Hi there. New to this and just bought a few Bachmann Spectrum Fn3 cars and loco. Now I'd like some passenger cars but I can't find any reasonably priced Fn3 cars - what do the LGB G Scale Passenger cars look like alongside the larger Fn3 stock?
The real question is how they look to you. If you are super detail oriented, and you want everything just perfect and to scale, then you will want to spend the big bucks on the 1:20.3 cars. If you just want to run trains, then they will work fine. I've been to many open houses where 1:20.3 engines are pulling 1:22.5 cars. Doesn't matter if it's passenger or frieght, I've never heard anyone say "sure would look better if it was all in the same scale". The honest thing is, most people don't even know about scale. Yes there is a difference, but as long as it looks good to you is the important thing. Like for example, on my 1:20.3 Shay, it pulls a line of logging cars followed by a 1:22.5 kitbashed caboose. I know the scale is different, but it looks good to me. In real RR'ing, look at the different sizes of box cars that move down the track in a single line of cars, there are alot of different sizes. Would something like the K dwarf the cars, yes, but we've pulled strings of boxcars behind a Connie, and it looked fine.
Again, it's all "how does it look to you"
Welcome to large scale RR'ing, and the most important thing........Have fun!
There was a recent thread where one kind poster showed a pic of the correct Fn3 passenger car compared with the 1/22.5 Bachmann J&S version. Remember, too, that the so-called 'G-scale' car is already compressed and minimised dimensionally.
The Fn3 car looks gigantic by comparison.
However, IF you have the Bachmann Spectrum Mogul or American the 'G-scale' cars don't look too bad - after all, these are models of 1880's era locomotives, and they are pretty small by comparison with a K27 or similar.
Go to http://pages.sbcglobal.net/fdoti/ and at bottom go to the link 'more G scale layout photos' and you will see what I think is a FN3 C-16 pulling LGB passenger cars. Now, a C-16 is much smaller than a K-28! This particular photo looks great to me, but I have seen some that do not. Again, like others have said, it is certainly up to you and what you like. I do run the 1:20 4-4-0 with the 1:22 rolling stock and looks fine!
Thanks for all your useful info guys. Nice to see phots for comparison. At the moment the loco I have is the 2-8-0 Yellow Pine Lumber Co and from what I can see, the LGB cars would look a bit small behind it. I'm not too fussed on scale to be honest - just want it to look ok - I will have to borrow a car from someone to see what it looks like.
Gary's photo sums it up nicely. Most 1:20.3 scaled items do not mate well with LGB 1:22.5 scaled trains. And as Tac mentioned about the Bachmann J&S cars, LGB coaches too are compressed in 1:22.5 scale so they aren't even true 1:22.5.
Below are some of my 1:20.3 - 1:22.5 comparison photos. You can't really tell much from them since at the time I tried to minimize the scale differences in the photo angle. But trust me, there is a big difference between the two scales.
This first one is a Bachmann 2-8-0 with LGB coaches:
And here is that same train pulled by the Bachmann 2-8-0 along with an Accucraft C-16, one of the smaller 1:20.3 locos out there, with more LGB coaches:
And Ted, thanks for the mention of my San Juan photo. Below is an MLS size friendly version (and yes the C-16 is 1:20.3):
San Juan, that shot of #278 and 375 looks similar to one I saw in a book by Lucis Beebe. There was a Standard and a Narrow Gage train sitting side-by-side. The size differential is almost identical to what your picture shows. Beebe’s picture had a greater difference, but… well, you get my drift, right?
It's a difference of about 10% in all dimensions. Whether that really stands out depends on a bunch of things.
If you're imagining that your line is a local branch line, then it real life it probably would have been hauling a mix of stuff of very different sizes. If you are imagingin it as a modern mainline, then you would want to see consistency.
First, the kind of car matters--it really shows up with passenger cars and boxcars. It's less obvious with flatcars. And it also depends on the prototype. I have two pieces of 1:32 rolling stock, an MTH flatcar and an MTH reefer. The MTH reefer is a nice model but it's noticeably smaller, too small most of the time. The MTH flatcar is based on a bigger, more modern prototype and it's much more reasonable
A thirty foot narrow gage boxcar looks ok next to a 40 foot 1:29 boxcar, as long as you ignore the details, like the ladder or the brake wheels
I used to not care, but the more I do it the more I tend to notice
It is indeed only 10% difference in each dimension. Our brain thinks linearly and say 10% is not a whole lot. Our eyes see in three dimensions (by volume) and say (.9x.9x.9 = .72) wow ... that Fn3 car is half again (100/72=~1.5) the volume of the 1:22.5 car. And that is why out of scale by 10% stands out dramatically.
Some folks do not care ... more power to them. But as lownote says, the more you know the more you care about the scale issue.