1910 narrow gauge, so much of my equipment is on the "small side" of things, made up mostly of re-detailed 1:24 and 1:22 equipment representative of the original equipment still being used 30 years from when it was built.



Here's the mogul shown above leading a train. Everything in this train is c. 1870s, from the loco to the box car and hoppers. And all are accurate to their respective prototypes in 1:20.3. The box car is a re-sheathed Bachmann 1:22.5 box car. The red hoppers are Delton 1:24 hoppers, and the black hoppers are Bachmann 1:22 ore hoppers.



Here's the same box car and other originally-1:22.5 equipment behind a freelance 1:24 consolidation I built for my dad's railroad ("downsized" from a Bachmann 1:20.3 2-8-0--the description can be found here). In this scale, the freight equipment scales to more "modern" narrow gauge equipment that we'd expect to see running c. 1920 forward. Compare to this photo of a 1:20.3 K-27 pulling "modern sized" 1:20.3 freight equipment:




Here's a comparison of the two box cars:



Confusing? Probably, but that's why I love narrow gauge. The stuff came in all sorts of sizes, so you can find a prototype to suit almost any situation.

Bottom line, don't worry about what it says on the box; worry about how it measures to your scale rule.

Later,

K
 

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The Bachmann Lynton & Barnstable 2-4-2 loco 'Lyn' as I recall scales close to 1:22.5 but still too short in length. The cab scales closer to 1:20.3 going by the width, cab door and roof height. The height of the steam dome compared to the roof is different compared to the Accucraft model of the same. The same Bachmann model is available without the British details but with a bell etc. A slightly under scaled generic Baldwin 2-4-2 would not look too out of place in 1:20.3

While we are on the subject of 'what fits 1:20.3', can someone give details regarding Bachmann Anniversary 4-6-0 as compared to the prototype ET&WNC 4-6-0? I have read in forums that the model scales well to 1:20.3 even though it was from the early Bachmann era of 1:22.5 models.

Andrew
 

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It's pretty accurate for that loco in 1:22.5. The prototype had 45" drivers, and the model's drivers are 2" in diameter, and other measurements scale well to published drawings. (Note that the ET&WNC 10-wheelers were not 100% identical; there were subtle differences in size here and there.)

Still, in terms of overall proportions, it fits in with the 1:20 stuff, though with a boiler as wide as that one is in 1:20.3, you'd expect to see a slightly wider cab so the crew could fit beside it. I've seen a few "upscaled" versions, and most of them have new cabs and a taller smokestack. The cab, however, does match the size of cabs used on slightly smaller locos when measured in 1:20.3. I used one for a modernized 2-6-0:



This is built on a Bachmann 2-6-0 chassis.

Later,

K
 

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Thanks EBT,

That is where my thoughts have been regarding scaling up the Anniversary 4-6-0 cab to suit my other 1:20.3 models.
I recall reading the rail truck as Greg has pointed out is not 1:20.3. It may have been closer to 1:18 or so, not sure now. Interesting how it would compare to the 'presumed' in scale models of the Accucraft rail trucks.


So, going by what has been on discussion, the Bachmann Baldwin 2-4-2 and Bachmann Anniversary 4-6-0 are a bit undersized but still plausible for 1:20.3. The Bachmann rail truck is perhaps slightly over sized but that is Bachamnn's offering for 1:20.3.
The other Bachmann Spectrum models are more or less in scale at 1:20.3 although the Forney is based on a 2ft prototype and the Mallet is a narrow gauge speculation of a standard gauge prototype.


Flats, boxcars and gondolas from the early Bachmann range in 1:22.5 are keepers for smaller turn of the Century cars for 1:20.3, the coaches being too short and small in scale although some prefer them as scale Jackson & Sharp coaches in 1:20.3 are ginormous.
AristoCraft 'Classics' (Delton) wooden hoppers although actually 1:24 will work in well too as EBT has shown. (the 'Classic' boxcars are even smaller than early Bachmann).
Bachmann wooden side dumps and V dumps are all plausible in 1:20.3. Actually the V dumps are quite large and could also work well in 1:13.7 or bigger.

Andrew
 

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When you look at the Bachmann Rail Truck--particularly the cab--it's pretty good for 1:20.3. Set next to Accucraft and Berlyn Geese, it fits in well. Compared to drawings, it measures only 6" taller than the prototype from rail to the top, and at the front where the hood meets the cab, it's very close to published drawings as well. What Bachmann did, however, was take liberties with the bed of the truck, lengthening it by over 3', and widening it by 2'. What--in prototype drawings--is a 5' x 7' bed, Bachmann enlarged to roughly 7' x 10'. To meet this extra width, the doors on the cab angle outward at a greater angle than they do on the prototype.

So from a purely mathematical standpoint in terms of overall dimensions compared to the specific prototype, it's not 1:20.3. But in terms of crew accommodations, which are really the only place where "scale" can be truly determined, it's a good fit.

Later,

K
 

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Interesting Kevin, I knew it was too tall, and but thought it was more than 1/2 foot.... definitely it's way wide and that really throws it off visually for me.

Thanks for the detail.

Greg
 
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