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Discussion Starter #1
I don't live close to any hobby/train store to look at and compare quality, construction, and prices of G scale products. Being a newcomer to the Large Scale stuff, I'm confused by the adds...and the pricing. I buy most of my hobby stuff via the internet. I'm hopeful you all can offer some guidance on the brands out there. I suppose the main categories, being steam and diesel locos, freight, and passenger. Bill
 

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You can google garden railroad clubs and see if there is one in your area. The members of these clubs are you best source of help and guidance. You can see the different types of trains and manufacturers. A lot of modelers pick a certain time frame and type of railroad to model. For instance I only model narrow gauge trains ( 36" gauge) from 1941 or earlier. Narrow gauge means any track gauge that is less than 4' 8 1/2" wide between the rails. I only have steam engines and small cars that are ususlly 20' in length in real life or smaller. As far as the cost goes you can spend as little as $50 for a small plastic engine or several thousand dollars for a highly detailed large brass engine. There are a lot of options to choose from. That is why it is best to visit someon's layout and talk to them.

Big John
 

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If you tell us the part of the country you live in I'm sure that someone will jump in and offer local assistance.

Chuck N
 

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Yeah, nice to have your state listed anyway. If you have your town, you may find a train guy in your area! I mostly model in 1/29 and the USA and Aristo stuff is good. Bachman and Accucraft cars are fine also. Decide what you want to model i.e.: Modern/Old/Mainline/Narrow Gauge/what time period. Avoid the New Bright, although it can be bashed into something. Some small businesses make nice kits, like Phil's Narrow Gauge and Bronson Tate. Garden Railways has some decent plans to make cars from, if you are handy-it's fun to do! Read around here for awhile and you'll get an idea of what you want to do/model. Get some magazines/books on garden railroads also. It's a fun hobby, sure can keep you busy!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm in Eastern Tennessee and pretty much like the 40's, 50's standard guage U.S. Thanks for the tips!
 

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Been a lot of post here on just the subject you mention. Being new. Do a search here and you will see all the available options and recommendations. Good luck on your choice as it up to you and you only what you want. Later RJD
 

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You can't go wrong with Bachmann 1:22 stuff. It has relatively good detail, it is well built and the most important thing is that it is affordable.

That is my opinion and I am going to stick to it.

John
 

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The two major manufacturers in US standard gauge are Aristo-Craft and USA Trains. Their standard gauge offering are in 1:29th scale. When reviewing their on-line catalogs please be aware they also sell 1:24th scale narrow gauge trains.

Here is the link for Aristo-Craft’s on-line catalog.

Here is the link for USA Trains on-line catalog.


MTH also make US standard gauge trains but in 1:32nd scale.

Pick up a copy of the Garden Railways magazine for dealers and pricing. It also a good read for someone starting out in the hobby.

Here is a link for the Garden Railway Clubs.
 

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Posted By Cap'nBill on 12/28/2008 5:29 PM
I'm in Eastern Tennessee and pretty much like the 40's, 50's standard guage U.S. Thanks for the tips!


How far east? I am in the Nashville area (and yes, zero hobby shops in this area), but there are some people and at least one club possibly close to you.
 

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Bill,

Info, not intended as a recommendation....

Scale closest to correct for 45mm (G gauge) track:
Standard gauge mainline 1:32. MTH and Accucraft make products in this scale. MDC made rolling stock in 1:32 as did Lionel.
note: Defacto standard gauge especially for diesel is 1:29 scale. USA and Aristo manufacture in this scale.
1:29 and 1:32 don't look well together so unless you want to just run separate trains or don't care you should choose one or the other. Both make for nice standard gauge railroads and the too large size of 1:29 on 45 mm track really isn't very noticeable.

3 foot gauge (most common narrow gauge in US) 1:20.3 scale. Bachmann and Accucraft are main suppliers. None of the other scales look well with 1:20.3 scale. Bachmann sells what they call 20' cars in 1:20.3 but unless you are modeling Civil War era they definately don't look well with anything else in 1:20.3.
Earlier Bachmann and LGB (US configuration) represented primarily 3 foot gauge in 1:22.5 scale. Actually 45 mm track scales out to 42" gauge in 1:24. Also Delton (now produced mostly as Aristo's Heritage series) is 1:24 scale (nominal) as were USA's earlier wooden (plastic) cars. The 1:24 are almost identical in over all size to LGB and Bachmann 1:22 cars and go well together. Hartland (not Hartford) is also 1:24 but the cars are of a smaller size.

Meter Gauge 1:22.5 scale. LGB's European style offerings are pretty much to this scale.

Besides the above there are other manufacturers of kits and limited models in these scales, primarily in 1:32 and 1:20.3. These are either craftsman kits or pricier lines. Accucraft is moderately expensive and includes live steam as well as electric powered locos. I included them with the "thriftier" brands because they are a major player.

There are also numerous other scales operating on 45 mm track but they are primarily for the purists, kit bashers and scratch builders.

Hope this helps "unscramble" things a bit. :)
 

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And for comparing:

USA Trains are very nicely detailed.

Aristo-Craft is nicely detailed and less expensive than USAT.

Bachmann cars are often less detailed than Aristo and less expensive.

All 3 are very nice. For my budget, Aristo seems a nice balance between detail and price. All run very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys, that's a help! I have some idea now as to what I may be looking at. I like the 'detailing' aspect of modelling and it appears there are many things available in the large scale arena.
 

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If you are into detail and want to be accurate to scale than your best choice is MTH which is correct at 1:32 scale to represent standard gauge in the time frame you indicated, 1940 to 1950.

Big John
 
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