Paper models & scales

Just got an order from Paper Models International and it created a question about scales.
Of 5 kits, 2 are classified as "O" scale, but they seem too big. Both
are made by Pioneer Valley Models (which I don't recommend as they have minimal artwork detail and little or no color -in fact the Tin Factory is completely black & white including the wood doors). The main problem is they seem huge alongside the On30 loco. Then again this is the first time I'm actually placing objects together and getting a visual on how much (or little) space I have to work with. I'd realized not long ago some adjustments in the layout design were going to be needed but they may have to be even more drastic than I thought if these buildings are correct.
Another kit is a Fishing Shack by Fiddler's Green which is a nice little structure I can modify to work. It's supposed to be HO but the front door looks bigger than that (to my advantage). Very good art and colors though.
The last 2 are imports from Holland and have such nice artwork and coloring, it's tempting to frame them unbuilt. One is a Dutch Farmhouse and the other an Old Smithy. These don't seem to have classified scales but figures with the Smithy stand 1" tall. The Farmhouse has no figures but doors are much smaller. The architecture is unusual enough that if I make larger doors, it might be able to get it to pass for O.
My question is (in case I don't get to the hobby shop for awhile to look at figures), in inches, or fractions of, how tall would a 6' tall man stand for both HO and O? With that info, I can do some measuring on these kits and get a better idea what will work.
I also realize I can "fudge" the scale a bit. for example a lot of structures for Halloween and Christmas villages (like Hallmark has) include figures that don't exactly match the structures. Sort of a perspective thing going on but wouldn't want to go too far with that.
Any thoughts, or the formula for breaking those scales down to inches?
~Brad :)
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What scale is On03?

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Hi there
On30 is,. (I think) the same as O gauge or 1:48 scale, (guage?). Hope this helps. :)
On Fri, 2 Jun 2006 17:08:31 +1000, "mindesign"

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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

Your On30 trains are O scale, narrow gauge, 30 inch gauge models. That is, the track represents narrow gauge that's 30 inches between the rails, as compared to 4ft 8-1/2" for standard gauge. O scale is 1:48 in North America, 1:45 in Europe, and 1:43.5 in the UK.

O scale is 1:48, so even a small building will bulk quite large compared to the trains. The trains are based on 2ft narrow gauge prototypes. A typical 2ft freight car would be 6ft wide, and 16 to 20ft long. Quite small, about the same size as standard gauge HO models, actually. Most of Bachmann's models are based on 3ft gauge prototypes, so they are slightly bigger than this.

Fiddler's Green are OO scale, 4mm to the foot, or 1:76 - about 14% more than HO, but still too small for O scale.

Cool idea!

That's 4' in O scale, a rather small person. :-) Since it's 5'4" in S scale (1:64), my guess is the model is S scale. Measure the door - it should be about 1-1/4" or slightly more in S scale.

Yes, that kind of kit bashing usually works very well, especially since windows come in many more sizes than doors.

O scale is 1:48 in N. America. A 6ft person would 1.5" tall. A standard 7ft door would be 1-3/4" tall.
HO scale is 1:87 internationally. A 6ft person would be 7/8" or 21mm tall. A standard 7ft door would be 25.4 or close to 1" tall.
A "small" combination (freight and passenger) station would be around 40ft long, 16ft wide, 16ft tall at the roof peak. In O scale that's 10" by 4" by 4" - no wonder your paper models look large compared to the trains.

The "large" Christmas villages are close to O scale. This is pretty consistent, actually. The smaller ones vary more, from S scale (1:64) to close to HO scale. Under the Christmas tree, it doesn't matter, but on a layout, it could. Put the smaller scale buildings at the back, but well away from the track.
BTW, many modellers choose smaller buildings to model, or use "selective compression" to reduce the bulk of their structure models. So don't feel you have to make every thing to exact scale. It's all in the proportions, and the placement of structures, trees, figures and other details to fool the eye into accepting the illusion you are trying to create.

For more information about scales and gauges, go to nmra.org
You can get a CD of all Fiddler's Green models. One advantage is that you can vary the size of the images to match any scale you want. Another advantage is the cost, less $1 a model, plus your printing costs. A third is that you can use an image processing program to change their colours, giving you more variety. Main disadvantage is that most of their prototypes are English Village buildings, and FG's artists tend to up the cutesy factor. I haven't bought the CD, yet; but I've downloaded a few of their samples, and had fun building them. I use a Canon Pixma printer, but any multi-tank printer will give you excellent results.
HTH
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Wolf Kirchmeir, Blind River, Canada
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Well done Mr. Kirchmeir!! A thorough, thoughtful, helpful response. Geezer
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Thank you Wolf! I agree with Geezer that this was an excellent response and covered everything and more I was wondering about. The door on the Smithy, or at least the archway into the shop area is 1-1/2" but a side door is only 7/8", still you're probably right in it being S scale.
Now about the size of a 6' tall person in O and HO: two things came to light when I did some measuring with the figures you gave: O is a bit larger than I've been imagining, and my 0-4-0 Porter has been causing much of the confusion. The interior of the cab is 1-1/2 inches from floor to ceiling (thus 6' in scale). I've been picturing an engineer standing in the cab and assuming there was some headroom but now realize sitting down was apparently the common operating position. That changes things. I'm going to have to buy some O figures to set out and keep a better perspective on this as I sketch the layout.
Unfortunately I don't have a computer (I'm using a MSN/WebTV+), to get all the Fiddler Green kits on CD or download, however you give me an idea: if Kinkos or some other copy shop can do color copies on cardstock, I could just enlarge these or any kit from PMI. That would really make things easier and I'll check into it this weekend.
Some of the FG kits do look cutesy but most of that can be fixed. I like their expanded New England Buildings line. I could use a lot of those. The Fishing shack is from that series. Includes a seagull to stand on the roof and it's fairly realistic artwise for FG. Have always wanted to do a diorama with their N scale Sleepy Village set (and if anyone needs an N scale Old West Mining Town, they have a 19 building set which looks like it includes a little train depot for $10.95). Interesting aircraft kits too.
Anyway, thanks for the info! I'll put it to good use. :) ~Brad
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On Sat, 3 Jun 2006 09:15:01 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

This is off topic for this group, but if you like paper models and a challenge, try one from here: http://www.yamaha-motor.co.jp/global/entertainment/papercraft/index.html
fl@liner
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

You're welcome.
I've snipped the rest of your post because it seemed like sensible fun to me. :-)
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Hello
Very useful as I have Ho and On30. Not started the On30 layout yet just yet,k (still planning it sort of). Thinking of a switch back line with a mine and maybe a logging area of some sort. :)
On Fri, 02 Jun 2006 11:02:40 -0400, Wolf Kirchmeir

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In a message on Fri, 02 Jun 2006 11:02:40 -0400, wrote :
WK> > One is a Dutch Farmhouse WK> > and the other an Old Smithy. These don't seem to have classified scales WK> > but figures with the Smithy stand 1" tall. WK> WK> That's 4' in O scale, a rather small person. :-) Since it's 5'4" in S WK> scale (1:64), my guess is the model is S scale. Measure the door - it WK> should be about 1-1/4" or slightly more in S scale.
Or, it could be a Munchkinland Old Smithy or the Old Smithy in Hobbittown... :-)
One can always create a 'fantasy' scene in some out of the way part of ones layout.
Robert Heller -- 978-544-6933 Deepwoods Software -- Linux Installation and Administration http://www.deepsoft.com/ -- Web Hosting, with CGI and Database snipped-for-privacy@deepsoft.com -- Contract Programming: C/C++, Tcl/Tk
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On Fri, 02 Jun 2006 17:44:23 +0200, Robert Heller wrote:

Don't make me release the flying monkeys.
--
Steve

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Robert Heller posted:

Actually my whole layout idea could be considered a fantasy scene since it's Halloween themed and pure freelance. To make it a corner of Middle Earth or Oz is a thought.
For now my main modification is to minimize the scene into a few focal points (rather than the village idea which there won't be room for), and instead of the edge of a valley, the RR will look like a line than runs through a series of backwoods hollows via tunnels in which this will be one that is inhabited. :)
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net spake thus:

So I take it you don't have a scale ruler? If you don't, I'd get one, as it's an essential (and not expensive) tool for anyone building models. The standard General stainless-steel one has scales for all the popular scales (HO, N, O, S).
Anyway, using the ratio of 1:87.1, a 6' tall humanoid would be 0.82" tall in HO-land, and 1-1/2" in O-land.
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David posted:

I didn't even know such a thing existed, but can see how it would be very helpful. I'll put it on my list for the next trip to the hobby shop. Thanks!
~Brad H.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net schrieb:

6 ft = 72 inches, so in H0 it's 72/87 = 0.8276 inches (or 21.02 mm).
0 scale is twice as large as H0, if you use 1:43.5 scale. In 1:45 it's 1.6 inches (or 40.64 mm), in 1:48 it's 1.5 inches (or 38.1 mm). Unfortunately the scale of 0 is not clearly defined, every manufacturer does its own thing.
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