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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb 2014 13:32 pm 
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ISTR that model trains are a mix of scales, i.e. they have 1/76 bodies with 1/87 running gear. Was this the same for the Airfix train kits?

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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb 2014 14:13 pm 
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Yes you are correct the bodies are 176 scale models running on 00 gauge running gear and track which is approximately 1/87. This is the same for the Airfix kits and ready to run railway items.

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Feb 2014 19:12 pm 
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Yes they run on tracks 16.5mm apart - if true scale they would be 18.83 apart (AKA - EM Scale) - whereas Hornby Airfix (Plastic kit and RTR) are known as OO Scale, which roughly equates to 1:76 body-wise.

Had some fun trying to mix 1:72 military vehicles and 1:76 trains... :oops: :Tank:


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PostPosted: Mon 03 Feb 2014 19:14 pm 
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Unhelpfully - the continental stuff known as HO gauge is a scalish 1:87 - so just looks too small to run with OO stock - even though it is truer to scale.

Not much British Outline stuff in HO so does not personally trouble me.... :Pilot:


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Feb 2014 00:08 am 
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I was wondering if any of the ex-Airfix kits is accurate but it sounds like they aren't, then, i.e. they're sized to serve as static models on a train set layout.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Feb 2014 00:32 am 
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Just as accurate as the majority of British outline railway models of the early 60's :Whistling:

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Feb 2014 10:03 am 
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Beaufighter wrote:
I was wondering if any of the ex-Airfix kits is accurate but it sounds like they aren't, then, i.e. they're sized to serve as static models on a train set layout.


Why static? The wheels turn on the rolling stock and you can get the locos to move, too, so you can double-head with a RTR. You can also buy kits to motorise some of the locos (the railbus springs to mind).

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Feb 2014 17:48 pm 
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They do make excellent static models though - I have a couple of Dapol L+Y Pugs as produced by Airfix and track scale apart - they are a pretty good representation - indeed apart from separate handrails - Hornby themselves are using the same basic loco in a RTR version.

They are also useful if you are short of pennies as they can help fill up a loco yard - if you cannot afford a RTR version, e.g. Dapol 9F/Evening Star @£10, Bachmann RTR 9F @£110 - nuff said :pirate:


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PostPosted: Sat 08 Feb 2014 22:47 pm 
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I have experimented with combining Dapol plastic locomotive kits with chassis from RTR locomotives.
The photo below is of the Dapol kit of a Battle of Britain Class locomotive, with the plastic, non-motorized chassis as provided with the kit:
Image
I have replaced the non-motorized chassis with the chassis from an old Mainline RTR locomotive. ( It did require the addition of a small wooden block to take a screw for the rear trailing bogie.) :
Image
This is the converted model on my layout:
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PostPosted: Sun 09 Feb 2014 02:05 am 
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I did the same with a 9F many moons ago :P

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PostPosted: Sun 09 Feb 2014 22:38 pm 
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So to be clear, is it simply the gauge that's inconsistent, or are the wheels the wrong actual diameter too?

I think trains are rather marvellous looking machines, but I doubt I could be bothered to build one if from the outset it was compromised in order to work on railway sets.

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PostPosted: Mon 10 Feb 2014 01:14 am 
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There are some compromises with the wheels but this is mainly to do with the flanges which are a little crude in 00. The gauge/scale discrepancy is really only apparent when looking head on.

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb 2014 06:07 am 
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Yep - just the gauge - some of the modern RTR stuff is simply magnificent - see Hornby B1, Bachmann J11, Bachmann ROD etc. produced in the last couple of years... :orc:


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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb 2014 20:53 pm 
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Yes, second Hootonpeter - I don't think it's quite accurate to call it "1/87 running gear" - in side view it's the depth that is intentionally wrong, not the height or width. Except perhaps in many older models where the narrower chassis forced compromises in (especially) bogie wheel diameters to allow for swing around curves.

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PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov 2015 23:11 pm 
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Just to confuse everyone there was one item produced to 1:87 scale (H0).

This is the Interfrigio refrigerated wagon even though Airfix claimed it was to 1:76 scale.

None of the kitmaster European kits, (which included HO scale coaches even when the equivalent locomotives were 00) were re-released.










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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jan 2016 22:17 pm 
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In the beginning, the choice of scale and gauge was due to the mechanisms available. In Europe HO (1:87) was used and, because of the greater loading gauge of the full size locos this was not an issue (ie the electric motors fitted). When it came to fitting those same motors within the bodies of HO British locos that was not the case, the British locos were smaller. As a consequence the scale was raised to 1:76 ie 4mm/foot and called 'OO gauge', (which means nothing other than 'bodge' - in my opinion).
The availability of track to 16.5 mm gauge (which is, near enough, 4' 8.5" in HO) made it an easy choice, thus the abomination of British model railways was born! In the fullness of time, efforts were made to improve the scale/gauge relationship, initially by the EM gauge society with track at 18mm (later 18.2mm) gauge and fine scale wheels and then P4/S4 groups with scale track section at 18.83 mm gauge and super fine scale wheels (leading to the need for 'compensated loco chassis' and suspension on rolling stock.
The wheel sizes in 'OO' locos reflect the fact that the tyre, with dramatically over scale flange has to fit within the profile of the loco splash guards etc so the wheel diameter is significantly smaller than it should be, this has one advantage - a scale wheel with a finer flange will fit!
So in conclusion:
'HO' is 1:87 scale locos etc running on 16.5 mm track (= 4' 8.5" approx)
'OO' is 1:76 scale locos etc running on 16.5 mm track (= 4' 1.5" exactly)
'OO' fine scale is as above but using finer profiled wheels and scale section track
'EM' as above but running on 18/18.2 mm track (= 4' 6" or 4' 6and a bit")
'P4/S4' as above but running on near scale flanged wheels and 18.83 mm track (4' 8.5")

The Kitmaster/Airfix/Dapol kits fall firmly in the OO category.

I used to do my railway modelling in EM from the ouset, so everything was kit or scratch built and suitable proprietary modals had to be re-wheeled, brake gear re-positioned etc etc. You could, and still can, buy 3 ft lengths of straight track but points etc had/have to be scratch built. Small wonder I chose to give it up in the end when it takes me weeks to slap an Airfix Gnat together!

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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jan 2016 01:24 am 
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Interesting Tony.

So by the sound of it, a lot of work would be involved in coming up with an accurate build of one of the Airfix trains. You'd need to alter the width of the running gear and reprofile the wheels too; you'd then need to source some track that the corrected running gear would fit??

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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jan 2016 10:12 am 
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Hello Beaufighter,
The body of the Kitmaster/Airfix locos and wagons are to 4mm/ft scale (1:72). But, following the conventions from the start of British model railways, the track gauge is 16.5 mm = 4ft 1.5inches. In order to make the running gear look (and be) correct, you can set the wheels out to the correct 'back to back', unfortunately correcting the flange depth would require significant work and would make the final appearance of the wheel too small in diameter. The solution to this is expensive, given the 'quality' of the original model: you need to buy wheels and axles from a specialist, if you start down that road you will end up cutting off the hand rails and replacing them with wire, buying etched nickel silver con and coupling rods etc etc etc.

I would suggest setting the back to back of the wheels, adjusting valve gear accordingly and either buying a length of EM gauge track or butchering some old hornby/triang track (this is possibly the cheapest option and the track section would be more in keeping with the oversize flanges). I have a few 'City of Truro' models I've done some work on, I'll see if I can find them.

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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jan 2016 23:27 pm 
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Omnibus answers to this are probably more confusing than helpful. There's a lot of difference between turning the simple rolling stock models into 'scale' examples - the Guards Van in particular (Airfix R4/02658-9, Dapol C38) has been the subject of many successful conversions - and the locomotive kits, particularly those like the 9F (Airfix 05652-0, Dapol C49) or the Standard 4 (Airfix 04653, Dapol C59) with outside valve gear. City of Truro, which TeeEll mentions, falls somewhere in the middle of the difficulty scale with its outside cranks. At the simplest end of conversions, dropping some EM wheelsets into the wagons and re-aligning the breakgear isn't difficult at all, and some issues now come with OO nylon-centred wheels on metal axles which can simply be reset to EM (16.5mm back-to-back - the wheel profile is the same as OO). You could drop in P4 wheels just as easily, but having finer flanges and narrow treads you really need to spring or compensate them to hold the track if you ever want the vehicle to move. That said, I'm about to try 'P4-ing' a few wagons, but I'll probably go a lot further than absolutely necessary in swapping out components (brakes, buffers, handrails, couplings) for scale equivalents. If you want to see how I went about building the Diesel Crane (Airfix R202/03622-3, Dapol C28) and a lowmac matchtruck for it in EM you can read my threads here and here.

When it comes to the locos, you have to decide whether you want the finished article to move, or not. If you're happy with it static, it isn't impossible to kit-bash the simpler kits while keeping the plastic. If you want them to move, or want to tackle the bigger kits, I would certainly ditch the plastic wheels for scale replacements, but it would also be much easier to replace the plastic frames with metal ones, which can be spaced appropriately for your chosen gauge, and to fit proper bearings, metal coupling and connecting rods, and wire to replace the moulded-on handrails - but as already suggested this is getting expensive. For motorising, there are a range of options available beside the Railbus chassis kit from Branchlines, a very neat 'Pug' chassis kit from High Level Models, or using Ready-to-Run chassis from Bachman or Hornby with drop-in finescale wheelsets; but at that point you're moving deep into railway modelling rather than plastic kit construction, and you should be very wary of going there - once bitten by that bug, it's an awfully hard one to shake (as my builds probably indicate).

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PostPosted: Thu 07 Jan 2016 13:22 pm 
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In my replies, I have generally assumed that Locos are being made as plastic kits for display only. The desire for a better look by adopting fine scale wheel sets etc is, in this instance, the equivalent of eg: buying a PE aftermarket cockpit for a 1:72 Mustang or Resin tracks for 1:72 Matilda tank and so on. To be honest, the quality of the kit moulds are, generally, not up to current RTR.

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