G gauge is a mishmash of scales running on 45mm gauge track. Most of the
equipment is based on narrow gauge prototypes (European metre gauge and
US 3 ft gauge). Depending on the narrow gauge, the scales range from
1:20.3 on down. There is a huge range of equipment available, of
generally good to excellent quality. There is also an increasing amount
of detail and other parts for scratch building. Most garden railway
modellers use 1:24 for buildings, as that is one of the two widely used
a doll house scales, so there is an enormous amount of stuff available.
No. 1 scale is 1:32, as 45mm gauge in that scale represents 4' 8-1/2"
gauge about as exactly as model gauges do. There is not as much
equipment available for it, and it is pricey. It is a dying scale for
operating layouts, but still quite viable as a model builder's scale.
1:32 standard gauge trains are actually smaller than 1:20.3 3ft-gauge
ones, so they will look wrong next to each other. Don't mix these scales.
You can mix the narrow gauge scales because there was no universal
standard clearance diagram for narrow gauges. This means that narrow
gauge equipment varied a lot in size, the result being that 3ft gauge
models at 1:20.3 scale and metre gauge models at 1:22. 2 look just fine
next to each other.
Unless you are fussy about exact scale, go with G gauge, and buy what
you like, in the best quality you can afford. Do not compromise on track
or fixed structures such as bridges that must suffer the indignities of
weather and wildlife. Use best practices to protect wiring and control
element from the weather. You can go with cheaper rolling stock and
buildings, since they can be brought indoors for protection. But if you
spread out your purchases, the garden railway will cost you less than
smoking. If you smoke, that's a good reason to quit. If you don't, it's
a good argument if your other half objects to "wasting money." ;-)
The only area in which wheel standards of #1 scale conflict with
commercial G gauge track is at turnouts (points). That is, 1:32 rolling
stock built to NMRA or similar standards will not play nicely with
commercial G gauge turnouts.
Googling on "G gauge" and "garden railways" will bring you lots of hits,
and many hours of enjoyable surfing.
I feared that it might be a little fragile for my garden, given that I
share it with a toddler, a dog and a cat.
Send a live steam loco around every so often. The cat and dog will soon
learn to leave them alone.
There really isn't any such thing as "G Scale". There is "G Gauge",
which happens to be the same as "I gauge" but the wheel standards are
different in only marginally compatible.
Yes, I know lots of people and manufacturers talk about "G Scale", but
that's just ignorance of the difference between scale and gauge.
(PS I know "G Scale" is claimed to be 1:22.5 on 45mm gauge track
representing metre gauge, but LGB began with "Stainz" which is 760mm
gauge which gives a scale of about 1:17)
On Wed, 16 Apr 2008 11:19:17 +0000, beamendsltd
When I was in the G1MRA some years ago, the membership then always
adopted a pragmatic approach to the values of rolling stock and
refused to consider "Antiques Roadshow" prices. So I suspect that
that attitude still holds firm and new, as well as second hand,
prices are set to suit.
Apparently 10mm has become the "standard" over here now (I nearly
went for gauge 1, but chickened out at the last minute) hence
the likes of Tenmille Products - those that do UK outline 3/8 have or
are converting their kits to 10mm, or offering both. Aster don't
actually say which they do on their UK site, but they do associate
themseleves with the Gauge One Model Railway Association - who don't
make it clear which standard to use.......!
I have become... comfortably numb
From what I've seen/experienced of Gauge One, the interest in in the
individual models/train formations, not building a scale 'train set',
so if one set of stock (train formation) is built to 10mm scale and
another is built to 3/8" scale no one really cares!
On Wed, 16 Apr 2008 17:25:48 +0000, beamendsltd
I can remember debates on 3/8" scale in the G1MRA newsletter getting
heated in the 1970s, requiring the editor to apply some heavy
moderating. :-) At that time the general feeling was that there
should be one scale in Gauge One, and that should be 10mm. However,
I believe that 3/8" scale is becoming more popular since its more
accurate scale/gauge ratio attracts people who want to model to finer
Also, that's the international standard of 1:32 (cp. 1:30.4 for 10mm).
FWIW, Aristo Craft offer 1:29 models for G gauge. This scale was chosen
so that standard gauge models would look suitably bulky next to narrow
gauge. See http://members.aol.com/metzbahn/scaleguide.htm for more
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