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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
O.k., my first post with the Big Guys! Pretty much been a lifelong model railroader-N scale being my longest. My little shop shares my 'shelf' layout with my other hobbies: scratchbuilding muzzleloaders and large scale RC airplanes. Visited a RR Club here in E. Tennessee near my home and saw my first G scale layout...that was it. I was hooked! Ordered my first piece, an Aristo Doodlebug, to get started. What has become my other passion in this new area are the rotary snowplows! I've been watching hours of YouTube snowplowers! We get just enough snow to make it worthwhile. I want one, I must have one, I must build one......this while I decide what 'real' loco to go with, diesel or steam! Finally, the question: I see various numbers mentioned and not sure how various pieces work together with these confusing scale ratios: 1:23.....1:32, etc. Hate to buy stuff not knowing what the heck I'm doing.
 

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The most popular of the commercially available "Large Scale" scales are: 1:20.3, 1:22.5; 1:24; 1:29; and 1:32. For the most part, 1:20.3, 1:22.5, and 1:24 commonly represent models of narrow gauge prototypes (U.S. or overseas), while 1:29 and 1:32 represent models of standard gauge equipment. So, I guess a first question you might want to ask yourself is do you want to model U.S. (or some other) narrow gauge or would you prefer to model U.S. (or some other) standard gauge? That will help to narrow things down a good bit.

I suspect that the majority of U.S. modelers who are plowing snow in their yards with their trains are operating in 1:29 scale for the most part. I do know a good number of garden railroad enthusiasts who have, operate, and enjoy, both 1:29 scale and 1:32 scale. Actually, all of the scales mentions operate on the same 45mm track gauge, so once you have some track down you can operate whatever you like. I wouldn't recommend mixing 1:20.3 and 1:32 in the same train because it's going to look quite odd, but it's your railroad and you can darn well do as you please!
 

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Welcome the forum Bill and the world of G scale. Try a search on the rotory snow plow there have been post here on them and sure there is someone here that can help ya.

The Aristo Craft Doolebug you bought is 1/29 scale so that should give you an Idea of the size. Hope yougot the newer version as it came with a free coach also. Lots of nice locos in the 1/29 made by AC and USAT. Later RJD
 

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Welcome, Cap'n!

Ok. Here's the whole thing in a nutshell, if in fact that's possible.

"G scale" is often used by many to refer to any train that runs on rails that are 45mm apart (see also: gauge, hence folks sometimes also say "G Gauge." This is different from other model railroad scales where the scale determines the gauge .... in this case, the scale was determined by what type of trains folks want to run on 45 mm gauged track.

As such, as you'[ve noticed, you've seen 1:20.3, 1:22.5, 1:24, 1:29, and 1:32 (among others) advertised as "G Scale" or "Large Scale" trains, and they're obviously different scaled models running on the same size track.

So ... here's how the sizes shake out:

1:20.3 -- the 45 mm between the rails represents 3 feet.... common for many American prototype narrow gauge railroads (Colorado, Alaska, SPNG, EBT, others.) Models in 1:20.3 are typically of this type of equipment, so if you're a fan of Colorado narrow gauge, this is the scale made for you. Note that of the ones I'm discussing, the actual models are the largest in size, proportionally because the scale is the smallest, so space can be a consideration!

1:22.5 -- the 45mm between the rails represents 1 metre. LGB of Germany made trains in this scale for a long time, representing European narrow gauge trains that typically run on 1 metre gauge track. This is where the first of the confusion comes, though, as you'll often see models of everything from 3' gauge prototypes (for example, LGB's 20550 White Pass and Yukon DL535E Diesels, and the 2-6-6-2 Sumpter Valley / Uintah mallets) to standard gauge (the F-7 and the AEM-7) which were all selectively adjusted, sizewise, to fit. There are a lot of folks who see this kind of statement as a criticism ... it's not .... I'm just trying here to explain why you might buy LGB "G Scale" trains with identical boxes, and have an F-7 and a 2-6-0 from the Colorado and Southern that couple together and run about the same way (though prototype fans would shudder at the thought.)

1:24 -- the 45mm between the rails represents 3.5 feet. If you're modelling "cape gauge" or Australian prototypes this is the correct scale for you! There are also a lot of 3' gauge and meter gauge prototypes modelled in 1:24 that simply adjust things to fit the slightly wider track ... in 1:24, the 6 inches too wide that the gauge is comes out to about 1/4 inch, which many folks don't notice, so they're cool with the slight scale discrepancy.

1:29 -- the 45mm between the rails represents 4'8.5" (Standard Gauge) but isn't quite mathematically accurate.... in fact, the actual gauge is off by about the width of a railhead or two, but it makes the models quite large, which many folks like, and the scale discrepancy is hard to see. USA TRAINS and Aristocraft make trains in this scale, and some LGB equipment is either 1:29, or close to it.... most of the models involved are modern locomotives and 1930-1960 era freight and passenger cars, though there are some modern cars available as well. There are also some later steam engines from both suppliers which are very nice, including a couple from USA Trains in cast metal, and a live steamer from Aristocraft. Accucraft/AML makes some equipment in this size also.

1:32 -- the 45mm between the rails represents 4'8.5" (Standard Gauge) and is mathematically correct this time (45mm x 32 = 4' 8 1/2 inches.) The models are smaller than their 1:29 cousins. Accucraft and MTH both make trains in this size, and all represent standard gauge prototypes. Sizewise, the models are the smallest .... a 1:20.3 locomotive will sit on the same track as a 1:32 locomotive, but a tiny 1:20.3 locmotive will tower over the largest 1:32 locomotive when placed side by side.

Confused? Hope not. The thing to do is pick the kind of trains you like, and then choose a scale that suits you. And, as shown, some manufacturers pick really small prototypes in 1:20.3 or really large ones in 1:22.5 with the idea that they'll be able to run next to each other and some people won't mind.... so there's no "rule" about what you can and can't run on your railroad. Some folks have "standard gauge" days and "narrow gauge days" on the same railroad... some just mix and match and to **** with the scale. Whatever floats your boat .... though I suppose that expression is less appropriate here than it is other places!

Scottychaos posted the best visual aid I've ever seen to the scale/gauge question awhile back.... and here it is:

http://gold.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/Large-scale-scales2.gif

Hope this helps!

Matthew (OV)

PS. This post took me an hour and a half to get posted.... between phone calls, etc.... if twenty people have answered by now, I apologize!
 

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Dear Mr OV - an excellent post, Sir, and well worth your effort - should be a sticky, IMO.

I KNOW it's mainly a British thing, but here are a good few on your side of the water who model British outline live steam and electrically-driven stuff. running on 45mm track [I'm ignoring, pro tem, the 32mm track stuff].

This scale is called 16mm, and has a linear ratio of 1/19th. Most Roundhouse live-steamers and the single electric loco are about this this scale, likewise an ever-increasing amount of rolling stock and locos from Accu-Craft - in both live steam AND electric propulsion.

The recently introduced Isle of Man stuff is around this scale, although some of it is actually 1/20.3.

Looks VERY fetching too.

tac
http://www.ovgrs.org/

'16mm - 5000 of us can't be wrong...'
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info, and the welcome, guys. Great way to get started. Bet there are some other new guys who will learn something from this! I was getting a little befuddled, especially, when I'm reading about 1:29 and then, 45mm! I have been a standard guage, and largely Pennsy modeller, though haven't picked my 'poison' here yet.
 

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Thanks Matthew for the link. This will help a bunch when I try to explain the different scales. Thanks to Scottychaos for his work also.
 

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Cap Bill If you are interested in scratch building any model a device that helped me the most is a scale from the rail scale www.therailscale.com they offer rail scales in most all scales and available in aluminum and plastic
6 inch to 24 inches long, you can get two different scales on one scale, check out their site.
Dennis
 

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Bill, if you like the Pennsy, check out www.usatrains.com. They are very Pennsy/Conrail friendly. ^^

-Will
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the tip. Expect I will do a good bit of scratchbuilding.. I have a lot more time than money!
 
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