Does anybody know Iain Rice?

On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 08:19:54 +0000, Jane Sullivan


I don't think Meccano Ltd were the progenitors of 00 as we know it, but there is a feeling that when they re-started production after WW2 using the pre-war 16.5mm gauge tooling, they effectively scuppered the efforts of the railway modelling inductry to improve the 4mm scale/gauge standards. EM was the result of the immediate post war efforts to improve the breed, but this standard was relegated to a minority interest when other mass manufacturers copied Hornby Dublo's lead.
Jim.
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wrote:

Ltd.,
they
WW2
...and thus allowed their products to be used world-wide (ie. main land Europe and North America etc.) [1] on the same 16.5mm track gauge for the more widely used HO (3.5mm / 12inch) scale, what I can't understand is why we leapt to the OO (4mm / 12inch) scale in the first place and more so kept to it after the war - other than re using the pre war tooling when materials were in short supply!
[1] remember that the country was in 'export mode', from cars through to toys.
--
Regards, Jerry.
Location - United Kingdom.
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Received wisdom is that it had to do with available electric motors in the 1930s being small enough for most US and Continental prototypes but too big for the average UK loco. Hence the scale was pushed from 3.5 to 4 to allow the motors to fit.
If it weren't for that short-termist decision (and Henry Greenly is oft implicated in this) we would now be modelling HO and P87, and OO wouldn't exist.
--
Roderic Cameron

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Roderic Cameron wrote:

I don't think that's a valid interpretation, because motors small enough to fit into HO sized locos were available. Henry Greenly shows that's the case, BTW, in his chapter on designing loco mechanisms. Also, IIRC, a couple of the first HO layouts in the USA used 0-4-0T locos, which would be smaller than a Hall, say. Other HO pioneers used "box motors", electric locos that looked boxcars, and had plenty of room inside them. So, if motors played a role, it was probably more one of cost: small high-precision motors cost more than bigger ones, as they are mor difficult to make.

IMO, we can all blame Henry Greenly, and sleep easy tonight. :-)
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Would P87 exist? If we had all been modelling in HO since the end of WW2, would anyone have felt the need to go for nearer-scale track, that ended up with P4 and then, later, P87?
--
Jane
OO in the garden http://www.yddraiggoch.demon.co.uk/railway/railway.html
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Who knows? Interesting point though that the moves to 'improve' OO via EM and EEM to P4 have themselves spawned an 'improved' version of HO to equivalent standards of authenticity in the wheel/rail area.
--
Roderic Cameron

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On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 12:16:06 -0000, ":::Jerry::::"
Jerry,

It wasn't just the UK. 4mm scale, but on 19mm gauge, was popular pre WW2 in North America and rivalled H0 in popularity up till wartime. So there was a strong following for 4mm scale pre-war on both sides of the Atlantic. Since it was the one scale which didn't follow the 'half of the next one larger' rule, I can only assume that it was derived because the extra half mil over H0 scale gave a bit more elbow room for mechanisms.
I have read that Meccano just wanted to start earning a bit of money from their products as soon as possible post war and chose the cheapest option which was to continue to use the standards they had set pre-war rather than incur the time and cost to re-tool for different wheel and track standards. There could have been a bit of exasperation waiting on the BRMSB to come to a decision (if that did happen) but it was the era of 'my product is fine - stuff yours' when we had four proprietory manufacturers whose standards were completely incompatible. Guess who found that out the hard way as a very young modeller who used his holiday money to buy two Graham Farish 4mm wagons and found out that they wouldn't work on his Trix Twin system :-)
In a funny way, Hornby-Dublo might still be here today if they had taken a bit of time to modernise their product in the 40s and not held off till the 60s when they were too slow off the mark and got overtaken by everyone else, and disappeared.
Jim.
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<snip>

held
Their biggest mistake was not adopting the 2 rail system early (hindsight and all that) and then not embracing plastic more widely, it wasn't a case of modernising - rather not cheapening their products that cause the problems!
The serious railway modeller was, by then, embracing the white metal kit whilst the toy market was embracing cheapo plastic.
--
Regards, Jerry.
Location - United Kingdom.
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Jane Sullivan wrote:

It was Henry Greenly, who had a great deal of influence, precisely because he promoted standardisation to sort out an unholy mess of scales and track dimensions perpetrated by the early toy train makers. But he tended to think in terms of diningroom table modelling, more's the pity. For example, he proposed (or copied from early US attempts) that HO be 1/8" to the foot instead of 3.5mm, even though he also proposed the 7mm/ft scale for 0, which became the UK standard. That's a rounding up from the Continental scale of 1:45, or 6.76mm/ft. (O scale is still a mess, with 1:43 for the UK, 1:45 for the Continent, 1:48 for North America, and 1:50 for diecast transport models "suitable for O gauge.")
AFAICT, Greenly proposed 4mm stock on 16.5 mm track because a) he thought 1mm tolerance was a precise as one could reasonably expect with hand tools; b) 4mm/ft give you 1mm equivalent to 3 scale inches, making imperial to metric conversions easy; I suspect that was also his motivation for HO at 1/8" to the foot; and c) 16.5mm track was readily available, and was "close enough".
His aim was to make decent-looking model railways accessible to the "average man", an aim in which he succeeded. I just wish he'd been more tough minded about scale and standards.
Just to stir the mud a little more: 1:45 is "true 0", ie matches the track gauge of 32mm (to within 0.12mm, which is within prototype variation in gauge). Half-0 or H0 would then be 1:90 (3.37mm/ft), a scale that was actually used by some European manufacturers before and after WWII, until 1:87 became the standard. I suspect that HO became 3.5mm/ft because of rounding up; and that became the standard because of the US market.
HTH
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On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 09:28:09 -0500, Wolf Kirchmeir
Wolf,

For a time after WW2, 00 gauge was also referred to as 5/8" - which was a bit under gauge at 15.88mm, which was even worse :-) But it made easier understanding for people who didn't understand metric. I think I've got an old immediate post war Trix manual which actually refers to 5/8" gauge. Mind you, with Trix twin wheel standards you only needed to be about +/- 1/16" on gauge :-)
Jim.
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You mean "Round and round Rice"?
No, never heard of him :o)
(kim)
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Thanks everyone for your comments, silly or otherwise.
For those who propose a different gauge of 16.25 with 1.05 flangeways, well maybe it works but I settled for 1mm flangeways because these can be easily set with a small piece of 1mm steel gauge plate. This saves having to resort to something special for this purpose. It also means that a gauge for building the track to 16.2mm is not that difficult for the home enthusiast to attain without a lathe etc.
As for re-gauging Bachmanns iffy wheels, I did state that this is a Club layout and it was felt that with members owning a large amont of '00' motive power already, we could not ask them to re-wheel in many cases.
It's all there in my mail.
So there you have it. It works even without the need for that extra .05mm.
As for relying on purchases of China produced items, well that's all some can afford and, of course, we have many levels of skill in the membership of most run of the mill MR Clubs.
--
David A Smith
Copthorne. West Sussex
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David Smith wrote:

David,
My finest H0 fine scale standard uses a track gauge 16.25mm to 16.30mm and flange ways of 1.00mm to 1.05mm. A 1mm steel gauge plate will vary slightly from 1mm, however unless you force the 1mm steel gauge between your rails the resulting flange way is going to be slightly larger than 1mm say 1.01mm or 1.02mm. I agree it's not that hard to build a track gauge if you have the time and patience without a lathe. You do however need a micrometer. You can get suitable gauges from http://www.railwayeng.com/ that are going to be close enough.

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NSWGR wrote:

The correct gauge for HO is 16.494mm, or 16.475mm if you insist on 1:87.1 as the correct scale.
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"David Smith" wrote

motive
Which I read. And I did say "re-gauge" not "re-wheel". Most modern locos actually have quite reasonable wheel profiles - certainly heaps better than the clunky Triang tractor wheels of yore - largely because they are now expected by the spending public to show compatibility with Code 75 track straight out of the box. (Which is why many can be regauged to EM with the standard wheels, using a replacement set of plain axles 1.7mm longer - EM profile is effectively the HO standard of RP25/88 which is scarcely rocket science).That does not mean that the production line assemblers have done the correct thing when crimping the wheels onto the axles at several hundred an hour, or that the shop has done a QC check at point of sale. (Some do, some don't. I know some shop repairers, and their QC tales are hair-raising, because the buck stops with them much of the time, especially if it's a kiddy in tears because a cherished present doesn't work). If even one wheel has been squashed too far onto its axle, it'll bind on a flangeway and throw the loco off, causing grief. Without a simple gauge - if one doesn't exist for a preferred hybrid standard it's not hard to mill/file one up from a solid material, checked with a basic micrometer - how are you going to eliminate that equally simple error and thus make every user of the layout happy? As well as Occam's Razor, the Five-legged Lamb principle also applies - if you can't measure it, you can't make it work twice.
Tony Clarke
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What are you on? :-))
--
David A Smith
Copthorne. West Sussex
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"David Smith" wrote

I read your post. Now read mine. The content remains the same. Either you measure or you grizzle. There isn't a middle ground. Happy Xmas to all *proper* modellers. Including Iain Rice who explains all this stuff for those who actually read his books...
Tony Clarke
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Either
to all

for
Well I read your post and I can't see why David Smith replied as he did, your post was very clear and concise, but then I have built to P4 standards and read various works by Mr Rice...
--
Regards, Jerry.
Location - United Kingdom.
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