Model Train Scales, We Love Model Trains!
If you are new to model trains, then it is important to know that they come in different sizes. The various model railroad scale sizes can be very confusing especially if you do not know how to interpret the letters on the models. For instance if you see a letter like “N” or “G” or any other letter, you may take it to be a typo on the model train.
However, these letters contain very useful and crucial information about the model train including its size. These letters specifically represent the size of the model. For example, a model that is rated as 1:29 is one 29th the actual size of a train.
Gauge is the size of the track. The hobby of playing with these model trains has grown tremendously in the past few years such that very many people are interested in playing with these model trains.
The largest model trains
The largest model railroad scales are collectively known as large scale trains. Most large model trains are designed to be used in outdoor spaces such as garden railroads. They can also be run in indoor spaces but this may not be as fun like when run outside. There are different variations of the largest scale trains. The largest of these models is labeled as “G scale” and includes 1:32, 1:22:5 and 1:20 proportions. All of these railroad scale variations run on a Gauge 1 track that is 45mm in size between the rails.
After the “G scale”, the next scale is the “O scale with a 1:48 proportion. The track in this scale measures about 1.25” between the rails. The O gauge was first produced 100 years ago and was used as an introductory gauge for children to learn this lifelong hobby back in the 1940s all through to the 1950s.
The “S scale” has a 1:64 proportion and is slightly smaller in comparison to the “O scale”. These model trains run on rails placed at 7/8” apart and were initially popularized and marketed by the American Flyer. The best thing about this size model trains is that unlike their predecessors, present day S scale model trains are highly detailed just like the model locomotives & toys in other scales.
The smallest model trains
Small model trains are operated on equally small model railroad scale sizes. The smaller scale toys overshadow the larger scale models in terms of popularity and demand. These models (small scale) are designed and built to be averagely half O scale models in terms of size. Ideally, these locomotives and toys are 1/87 the actual size of their prototypes. The small scale is the “HO scale” whose gauge track distance between the rails is approximately 16.5 mm.
The best thing about the HO gauge toys is that they come in a compact size such that they can run on a 4 by 8 foot plywood sheet and at the same time are large enough to highlight great detail. Most modelers make the HO scale their favorite scale as it is a highly preferred option among most players and enthusiasts of this hobby.
The “N scale” is the smaller model railroad scale size. Locomotives that are designed in this scale are approximately 1/160 in size as compared to their actual prototypes. The track gauge between the rails in this scale is 9mm. This scale works best for modelers with space limitations or those who prefer using expansive sceneries.
The “Z” scale is the smallest scale and has a 1:220 proportion with rails placed 6.5mm apart.
Which is the best size to choose?
Ideally, there is not even a single scale that can be termed to be appropriate and right for everyone. This is because every player has their own needs and preferences. Therefore, when deciding on the best scale to choose or opt for, it is important to consider the space you have available to use for your railroad.
Additionally, you also need to consider any customization you may want to do on the railroads. For instance, you may decide to have long railroads with towering sceneries among other forms of personalization.
When looking for the best model train size, your interests should always come first. Larger scale models are more detailed and fun to play with than smaller scale models. However, it is easier to craft and amazing railroad for the smaller scale models than it is for the larger scale models. Age is yet another important consideration since most people in their senior years prefer larger scale models to the smaller scale ones.
This is because large models are more comfortable to use and are easily visible. Budget should also be considered when purchasing these model train toys. While the relation between cost and scale is not as simple like most people would presume, it is worth noting that every scale is available in both large and small size. As such, if you are maybe working on a $100 budget, you should look for inexpensive but quality model trains that can fit in that budget.
Ultimately, the choice of the best toy comes down to the aspect that you enjoy most about the hobby. This goes hand in hand with your aspirations and expectations of playing the hobby. To achieve the perfect compromise, you need to carefully choose a model train that addresses all your playing needs.
Taking care and maintaining your model train toy and accessories
For your model train to be in a tip-top condition at all times, it is important to take good care of the train and the railroad on which it is running. For starters, you have to ensure that the trains are used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and directives.
Secondly, it is important to take good care of the railroads by tightening the joints in the tracks and mounting the tracks as they should be mounted. For you to find playing with model trains fun and enjoyable, you should be creative when designing and setting up the tracks. You can have a few loops along the tracks and use attractive sceneries to make the game more attractive.
It is important to note that the derailment possibilities are high when using an expansive track. Therefore, you should use the right components and joints to reinforce the different sections in the track.